When you think of Christmas, what comes to mind? Memories of Christmases through the years? A fun tradition that you’ve held onto since you were young? Thoughts of what it means for Jesus to come to earth as a baby? How you can focus on the true meaning?
While I’m a strong advocate of keeping Christmas about Jesus, it’s still great to add some fun Christmas activities, several of which can be very meaningful. I’d love to share with you all kinds of Christmas activities for families. Be sure to add a couple of these to your holiday season this year.
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How do I Make Christmas Fun for the Whole Family?
Christmas is such a festive time of year. There are lights, treats, and special parties and activities happening. Many people seem to have the holiday spirit. It seems like it would be easy to make Christmas fun for the entire family without much effort, and that is totally true.
This year, I would challenge you to find some fun activities for your whole family, but also find new ways to keep the focus on Jesus. Find ways to slow down and enjoy the season rather than have it blow by in a blur of busyness. Spending some quality time together as a family is a great way to have some holiday fun! Check out these fun things to do during the most wonderful time of the year.
Christmas Activities for Families
What can families do for Christmas? There are so many holiday activities for families out there. I’ve broken the ideas down into several categories. Some activities are mentioned more than once since they fit into more than one category.
Remember, don’t try to do it all. You’re trying to build some great family traditions as well as put some meaning and joy into the season.
Now, check out these fun Christmas family activities! Some of these are even great ideas to get your family involved in serving others. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas than loving on others. Christmas is such a great opportunity to do that.
- Serve the community with something such as Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, or at a local food bank or soup kitchen.
- Make an advent calendar.
- Create a holiday centerpiece.
- Have a craft day with your kids.
- Go ice skating together.
- Send a card or care package to deployed military members.
- Make a holiday video to send to family and friends.
- Do a Christmas scavenger hunt as a fun Christmas activity.
- Decorate your home.
- Bake Christmas cookies for your neighbors.
- Pack and send a gift box through Operation Christmas Child.
- Go to a Holiday at the Park or a similar thing at your closest amusement park.
- Decorate gingerbread houses. You could even make it into a contest!
- Go to a Christmas tree farm and cut down your own tree.
Christmas event ideas
Check and see what is going on in your local community. There’s usually plenty to do and see. In fact, one of these events may become a yearly family tradition!
- Go to a local church’s Christmas performance.
- Go to a live nativity.
- Watch the Nutcracker Ballet
- Help at a local food distribution center’s big holiday meal.
- Visit local Christmas light displays.
- Find a local Christmas concert or parade.
- Participate as a family in a local fun run.
- Go to your community tree lighting ceremony or other holiday event.
Traditional Christmas activities
What are some traditional Christmas activities you grew up doing? For me, I think of baking Christmas cookies and then making cookie plates to share, of reciting Luke 2 before opening gifts. I think of tree decorating and opening stockings on Christmas eve. I also think of driving for 2 hours to visit extended family. Now it’s your turn. If I’m missing something, be sure to let me know!
- Read an Advent Devotional during the month of December in order to help set your focus on Jesus.
- Read the Christmas story from the Bible or a storybook if you have little ones.
- Decorate a tree. Bonus if you make some homemade ornaments or string popcorn and cranberries!
- Bake Christmas cookies for your family and share them with neighbors and friends.
- Hang Christmas stockings and other Christmas decorations.
- Buy Christmas jammies or socks for the whole family. I will admit, I’ve never done this holiday tradition.
- Get a family Christmas picture taken.
- Send out Christmas cards
- Have a gift exchange within your family. You could even do some kind of Secret Santa gift.
- Watch Christmas movies. Be sure to include plenty of sweet treats and hot cocoa!
- Go sing Christmas carols in your neighborhood or local nursing home. Be sure to bring a list of Christmas songs you plan to sing.
- Attend your church’s Christmas Eve and Christmas services.
- Plan a special Christmas dinner.
What does the Bible say about the role of a mother? To learn more about being a godly mother, check out these 10 characteristics of a good mother according to the Bible.
Christmas Eve family activities
I suppose not all families do much on Christmas Eve. However, growing up, we always had a meal of special appetizers and red, white, and green jello. We also opened our stockings. We have carried over some of that into our own family. Some years it works out to go to a Christmas Eve service, but some years we just stay home. Having some special traditions on Christmas Eve is such a fun way to build Christmas excitement.
- Open Christmas stockings or one little gift.
- Go to a Christmas Eve church service.
- Have a special meal. We love to have appetizers!
- Play Christmas board games such as Christmas-opoly and drink hot chocolate . . . with candy canes, of course!
- Read a Christmas story. There are some great Christmas books out there!
- Read the Christmas story from the Bible.
- Work on a Christmas puzzle.
Christmas activities to do at home
How do families celebrate Christmas at home? While there are some fun and meaningful activities in the community, there’s something about a cozy evening or weekend at home. Cherish those memories with just your family in your own space. However, also feel free to invite neighbors, extended family, or friends to your home for one of these at-home Christmas activities as well!
- Decorate. This could be your Christmas tree, home, stringing holiday lights outside, bedrooms, etc. Get everyone involved!
- Make Christmas cards for friends and family.
- Bake Christmas cookies. Be sure to share with neighbors!
- Decorate a gingerbread house.
- Have a Christmas movie night or even a Christmas movie marathon. Holiday movies are fun for your older kids and little kids alike.
- Video chat with out-of-town relatives.
- Plan a special meal.
- Work on a Christmas puzzle together as a family.
- Host a hot chocolate bar with neighbors for some festive fun.
- Have a special Christmas craft day.
Free Christmas activities
Not all Christmas activities have to be expensive. There are many free Christmas activities that you and your family can do together. What new Christmas traditions will you add this year?
- Drive around to see Christmas lights.
- Home Christmas movie night
- Make homemade ornaments with things you already have on hand.
- Play Christmas games you own or borrowed from a friend.
- Go Christmas caroling in the neighborhood or local nursing home.
- Read Christmas books you borrow from the library or a friend.
- Do an advent devotional. There are many free options on the YouVersion app.
- Print out free Christmas coloring pages to color.
- Make paper snowflakes to hang.
- Go sledding . . . at least if you live somewhere it snows!
- Listen to lots of Christmas music. You could even have a dance party!
Best Christmas Family Activities
Ultimately, the best family Christmas activities will be those that point to the true meaning of Christmas. Look for how you can keep Christ at the focal point of the season. Choose at least one activity to bless others this season, and find a few activities to bond and strengthen your family. These truly are memory-making moments.
If your children are older, feel free to get their input on their favorite Christmas activities wish list. You never know, you may start a new family tradition this year! Doing activities together is one of the best ways to grow closer as a family.
May this Christmas point your family and those around you to Christ, whom we celebrate! I wish you a merry Christmas with your family. I’d love to hear about your favorite family Christmas activities. Please leave a comment below. Also, check out my other Christmas resources.
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