Christmas Day Activities For Kids

Keeping Christ in Christmas is a beautiful goal but perhaps harder to do with all the demands the holidays make on our time and budget. Take a few moments to plan Christmas Day activites for the kids that will allow the real meaning to shine through your day.

5 Ways to Keep Christ In Your Christmas Day

Print Our Christmas Day Activity Planner

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#1 Start with Heart

A Reflective Opening Before Gift Opening

Hand Painted Nativity Set

As the family gathers around the tree, don't start with the presents. Take two to three minutes for a reflective opening activity.

Do one of these:

#2 Take the Emphasis off of Gifts

If we make unwrapping Christmas presents the highlight of the season, that's what the focus is going to be.

Before I had children, I had heard what other families did to take the emphasis off of gifts and we incorporated many of these ideas over the years. As the seasons have changed, and teenagers replaced children, then grandchildren joined the circle around the tree, we have continued to try new things. We want gift giving to be fun but not the most important part. Here are some ideas:

One Gift At A Time

Instead of a mad dash for the tree and a frenzy of unwrapping, have only one gift opened at a time. Kids actually see their gifts, rather than hurriedly throwing one aside and reaching for the next.

This also has the advantage that the giver can enjoy watching the receiver receive.

Some of the ways we have done this include:

#3 Giving to the Needy is Part of the Day

Voting for the Gift

Throughout the year we collect all the quarters, dimes, nickles and pennies that accumulate. On Christmas Day we have an activity where each person present (families members and guests) gets to "vote" where the money will go.

Shoe Box Projects

Many churches and organizations sponsor shoebox gift projects. While Christmas Day is too late to participate for this year (they get organized for shipping in late October or early Novemeber) it is not too soon to begin a family box (or boxes) for next year. Cereal box toys, fast food prizes, gidgets and gadgets galore can be stored for the year.

After unwrapping all of your own presents, choose a box (it can be temporary until a shoe box becomes available), put it in a designated spot, and begin today collecting items for others.

Local Ministries

Many urban centers have local ministries that reach drug addicts, women trapped in the sex-trade, felons trying to start a new life, or others in difficult situations. Pregnancy centers exist throughout the country to help expectant women.

Make Christmas Day a day your family decides what you might do through this year for a particular ministry.

We are going to give money to help with a construction project for our Capital Area Dream Center which targets vulnerable populations.

What can your family do?

Spreading The Cheer

Visit Elderly with Homemade Gifts

There are more people to share with than just the poor in third world countries. Elderly neighbors without local family, your relatives in a nursing home, older church members without kids would all enjoy a quick visit.

The story is often the same. It may seem like a burden to take time out of your oh-so-busy schedule. But it ends up being the best part of the day.

You can bring:

#4 Enjoying Your Time As A Family

The gifts are unwrapped, the meal has been consumed, and now everyone is looking at each other. Depending on the family, anything from bedlam to boredom can happen next. Planned activities can prevent either.

Christmas Craft Table

This can be a Christmas craft, but it doesn't have to be.

New Craft Ideas for Younger Kids
Crafts Ideas for Older Kids and Adults
Craft Kits Our Christmas craft table has not only led to good discussions and beautiful memories, we have had kids and guests start a new life hobby from that year's selected craft.

Board Games

If anyone got a game as a Christmas gift, this is a good day to play it. The child has the additional fun of having "their game" be the center piece of game time.

You can also gift your entire family with a new game each year.

Speaking of games, there are some quick ones you can use as time fillers. Ready to eat or to open presents and Uncle Bob is in the bathroom? Rather than having everyone waiting for him (a bit uncomfortable) have a quick filler.


Everyone shares a song.


Yes, I do know the look when people are "feeling" gift packages and they recognize the tell-tale shape of a book. Eye roll, right?

However, I have found books outlast other gifts, both in number of hours used and number of years kept. They are the unappreciated winner.

You can get a little extra mileage out of these pages by asking the receiver to share part of the book. Of course, that depenends what type of a book it is; non-fiction tends to work better than fiction.

This can be a Christmas Day activity, or can be shared at this year's end of the New Year's beginning.


An old classic or a new hit can be watched together.

PureFlix specializes in family and Christian movies. They provide a monthly subscription service with the first month free.

Other Activities

Whatever your family is into, pick one out just for your Christmas Day. Again, it can fit the theme of Christmas, a different theme, or no theme at all.

Activity times have included:

#5 Closing With Love

Farewell to Guests or Good night to Family

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