100 Socially Distanced Christmas Activities For Families

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This Christmas will be unlike any other we’ve ever experienced -and most of us will be sticking close to home- but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as magical and meaningful as past holiday seasons. Today I’m sharing 100 ideas for a socially distanced Christmas season. All of these activities can be done at home or as you stay socially distanced on-the-go.

1. Put together a hot cocoa bar (complete with DIY chocolate stir spoons!) and enjoy hot cocoa together in front of the fire.

2. Make reindeer food to leave out for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. (It’s easy- just mix a bit of glitter in a small bag of oats!)

3. Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music.

4. Have a gingerbread house decorating contest between family members.

5. Make your own holiday themed bingo boards and play Bingo.

6. Have a Christmas movie marathon and watch all your family’s favorites!

7. Paint your own wooden Christmas ornaments and decorate with pompoms, sequins, or other embellishments.

8. Make a birthday cake for Jesus and throw him a birthday party. Here are 10 ideas for throwing a birthday party for Jesus.

9. Put together a “blessing” bag for another family and drop it off on their porch then ding-dong-ditch.

10. Make easy, 2-ingredient cinnamon dough ornaments.

11. Have a “wrapping” race and see who can wrap a gift the quickest.

12. Make homemade gifts for your loved ones. Some ideas include sugar scrubs, no-sew fleece blankets, or these delicious, edible gifts in a jar.

13. Set up a nativity scene. (Here’s a cute DIY on how to make a wooden peg doll nativity set.)

14. Read a Christmas book together every night.

15. Do a reverse advent calendar and put one food item in a box every day up until Christmas. At the end of the month bring the whole box of food to a food pantry.

16. Find a local drive through lights festival and visit it with your family.

17. Make a special Christmas morning breakfast. (This holiday casserole is my favorite!)

18. Sing Christmas carols together.

19. Write letters to Santa and send them to the North Pole.

20. Get out of making dinner one night and throw an appetizer party instead by offering a variety of appetizers to eat instead of a full meal. This is what we do every Christmas Eve! We have a couple dozen appetizer choices so there’s plenty of food to fill everyone up and it’s less work for mom because even younger elementary kids can help set up this special night. One of my favorite festive appetizers is this cucumber bites tree but we also love sweet meatballs, hawaiian bread with spinach dip, cheese and crackers, fruit salad, brie bites, and more.

21. Do Random Acts of Kindness as a family for neighbors, friends, or others in your community. Here’s a list of Random Acts of (Social Distancing) Kindness that I put together for the Girl Scouts’ new website.

22. String popcorn and cranberries to make garland for your Christmas tree.

23. Bake Christmas cookies and take some to your local firehouse or to an elderly neighbor.

24. Do an Advent devotional with your family. For those with young children, we love Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands ebook that includes 24 days of Scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points and extension activities, plus fun printables and templates. For adults and families with older children I love Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas.

25. Make chocolate peppermint cake pops.

26. Talk about 2020 and the blessings there have been throughout the difficult months and make DIY memory ornaments to help you remember the good of the year.

27. Make handprint Christmas art with your family handprints. (Be sure to write the year on it!)

28. Build a snowman and dress him up.

29. Send Christmas cards to friends.

30. Dress up in matching Christmas pajamas and take a photo together. (I love doing this every Christmas to see how my kids change from year to year!)

31. Read about the birth of Jesus in the Bible, or in an age-appropriate story book.

32. Make a paper chain to countdown the days to Christmas, removing a piece of the chain each day as you count down.

33. Decorate the Christmas tree with your favorite ornaments and let everyone in the family pick out a new ornament to add this year.

34. Turn some Christmas music on and have a dance party.

35. Participate in a toy drive and donate a toy to a child in need.

36. Put on a Christmas play and record it for family and friends near and far.

37. Make a holiday wreath with pieces of Christmas themed fabric. Get directions here.

38. Ask family members and friends to send you their favorite holiday sides or appetizer recipes and make them all for your family over the month of December. Have everyone vote on their favorites to pick the top one or two that you’ll make during the holidays going forward.

39. Make red and green colored playdough or cloud dough.

40. Get out all the sprinkles and frosting and let children decorate sugar cookies that’ll put them in a sugar coma. (The above picture is my son’s creation several years ago- he went a bit sprinkle crazy!)

