75 Christmas Activities to Make the Season Oh-So-Bright

75 Christmas activities to keep you busy throughout your holiday season.

'Tis the season for family. Whether you'll be traveling or in the comfort of your own home, we've compiled 75 Christmas activities sure that will help you make this Christmas season memorable. We're recommending that you order your Christmas cards and update your address list. Be spontaneous and decide to go ice skating one sunny Saturday afternoon (either just the adults or with kids), or do some advanced planning and buy tickets to a holiday concert. Be intentional about some fun things you want to be sure to include this year.

Don't forget it's a season to think of others too. Thank your service workers. Give to a worthy cause or personally help someone you know who's down and out this year. When it comes to making and baking for the holidays, maybe your children are grown, so invite the neighbor kids over for a cookie exchange or a day of holiday crafts.

Give some thought to specific ways you want to keep the "Christ" in "Christmas." Consider doing a Jesse Tree or getting a new nativity set. Make plans to attend a Christmas Eve service.

There are all kinds of ways we make this season meaningful and full of good times. Which of these 75 Christmas activities will you add to your list this year?

75 Christmas Activities for 2022

1. Go through your recipe books, looking for holiday fare.

Bookmark the classics, but try finding a few new recipes to cook as well.

<p>Anshu A/Unsplash</p>

Anshu A/Unsplash

2. Host a Christmas Baking Day.

Make a variety of treats, savory and sweet. Then, grab your family and take a plate to the elderly in your neighborhood.

3. Try a yule log recipe.

Many of us have never even made this traditional dessert.

4. Invite friends over for a holiday cookie exchange.

This way you get a variety of cookies.

5. Mail someone a fruit cake.

You can start shopping here.

6. Plan a Christmas brunch or dinner menu.

Ask the family for input on favorite dishes or new things to try.

<p>iStock</p>

iStock

7. Invite friends over for a Cocoa Bar.

A variety of flavors and toppings make cocoa both yummy and fun.

Related: Warm Up With This Copycat Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

8. Find an art museum or botanical garden to visit during the holidays.

These places usually go all out with holiday decorations, and the locations should entertain both kids and adults.

9. Try a new spiced cider recipe.

There are a variety of flavor options; orange, apple or pear.

10. Visit a Christmas tree farm.

Take a family road trip and put up a real tree this year.

Related: Did You Know There Are Actually 16 Different Types of Christmas Trees?

<p>iStock</p>

iStock

11. String up popcorn to hang on the tree.

It's an inexpensive way to decorate the tree.

12. Watch a modern classic Christmas movie

Here are some ideas to get you started: Charlie Brown, Elf, or The Preacher’s Wife.

Related: Full Lineup of Hallmark Christmas Movies

13. Watch a classic Christmas movie

Such as Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life.

<p>Dan LeFebvre/Unsplash</p>

Dan LeFebvre/Unsplash

14. Hang stockings on the fireplace.

Dressing up the fireplace with stockings and other holiday decor makes things feel extra cozy.

15. Write a letter to Santa Claus.

Grab a sheet of your finest stationery and help your kids craft a handwritten note to Santa.

Related: This is Kris Kringle's Real Address!

16. Move the Elf on the Shelf around your house.

We've got 85 creative Elf on the Shelf ideas for keeping your Scout Elf busy all season long.

<p>Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash</p>

Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash

17. Observe the Advent season together by using an advent calendar.

Gifting small chocolates, coins and trinkets help children count down to Christmas Day.

Related: Best 2022 Advent Calendars

18. Go wassailing.

Yes, you can go wassailing (going door-to-door, singing and drinking from a wassail bowl together) and drink wassail (hot mulled cider).

19. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

Even if you're not a regular church-goer, there's something sacred about a church service the night before Christmas.

Related: Christmas Prayers and Blessings

20. Video call with out-of-town family members.

Let your loved ones know you're missing them by surprise calling them during the holidays.

21. Play a game of Charades using Christmas-themed words.

Think snowmen, shepherds and reindeer, oh my! This will have adults and children all laughing!

Related: Best Christmas Games

<p>iStock</p>

iStock

22. Read a classic Christmas scene from literature.

The opening scene in Little Women comes to mind.

23. Read a contemporary Christmas book.

We've rounded up the best Christmas books that have readers excited this December.

24. Read an illustrated children’s book.

Whether classic or new, an illustrated book helps get the family in a festive spirit.

25. Find a book on Christmas poetry.

Choose one poem a day to read aloud, giving each family member a turn.

Related: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Story and Trivia Behind the Beloved Classic Holiday Tale

26. Set up a Jesse Tree for Advent.

Journey through the stories on Jesus's family tree with your kids.

27. Keep Baby Jesus hidden from the nativity until Christmas morning.

This is a fun way to remind children of the reason for the season.

Related: 25 Best Nativity Sets to Display This Season

28. Move the Wise Men from your nativity around the house, enroute to Bethlehem.

The Wise Men didn't make their way to Bethlehem until some months after the birth of Christ. Show them making this journey.

29. Host karaoke night.

Song ideas:

  • "All I Want for Christmas is You"

  • "Santa Baby"

  • "Last Christmas"

  • "Blue Christmas"

  • "I'll Be Home for Christmas"

<p>iStock</p>

iStock

30. Go caroling.

Traditional carol ideas:

  • "Silent Night"

  • "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing"

  • "Joy to the World"

  • "Away in a Manger"

  • "We Three Kings"

Related: 45 Best Christmas Carols

31. Go sledding.

There's nothing like the thrill of racing down a hill on a sled. Fortunately, there's also nothing like walking back up said hill to do it again.

