The Christmas Season is upon us.. and if you are looking for some fun Christmas activities to do with all the family… look no further for some Christmas Fun! We have a large variety of Christmas ideas to keep you busy and inspire you to try something new! From Handmade Ornaments, to Christmas Movies… check out the top 10 family activities this Christmas!
1. Making Christmas Cards
Crafting is always lovely in the Autumn and Winter months. Time for some mindful Christmas activities! There is nothing quite like a handmade Christmas Card!! It is a great way to involve the kids and show family and friends that you care. Making Christmas Cards can be as elaborate, detailed or SIMPLE as you wish. Before I had kids, I used to handmade ALL of my Christmas Cards – well over a 100 each year. In retro spect, I don’t know how I did it! Now we do a combination of photo cards and handmade cards, depending on who the recipient is! Whatever your card making needs though, we have SO SO SOOOO many DIY Christmas Card Ideas for you to be inspired by (including a set of Christmas Card Ideas for Preschool!). From our super simple Christmas Card range (great for making in bulk) to our super fun Handmade 3d Christmas Card designs (this pop up Christmas Tree card is especially popular!).
2. Ornament Gift Exchanges
Next up in your internet’s guide to the most popuplar Christmas Activities, is another wonderful tradition that many friends and family love to take part in, is an Ornament Gift Exchange. An ornament gift exchange really is very easy to organise.. there are SO many different ways you can arrange this.. here are some of my favourite:
Themed ornament gift exchange
Personally, I find a themed ornament exchange the most fun… you have a basic rule and you all follow it. E.g. your ornament must be:
- a handmade ornament – as you can guess, we have TONS of ideas for this category – from paper ornaments, to crochet ornament patterns, to recycled ornaments, to santa/ snowman/ penguin ornaments
- colour themed – e.g. the ornament must be red or make it hard: must be pink!
- must a bauble/ made from glass – this if you want to go upmarket and start a keepsake collection
- must be funny / as silly as you can find!
How to host a ornament gifts exchange
Ornaments can be exchange anonymously (e.g. like Secret Santa, with a specific person on in mind) or at random – wrap your gifts and randomly exchange them. Or, your ornament exchange can be part of your regular present giving – I know families that love adding a handmade ornament to all their gift wrap! This website has more ideas of how you can host an ornaments exchange party and really make it fun!
3. Ugly Sweater Contests
As with many of the Christmas ideas on this website, there is so much “DIY” you can.. this includes a DIY Ugly Sweater Contest.. of course an Ugly Sweater Contest can be store bought! And there are some amazingly fabulous ugly sweaters on the market. Personally, however, I love a bit of a DIY effort – this is great to help reduce the environmental effects of “fast fashion” and gets your creative juices flowing. Start off with a plain sweater and see how you can decorate your own for an ugly sweater contest! Bonus points if you can remove all the ugly sweater decorations afterwards and still wear your regular sweater. I love this simple pom pom and snow globe idea from The Craft Patch. You don’t have to be a creative genius to make this. Similarly, we used a large homemade pom pom and some tape to turn my son’s top into a Rudolph Ugly Sweater one year at school! The teacher’s loved it!
4. Go Caroling or visit a Carol concert this Christmas
Another super popular Christmas activity is of course Caroling! Christmas isn’t just about the gifts, it is about the food, the lights, people and of course THE MUSIC! You can hear us playing Christmas music very early on (much to the disgruntlement of my ba humbug husband), but Christmas music is simply the best. There are lots of ways to enjoy Christmas music in during the Christmas season:
- attend a carol concert – whether in church or a local hall
- sing with your family at home – whether it is a full blown “home concert” or a simple humming along whilst christmas crafting
- stop and listen to carol singers in town whilst Christmas shopping (be sure to tip them, they are always raising funds for great causes)
- arrange a neighbourhood carol singing session
Be sure to wrap up warm and maybe take a hot drink with you, whatever you do!
5. No Christmas Activities list is complete without some Christmas Shopping
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Christmas Shopping! If you love shopping than this really is the season for you! Even if shopping is not your thing, going on a little (window) Christmas Shopping trip is a wonderfully festive experience. We LOVE seeing all the decorated window displays – seeing how creative and festive individual stores have got. We love going as dusks hits, and the windows and trees light up with fairy lights. There is a sense of festivity and occassion. Often you will find carol singers (as mentioned above) and there is nothing like wandering into a lovely coffee shop to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee after admiring all the Christmas lights.
So, though this isn’t a guide to getting all your Christmas shopping done, efficiently, I do encourage you to go out on at least one occassion and enjoy the festive atmosphere of Christmas High Street. So to sum up our Christmas Shopping experience, we like to:
- Visit key department stores to see their window displays
- Visit key areas to see the Christmas Lights – in London, that would be Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Trafalga Square, Covent Garden
- Have a hot chocolate & coffee
- When the kids were smaller we did small scavenger hunts (e.g. how many Santa’s can we find?)
