12 THINGS TO DO DURING THE HOLIDAYS WITH YOUR KIDS

This week is Kid’s Week for Merrick’s Guide to the Holidays. Yesterday I shared a roundup of all my favorite Christmas pajamas, including the ones I bought for myself and my boys this year — check it out right here if you missed it!

this picture cracks me up every time. They loved walking through the trees and pretending they were explorers!
ON ME: SWEATER, TURTLENECK, VEST, HAT c/o J.CREW FACTORY
ON B: BUTTON UP c/o J.CREW FACTORY
ON FOS: SWEATER, STRIPED SHIRT, SHOES c/o J.CREW FACTORY
For the last three years, we’ve spent Christmas at home by ourselves. As much as I love being with extended family and friends during the holidays, there’s something really special about being just with my little family now that there are four of us. Especially when it’s cool enough to bundle your babies up in cute little winter clothes, like these ones from J.Crew Factory. I cannot get over these cute little shoes I picked up for Fos, and he’s obsessed with his “bear sweater.” Also this pom pom hat I snagged myself is going to be on repeat all winter long…plus, it was so perfect for our trip to San Francisco last week!We’ve spent the last three years creating some really fun memories and traditions, so I thought I’d share a few of our favorites.
12 things to do during December with your kids: 

1. Find snow and build a snowman. We’re heading to Big Bear this month and are super hopeful we’ll have snow while we’re there!
2. Make hot cocoa. During the cold snap we had a few weeks ago, we made hot cocoa every single night. This is our favorite recipe, and all other hot cocoa pales in comparison now.
3. Read a christmas story together every night. We stocked up on Christmas books from the library a few weeks ago, and the boys love picking a new one every night to read together.
4. Make gingerbread houses. We threw our annual gingerbread party yesterday (which I shared on instagram and snapchat) and the boys were over the moon about it.
5. Go christmas caroling with friends.
6. Make christmas kits for people in need. This season we’ve been trying to focus a lot on service, and teaching our boys the importance of giving to those in need. We’ve participated in several service projects already in the last few weeks and buying gifts for other children has really resonated with them.
7. Go see a christmas movie. We love going to see one on Christmas Eve to make the long day go by a little quicker…but we’ve all recorded a bunch on our DVR and are excited to snuggle up on the couch to watch them as a family for our weekly family movie night!
8. Go ice skating. This is the first year my boys are old enough to both go, so we went in San Francisco last week, and are going again in LA this weekend — it’s so much fun!
9. Make a paper chain. We still haven’t gotten around to making ours, but it’s a fun way to visualize how close Christmas is getting!
10. Bake a holiday treat. Our favorites are christmas bread, homemade caramel, or decorating christmas sugar cookies.
11. Make paper snowflakes. Always a fun and easy afternoon project!
12. Go see a local live nativity. My family did this every year growing up, and we’ve done it the past two years as a family. It’s so sweet to see my boys understanding and learning the true meaning of Christmas.

What are your favorite family traditions during Christmas time? I always love hearing about new ones!

photos by rad and happy | created in partnership with J.Crew Factory