Christmas Traditions
 (secular and other)

A few fun Christmas party games

Christmas Crash - We have started a new tradition that we love. Two days before Christmas (or the Saturday night before, the entire family sleeps by the Christmas tree. We have a special Christmas box (which was purchased at a discount store) filled with activities (yo-yo's, card games, mini flashlights, etc), which the kids find through a treasure hunt. We spend the night playing the activities to the lights of the Christmas tree.

The Christmas Store -  Throughout the holiday season, the children get tickets for doing extra chores or service around the house. A few nights before Christmas the "Christmas Store" opens. While one child stands outside (or is wrapping their gifts) the others enter the store and can buy (with their tickets) gifts for the person outside (the small gifts can be collected by the parents through out the year). Then those items are put away and the presents for the next child are put out. You can also have a gift wrapping room set up. Save the unused gifts for birthdays, etc. Here are two different sets of tickets you can choose from. They work best if printed on cardstock. CHRISTMAS TICKETS, ELF DOLLARS

Christmas Elf - We have a Christmas Elf. He appears on the first day of Christmas and leaves on Christmas Eve. He watches the children to see if they are being good. He doesn't talk, he just listens and then on Christmas Eve he leaves to go tell Santa how good the children have been. He is in a different place every morning. The kids are so excited to find him every morning to see where he is sitting for the day. - Heather Loverde

Christmas Journal - When we pull out the Christmas decorations Thanksgiving night, out comes the Christmas Journal. I purchased my beautiful journal at a Gift store. Every year I plan on letting the kids write the things they did that year. What they gave and recieved. I can keep track events for that year and the kids will remember their Christmas experiences better. I think everyone should have a Christmas Journal." "Carlie" "Bainbridge"

Dollar Gift - If you have a lot of children, you will like this idea. We draw names, even mom and dad do. Then everyone is given one dollar to spend on that person. We usually visit the dollar stores, it is fun to see what everyone can get for a dollar. - Michelle Simmons

Christmas Eve Ornaments - On Christmas eve my children get to open their Christmas eve ornaments. This is something inexpensive and they love to see their ornaments on the tree every year. I try to put their name/dates on them. When my children grow up they will have a special collection of ornaments to start decorating their own tree with their new families. Carlie Bainbridge

Christmas Caroling - Christmas Caroling can be a bit intimidating. But the more people you invite, the less intimidating and more fun it is. We usually carol every year. Sometimes to visiting and home teaching families, convalescent homes, or just our neighbors. We often times just use the Christmas songs out of the hymn book, or words can be found at or at many other web sites.

Reindeer Food - Every Christmas Eve we make "Reindeer food" Oatmeal and silver or colored glitter (gold doesn't really show). Then we sprinkle it around the lawn so the reindeer have something to eat while Santa is delivering their presents. The reindeer really like it. (The birds do too). (contributed by Kim Foster)

A Small Gift - Every Christmas Eve dinner, by the children's plates, is a small gift, the one they receive from us (instead of Santa) which they can open after dinner. It is always an ornament. They then have their own to decorate the tree with each year and someday, when they have their own home, they will have some ornaments for their own tree.

Christmas Eve Slumber - We always slept in the same room on Christmas Eve. All the brothers and sisters in one room. We would get out the sleeping bags, it was hard going to sleep but was always so much fun.

Christmas Eve Party - Every Christmas Eve morning my mom would have a kids party. We would invite all the kids from the neighborhood. We would eat sugar cookies and at the end we would have a piñata at the end. Instead of candy she would put little toys and wrapped surprises in it. -  Christine Jensen

The Twelve Days of Christmas - there are many ways to give the twelve days of Christmas to someone. Check here for some ideas.

Another Twelve Days of Christmas Idea - We as a family enjoy doing the 12 Days of Christmas for a family that may be new to the ward. We come up with ideas for the 12 Days and then have someone deliver the package each night, with a cute poem. We do this in secret and then on the last day we introduce ourselves to the family. Another idea is to purchase a Manger Set and each night give one piece of the set until the last night give the Baby Jesus. This is a great idea and is fun for children of all ages. - Cammi Higley

Christmas Eve P.J.s - We let the children open their first gift Christmas Eve. It is always pajama's, that way they look great for Christmas morning.  - Carol Blair

Hide a Pickle - Hide a pickle in the tree Christmas morning before the children wake up. The first child to find it after the presents are opened, gets an extra gift. (there are pickle ornaments too, if you don't want to put a real pickle on the tree) -  Skip Blair

Christmas Calendar - Make a Christmas calendar to count down the days until Christmas. put a special activity on every day 'til Christmas, like: Stay up an hour longer, make Christmas cards, look at lights, etc,) (Contributed by Skip Blair)

Kid's Party - After school gets out, before Christmas, the  my girls like to have a Christmas Party with their friends. They decorate cookies and and play games. I let them organize it. Everyone brings an ornament to exchange. Over the years our girls have enjoyed each ornament. They have become very special reminders of special friends. -  Caryn Stapp

Santa’s Bag - We have always had tons of fun observing the evidence of what Santa left behind on Christmas morning. Santa usually comes in the middle of the night and leaves ash footprints by the fireplace and has taken a few bites of cookie. Cotton is left on the cookie (Santa’s beard). Milk is only half gone. Reindeer apples are gone. Santa has left one or two of his very large bags from his sleigh near the fireplace. Stocking are stuffed and left nearby. Our dad has the pleasure of opening the great Santa Bags. He makes a big deal out of each gift and all of us are able to enjoy them and the joy they bring the receiver. –Caryn Stapp

Table Ornament - On Christmas morning, our breakfast table is always set before the children wake. Each setting has a beautifully wrapped gift. This is always the last gift opened, after breakfast. This years ornament! --Caryn Stapp

Decorating the Tree - Every year when we decorate the tree we put on "The Nutcracker" CD. It makes the evening festive.

Fanfare for Gifts - Daddy is always the ""gift hand-outer"" on Christmas morning. Each gift is presented with much fanfare! - Kari Pollock

Present Opening - My parents let me and my sister each open 2 presents on Christmas Eve. One from them and one from each other.

Gift Exchange Party -We have a barbeque on the 4th of July where the children draw the names of one of their cousins that they will exchange gifts with for Christmas. We have a Christmas party where those gifts are exchange. Everyone brings enough of one dish to share with the family. Every year, another brother or sister takes his/her turn throwing the party.  - Rachel Petersen

Santa's Prints - Use flour to make footprints from the fireplace to the Christmas tree for Christmas morning. - Lynette Schetzlaar.

Elf P.J.'s - Have the elves leave pajamas under the kids pillows, so they can march out in new pajamas for Christmas morning - Lynette Schetzlaar



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