I’ve created a free challenge called 12 Days of Fun Family Pics that will bring more joy and remembrance to this season, no matter what your family looks like or what holidays you do or don’t celebrate.
Lighting candles. Baking sweet treats. Giving gifts. Making paper snowflakes. These activities are embedded in the end of the year traditions. Whether or not you partake in these activities, you should still enjoy the fun and memory making during this winter holiday season.
Although most of my readers celebrate Christmas, some celebrate Hanukkah, Yule, or Kwanzaa instead of, or in addition to Christmas. And some don’t celebrate any holidays at all.
In addition, most of my readers no longer have young children in their homes, although they may have grandchildren, nieces and/or nephews. So for the purposes of taking fun family pics this season, you may have to stretch your definition of family.
“Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”Maya Angelou
This article presents a free challenge to celebrate the winter season in a fun way that builds memories and preserves them. It doesn’t matter what your family looks like, nor what holidays you do or don’t celebrate. You could do this with your partner or your best friend, or even a group of friends. You could involve the grandkids or the neighbor kids. Or even go solo – that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
The 12 Days of Fun Family Pics: Winter Edition
I was creating graphics for my Facebook Page and Group when I ran across some ideas for “The 12 Days of Christmas.” I immediately wanted to do something with them that would be fun and memorable for my readers of various traditions and family shapes. Thus, the #12DaysofFunFamilyPics was born! It’s a fun and free challenge you can participate in to create some fun memories – and record them – this holiday and winter season.
A few of the suggestions feature activities that are common across the winter holidays without being specifically religious or cultural. Others are more related to the winter season itself. Feel free – of course – to change up anything to fit your life. I’m also open to suggestions to make any or all of them better! Contact me and let me know what your ideas are!
And if you’d like to get these emailed to you, click that button below. You’ll get one email per day for twelve days. Save them for a little later in the season, or even next year.
You’ll also receive my weekly newsletter. I never share your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Two Goals of the Fun Family Pics Challenge
- Have fun – by yourself or with whomever you call your family!
- Take at least one photo for each activity!
You don’t have to do the activities in order, of course. Do them as you have the time and supplies or feel led. Or make up your own activities. Remember the goals – that’s the important part.
I also encourage you to share a photo a day on social media with the hashtag #12DaysofFunFamilyPics. When you click on that tag on social media you’ll see what everyone else has posted as well. Let’s create a movement of celebrating and sharing!
1. Bake Something
People often bake cookies this time of year. But you can bake anything – pie, cake, cinnamon rolls or whatever you like. Bake to eat now, freeze to eat later, or wrap to give away as a gift. Remember to take photos. Choose one to share on social media with the hashtag.
2. Buy or Make Gifts
Go shopping for gifts – or better yet – make gifts together. Cookies (one can’t have too many baked goods this time of year), candies, soaps, and more are so much fun to make. Draw or paint or stamp or print on plain wrapping paper or butcher paper to make home-made gift wrap. Learn to make fancy bows and more. Make sure to take some fun family pics, and share and tag at least one.
3. Make Cards
Make holiday cards, or Happy New Year cards, or just for fun cards to send out. Or make a set of cards to give as a gift. Get out the craft supplies and go to town. And remember to take a photo.
4. Paint Your Windows
Make window paint and paint the outside of your windows like the stores do. You can just use white or add color for variety.
Recipe #1 – equal parts cornstarch and clear or white dish soap. Mix and divide into smaller dishes and add food coloring (this will stain clothing).
Recipe #2 – Mix equal parts washable paint (one or more colors) from the craft store and clear or white dish soap. More expensive, but less staining.
Later the windows are easily cleaned due to the soap. Remember the photo and the hashtag #12DaysofFunFamilyPics.
5. Cut Out Snowflakes
Did you make paper snowflakes when you were a kid? I did. Don’t remember how? Here’s a simple snowflake tutorial and one to make more intricate paper snowflakes. Make paper snowflakes and decorate a wall, a room, your whole house. Take pictures of the process and the finished snowflakes. Remember to share some fun family pics and tag!
6. Celebrate Light
Many winter holidays feature lights prominently. Do something with light. Drive around and look at lighted homes. Light candles. Make candles. Read a book by candlelight. Celebrate the season of light. Play around with the settings on your phone or camera to get some good lighting in the pics. Share it and tag it with #12DaysofFunFamilyPics.
7. Support a Charity
Do something for a nonprofit. Donate to a food pantry or take supplies to an animal shelter. Give money to a charity. Take blankets, sleeping bags and/or coats to a homeless shelter. Remember to share the photo with the hashtag on social media.
8. Indulge in Stories
Spend the day reading holiday (or favorite) books or watching holiday (or favorite) movies. Make some hot chocolate or apple cider, pop some popcorn or buy your favorite treat. Get cozy and enjoy the stories. Remember to take some fun family pics.
9. Feed (and Watch) the Birds
Buy a bird feeder and birdseed. Or stuff pine cones with peanut butter or lard and roll in birdseed. Buy dried meal worms or crickets to attract bluebirds and other insect-eating birds. Put the feeders where you can enjoy watching them regularly. And if you live where it’s dry, make sure there’s water for them, too. Learn to identify the birds in your area in the winter. Share a photo on social media with the hashtag #12DaysofFunFamilyPics.
10. Have a Puzzle or Game Night (or Afternoon)
Put together puzzles or play games while munching on cookies and indulging in favorite beverages. Have fun and take photos! Remember to share.
11. Build a Gingerbread House (or ??)
Build and decorate a Gingerbread House. Either use a kit or make it from scratch. Or build something else entirely – a castle, maybe? Here are 14 alternatives to building a Gingerbread House. Remember the photos!
12. Go on a Winter Scavenger Hunt
Decide ahead of time where you’ll go – around the neighborhood, in the shopping mall, across town drive, or ?? – and then create a list of expected sights, including some that are possible but not likely. When you’re done, be sure to enjoy some hot chocolate, eggnog or wassail. Remember to take a photo and tag it with #12DaysofFunFamilyPics.
I hope that by participating in the #12DaysofFunFamilyPics you have increased family / friend bonding. And you have those special experiences saved as photos.
But don’t stop there! I encourage you to do something with those photos so that you can revisit them again and again (without having to scroll). Make a photo book or a collage. Or anything else that will help you enjoy those photos.
And remember, you can get these #12DaysofFunFamilyPics emailed to you with all the links and suggestions.