Well, here we are at the end of 2020. At the beginning of the year, it’s safe to say that no one foresaw how this would all end. Our family was supposed to have a ton of new memories from our 15 day Walt Disney World trip in May, or the Disneyland and California Coast trip together in August. But here we are, at home sweet(?) home. We have a long standing tradition for many years to do one thing Christmas-y for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. It’s a nice way to stretch out the holiday, be intentional with our kids, and make lasting memories. So we thought… what if we did a Disney version of our Countdown to Christmas?
This post is part of a Disney Friends Blog Hop! To check out the other Christmas posts, click “next” at the bottom of our post!
24 Days of Disney Christmas at Home:
Whether you choose to do 24 days in a row, or pick a few and do those, these Disney Christmas ideas are sure to be a wonderful way to celebrate both Disney and Christmas this Holiday Season!
1. Bake Disney Sugar Cookies
These cookies are well worth the effort. They look stunning on a Christmas baking platter, or as a thank you gift for teachers and daycare workers. Check out our blog post Mickey Christmas Sugar Cookies for a detailed explanation on how to make them!
2. Watch “The Santa Clause” Movies on Disney+
Head to our Instagram post here for our Christmas Edition Mickey Munch recipe, and then snuggle up with your loved ones to enjoy these holiday classics!
3. Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Ice Cream and Cranberry Compote for Dinner
This has been one of our most favourite traditions during the Christmas season. We love breakfast for dinner! I like the combo of homemade gingerbread waffles, bananas and eggnog ice cream. Heidi does a homemade cranberry compote.
- 2 cups pancake and waffle mix (I like the Krusteaz from Costco)
- 1 1/3 cups soy milk (regular is fine)
- 1/4 cup melted butter (I use Becel)
- 2 T fancy molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 T cinnamon
- Ground ginger (to taste… about 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 T sugar
- 1 cup sour milk (milk with 1 T of white vinegar)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Ground ginger, cinnamon, and fresh nutmeg (about 1 tsp each, eyeball it!)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/2 cup oil or butter
4. Do a Disney Christmas Puzzle Together
Put on some Christmas music, make a cup of hot chocolate, and settle around the table for a nice night in. We will often put on a short Disney movie with a puzzle, or check out the Holiday Collection on Disney+ for a Christmas episode from Disney Junior or Disney Channel!
5. Read a Disney Christmas Book
One fun idea is to wrap your Christmas books in Christmas wrapping paper and let your kids pick one to unwrap and read throughout the season. We will often do a “Go to the library and pick out Christmas books and movies” advent as well. There are a lot of wonderful Disney Christmas books out there! You can also get a Disney advent book from Amazon, which features one story a day!
6. Watch “Pluto’s Christmas Tree” and make Disney-themed Snowflakes
Head to Disney+ and press play on “Pluto’s Christmas Tree.” After the short, sit down and make some Disney snowflakes. If you have a Mickey head hole punch, use it to add some Disney flair. If not, follow this guide for how to make a Mickey snowflake. For some extra magic, add some glitter glue.
7. Make an Extreme Milkshake – Disney Style
Snag those mason jars, and melt some dark or light chocolate. Dip the rim of the mason jar in the melted chocolate, and then sprinkle crushed candy canes or white sprinkles. Try these recipes for a Festive Mickey Hot Chocolate Milkshake or a Strawberry Santa Hat Milkshake.
8. Make Disney Christmas Cards for the Teachers
There’s nothing like a homemade touch when it comes to Christmas gifts for the teachers, and we all know that this year they could use some extra love! These Mickey Mouse Snowmen Cards are just the right touch of Disney flare to make extra special cards!
9. Make Copycat Disneyland Hot Chocolate Beignets
By now you know that we REALLY love beignets. We’ve tried lots of different versions of these pillowy delights, but this recipe is a total knock out!
10. Disney Christmas Spa
If your kids are little, get them to dress up in a princess dress or knight costume and treat them to a day at the spa! Serve cranberry sparkling soda, and paint their nails in Christmas colours (add a small black Mickey Mouse for extra Disney flair). Use Disney Cruise line H20 products if you have them. If you don’t, any lotion will do. We also like to make simple face masks… make them Disney with this Dole Whip themed facial (pineapple juice, coconut milk and honey). If you have Disney scented essential oils go ahead and use those, or just stick with peppermint for that seasonal aroma!
You can also get these super cute Christmas nail decals!
11. Mickey Mouse Hot Cocoa and “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas”
Grab your favourite hot chocolate mix from the store. Be sure to pick up some chocolate wafers, or Mini Oreos, and whipped cream. Put a nice, tall swirl of whipped cream on top of the hot chocolate. Use the chocolate wafer or Mini Oreos as Mickey ears, and then top with Mickey sprinkles for some extra magic! Throw on “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas” (available on Disney+) and cuddle up on the couch. It’s a gooder!
12. Make White Chocolate and Peppermint Mickey-shaped Pancakes
Add 1 tsp peppermint extract and 1/4 cup white chocolate chips to your favourite pancake recipe. This one is my personal favourite. You can also just use peppermint white chocolate M&M’s.
13. Christmas Mickey Popcorn Mix and Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
Snuggle in folks, it’s movie time. This is a good time to use any extra supplies from the Santa Clause mix! Grab all things red, white, black and pretzel. I’m talking yogurt covered pretzels, mint M&Ms, marshmallows, and Chex. Add popcorn, white chocolate or eggnog glaze, and some Mickey Sprinkles, then head over to Disney+ to enjoy the sequel to #11 on this Countdown!
14. Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
Pile in the car and put on a Disney Christmas album! Blast some Christmas tunes (here’s our favourites on Spotify and Apple Music), and look at the sparkling lights in your city. Often times local papers will note extra special houses to check out. Nothing could be more simple and joyful!
Scavenger Hunt Ideas:
- Mickey Mouse
- Star Wars Characters
- Candy Canes (like the old fashioned ones you can buy on Main Street)
- Any Pixar character
- A house that plays Disney music
- Olaf or Frozen characters
- Santa Claus (in honour of Tim Allen’s holiday classic)
- Solid light strands (red for Mickey, green for Goofy, pink for Daisy, blue for Donald, etc.)
15. Christmas Olaf Craft (or Snowman!) and “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”
My daughter is OBSESSED with Olaf. So last year we built an Olaf snowman in our yard!
This was a lot easier than it looks! Start with your basic snowman but then make an oblong head. We carved away at it just with a ruler to shape it. The black is just some cardboard we cut to fit for the mouth and spray painted before putting in, then we used actual coals for the eyes and buttons. The nose is cardboard painted orange. Of course, you can do this on a smaller scale by making snowmen crafts indoors, but this was too cute to pass up! We were the talk of the neighborhood!
16. Mickey Snowman Cookies or Cupcakes with Noelle
For something a little different you can make these Eggnog Cookies that look like Melted Mickey Snowmen! They are adorable AND delicious! Make an eggnog sugar cookie (found the recipe on Pinterest!) and then make an eggnog buttercream to spread and form into a melted “head.” Then top with chocolate disks (These are just your run of the mill candy melts! You can also do white ones!) and buttons made of mini M&M’s. For the arms we melted candy melts (I did NOT want to deal with tempering chocolate!) and piped out arms on some wax paper. Let them dry and then they peel off super easy! You could also use stick pretzels for a salty crunch! Pop on the Disney+ original movie “Noelle” and you’ve got yourself another wonderful night! Pro Tip: These cookies freeze really nice!
17. Disney Christmas Nails
Nails might seem daunting to you, but there are some really easy ways to give yourself some cute Disney-themed Christmas nails! One of my favourites is a simple Mickey head with a red Rudolf nose! Simply paint the background whatever colour you want (LET DRY); then, using a dotting tool if you have it (or just a toothpick!) make a big black circle with two ears. Let dry, then use some red to make a dot nose. If you’re feeling up to it, add some antlers and there you go! Also, doing something simple with just Christmas colours and some simple Mickey heads looks amazing. Check out some of these samples, the first two are by my SUPER talented friend @creativeedgenails and the third is a Pinterest pin.
Or treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure at a local salon and ask for a simple Mickey on Christmas nails and voila!
18. Watch “Home Alone” with Mickey Mouse Pepperoni Pizza
What’s better, or more simple, than a pizza night and movie? “Home Alone” is the perfect pizza party and holiday movie. Order from your favourite pizza place and arrange the pepperoni in Mickey shapes or make pizza yourself and enjoy!
19. Disney Christmas Colouring
Head to Google and search for “Disney Christmas Colouring Pages.” (This website has some great options.) If you’re keeping the activities a surprise, consider wrapping some new pencil crayons or felts as a fun way to tell your family what the activity is. We love these Mr. Sketch with holiday scents!
20. Make a Disney-themed Gingerbread House
Time to get creative with graham crackers and hot glue. All the details can be found in our Gingerbread Day Post!
21. Mickey Cookie Surprise (Pay It Forward)
Remember those gorgeous Mickey Sugar Cookies you made back on day 1? Time to wrap them up and spread some joy in your neighborhood. I like to deliver cookies at Christmas time to our neighbors as a sort of “sorry-we’re-so-loud-here’s-some-cookies” Christmas present. You can find cute wrapping options at the dollar store. A clear cellophane bag with curled ribbon would look festive, and would show off those decorating skills! Another option is to make a cookie-in-a-jar as a gift. Check that idea out here. Buy some edible Mickey sprinkles to give any cookie mix a bit of Disney magic.
22. Make Disney Wrapping Paper
We love to buy a big roll of kraft wrapping paper and make it our own. Metallic permanent markers show up so well on this paper. What grandparent wouldn’t love to open a personalized gift from their grandkids? You can find kraft paper on Amazon or sometimes at your local hardware store. It’s economical and I think just really personalizes your gift. Whether you are an artist or not, have fun and get creative! You can draw Disney shapes, or use stickers or stamps. The ideas are endless!
23. Mickey Shaped Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
Use green and red Rice Krispies with holiday M&M’s as holly on the corner of the ear! Delicious and simple. I like to have a few countdown days that aren’t too hard and don’t take super long!
24. Disney Parks Holiday Specials on TV
On Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day there are traditionally TV specials that air on ABC from the Disney Parks and they are SO magical. This year they aired a compilation of performances from previous years! The Disney Holiday Singalong is another wonderful thing to watch as a family.
One thing to note is that a lot of these ideas pair well with Christmas movies. So feel free to swap out our suggestions for your own favourites, or check out the “Happy Holidays” Collection on Disney+ for more fantastic ideas! You could literally watch something new every day of December and still not get through them all!
Do you have any Christmas traditions you do as a family? We’d love to hear them!
Head on over to our friend’s blog to check out the next stop on the Hop! Loop until you come back to us. Happy Hopping and have a Merry Day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle