Christmas Activities To Make the Season Merry & Bright

christmas activities-family gathered around the table for a christmas dinner

The Christmas season is our favorite time of the year. We love to enjoy Christmas activities or December activities, as some might call them, all month long. We have also established special Christmas Eve family traditions and fun things to do on Christmas day.

christmas activities with kids

Want to make this holiday season a little brighter? Include a few of these fun Christmas activities before enjoying all the Christmas Eve activities and Christmas Day festivities.

Christmas decorating ideas for kids

  • Put up and decorate a Christmas tree.
  • Hang Christmas lights and decorate the front yard.
  • Take a nighttime family drive to see the neighborhood decked out in holiday lights and decorations. 
  • Walk your neighborhood with a cup of hot cocoa to view the Christmas lights.

Try some easy Christmas crafts

  • String cranberries or popcorn for the tree.
  • Cut out paper snowflakes or make craft stick snowflakes to decorate the windows.
  • Assemble a paper garland.
  • Make Christmas playdough and create playdough ornaments.
  • Complete some simple Christmas crafts like a Santa craft, a reindeer craft, a marshmallow snowman craft, or some Grinch crafts.
  • Make and send Christmas cards.

Enjoy Christmas music activities

christmas music activities-joy to the world sheet music with candy canes
Sing Christmas songs
  • Create a Christmas playlist and listen to it throughout the season. Include a variety of music genres and songs from other cultures.
  • Sing Christmas songs.
  • Enjoy Christmas karaoke.
  • Go Christmas caroling.

Christmas food activities? Yes Please!

  • Bake bread and let the kids make homemade butter.
  • Build and decorate a gingerbread house.
  • Bake and decorate cookies for friends, family, and Santa, of course!
  • Sip on homemade hot chocolate.

fun christmas activities

fun christmas activities-3 children reading a book in their christmas pajamas
Read Christmas books
  • Play Christmas themed games.
  • Have a family Christmas games night in your PJs.
  • Put together a Christmas puzzle.
  • Enjoy a Christmas themed scavenger hunt
  • Learn about other cultures and how the celebrate the holidays.
  • Read Christmas books like “A Christmas Carol” or “The Night Before Christmas.”
  • Add Christmas props to your block play area. For example, unbreakable ornaments, rope lights, mirrors, jingle bells, wooden trees, snowmen, and soldiers.
  • Add some easy STEM activities featuring a Christmas theme.

Engage in Christmas writing activities

  • Write someone a letter like Santa.
  • Compose a poem for someone like your grandparents.

Tis’ the Season of Giving

  • Volunteer your time to makes someone’s holiday a little merrier.
  • Complete random acts of kindness.
  • Donate gifts and toys to a local drive.

If you live in a climate where you receive snow, then:

Play in the snow
  • Have a snowball fight.
  • Build a snowman.
  • Make a snow angel.
  • Go sledding or tubing.
  • Try ice skating.

christmas eve family traditions

On Christmas Eve, we lean toward more traditional Christmas activities. We try to keep Christmas Eve reserved for attending a Christmas Eve service and a family dinner. Over the years, the Christmas service we attend has evolved. From a family-friendly service with a live manger before dinner to a traditional candle lighting ceremony after dinner. What remains constant is ensuring we remember the “Reason for the Season.”

To keep the excitement under control our kids always opened one gift on Christmas Eve! As they got older, they figured out it would always be their Christmas PJ’s. It made for a fun tradition, fond memories and lots of laughter.

Modern traditions now call this a Christmas Eve box and it can be much more elaborate. The box may contain many things, including Christmas PJs, Christmas socks, a Santa hat, a Christmas book to read before bed, an activity or craft, and maybe even a small treat. 

Take a look at some Christmas Eve family activities we have enjoyed over the years and some new ones we look forward to adding. 

Christmas Eve Activities

Put out cookies and milk for Santa
  • Attend a Christmas Eve church service before or after dinner.
  • Enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve dinner. We like to try various themes, from French to Italian to traditional. It is always such fun experiencing the food of other cultures. 
  • Watch Christmas movies, new and old.
  • Open one Christmas Eve gift.
  • Have a Christmas dance party, glow sticks included.
  • Take lots of fun pictures. Try including some Christmas photo props.
  • Try a Christmas Eve scavenger hunt with family and friends.
  • Track Santa throughout the day. When he gets near, it is easier to get the kids to bed!
  • Before the kids go to bed, be sure to put out cookies and milk for Santa. Don’t forget the carrots for the reindeer.
  • Read “The Night Before Christmas” or “The Christmas Story.”

christmas activities With Family

Christmas day looked a little different for our family; it is a day shared with our immediate family. After the first couple of years, dragging the kids around to see everyone, we opted out. It may sound strange since Christmas is a time to share with family and friends. We agree, and that is how we spend Christmas Eve.

After what tends to be a busy holiday season, we focus on enjoying our time together and relaxing. Following our brunch, we keep it simple with snacks and appetizers all day. Everyone chooses at least one favorite recipe to include on Christmas Day.

Here is a list of some Christmas Day activities for families you can try.

Christmas Day Activities

  • Light a fire.
  • Let the Christmas music play.
  • Continue taking lots of photos.
  • Open Christmas stockings, which always include an orange in the toe.
  • Eat homemade Sticky Pecan Buns before opening gifts. 
  • Open Christmas presents in our PJs. 
  • Enjoy a delicious brunch. Over brunch
    • Share what you are grateful for
    • One thing you love about each other
    • What makes Christmas special to you
  • Assemble and play with new gifts.
  • Call or Facetime family.
  • Play some fun Christmas games, watch movies or work on a Christmas puzzle.
  • Relax and enjoy our time together.
  • Play in the snow if available.
  • Consider a Christmas night sleepover by the tree. Kids love a family sleepover!

We cherish this time of year full of love, joy, wonder, and memories that last a lifetime. No two families Christmases look the same, so create your own special memories and meaningful traditions.

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