Almost every Christmas I find myself struggling to figure out what activities to do.
School is out for a few weeks and most workplaces close down which means every day is an opportunity to do something fun and exciting. I always want to ensure that no days are wasted.
With that being said, I have compiled a list of the 11 best things to do for Christmas.
All of these activities can be done alone, but they are much more amusing and joyful if you can get a few friends or family members to join in.
1: Make Gingerbread Houses and Have a Family Competition
Making gingerbread houses is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas with friends and family and get into the holiday spirit.
Paired with some Christmas songs, this activity is loads of fun and is bound to create memories. Plus, it is super easy!
You can buy pre-made gingerbread houses or a gingerbread house kit at almost every grocery store during the holiday, so all you will need are people to participate!
Pro Tip: The competition is most exciting if you divide your family and friends into teams of two (so each pair has to make and decorate a gingerbread house) and make a time limit!
This makes the competition a little tenser add just adds to the fun of it. You could even award the team with the best gingerbread house with a present so raise the stakes!
2: Volunteer in Your Local Community
As part of my graduation requirements for secondary school, I had to complete at least 40 hours of community service and volunteer work.
While this is NOT the sole reason you should be volunteering, it is a reason to get started. Depending on where you live and what school you go to, the number of hours you have to complete will vary.
This leads us to the second activity on my list which is to spend time volunteering in your local community. Thousands of people are without shelter, food, or basic necessities to live every year.
These people rely on others to give back and offer their support. In my opinion, this is what the holiday season should be about… giving back to the less fortunate. There are so many ways in which you can get involved in your local community.
Do a quick search for a food bank, soup kitchen, or toy drive, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised by the number of results. Most of these places are always accepting volunteers, especially around Christmas when the weather is cold and people are suffering.
Volunteering has hundreds of benefits that go beyond supporting someone in need. One of the best feelings you can ever get is through making others smile.
By helping out in your community, you are putting smiles on the faces of those who need it most. For those that also believe in karma, this is the perfect opportunity to earn some good karma and make a difference in the world.
In doing so, you may end up meeting new friends, learning new skills, and experiencing personal growth that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
3: For Christmas Parties: Play the Christmas Name Game
The Christmas Name game is a great game to play if you are hosting a Christmas party or want to have some fun with your family. My family plays this game every Christmas and it’s always a lot of fun and never gets old!
All you need to do for this game is write a Christmas related word on a sticky note. Examples of Christmas words include ornaments, gingerbread, Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, candle, Jesus, presents, etc.
You would distribute one to each person playing the game (this game is fun with more people but the minimum is four) and they would place the sticky note on their forehead without looking at the word written on it. Once everyone has placed their sticky note on their forehead, the game can start.
Moving clockwise, one person at a time gets to ask one “yes or no” question about what their Christmas word / person could be. The people in the circle can only answer with yes or no.
For example, if I had the word ‘reindeer’ on my sticky note, I could ask “Am I an animal” to which people would respond ‘yes’. The objective of the game is to guess what word is written on your sticky note as fast as you can.
This game is a lot of fun and always ignites laughter and competition in the group. The best part is that it applies to all ages, so everyone can be included!
Tip: Make sure to write on the sticky notes ahead of time! This way all you need to do is play when your guests or family is ready.
This way you (or whoever wrote the sticky notes) will also have somewhat forgotten what they wrote. If you need help coming up with a list of Christmas words, simply google it!
4: Make a DIY Present For Someone
This is one of my student Christmas gift ideas. Do It Yourself (DIY) presents are the perfect opportunity to show someone that you care about them.
A handmade gift can often go a lot further in doing so, rather than simply purchasing an item from a store. It shows that you put deep thought into a gift and will make the recipient feel warm and loved during the holidays.
There are many options for designing your own presents from sweaters, snow globes, house decorations, fudge, personal candles, tree ornaments, the list goes on and on.
You could even spend time making a personal card and writing a nice message to go along with your gift.
5: Explore the Outdoors
Ahhh, the great outdoors! There are so many activities to do outside despite the snow and cold weather. Why not grab some friends and find a local hill that’s covered in snow?
You can buy a cheap sled or even use a giant cut out of cardboard to slide down together.
There are so many other exciting things to do outside like:
- Going for hikes
- Having a bonfire
- Drinking hot chocolate
- Building a snowman
- Making snow angels
- Having a snowball fight
And that’s not even everything! Your options for outdoor activities are limitless, so don’t let the freezing cold weather stop you from having the best holiday break!
6: Go to a Local Christmas Festival / Light Show
Going to a local Christmas Festival / Light Show is an activity everyone should have on their list of things to do this Christmas.
These places are filled with the most cheer to get everyone into the holiday spirit, so you should make the most out of it and spend an evening soaking it all in! Local Christmas festivals and events and even light shows are a lot more popular than you think!
I highly suggest you look up one near your location because most likely, there will be one taking place nearby.
So grab your friends, family, a coat and some mittens and head out some of these events to witness some Christmas magic for yourself.
To give you a taste of what it’s like, I’m from Toronto and each year there is a Christmas Market which takes place in the heart of the city.
It attracts people from all over the greater Toronto area and is filled with beautiful lights canopies, great food from vendors, entertainment, and of course the opportunity to take some pictures with Santa!
If this sounds like an ideal way to spend a night during the holidays, you should definitely do a quick search and find the one that’s near you!
7: Spend a Day Baking Christmas Cookies
Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies in the oven? Pretty sure everyone can agree that they smell amazing. If you are looking for Christmas activities for the family, this one is perfect.
With a simple google search, you can find thousands of unique recipes for cookies to bake over the holidays.
You could even have a little competition with your friends and family members to see who can bake the best tasting cookies or decorate them the best!
Young children in your family will also love this idea as they can leave some of the extra cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, along with a glass of milk of course!
8: Organize a Secret Santa Gift Exchange
Are you struggling to find gifts for all your friends? Well if you are like me, student Christmas gift ideas are hard to find. This is why organizing a secret santa gift exchange is the perfect solution for your large friend groups.
Instead of having to buy individual gifts for each of your friends, this exchange makes it so that you only have to purchase one gift, but each friend is receiving something.
Tell me this isn’t the perfect way to save money while still having gifts to open!
If you have never heard of Secret Santa before, here is a quick rundown of how it works. Essentially, you will gather all your friends (can be done with family as well) and write each individual’s name down on a piece of paper.
Find something to place each name in, like a hat for example, and then mix them all up. From there, each person is going to secretly draw a name from the hat and that will be the person they have to buy a gift for.
This creates excitement as everyone tries to figure out who drew their name and determine what they should get their secret santa.
Usually, the group of people also decide on a budget limit for the gifts to ensure that they are similar in value. After agreeing upon a certain date for the exchange, each person will go out and purchase the gift, wrap it, and write down the name of whoever the gift is for.
Be sure to only write their name down and not your own, as they will easily be able to find out that you had them before opening the gift. On the exchange day, everyone can gather around and open their gifts while spending time with each other.
Quality time, gifts, excitement… Secret Santa has it all!
9: Start A New Tradition
This one is broad as it requires you to narrow down what you want for yourself and your family. Traditions do not always have to be big and complex and involve a lot of thoughts.
Traditions can be as simple as making hot chocolate every weekend leading up to Christmas, participate in a toy drive or at a soup kitchen, buy an elf on the shelf or mailing holiday cards.
These are all activities that make the Christmas season more special and exciting. On top of all this, a new tradition could be part of your New Year’s Resolutions!
Personally, I would have loved to have an elf on the shelf growing up. If you don’t know what an elf on the shelf is, it’s basically a little toy elf that you move each morning so your family members, or specifically kids, wake up to the elf in a different spot.
Not only is it exciting because the elf magically moves from the perspective of the child, but the elf is used to encourage good behaviour in the kids as it is watching them wherever they are located.
This is a neat tradition that all children would enjoy!
10: Create or Buy an Advent Calendar
Typically given to children to hold them over until Christmas day, advent calendars have become really popular for adults in recent years.
The idea of advent calendars is to make the countdown to Christmas more exciting by opening the little windows on the advent calendar each day from December 1st to the 24th.
This can be done independently, or with the family to hit pause on the busy season and have a moment of joy and excitement as a family. These can come in all shapes and sizes, filled with a variety of goodies to please everyone. They no longer have just your typical chocolates!
The themes for advent categories now range from different mini cheeses, nail polish, tea blends, makeup collections, wine, and even hot sauce! Click here to view some examples on Amazon!
See, they really have something for everyone! Depending on the kind you get, these range from $25 to $65, and, in my opinion, are worth it as you get a little something out of it each day.
This is especially true if you choose a calendar related to a hobby of yours or something you really enjoy.
On the flip side, if you want to get creative and make an advent calendar, you totally can! This is a perfect activity that can be done with friends and family or by yourself to get into the Christmas spirit.
It would also make a very thoughtful and special gift for someone else. To get more information on how to go about creating an advent calendar, you can look it up and find a bunch of tutorials – prepare to be amazed!
Just a friendly reminder: remember to buy or start making your calendar before December 1st rolls around! (Or, if you’re like me, you can forget and get one halfway through December and open two each day… oops)!
11: Watch Christmas Movies
And finally, Christmas is the BEST time to get cozy under a blanket, snack on some comfort food and watch the best family holiday movies! This is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and spend quality time with friends and family.
If you feel like you have watched all the Christmas movies and are running out of some, or you just want some good recommendations, here is a list of some of my favourites:
- The Home Alone series: This one is obvious, you can’t have Christmas without watching this hilarious and heartwarming series. This is an all-time favourite!
- Four Christmases: This one is a nice twist on the classic Christmas movie and is bound to have you laughing throughout.
- The Holiday: If you are in the mood for a romantic movie this season, definitely check this one out! It stars brilliant actors and the atmosphere of the film is super cozy and comforting.
- Christmas with the Kranks: This is a fun and lighthearted movie that is sure to get you looking forward to the season!
- Love Actually: This one is similar to the movie mentioned above, as the main theme of the film is, you guessed it… love! This is a great film that will have you both laughing and crying.
- Elf: This one is obvious! If you haven’t watched Elf, you are definitely missing out!
- The Polar Express: This cute and heartwarming movie is perfect for a family movie night.
- Jingle all the Way: This is another funny Christmas movie that is great for audiences of all ages.
I Hope You Have A Wonderful Holiday!
I really hope you were inspired by this short, but very creative list of things to do for Christmas and the holidays. Now you won’t have to waste any time trying to come up with the perfect schedule or researching ideas for activities.
Do you have any amazing ideas I haven’t thought of? Leave them in the comment section below if you do!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!