Things To Do On Christmas Day

By | December 21, 2012


Christmas is the day where anticipation meets reality. The day where we come to realize that maybe the anticipation was better than the actual reality.


Well, it’s fun to bake and plan and prepare. To dream of that magical day where secrets are revealed, presents opened, goodies consumed. And yet, when it comes down to it, there is a deflating effect that takes place once all the presents have been unwrapped, and the cinnamon rolls are gone.

What next?

Some people go into hibernation. Take a nap, or veg out on the couch with movies all day. Some people veg out at the theaters and catch a Christmas day flick. I actually really like doing that, but this year I want to have a game plan that involves being ACTIVE on Christmas day.

Here is a list of activities you can do with your family that will hopefully create fun memories and meaningful traditions. Things to do after you open presents…

activities to do after Christmas

1.) Take a hike. If the weather is tolerable, pack up the whole gang and head somewhere hike-able. It doesn’t have to be a mountain–maybe just a hill. Live in the city? Well then, take a walk. Getting outside and taking on a challenge will feel good. Remember that whole thing about endorphins making you happy?

Yah, everyone will be happier for it. And then you can eat more. Win win.

2.) Play flag football. Again, totally depends on the weather but why not head to the park and get the whole family involved in a fun game of football?

3.) Play in the snow. Alright, for those of you lucky ducks who get to have a white Christmas–sigh. Please know that we Californians are jealous of you. Especially (maybe only) at this time of year when goshdangit it needs to be snowy! Do us a favor, will ya?

  • Make a snowman on Christmas day.
  • Go sledding.
  • Have a snowball fight.
  • And yes, afterwards you can go cozy up to your fire and roast chestnuts, cause you’re so darn picaresque.

Do you sense the jealousy here?

4.) Ice Blocking. For those of us who don’t have a snowy slope–make one! You have to go grab a few ice blocks from the grocery store (sold by the…uh, ice). Wear warm clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Now, here’s the important part: you need to find a slope. Preferably grassy and/or covered in leaves.

Go to the top of the hill. Sit on the ice block. Slide down. OMG! So much fun!! We used to do this in college at night and it was always a blast. You can lay on your belly or get a chain and then everyone kind of flies all over the place. It’s way fun ????

5.) Play a game.

For younger kids learning how to read this is a really fun game that always has them begging for another round.

For kids a bit older try Exploding Kittens. No, don’t go blow up kittens–play this game:

And for the adults, one of my personal favorites is Cards Against Humanity. I would advise that you don’t play this around children ????

Beyond your regular board game, here are a few other games to get the whole family involved.

  • Spoons. This game can be a lot more physical than just a card game if you set the spoons across the room and have to race to them!
  • B.S. or “Doubt It.” This game is so much fun. It’s all about trickery and reading people. Instructions here.
  • Sock wrestle. This is a fun one for all ages–trust me. You need to clear a wide space, take off shoes, and match two people. The object of the game is get the other person’s socks off. It’s pretty dang hilarious–you should totally film it.

6.) Put on a show. Think of this activity in terms of future blackmail/awesome home videos. All you need are a few willing souls and a video camera.

  • Have the whole family reenact the Nativity while someone reads the story from the Bible. If you think about it, this could be both really special and really fun. Let some of the little kids be different animals, a little girl be Mary. Have grandma be an angel, and grandpa be a shepherd. You can either make this really intricate and elaborate, or simple and easy. The idea is to get everyone involved by playing in the story.
  • Have someone play the guitar or piano and lead the family in Christmas carols and hymns.
  • Play Christmas charades and film it! Don’t know what Christmas charades are? Here is a huge list of Christmas Charades Words to get you started! {Hint: You could make this into a really funny video with some basic editing!}

7.) Christmas Photo Booth. How fun would it be to get pictures with grandma and grandpa goofing off? Paper a wall with wrapping paper, or hang up a festive curtain. You can print off some PDFs right here and then cut them out for props.

Things To Do On Christmas Day

Get creative! If you need some funny photo ideas check out my Christmas Photography Bucket List for inspiration.

8.) Connect with long-distance family and friends. Set up a Skype date or a Google hangout with relatives and friends you cannot be with on Christmas. Schedule it in advance, maybe during dessert, or after everyone’s opened gifts. Just because they’re not physically there doesn’t mean they can’t virtually be there. I love technology so much.

9.) Go do some random acts of kindness. Have your kids make some cards and take $30 (or more) worth of quarters to a laundry mat. Fill up the slots and leave the cards on the machines. This is something we plan to do this year on Christmas Eve.

10.) Burn the tree! Wait, what? Last year we started our new favorite after Christmas tradition: tree burning. We take it to the fire pit at the beach and say farewell to Christmas. This year my tree is already so dead that I’m ready to burn it now…but I’ll wait until after Christmas ????

There you have it! Enough activities to make this Christmas a smashing fun day! Finish off the season right.

Ten years down the road you won’t remember what everyone got for Christmas this year. But you will certainly remember watching your four-year-old daughter play Mary, and your grandpa dressed like a shepherd. You’ll remember your brothers and uncles sock wrestling, and your mom flying down a hill on an ice block. You’ll remember spending time with those relatives in Texas, even though they couldn’t physically be there. You will have a wonderful collection of photos of your family having FUN together.

What activities do you like to do on Christmas and what are your plans for this year? I would love to hear your thoughts!

P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a really great activity for Christmas Eve.

11 thoughts on “Things To Do On Christmas Day

  1. Britton

    These are some wonderful ideas! I love the idea of the “B.S. or doubt it” game. Spoons is one of my favorites!

  2. candotche

    So I’m just now catching up on blogs. I loved that little excursion…were we looking for deer? I just remember we getting lots of cool pics, well you go got cool pics. I wished we were together more on Christmas, there is just NEVER enough time. LOVE!

  3. Ana @ MommysBundle

    Great ideas! I especially like the creativity behind #5! Happy Holidays – visiting from SITS! Hope you will check out my post

  4. Sheila Skillingstead

    Love the ideas. We usually do board games like Catan, Carcassonne, and Ticket to ride. Enjoy your Christmas.

  5. Chris Carter

    What fun ideas!!!! I just might go for some of them! It’s so true…after the excitement of Christmas morn, there is that “let down” and all I end of doing is cleaning up all the mess and cooking the next big meal- and there goes the day. Love this whole series! SO funny and also SO fun! ????

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  8. Kelley

    This was great!! I especially love the recommendation to play Spoons. I love that game!

  9. candotche

    So I’m just now catching up on blogs. I loved that little excursion…were we looking for deer? I just remember we getting lots of cool pics, well you go got cool pics. I wished we were together more on Christmas, there is just NEVER enough time. LOVE!


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