Fun and Unique Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Holidays

enjoy-the-christmas-holidaysThe Christmas holidays are a time of excitement, planning, parties and sharing.  If you’re looking for something different to do over the Christmas holidays, consider planning different activities throughout the holiday season.

Theme nights can be a lot of fun and gives everyone a chance to experience something different. We’ve provided several theme ideas that you can take a look at to see if any of them appeal to you.

If you decide to do one or more of these unique and fun Christmas-themed ideas, let your creativity and imagination go and remember to have fun.

1. Christmas Movie Night

There are some terrific Christmas movies that have been made over the years.  The television is full of Christmas movies on many of the network channels so finding a good movie isn’t difficult. If you have Christmas DVDs and want to have more control over the movie you are going to watch, let the kids draw a movie name from a jar to decide which movie will be played.

Once the movie has been decided you can create decorations that feature the movie’s theme, add food, games and even crafts if desired.  The objective is to create things that coincide with the movie.  Decorate the room that everyone will be watching television in with the Christmas movie theme.

For example:  If The Grinch is the movie that the theme will center around, create a green punch and food that also echoes the theme.

christmas-movie-nightA terrific little treat is green grapes with a slice of banana, a piece of strawberry and a marshmallow on top. These adorable little snacks look like miniature grinches and they are tasty and healthy too.

If desired you can set up games, crafts, coloring pictures for the kids, a trivia game about the movie and more.  Make sure that as much of the night as possible centers around the movie that you will be watching together.    If you have a lot of movie watching enthusiasts in your house, you may want to have a Christmas movie marathon with several of the family’s favorites along with pizza and popcorn for movie-watching munchies attacks.

2. Hot Chocolate Bar

This is a fun idea that you can set up for your family and any family and friends that come visit during the month. Colder temperatures mean enjoying comfort drinks like hot apple cider, coffee and hot chocolate.

Almost everyone loves hot chocolate on a chilly evening.  Make sure they enjoy it even more with this unique hot chocolate bar.

Find a good place in the kitchen or dining room to set up a small table.  Place mugs, napkins, and spoons on one side along with the hot chocolate packets and either milk or hot water.

Keep the water hot by running just water through your coffee maker or each person can microwave their hot chocolate when they have it.

hot-chocolate-barIn addition to the hot chocolate mix, place several containers of hot chocolate add-ins on the table.  These add-ins can be marshmallows, peppermint pieces, mini chocolate chips, toffee pieces, cinnamon red hots, chocolate sauce, chopped nuts and anything else that you think will go good in a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

Place a plate of Christmas cookies on the hot chocolate bar for everyone to enjoy.   This bar should not be left up all the time if your children are prone to sneaking the food off the table as too much of a good thing can lead to upset stomachs.

If you don’t want to leave the hot chocolate bar up throughout the month, set it up once a week or on special occasions such as when company is coming over.  This fun “bar” will be a hit with everyone and will no doubt be asked for again and again.

3. Welcome Christmas Breakfast

At the beginning of December you can create a memorable tradition to welcome in the Christmas season by having this special Christmas themed breakfast.

The first Saturday or Sunday morning of December is the perfect day to have this delicious and fun breakfast.

After the kids go to bed the night before, set up a breakfast feast on a side buffet, counter or the dining room table.  You can include all kinds of delicious treats at this breakfast including doughnuts, muffins, parfaits, cinnamon buns and more.

If you want to serve hot foods, have the hot foods ready to cook the next morning, such as biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs with cheese and of course tons of bacon.   Have all of your baking pans, pots and cookie sheets ready to you can stick everything in the oven once they all go to bed the night before if you are baking things from scratch. Don’t leave the food uncovered or it won’t taste very good and hot food can spoil.

welcome-christmas-breakfastHave all the baked treats made the day or two before and the cooked food ready to be cooked in the morning before the rest of the family wakes up.  Store all the food in storage containers in the fridge until you are ready to either cook it, bake it or serve it.

Set everything up buffet style and decorate the table with lots of red, green and white.  The kids will come in from their rooms shocked at all the delicious breakfast treats.   Remember that the idea of this activity is to welcome in the new Christmas season.  Have on hand special coloring pages for the kids and little gifts bags with a small present inside for each family member.

Christmas socks or a special tree ornament make perfect gifts.  Choose the gift to be something you can continue to find each year and make that part of the tradition.   If you normally decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving, there is no reason why you can’t have this Welcome Christmas Breakfast on Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving rather than waiting until December.

4. Tree Decorating Party

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most enjoyable parts of the Christmas Season.

