Over the past year I have been creating inspirational guides for celebrating each season. A collection of books, activities and recipes for each season. It brings me so much joy to put these guides together and hopefully inspire a little joy and connection in your home. (You can check out Spring, Summer and Autumn guides on the posts linked.) And while I fully intend to do a whole Celebrating Winter Guide I really felt like December needed a guide all to itself! I guess this month is just a little bit extra?! The majority of the month is technically still Autumn, but lets be real between the weather and the Holiday festivities it no longer feels like Autumn! So I give you a Celebration Guide all about the wonderful month of December! How do you feel about the month of December? Does the thought of it give you an eye twitch…do you feel like there’s too much to do and too little time? I feel ya! I think more than any other month December requires us to be intentional and prioritize how we spend our time. It is so easy to get swept up in all the activities and festivities. So before I give you some ideas and inspiration for making December magical a little word of caution….there is nothing magical about stretching yourself to thin or trying to do to much. Be picky and choose only those activities that will bring your family closer to Christ and closer to each other.
Let’s start with books! Reading together brings us so much joy. I created a list of 31 books for December. They are books that we have read and enjoyed. The list covers several December themes- Christmas, of course, winter, feast days and one for New Year’s. Fill up your library holds and enjoy some reading and snuggles. My kids think it’s extra special if we add a fun snack or mug of hot cocoa to the mix.
Family Activities– There are so many opportunities for family fun during the month of December. Most of these activities are simple and can be done in an hour or two. In the cold, dark months we seem to have a little more down time between dinner and bedtime. I have found with a little planning ahead of time we can turn those evening hours into something a little special. I do not do daily activities—I can’t keep up and I found that for me it made the month of December and the season of Advent too hectic. I much prefer to sprinkle a little festive fun in here and there. I am also trying to hold off on some of the Christmas activities until the Christmas season from December 25-Jan 6th.
This list includes some of our favorite traditions for the month of December. These are the activities that bring our family joy, the things that my kids look forward to doing. Most of them are pretty simple. Several are activities that may be part of your normal routine that you can just make a little more festive. Bath time can be made a little more special with the addition of Christmas lights, soft music and a diffuser running. A dinner of chicken nuggets can be a memorable experience if eaten by candle light. Swap bedtime stories for themed books. Take a look at our list and create your own list with the items that you think will fit for your family. Some of the ideas can even be combined! Welcome winter on the first day of winter by bundling up for a family walk or toasting the new season with hot cocoa and a winter themed book.
Liturgical Living- December is rich with opportunities for liturgical living. Again, choose the ideas that you feel drawn to, or that you feel would be meaningful for your family. We love to celebrate several feast days this month.
- Dec. 6- St. Nicholas- The kids leave their shoes by the back door on December 5th to be filled by St. Nicholas. On the 6th we read our St. Nicholas books and make St. Nicholas cookies.
- Dec. 10-Feast of the Holy House (Our Lady of Loreto)- This is a new one for us, but it is a fascinating day to learn about. It’s all about the childhood home of Jesus from Nazareth that miraculously found it’s way to Italy! We make gingerbread houses to celebrate.
- Dec. 13- St. Lucy- We love to make cinnamon rolls and read about St. Lucy and traditions surrounding the feast day. If we are feeling extra ambitious we deliver cinnamon rolls to friends.
We also have some special traditions like visiting an adoration chapel to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. and blessing our Christmas Tree. Find a printable blessing in THIS post.
I hope you found some inspiration for making December a little more magical and meaningful! Grab the download below to reserve some library books or create your own joy list full of your favorite December activities. I would love to hear what your favorite books and activities are for this month!