As you know, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Like us, though, you probably feel pressure to offer youth group activities that keep pace with the season’s awesomeness. Here are more Christmas ideas than you can possibly use!
Here are 18 favorite Christmas ideas we’ve collected over the years:
- Youth Group Elf on the Shelf—Dress up a mannequin (or volunteer) as an elf and replicate creative Elf on the Shelf poses in the youth room. Take lots of funny photos in advance and post them throughout December.
- Plastic Unwrap—Wrap a bunch of inexpensive prizes in a big ball of plastic wrap. (Limit lengths to a few feet.) Form a big circle and have one person start unwrapping while another rolls some dice. As soon as they roll a pair, they steal the ball and pass the dice to the next person, who repeats this process until the gift is fully unwrapped—that person gets to keep it.
- Random Acts of Cookies—Give teenagers each a tube of dough. Challenge them to bake cookies at home and give them away to a neighbor or friend.
- Nutty Nutcracker—Have the youth staff and volunteers dress up and “perform” a scene from the famous ballet. Our instructions: “Overdo it until we tell you to dial it back.”
- Christmas Videos—Studio C has lots of funny, clean Christmas videos on YouTube. Our favorite is “Uncomfortable Christmas Family Traditions.”
- Christmas Trivia—Search online for seasonal trivia, drop it into a PowerPoint presentation, and test kids’ knowledge.
- Christmas Minute to Win It—The website Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids offers a great list of Christmas-themed Minute to Win It games.
- After-Christmas Party—Because December gets so busy, move the youth group Christmas party to after the 25th. Wear ugly sweaters and play a fierce game of Dirty Santa.
- Christmas Cuisine—Have eating contests involving fruit cake, eggnog, Buddy the Elf spaghetti, and so on.
- Lyric Challenge—For this super simple game, select a volunteer and start playing a Christmas carol. When the music stops, he or she must belt out the rest of the lyrics. Kids can’t just speak the words; they must sing aloud for all to hear.
- Carol Confusion—Put headphones on a teenager. Play a fun Christmas song really loudly, and encourage the listener to sing along. Hilarious moments will ensue, so be sure to film this game!
- Festive Flash Mob—Ask an outgoing student to coordinate a Christmas flash mob, film it, and post it on social media.
- Seasonal Scavenger Hunt—Use creativity and humor for this idea, which you can try during youth group or send home as a family activity.
- Christmas Light Lookout—Make a list of silly categories and themes, then invite small groups to take pictures of various light displays. Afterward, meet at a home or the youth room to review the photos and enjoy hot chocolate.
- Merry Movie Night—Elf is a perennial favorite. Recently we added the two Prep & Landing short films.
- Christmas Quotes—Find or make a list of quotable lines from Christmas movies and turn them into a name-that-movie game (“Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”).
- Box-Office Bethlehem—Create a message series using illustrations from Christmas movie clips.
- Year in Review—Make a Flipagram-style video of your youth group pictures from 2017 (camp, retreats, mission projects, and so on). If you have the resources, create small books to give to group members as gifts.
Avoid Christmas Grinch face and enjoy this special season with teenagers. When you make space for fun and stay focused on the Gift of Jesus, the comfort and joy of Christmas will warm all hearts.