Every family has special holiday traditions. When I was growing up, we always had a lot of family around, so our Christmas holidays were very busy. My husband’s family was very different because they did not spend the holiday with extended family. My mother-in-law has told me that it was important for her to come up with ways to keep her kids occupied on Christmas day. She stretched meals and other activities in order to create a special Christmas day for her family.
Whether your holiday is almost fully planned, or you are still working to develop some of your own family traditions, here are 10 fun activities for Christmas day.
1. Stocking Stuffers
Exchanging stocking-stuffers is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Everyone in the family is required to buy a small present, in size and in cost, for every other person in the family. As a result, no one person is in charge of filling up the stockings. As an added twist, you can turn this into a game where everyone must guess who they think gave them the various items in their stocking.
2. Share Your Favorites
This is a really fun activity to do while eating dinner or while sitting around the fire drinking homemade gourmet coffee. Simply share some of your Christmas”favorites” – whether memories, gifts, or songs – with family and friends. Take turns, or turn this into a game where people try to guess your favorite in a certain category. This game provides a great bonding experience and a wonderful opportunity for people to get to know each other better.
3. Go Traditional
Although American commercial culture celebrates Christmas beginning the day after Thanksgiving, or with Black Friday shopping, Christmas technically starts on Christmas day and is celebrated for the following twelve days. The four weeks prior to Christmas day are known as Advent, a time of expectant waiting for the Nativity of Jesus on Christmas day. Traditionally, Advent is more penitential than celebratory. As a result, some families do not decorate until Christmas actually arrives.
Consider taking the more traditional route with your family, and wait to do all of your Christmas decorating until Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Not only will this help build the anticipation for Christmas, but it will also ensure everyone is home and together to decorate the tree.
For The Kids
4. Judge the Neighborhood Lights
As a kid, one of my favorite Christmas activities was to walk around my neighborhood with my cousins and judge every one’s Christmas decorations. I grew up in south Florida, so we walked around pretty comfortably.
If it’s chilly where you live, you can pile everyone up in a car for a fun drive. Try a different or ritzy neighborhood for some added fun.
5. Make An Ornament
There are a lot of ornament ideas on the internet, but one of my favorites is decorating pine cones to look like mini Christmas trees. Many of you adults probably did this as a kid. To start, find some unbroken pine cones in your yard and clean them off. If you plan early enough, you can spray paint them with a favorite color. I like to paint mine white because it looks like they are covered in snow. Then use glue sticks, glitter, cotton balls, and beads, and let imaginations go wild. Don’t forget to add an angel or star at the top!
6. Dance In The Light Of The Christmas Tree
My sister and I loved to dance to Christmas music in the light of the Christmas tree. Once the decorations were hung and the lights were shining, we put our favorite Christmas tape in our pink boom box (guess that decade) and had a ball. We really initiated the season by turning on every Christmas light or incorporating every decoration that might spin or blink. This was a lot of fun for the kids, and a pure joy for the adults watching, too!
For A Christmas Party
7. Decoration Competition
What’s a party without a cheesy game? There are a lot of different things that you can decorate for a competition. I have two favorites: cookies and people. Decorating cookies is a great individual competition. I suggest using basic sugar cookies and having a variety of frosting and sprinkles. If you want to do a team competition, decorate one person on each team as a Christmas tree using green streamers and then hang lights, tinsel, ornaments, and topper. This makes for great pictures and memories.
8. Cookie Exchange
If you plan on Christmas with a large group, set up a Christmas cookie exchange. Everyone should bring individually wrapped portions of their cookies to the party, as well as recipes, so that each person can have a sample to take home and enjoy.
9. Name That Tune
Do you remember that game show from the 70′s where people would try to name a tune in so many notes? Why not play the same game with your friends and family by naming Christmas songs? This is a great activity for a big group and people can be split into individual teams or larger groups. Before each song is played, everyone has to bet how many notes they need in order to name the tune. You will need someone to act as the musician and have access to an instrument. For a modern day twist, use an iPod and bet on seconds.
10. Do A Thanksgiving Activity
There are some fun and frugal Thanksgiving activities, games, and crafts that can also be fun to do on Christmas. This includes activities like trivia, puzzles, and serving those less fortunate. Just change the theme from Thanksgiving to Christmas and you’re all set!
What are your favorite Christmas activites? What are your traditions?
(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)