32. Cut out paper snowflakes.

These are easy to create and make super cute decorations.

33. Do a Christmas craft together.

Scroll through Pinterest and see what ideas you can find.

<p>weston m/Unsplash</p>

weston m/Unsplash

34. Go ice skating.

This might be the perfect Saturday afternoon activity.

35. Make a cookie plate or mug for Santa.

Visit your local pottery store and make your own keepsake.

36. Set out cookies and milk for Santa (don’t forget reindeer treats).

It's a simple but fun tradition for the whole family.

37. Take a family photo either dressed up or in matching pajamas.

Switch it up this year; if you usually dress up for a photo, try wearing PJs, or vice versa.

38. Decorate a gingerbread house.

Use a kit or try constructing your own.

39. Drive around looking for Christmas lights and enjoy the winter scenery.

Sometimes just driving around, you can stumble across fun Christmas lights and inflatables, maybe with a backdrop of snow.

40. Visit a community light display.

It's incredible how creative people can be in coordinating lights with music.

41. Play “Name that Tune” using Christmas songs.

How many Christmas songs do you know, just from the humming of a few lines?

<p>Nand Shah/Unsplash</p>

Nand Shah/Unsplash

42. Select a new ornament for each family member.

This is such a fun activity, to select a thoughtful ornament for each person in the family—adults, kids and pets.

Related: 30 Etsy Personalized Christmas Ornaments

43. Go for a nature hike.

This is fun any time of year, but there's something magical about wintertime.

44. Do a can or pop bottle drive and donate the proceeds.

Help an organization this holiday season by making a donation.

45. Start a family change jar for giving.

Think of someone who could use a helping hand this year.

46. Build a snowman (use play-doh if there’s no actual snow).

Whether inside or outside, it's always fun coming up with snowman apparel.

47. Make snow angels.

Adult-sized angels are OK too!

48. Attend a Christmas play at a local theater.

Look online for possible performances and dates. It's a fun time to get dressed up.

<p>iStock</p>

iStock

49. Go out for dinner wearing ugly Christmas sweaters.

Your teenagers will love this one.

50. Put the Christmas tree up slowly, recalling the story behind keepsake ornaments.

Make it a family affair, recalling when you got particular keepsake ornaments.

Related: The History of the Christmas Tree

51. Visit a store and get one another a new ornament.

This can be a special gift to receive for Thanksgiving.

52. Make a new ornament.

Some of the most memorable ornaments we have are homemade.

53. Mail a family Christmas photo to loved ones.

It's fun to go back and see how the kids have grown over the years.

Related: 50+ Cheery, Heartfelt Ways to Sign a Christmas Card

54. Look up the ways people in other countries celebrate Christmas.

There are a number of fascinating holiday activities around the globe.

55. Invite children over for a Christmas craft day.

Even if your kids are grown, parents would be happy to share their children with you for a day of crafting.

56. Watch the Christmas parades on TV.

Check your local listings and mark them on the calendar.

57. Take your picture with Santa.

He's popping up everywhere this season, so make note of a location and have your family stop in for a photo.

58. Set up a Christmas village.

This activity can make fun gift-giving for years to come as well.

59. Put a train set up around the tree.

There's something nostalgic about running a train around the base of your tree.

<p>Chris Sowder/Unsplash</p>

Chris Sowder/Unsplash

60. Buy a new nativity set.

One can never have too many nativities. Find a unique one to add to your collection this year.

61. Decorate your front door with holiday decor.

Whether it's a traditional wreath or something new, greet guests with holiday greetings at the door.

Related: 35 Festive Porch Decorations to Display Your Holiday Spirit

62. Put out Christmas yard ornaments.

From inflatables to nativities to lit-up animals, make a personal statement by choosing something holiday-ish to put in your yard.

63. Donate to a toy drive.

Several organizations have drop-offs available!

64. Adopt a family for Christmas.

Several organizations partner with people in the community to meet the needs of others, including local schools.

65. Hang garland and lights around the house.

Why decorate only the room with a tree in it? Garland can be hung throughout the house to creative a cheery holiday look.

66. Display the Christmas cards you receive in a creative way.

Use the many cards you receive as part of your holiday decor.

<p>James Wheeler/Unsplash</p>

James Wheeler/Unsplash

67. Put up holiday lights outside.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a house all lit up—make it a family affair with the kids involved.

68. Make eggnog.

Why buy it at the store when you can make your own?

Related: What Exactly Is Eggnog?

69. Be someone’s Secret Santa.

Get creative and give someone an extra-special season.

70. Take a trip down Christmas Memory Lane, seated around the lit Christmas tree.

Grab a hot drink (maybe spiked for adults!) and have a storyteller evening.

71. Host a Christmas game night.

Many traditional games can be played with a Christmas theme. Enjoy your favorites!

72. Attend a Christmas pageant or concert.

Check with local churches and concert halls to see what special events they might be hosting.

73. Take a Polar Express Train ride.

There are several cities that offer these family-friendly holiday rides now.

74. Hang some mistletoe.

And when you find yourself standing beneath it, you know what to do.

75. Give a gift card to your postal worker.

It's a kind way to say thank you for this regular service.

Up Next: Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town—and He's Bringing With Him 50 of the Best Santa Jokes!