This year why not make it a reason to have a party?  The night you will be decorating the Christmas tree, plan to have a party with your immediate family. (The ones that usually decorate the tree)

Plan to have a special dinner all together and then after dinner, turn on some Christmas music and let the decorating begin.

tree-decorating-partyA popular dinner idea is a soup and salad bar.   Decide on several types of soups such as chicken noodle, clam chowder and chili (or whatever your family favorites are) and then create a salad bar with all the toppings and several dressing choices.

Toppings can include anything you like and can think of. Be sure to include protein choices such as diced ham and turkey, eggs, cheeses, pepperoni and shrimp.  Include a large array of vegetables and you’re all set.

Kids usually love to create their own food masterpieces, so having everything set up in buffet style should be a real hit with them.  Place the hot soups on the stove and have an adult serve them.  Don’t forget the crackers to go with the soup and if you are serving chili, put out sour cream, cheese, onions and corn chips too!

After dinner everyone can get started on decorating the tree. You can serve Christmas cookies and hot chocolate or milk during the decorating part of the evening. Don’t forget to have someone take pictures. It’s always fun to look back through photos and remember how much fun everyone had.  Take a picture of the final result too!

5. Cookie Decorating Party

If you have children of your own and have family and friends with kids as well, a Christmas cookie decorating party will be a huge hit.

Make sure you know ahead of time how many children will be attending so you bake plenty of cookies for them to decorate.  Simple sugar cookies are the best for decorating.

Spread newspapers or plastic table cloths on the tables and put out bowls of sprinkles, colored sugars, and plenty of icing tubes, chocolate chips, and other toppings.

Let each child take their creations home.  For some variety, create cookie “pops” that are on Popsicle sticks and have melted chocolate for them to dip them in.  You will need wax paper to lay the freshly decorated cookies on so they can be put in the fridge and cooled.

cookie-decorating-partyOnce they are cooled and set they can be put into individual cookie tins and sent home with the cookie decorators.  This kind of party is always a child favorite and one they will ask to repeat each year.  Serve hot chocolate, cider, punch and coffee and don’t forget the Christmas music.

6. Giving Back to the Community

The holidays are a time of giving as well as receiving. Give your children the opportunity to give back by letting them do for others.  This can take many forms.  Sit down with the children and come up with a list of ideas that they could do to give to others.

Some ideas that you might suggest to them include baking cookies and putting together cookie gift tins for the fire department, police department and EMTs that work every day to keep your community safe.  Allow the children to create a card to go with the cookie gifts thanking them for their service and hard work.

You can also do this for the mailmen and women, waste removal companies and anyone else that you see on a regular basis that helps to make your life easier.  Another idea is to go to a women and children’s shelter with toys, coloring books and crayons and warm clothing and give them to the shelter residents.

Older children can serve meals in a soup kitchen or hand out warm clothing and supplies to homeless men and women at the shelter.  Let the children come up with ideas as well. This gets them to think about others and what they may need and also gets them involved in the giving process. Most children are very generous and will enjoy helping others have a pleasant Christmas holiday as well.

7. Sponsor A Family

If you have the means to do this, consider sponsoring a family in need. This can be a lot of fun for the kids, especially if the family you are sponsoring has young children. Planning surprises for the young kids and the rest of the family can be a lot of fun for children.

You don’t have to go overboard when sponsoring a family.   It is recommended that you provide a Christmas dinner for the family (all the fixings so they can cook it. Just make sure they have the means to cook it otherwise your family can cook the meal for them and then bring it over.)

 Gifts should be things they need AND want but don’t go on a spending spree. A few gifts for each family member will be just fine.  Bring the items over Christmas day to surprise your sponsored family.  Make sure that each child regardless of age has the same number of gifts if at all possible and make those gifts age appropriate.

8. Family and Friend Gingerbread House Competition

family-and-friendThis can be a lot of fun, especially if plenty of notice is given that the contest exists and when it will end and be judged. Provide contestants with a deadline date and decide on the prize ahead of time.

If you want to add an element of challenge to the contest, add a specific “theme” that the contestants have to incorporate into their decorating.  Make sure to get a picture of each entrant and let them know ahead of time who will be judging the contest and when it will be judged.

Creating gingerbread houses can be a lot of fun. If you’ll be baking, give yourself plenty of time to have everything ready for the gingerbread house construction.  Also make sure you have all the supplies such as icing, gum drops, and any other candies you want for your gingerbread house.

These are just a few of the many ideas that you can do throughout the Christmas holidays.  The different activities that everyone liked can be added as traditions and the ones that weren’t that big of a hit can be replaced next year with other ideas.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving, fun and excitement.  Doing new things and having a lot of fun makes a special holiday even more magical and special for all involved.