41. Watch The Grinch and make Grinch cookies together.

42. Host an ugly Christmas sweater party over Zoom.

43. Take a walk around your neighborhood to look at the holiday displays your neigbors have set up.

44. Have children go through their toys and pick some to donate.

45. Dress up your pet for Christmas by making them a festive bandana.

46. Have a game night as you bask in the lights from your Christmas tree.

47. Put together a Christmas music playlist with everyone’s favorite songs on it.

48. Play holiday party games like pin the nose on Rudolph.

49. Hide the Christmas pickle. I share more about this holiday tradition here.

50. Decorate your house for Christmas.

51. Go to a Christmas tree farm and cut down your own Christmas tree.

52. Attend a Christmas worship service online.

53. Open an advent calendar each night to see what’s behind the doors. My boys have chocolate ones this year and Emma has this big, toddler-friendly advent calendar from Step 2.

54. Watch a holiday tv special.

55. Track Santa on Christmas Eve using the NORAD Santa Tracker.

56. Make and decorate gingerbread cookies.

57. Watch the Nutcracker ballet online.

58. Have a sleepover in the family room and cuddle together under the twinkling lights.

59. Host a Polar Express night for your family. Give each child their own bell and mug of hot cocoa before you read the book and watch the movie.

60. Have a pajamas and pancakes party with special festive pancakes.

61. Write a yearly family letter together and share about your family’s 2020. You can email the letter out to friends and family or send it out with your Christmas cards if you mail those.

62. Have a Christmas carols karaoke night singing all the Christmas classics.

63. Personalize your Christmas stockings.

64. Have a Christmas scavenger hunt around your home or outside in your neighborhood.

65. Eat candy canes and talk about what they represent.

66. Find a local Santa offering drive-thru visits or socially distant visits and see the big guy in red.

67. Make snow angels in your yard.

68. Cut out paper snowflakes and then hang them on your Christmas tree.

69. Make rice krispy treats and use Christmas themed cookie cutters to cut them into holiday shapes and then decorate them.

70. Find the biggest hill in town and go sledding.

71. Stream A Christmas Story and enjoy Chinese takeout for dinner.

72. Wrap Christmas gifts together. If you are still looking for gift ideas check out my 2020 holiday gift guide!

73. Have a painting party and have all your family members paint a Christmas scene or a snowy landscape on a canvas.

74. Play a Christmas trivia game.

75. Share the excitement of gift giving and have your kids help you put together a gift basket to gift someone. Here are some ideas: gift basket for a mommy to “bee”, baby bath time gift basket, iced tea gift basket for mom, pet adoption gift basket, and gift basket for a cancer patient.

76. Have a white elephant gift exchange with gifts found around your home or bought online for less than $10 each.

77. Put together a Christmas puzzle as a family.

78. Have your kids make one of these CHRISTmas crafts.

79. Have a cookie swap. Everyone in the group makes a dozen cookies per person, packages them up, and then leaves them on the porches of the other group members.

80. Go outside for a winter nature walk. Make DIY nature journals before you head out.

81. Do a video call with Santa.

82. Make birdfeeders to hang outside.

83. Decorate a plain white tablecloth with permanent markers so you can remember this quarantine Christmas for years to come.

84. Let children help make a bed for baby Jesus with The Giving Manger. Each time they do an act of service they get to put a piece of straw in the manger for baby Jesus to lay in on Christmas Day.

85. Play Christmas movie charades by acting out scenes from Christmas movies and see if your family members can guess which movie you are acting out.

86. Get bathtub color tablets to add to bath water and take a bath in a tub of red and green water.

87. Spongepaint brown paper to make your own wrapping paper.

88. Put up Christmas lights outside.

89. Help children think of meaningful gifts for their family members and then help them make or purchase them online.

90. Read The Night Before Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve before going to bed.

91. Learn about Christmas traditions around the world.

92. Have a candy cane hunt. You can hide candy canes inside your home or, if it’s not too cold outside, you can hide them outdoors and have a flashlight hunt in the dark to find them.

93. Make mason jar snow globes.

94. Create a nursing home care package and drop it off to a loved one in a nursing home. Make sure to add sweet letters from the kids.

95. Play the saran wrap ball game that’s been floating around Facebook.

96. Pray for friends and family members that send you and your family Christmas cards. You can do this as they are received or one per evening.

97. Create a family time capsule ornament. In a clear ornament add things -either the items themselves or the memories written on pieces of paper- that will remind your family of 2020. (Don’t forget the TP!)

98. Host a “12 days of video calls” and zoom with a different family member or friend for the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

99. Let everyone open one gift on Christmas Eve night. (Some families gift special holiday pajamas to wear to bed or a movie to watch Christmas Eve.)

100. Spend every second you can just enjoying time with your family whatever you choose to do. The memories made during the Christmas season will last a lifetime.

What does your family enjoy doing during the Christmas season? I’d love to hear about it so chat with me on social!