What To Do When You're Home for the Holidays

Written by: Ruthie Friedlander

Home for the holidays

So you’ve decided to stay home for the holiday season. Good choice. Staying home means no packing, no luggage, and no travel stress.

But if you live on the East Coast, it also means no beach for you to send your kids to run around on while you read that book you’ve been meaning to read since 2019. FUN? Since when did “Home for the Holidays” become synonymous with “bummer”? Why do we instinctively feel like to have a restful reset before New Year’s, we need to get on a plane? 

Reasons to stay home for the holidays (other than getting to recreate the home Alone “scream face” in your bathroom mirror)

  1. You save money on travel (which can be used to buy something delicious for yourself)
  2. You get to skip the terrible anxiety surrounding the airport
  3. You don’t have to deal with changing your kids’ routines (no new sleep issues!) 
  4. Your vacation feels like it lasts longer since you aren’t losing days by traveling 
  5. You tend to discover a new side to your neighborhood during the days when others are gone

But with no Kids Club, things can get hairy. So to prep you for the best at-home vacation of your life, we’ve provided you with seven activities to make you WIN at being home for the holidays.

Movie Night, but make it Old School. 

Gather all the pillows in the house and create a movie-theater-like atmosphere for an epic reading of possibly the most iconic book of the season. Hot cocoa is required, and egg nog is highly suggested. 

“We know the kids love traditions but so do adults," says Emmalee Bierly, co-host of ShrinkChicks Podcast. "Bringing back nostalgia for everyone allows the holidays to be a bit more magical. pro-tip: worry less about the big names and more about the ones that made you feel magical as a child” 


The Night Before Christmas Leather Bound Book

Twas the night before Christmas...So begins the classic book The Night Before Christmas, a holiday tradition that has only grown more and more adored with each passing decade. In our opinion, no Christmas Eve is complete without a bedtime reading of this wonderful book.

Graphic Image The Night Before Christmas Leather Bound Book, $98

Runway Show. 

Didn't you know? The hottest fashion week in town is happening in YOUR neighborhood over the holidays! Spend the morning working with the kids to create handmade invites to the Runway Show of the Season. Category is: Holiday Chicness. Have everyone arrive "backstage" (i.e., kitchen) at "call time" in their best looks. Surprise the fam by having an audience of stuffies set up to watch their best walk. And remember to set up a camera to film the whole thing! 

"I think that the argument could be made that anyone who grows up and still loves getting dressed, probably played a lot of dress up when they were little," says fashion editor and children's book writer Kerry Pieri. "It’s so much fun to re-create that with our own children, while also nurturing our inner child. The trick is to keep it light and fun and let them play and wear whatever they want."  


So cute it doesn't even need wrapping. The Tis The Season Sweatshirt is a very merry sweatshirt that adds playful style to all of your Christmas traditions. Super cozy and comfortable, this is one you'll want to hold onto.

Petit Lem Tis the Season Sweatshirt, $48

Art Party.

Basel may be over, but the art itch has just begun. Kid Made Modern is THE arts and crafts solution to your at-home holiday staycation. Order a kit specific to what each person (adults included!) would love to work on. We have a personal affinity for this DIY Snow Globe. During a lull in the day when people start getting antsy, set up the kitchen table with all the kit and corresponding name tags to tell people where to sit. When everyone has completed their kits, have each person display their work of art somewhere in the home.

“I often think about what Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” My kids are older now, but we still really enjoy competitively decorating cookies and collaging using old magazines and auction catalogues. And wrapping presents has become an art form in my house,” Erica Samuels, Founder, Samuels Creative & Co.


A winter wonderland. This DIY Snow Globe kit is a blast for kids, and honestly just as much fun for grown-ups. Easy to put together but oh so rewarding, this winter wonderland snowman scene comes together to spread major Christmas cheer all season long.

Kid Made Modern DIY Snow Globe, $29

Pajama Party with Photo Opp.

Do the holidays even happen without a great family photo? Beaches and bathing suits are so 2021. This year is about the Pajama Party Family Photo - and we love a mix-and-match moment. Allow the kids to choose their favorite pair (with a parent as chic as you, there are no wrong choices). Then, gather together wherever you've been spending the most time in the house and smile for the camera. And then DM us that photo on Instagram. 

"Photographs, whether digital or analog, help  memories live longer. They help us revisit the special times that shape a person in their core that can be taken for granted," says Casey Flanegan, co-founder of image making agency SN37. "Making a fun activity out of something that can be revisited demonstrates to kids that they’re worth the effort and to take the time to cherish each other."


A bit of twinkle. The Blue Star Pajamas, made from crisp organic cotton, features a twinkling blue star pattern falling across a cream-colored background. A classic two-piece pajama silhouette with blue piping, this is a winter wonderland of comfiness.

Dear Georgie Blue Star Pajamas, $56

Create a Fort.

A blanket can be an entry point into a new universe. In a world where we are constantly stimulated by technology, sometimes entering a new, magical portal is just what we need. So grab your coziest blanket or sheet and create a Winter Wonderland Fort! 

“As a dad who loves to build, watching my kids create anything is magical," says Matt Siegel, Head of Marketing for Skillit. "But beyond that, reports have shown that as kids construct, for example, certain creative and analytic skills are engaged, and cognitive skills are developed through the actual planning and constructing. Doesn’t hurt that’s it’s adorable, too”

Angel Wing Cashmere Blanket

Angelic, practical, and insanely soft. Made from ultra-fine cashmere, the Angel Wing Cashmere Blanket just heavenly. Featuring a pointelle angel wing pattern and ribbed edges, this blanket is the perfect companion for nap time, traveling, or just lounging with your little one.

Marie-Chantal Angel Wing Cashmere Blanket, $285


Have a Stuffy Parade.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade has nothing on your Winter Stuffy Parade. Announce at breakfast that everyone should meet in the living room with all their stuffies (extra points if the stuffy is winter-themed). At the specified time, cue the playlist and have each person walk their stuffy through the room, parade style.

"I have built a business out of my love of entertaining at home, and my girls have caught that bug," says Erin Phillips, founder of Last July. "I believe even the most mundane things can be turned into memorable events. I love to turn pizza night into an elaborate dining experience by setting a beautiful tablescape or make movie night special by redecorating the living room feel like an old Hollywood theater. It doesn't take much work to take what you already have at home and make it feel like an event. That's what the holidays are all about."


Little reindeer games. Meet Ive The Reindeer Doll, a soft and cuddly plush reindeer who sports magical fur, the cutest nose, and a wonderful set of antlers.

Mon Ami Ivey The Reindeer Doll, $52

At-Home Train Station

Who needs a plane when you have a train? Assign each member of your family a role at the Holiday Train Station. Address: Your house! A conductor will take your homemade ticket to enter the area where said train runs, while a host will greet you with a warm cup of apple cider for your travels ahead.


Welcome to the hub of all things Christmas. Your little one can build their very own buzzing North Pole Village Railway Set and watch as Christmas miracles come to life one after the next. Complete with a roadway, cars, and lots of holiday characters, this is a classic Christmas set that will become a much-loved tradition.

Maple Landmark North Pole Village Railway Set, $71



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