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50+ Christmas Activities To Make the Season Merry & Bright

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. Join us and see what activities we enjoy during the holiday season.

christmas activities-family gathered around the table for a christmas dinner
Enjoying a family Christmas Dinner.

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 and Day festivities.

Christmas decorating ideas for kids

  • Put up and decorate a Christmas tree.
  • Hang Christmas lights and decorate the front yard.
  • Remember to make the front door and porch festive too!
  • Take a nighttime family drive to see the neighborhood decorated with holiday lights and decorations. 
  • View the Christmas lights in your neighborhood with a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Attend a tree lighting ceremony.
  • Put your heads together and create a DIY holiday card display or gallery.

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.
  • Create a “holiday time capsule” with notes or drawings you’ll open next holiday season.
  • Try your hand at making homemade candles.
  • Build a “North Pole” out of cardboard boxes for imaginative play.
  • Create a DIY family holiday calendar to count down the days until Christmas.
christmas music activities-joy to the world sheet music with candy canes
Sing Christmas songs.

Enjoy Christmas music activities

  • 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.
  • Host a holiday-themed talent show.

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. Try a hot cocoa or marshmallow taste test.
  • Make and enjoy a fondue night (sweet or savory) with holiday-themed dippers.
  • Make pancakes in fun holiday shapes like trees, snowmen, and stars. Let the kids decorate with fruit.

The Holidays Are Coming! Are You Ready? While you prepare, GRAB your FREE Christmas Activities Checklist!

fun Christmas activities

  • 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 they celebrate the holidays.
  • Read Christmas books like “A Christmas Carol“, “The Polar Express“, or “The Night Before Christmas.
  • Have a “Holiday Book Swap” with friends or neighbors.
  • 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.
  • Take the kids Christmas shopping at a Holiday Market.
  • Go visit Santa and get your picture taken.
  • Enjoy a Christmas movie marathon.
  • Have a “Secret Santa Exchange” of homemade gifts with friends or family.
  • Create and perform a holiday-themed play or skit.
  • Make and hang bird feeders to help wildlife during the winter.
  • Explore a nearby nature trail and look for signs of winter.
fun christmas activities-3 children reading a book in their christmas pajamas
Read Christmas books.

Engage in Christmas writing activities

Let’s write some letters and add some magic to your holiday season.

We’ll start with the highlight of the Christmas season and what’s at the top of every child’s list! It is writing their letters to Santa. Even better is receiving response letters from Santa with their name on it.

Live in the USA? Here are a few options for mailing letters to Santa and getting a reply:

Live in Canada?

Live in the UK?

Now that you got all your letter writing done? How about composing a poem for someone like your grandparents?

Grab your adorable Dear Santa Letter Printable!

Tis the Season of Giving

  • Volunteer your time to make someone’s holiday a little merrier.
  • Complete random acts of kindness.
  • Donate gifts and toys to a local drive.
  • Visit a local senior center and bring cheer to the residents. The kids can bring homemade cookies, cards, ornaments, or sing a song.
christmas activities in the snow- mother and daughter playing in the snow
Play in the snow.

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

  • 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! They figured out it would always be their Christmas PJs as they got older. 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 - a plate of cookies and glass of milk for santa
Put out cookies and milk for Santa.

Christmas Eve Activities

  • 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 to experience 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 and festive attire.
  • Try a Christmas Eve scavenger hunt with family and friends.
  • Track Santa throughout the day. It is easier to get the kids to bed when he gets near!
  • Before the kids go to bed, be sure to put out cookies and milk for Santa. Remember the carrots for the reindeer.
  • Read “The Night Before Christmas” or “The Christmas Story.”

Create magical memories this holiday season, GRAB your FREE Christmas Activities Checklist!

Christmas Activities with Family

Christmas day looks a little different for our family; it is a day shared with our immediate family. We opted out after the first couple of years, dragging the kids around to see everyone. 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. Then, make a Christmas photo album or scrapbook.
  • 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.
  • Watch the Disney Christmas Day parade on TV.
  • Call or Facetime family to wish them a Merry Christmas!
  • 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.
  • Take a family walk to enjoy the holiday decorations.
  • Enjoy a festive holiday dinner together.
  • Consider a Christmas night sleepover by the tree. Kids love a family sleepover!
  • End the day with a cozy bedtime story.

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

We would love to hear about your favorite family holiday traditions!

Follow us and share your special holiday traditions. Use hashtag #DBSHolidays.