Make a Christmas Bucket List (Day 15 of 31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas)

31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas - large

This post is part of a series – “31 days to take the Stress out of Christmas”.  You can read all the posts in the series here.  And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can subscribe to have every post delivered to your inbox, or follow me on facebook.

So we have been talking a lot of about to-do lists, gifts, wrapping, food, and all the things we have to DO involving Christmas.  But today let’s talk about the making memories part.  Sure you may make some memories at a Christmas party, or Christmas programs, and even with buying gifts and wrapping gifts but the lasting memories will be in the fun family nights, the Christmas traditions you do every year, those little things that usually don’t cost a dime.  We can get so caught up in the “doing” and the lists, and the shopping and baking, that we forget to stop and just ENJOY THE SEASON! 

Christmas traditions!  Do you have family traditions – things you do EVERY year that you would miss if you didn’t do them, things the kids remind you of every year, activities that make the season truly feel like Christmas to you?  Let me honest and say that for many of the first years of our marriage we didn’t focus on establishing our own family traditions and I deeply regret that.  We allowed living near family to limit us in establishing our OWN family traditions and also thought, oh well we will start establishing traditions when kids join our family which never happened.  So in the last few years I have really determined to make some changes and start making our OWN personal family traditions.  I love it and look forward to the holidays more and we are starting to have lasting, cherished memories established.  But even with that determination it is easy to get busy and before you know it is December 20th and you have yet to stop and just enjoy the season together. 

Making a “bucket list” has become popular in recent days (just do a search on Pinterest and you will find many holiday/life/house themed “bucket lists”)   Technically a “bucket list” is things you want to do before you die but the idea has also been adapted to things you want to do before a certain event/period of life is over too.  I was inspired to do a Christmas bucket list this year after reading Heather’s post on creating a fall bucket list

So here’s the 2014 version of our Christmas Bucket List! 

Christmas Bucket List 2014

I plan on printing this and putting it in a frame or on the fridge so we will see it all the time.   I seriously am getting excited looking forward to making more and new memories this year!

I encourage you to sit down as a family in the next few days or weeks maybe as you enjoy dinner together and discuss some things you all want to do for Christmas – customize it for your family.  You will also find out some of the things that your kids LOVE and remember about past Christmases.  I doubt they will say anything about stressing about a gift for Aunt Sue, making sure every ornament is perfectly spaced on the tree, Christmas cards in the mail on December 1st, and many other things that we as women put on ourselves to do to make the season perfect – ahem… preaching to myself! Smile

If you want to create your own Christmas bucket list I saved the 8×10 template that I created in Picmonkey for mine.  You can right click and save this image to your computer and then print or upload to Picmonkey yourself to add your list.

Christmas Bucket List blank printable

I would love to know some of your favorite family Christmas traditions!  Leave them in the comments.  I might find a new one to add to our list!


  1. Every Christmas Eve before we open gifts, I gather all the grandkids around and I read
    the Christmas story to them, usually one of the Golden Book versions. I want them to know the true meaning of Christmas. I have started this since the 1st grandchild was born and do it every year. Then I pass out the gifts to everyone. They aren’t allowed to open them until I count to 3. And I usually draw it out for the fun of seeing the excitement and expectation on their faces before they tear into their presents!

  2. We decorate our tree and home the Saturday after Thanksgiving and that is typically the first time we will listen to Christmas music (from then until Jan.1 it is on constantly). We have a list of Christmas movies and cartoons that we schedule to watch throughout the month with goodies to snack on. We enjoy sleeping by the Christmas tree with its lights on or just sitting and drinking hot chocolate by the lights of the tree.

    • We love doing all those things too. And Saturday is usually the decorating tree day too (although now with blogging, I am starting to have to do it earlier 🙂

  3. My husband and I have 4 holiday traditions:
    1. My town has a parade and fireworks the first Friday of December. We bring hot chocolate and sit down by the river to watch the display.
    2. We are fortunate enough to live in an area with many historical houses; each year we visit one decorated for the holidays.
    3. Every Christmas Eve my husband and I go to a special restaurant for dinner. Not only do we leave a 25% tip! but I also leave a small gift.
    4. On New Year’s Eve, we go to a neighboring town for local entertainment – several different acts during a 4 hour time period, and then to the same restaurant every year for a delicious dinner. Off the roads by 9:00.
    5 sorry, I have to add this one – every December 31 I write a letter to my daughter, she is 20 this year.
    Happy holidays. Love this series.

    • Oh wow!! I love your traditions! I would love to do a historical home Christmas tour too – need to find one near me. And the Christmas Eve out to eat tip and gift – what an amazing idea!!

  4. We love watching “How the Grinch stole Christmas” and “The Polar Express” while drinking hot cocoa and snuggling up on the couch with our favorite blankets. The kids always go to one of the retirement homes in our town, and sing carols to the residents. They look forward to it every year.

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