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40 Fun Christmas Activities to Do for a Fun Holiday Season

Make the most of the season by organizing these fun-filled Christmas activities. There's a little something for everyone!

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Family baking gingerbread house for Christmas with sweets, daughter putting icing on father's noseWestend61/Getty Images

Make the most of the holidays by doing these fun Christmas activities

Christmas is referred to as the most wonderful time of the year for a reason. People love participating in Christmas traditions and Christmas activities with their favorite people as they count down the days to the big holiday. It seems like there’s so much to do and so little time during the holidays, though; how do you narrow down the list of things to do?

We get that you’re busy with holiday shopping, cooking, baking, and probably a thousand other things as you prepare for Christmas. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best Christmas activities to do this holidays season. These activities incorporate fun Christmas themes, and the best part is that you can do them whenever you please; during the week, on weekends, and even on Christmas Eve. Bookmark this list and use it to plan a season full of festive fun!

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Festive Snowman Accessoriesvia

Make a festive snowman

Make Frosty the Snowman festive! Make a snowman with your family and dress it up for the holidays, complete with a hat, scarf, and pipe.

Shop Snowman Kit

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Christmas homemade gingerbread cookieshaveseen/Getty Images

Bake Christmas cookies

Is it really the holidays if you don’t bake some delicious treats? This is a classic Christmas activity everyone in the family can participate in. Bonus points if you use fun Christmas-themed cookie cutters. Cookies can even be a great gift for her or gift for him if they have a sweet tooth.

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making diy christmas ornamentsIordache Laurentiu/Getty Images

Make Christmas ornaments

Making DIY Christmas ornaments is a great way to get everyone together for a fun, craft-filled day.

Shop Ornaments

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young woman reading and drinking tea with dog by Christmas treeCavan Images/Getty Images

Read a Christmas book (or two)

‘Tis the season to get your hands on a few great Christmas books and get lost in merry words. Don’t forget to grab a children’s Christmas book to read to the little ones in your life.

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Happy couple listening to christmas musicBrothers91/Getty Images

Listen to Christmas music

One of the fundamental Christmas activities to do is listen to holiday tunes. Create a playlist with the best Christmas songs, stream it on your favorite device (like an Amazon Echo Dot), and let the sound of cheer fill your home.

Shop Echo Dot

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group of friends ice skating in the wintersvetikd/Getty Images

Go ice skating

This is a great winter activity to do with loved ones. Go to a local rink and show off your skating skills, or learn to skate if you’ve never done it before.

Shop Ice Skates

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Students bowing on high school stageHill Street Studios/Getty Images

See a Christmas play

Check if your local theatre company is putting on a Christmas play, like The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, and take the family to see it. You’ll create fun memories with your family and support a community group all at once.

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Two girls building a Gingerbread HouseCavan Images/Getty Images

Make a gingerbread house

Grab a gingerbread house kit and have your loved ones help you build it. Talk about festive and fun!

Shop Gingerbread House Kit

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Christmas lights on a homeejs9/Getty Images

See Christmas light displays

Drive around town and marvel at the lovely outdoor displays residents put up (and don’t forget to stock up on your own outdoor Christmas lights for the holidays).

Shop Christmas Lights

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group of friends at a ugly sweater christmas partyRyanJLane/Getty Images

Host an ugly sweater party

One of the most fun Christmas activities to do is host a party where everyone must wear an ugly sweater. The uglier, the better.

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Preparing Eggnog for ChristmasGMVozd/Getty Images

Make eggnog

Make this classic Christmas beverage from scratch this year and add your own twist to it. It’s sure to be a hit at holiday parties!

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young woman volunteering and collecting donationsmixetto/Getty Images

Volunteer in your community

One of the most rewarding Christmas activities is volunteering, which allows you to give back to your community. Reach out to homeless shelters, animal shelters, churches, and other local organizations to see how you can help this holiday season.

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Two young woman watching christmas moviessupersizer/Getty Images

Have a Christmas movie marathon

Make family movie night festive by streaming all the best Christmas movies. Grab the popcorn, snuggle up on the couch with a warm throw blanket, and enjoy.

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Playing a Modern Guessing Game at ChristmasSolStock/Getty Images

Host a Christmas game night

Invite your friends and family over for a holiday-themed game night this year. All you need are some fun Christmas games (don’t forget Christmas bingo) and great company to create a memorable festive game night. Don’t worry, you can include some classic board games, too!

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Christmas Shopping with two young womenmanonallard/Getty Images

Do a random act of kindness

Celebrate the season of giving by doing a random act of kindness for someone. The smallest kind act can make all the difference to someone, especially around the holidays. It can be something as simple as paying for someone’s coffee or complimenting someone on the street.

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making christmas cards for friends and familyPhotoboyko/Getty Images

Send Christmas cards

Let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them during the holidays by sending them a lovely Christmas card. This can be a family Christmas card, a printed Christmas card, or a card you made by hand. Take the time to write a meaningful Christmas message in each card before sending them off to friends and family.

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friends and family at a christmas party at homeBurke/Triolo Productions/Getty Images

Host a Christmas party

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas party? Pick a theme, gather some fun party games, break out the festive decor, and let the fun begin. Don’t forget to throw favors like fun Christmas glasses into the mix—everyone will want to take pictures with them on!

Shop Christmas Glasses

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Christmas Patchwork Red Star Block Fragment of Quilt, Sewing Accessories, Space for text on Green Backgroundoxygen/Getty Images

Make a Christmas quilt

If you know your way around a sewing needle, a great Christmas activity to do is to create a lovely Christmas quilt. You can keep it for yourself or give it to a loved one as a gift.

Get Christmas Quilt Pattern

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Chef leading cooking class at stove in commercial kitchenThomas Barwick/Getty Images

Cook a Christmas meal from another country

Cooking a Christmas meal that’s popular in another country is a great way to learn about other cultures (and get your family to try a new dish).

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making a christmas wreathmediaphotos/Getty Images

Make a Christmas wreath

DIY Christmas decorations are a blast to make, and one of the best ones to make is a festive Christmas wreath. Make it with ornaments, ribbon, glitter, or all of the above.

Shop Jingle Bell Wreath Kit

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family going for a christmas hike SolStock/Getty Images

Go on a Christmas hike

After you’re done opening Christmas presents, take the family on a nice hike on Christmas (weather permitting, of course). It’ll get your family out of the house on Christmas and help you work up an appetite for dinner.

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family wearing christmas pajamas at homeSolStock/Getty Images

Have a Christmas pajama night

Break out the holiday jammies for a festive (and fun) night in with the family. Eat snacks, build forts, and make lovely memories.

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group of people singing christmas carolsMarcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/Getty Images

Go Christmas caroling

Use your pipes to sing some classic Christmas carols around the neighborhood this year. Get a group together to spread the holiday cheer in harmony!

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young child making christmas craftsyulkapopkova/Getty Images

Host a Christmas craft night

Christmas is a great time of year to get crafty. Gather some craft ideas for adults and kids and host a fun Christmas craft night. The craft possibilities are endless, so bring any idea you’ve got to the table.

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Kids tobogganing on ChristmasImgorthand/Getty Images

Go sledding

This is a perfect Christmas activity if you live in a snowy area. You’ll have a blast zipping down the snowy hills and laughing with the ones you love most.

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Scottish Christmas ParadeRichard T. Nowitz/Getty Images

Go to a Christmas parade

See if your town is putting on a Christmas parade and, if so, take the whole family to it. It’s a fun way to see the community come together for the holidays, plus you’ll get to see the wonderfully decorated floats.

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friends having a white elephant gift exchange partySolStock/Getty Images

Organize a White Elephant gift exchange

This is a really fun Christmas activity to organize. Get your family and friends together for a White Elephant gift exchange, where the name of the game is to “steal” gifts strategically. Everyone will have a blast and walk away with something new—a real holiday win-win.

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Christmas tree and decorations in living roomJohn Fedele/Getty Images

Have a Christmas scavenger hunt

Hide Christmas-themed clues around the house that lead to something special, like a small gift or sweet treat.

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family posing for Christmas photographDon Mason/Getty Images

Have a Christmas photoshoot

Capture precious Christmas memories by having a photoshoot with your family. Plus, you’ll have plenty of photos to choose from for your family Christmas card.

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Get a picture with Santa

Head to your local mall and have the kids get a couple of pictures with St. Nick himself. Your kids will be excited to meet Santa and you’ll get some great pictures to use for the Christmas card.

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Las Vegas Great Santa RunVW Pics/Getty Images

Participate in a Christmas-themed race

Many areas put on Christmas-themed 5Ks and other races. If you’re looking for Christmas activities that help you stay active, this is definitely one to consider doing this year.

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Miniature Christmas DisplaysRika Rahayu / EyeEm/Getty Images

Set up a Christmas village

Have some fun with your holiday decor and set up a small Christmas village in your home. You could even add some magic to it by making up a fun Christmas story about the village for your kids.

Shop Christmas Village

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three girls drinking hot cocoa while having a christmas slumber partysvetikd/Getty Images

Have a Christmas-themed slumber party

The night before Christmas Eve, have a slumber party in the living room to capture the Christmas magic. You can stay up telling Christmas stories, drinking hot cocoa, and eventually fall asleep in a cozy fort or even under the Christmas tree.

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toys in a box for christmas toy driveCatLane/Getty Images

Donate to a toy drive

While you’re Christmas shopping, buy a couple of extra toys to donate to a local toy drive. Have the kids help wrap them up and drop them off so they see the impact giving back has on the community.

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Mother and daughter looking at photo album near Christmas treeTony Anderson/Getty Images

Share Christmas memories

This is a great activity to do on Christmas Eve. Gather with your loved ones and tell stories of Christmas’s past, detailing your favorite memories with your favorite people.

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making a christmas scrapbookCarol Yepes/Getty Images

Start a Christmas scrapbook

Start recording your favorite Christmas memories in a festive scrapbook so you can relive the memories down the road. This also makes a great Christmas gift for everyone in the family (especially mom and dad).

Shop Christmas Scrapbook

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Family enjoying Christmas together on the beachAlistair Berg/Getty Images

Take a Christmas trip

Have you always wanted to travel somewhere around Christmas? This year, take the leap and plan that special Christmas trip (and use these holiday travel tips to help everything go smoothly). Need some destination ideas? Check out these best Christmas towns in America and ideas for a great Christmas getaway.

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writing a christmas letter by the christmas treeRichLegg/Getty Images

Write letters for future Christmases

Create something fun for your future self by writing a letter for future you to open on Christmas. Fill it with whatever you want, whether it be advice, predictions, wishes for the future, or all of the above.

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father and son making popcorn garlandJose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Make popcorn garland

Get to popping! This is a fun Christmas activity to do with the whole family. The best part? You can snack as you work.

Shop Popcorn

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snowman inflatables outside of house during winterJamesBrey/Getty Images

Put up fun Christmas inflatables

Have your loved ones help you decorate the yard with fun and festive Christmas inflatables. Go with classic inflatables like a snowman or Santa, or get a little silly and put a Christmas-themed dinosaur on the lawn.

Shop Christmas Inflatables

Kelly Kuehn
Kelly Kuehn is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest covering entertainment, trivia and history. When she’s not writing you can find her watching the latest and greatest movies, listening to a true crime podcast (or two), blasting ‘90s music and hiking with her dog, Ryker, throughout the Finger Lakes.