- Find carolers (there are usually some in Covent Garden – you can look up online when they will be singing)
- We adore window shopping ornaments – even with no itention to buy, we simply love to browse any of the special “christmas sections” a store may have
6. Cookie Decorating and Cookie Decorating Parties
I have never considered myself a food blogger or particularly “good” in the kitchen. I would say I am pretty average…. but the kids and I DO love to bake for Christmas every year. We have a long list of favourite cookies that we go through every year and we also look to try out new recipes too.
Our favourite cookies include:
- We always make a double batch of Vanilla Kiperfl
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Simple Chocolate Macaroons (they use up the egg whites left over from the Thumbprint Cookies)
- If going a bit more special – Santa Star Cookies – they make great gift exchanges
- Simple Christmas Ornament cookies (my kids loved making these when they were preschoolers)
- Last year we had a go at some Hershey’s Kisses Peanut Butter Cookies – devine – here is a recipe
- We adore Delia’s Gingerbread Man Recipe (also works well for gingerbread houses – though we tend to buy a kit for that now)
- And if you want to go cookie decorating pro – then check out this guest post on how to make Royal Icing!
Now the recipes shared aren’t the most “exciting” to decorate – well the Christmas Ornament cookie and the Gingerbread Men are… but you can make these recipes at any cookie decorating party or cookie exchange party.
We actually like to make these all in our own time and then gift wrap them up for friends and teachers. Or decorate some of the cookies on a small play date. A cookie decorating party can be as simple or as big as you want. But usually a couple of families get together and get making!
Making cookies really is a great way to making gifts for Christmas. For more “free Christmas gift ideas” take a peak here!
7. Elf on the shelf ideas
No collection of most popular Christmas Activities is complete, with out some Elf on the Shelf Ideas!!!
Now I have one main thing to say about the Elf.. tread with caution!
The Elf on the Shelf is a super fun addition to any family Christmas Traditions… but please please please don’t create a rod for your own back – in other words, don’t set the bar high and make your Christmas run up miserable as you desperately find new elf things to do, each one more elaborate than the one before…. keep the rules simple – maybe have a big Elf on the Shelf arrival idea and then after that… simply move him around the house for the kids to find. Or leave simple notes from the Elf to the kids every few days. Don’t go big out EVERY DAY!! You will be exhausted.
That said.. my friend Amy has a great collection of Elf on the Shelf Ideas on her blog!
8. Create your own Magical Christmas Playlists
I was rather chuffed when my son came home and said he was the only one to recognise and name Bony M’s Mary’s Boy Child song during a school quiz. Christmas Music Goals sorted. We all have our favourite Christmas songs.. and I particularly love this one (and lots of others of course..). So why not create your own family Christmas Playlist. Of course.. be sure to ADD to it over time (never ever take a song away! I feel ALL Christmas Music deserves to be heard regularly, even if your kids have outgrown something).
Our Chritsmas Music playlist playing is A MUST during our Christmas Cookie bakings sessions… and it really helps set the tone! Btw did I mention we start our baking in November.. yup… Christmas Carols all the way. So excited.
In fact, I am listening to Bony M as I type this.. and oh my, I am getting excited about the season ahead… can’t wait!
Just starting out creating your own Christmas Playlist and don’t know where to start? Go to your music streaming channel of choice and simply search “Christmas Playlist”, Youtube, spotify, amazon.. they will all come up with a selection to help you get started!
9. Christmas Trivia and Games
Now ultimate guide to Christmas Activities would be complete without some Christmas Trivia and Games. Afterall, Christmas is all about coming together and having some fun time with your family. And Trivia and Games are always popular. Bear with me.. over the coming weeks, I will try and put together a list of printable Christmas Trivia and Christmas Quiz Games you can download and use this Holiday Season. For starters you can get a Christmas Bingo here or check out this Christmas Activity Bumper Set.
10. Christmas Movie Marathons
What can I say.. Christmas Movies are simply the best! Especially, after a long day Christmas Shopping (see above Christmas Activity) or even at the end of a Christmas Cookie Decorating session.. you will most definitely want to put your feet up, get that hot cocoa, nibble some Christmas Cookies and WATCH A MOVIE! There is no question, that you cannot watch a favourite Christmas Movie too often!!! In fact, certain movies have to be watch EVERY year!
My Friends at the International Elf Service, have the best Christmas Movie List for you to check out! How many of the movies can you tick off the list?
If you loved this collection of Christmas Activities to do this Holiday Season.. you may also enjoy our Christmas Crafts for Kids: