I’m sitting here with a huge smile on my face, as I just sent out the very last of this years’ Christmas cards...finally. But now that the cards are out and I’ve done all my shopping, I still have one more thing to worry about - what to do on Christmas Day at home?
I’m inviting the whole family over to my house for the first time in my adult life, so I did some research to make sure I get everything perfect. Here are the main points I’ll cover in this post:
- Traditional Christmas Day Activities & Games
- Out-Of-The-Box Activities & Games
- Activities & Games specifically for kids, teens, adults, and the whole family.
Okay, so I know you’re excited to get down to business, so let’s dive in!
What are some Traditional Christmas Day Activities & Games?
When it comes to the holidays, I’ve always been more of a traditionalist. Of course, it’s always fun to color outside the lines. But there’s nothing better in my opinion than the nostalgia that floods me every Christmas when I’m with my family and we’re doing all the same activities we’ve done since before I was born.
The following list includes all the things my family and I do every year, along with other traditional activities & games I found around the web that sounded really fun.
1 - Traditional fun for Young Kids and The Whole Family.
Sing along with “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”. As a complete introvert, I’ve always had a strong love/hate relationship with this game. If you’ve never played, all you do is sing through the verses of the song, and have a different member of the family sing each day’s gift.
There are sure to be a ton of laughs with this one when Grandpa forgets his line, or Uncle Bill sings hilariously off key.
Decorate gingerbread houses. Even as an adult, this is one of my favorite Christmas activities. I think it’s because I’ve always had an artistic personality, and I love how each house comes out truly unique, based on its maker.
Not to mention, the houses are a blast to destroy and eat after Christmas.
Make a garland out of popcorn. Here’s a fun one to do with the kids, especially if you have any leftover popcorn from any of your Christmas parties. It’s really easy too, just take a thread and use a dull crochet needle (or even a toothpick) to thread it through the popcorn.
Then you and the kids can snack on the garland for the next couple of days.
Paint Christmas ornaments. Here’s another fun one for the creative types out there. You can get as intricate as you want here, but some ideas for things to paint to get you started would be things like snowflakes, Santa, elves, reindeer, presents, and Christmas trees.
You can also just fill clear ornaments with snow-like glitter if you don’t want to deal with the paint.
2 - Traditional fun for Teens and Adults.
Watch a classic Christmas movie. This is definitely one of my favorite ways to get fully into the holiday spirit on Christmas morning. Every family will have their own go-to movies, but some that I’ve grown up on include:
How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Christmas Story, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer, and Miracle On 34th Street.
Exchange cookies. Everyone wins with this activity. Just have everyone bake their favorite cookies and place them in a non-see-through container. Then you can use tape to assign a number to each container and let people draw numbers out of a Santa hat to get their cookies.
Of course, most people will be willing to share anyway, so you really can’t lose.
Play trivia. I play trivia down at a local restaurant every Wednesday, so this is right down my alley. This one can be completely free too since you can look up the Christmas related trivia questions online & then just print them out.
I found some good questions for you here.
Play Christmas bingo. Like the last activity, this one is nearly free, since you can print out all the materials online. It’s just like normal bingo, except you’ll get a Christmas related clue instead of someone calling out a number.
If you have a square on your board that matches the clue, you can cross it out, and the rest is just like normal bingo. I found some resources for you here.
What about some Out-Of-The-Box Activities & Games for Christmas Day?
Now that you’ve seen a bunch of options for the more traditional activities and games you and your family can play this Christmas, it’s time to check out some unique ideas that I found.
Some of these look really fun, and I’m definitely testing them out with my family this year.
1 - Out-Of-The-Box fun for Young Kids and The Whole Family.
Hunt for Candy Canes. If your kids love hunting for Easter Eggs, they’re going to love hunting for Candy Canes just as much. It’s a simple idea, but I’m extremely surprised to say I’ve never heard of it before.
Needless to say, we’re going hunting this Christmas!
Play Reindeer Toss. This one looks really fun if you’ve ever enjoyed ring toss type games. Just take a cardboard box, flip it over bottom-side up, stick two antler-like sticks into the top of the box, then form rings out of pipe cleaners and see who can get the most of them around the “antlers”.
You can also draw a face on the box so it looks more like a reindeer.
Play "What's In The Stocking". This is like the Christmas version of a game I used to play as a kid on Halloween, where we’d put weird-feeling items like peeled grapes into a box and have people reach in and guess what they were touching.
This time you’ll put the items into a stocking, and you’ll confuse them by using things shaped like common Christmas items. For instance, use an onion to make them think of an ornament, or a carrot to make them think of a candy cane.
2 - Out-Of-The-Box fun for Teens and Up.
Do a Dirty Santa (White Elephant) gift exchange. This modern-day Christmas tradition is a favorite for many - myself included. Everyone participating will bring a gift (usually below 20$), which will then be numbered and placed into a pile.
Then people will take turns drawing numbers from a hat and opening the corresponding gift. When you draw, unless you’re the very first person, you get a choice of opening the corresponding gift OR stealing a gift from someone that has already been opened (without getting to open the gift with the same number you drew).
Usually, the same gift can only be stolen up to two times.
Play "Name That Christmas Song". Being a lifelong musician, this is one I’m definitely checking out this year. Someone will act as the DJ and will play short (5 second) clips from classic Christmas songs.
Then the person who guesses the correct song the quickest wins that round. A good number of songs to use for per game is 20.
Play Christmas Carol Pictionary. If you’ve played Pictionary, this is a cool little Christmas twist. Each person will draw the name of a Christmas song out of a hat, which they’ll keep secret.
Then they’ll do their best to get their partner (2 per team is best) to guess the song title through drawing alone. They have 30 seconds to get the other person to guess, or they don’t get any points for the round.
3 - Out-Of-The-Box fun for Adults.
Scratch off lottery tickets. I know this is weird, but it’s actually a tradition my family and I have been participating in for a couple years now. I mean, who doesn’t like the chance to make some money?
Just buy everyone a lottery ticket as a stocking stuffer, and then you can scratch them off together. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun than it may sound.
Play the "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" Drinking Game. This one might just put you out of commission, and should only be attempted by brave adults 21 and up. The rules are simple - you must take a drink every time you hear something in the movie that rhymes with the word “who”.
Here are some more drinking games related to Christmas movies.
Play "Two Truths And A Lie" Christmas Edition. This doesn’t have to be as scandalous as the typical version, but you can certainly make it that way if you want. For this version, you will tell people 3 gifts that you’ve received in the past.
Of course, only two of these will be true, so one will be false. It will be their job to find the lie.
And that’s all I’ve got for you, friends.
I hope that the wheels in your head are spinning with all these ideas about what to do on Christmas Day at home - I know mine sure are! I was delightfully surprised by how many options there are for Christmas games & activities, many that I’ve never heard of before.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and if you’re in the Wilmington, NC area and need somewhere for your out-of-town visitors to stay - I highly recommend the friendly team of agents we have here at Network Realty.