Most groups have a "Christmas theme" night at some stage towards the end of the year, so we thought we'd build up a list of ideas if you're having a Christmas night:
Here's a couple of ideas to get things started...
- Community Service - Christmas is an ideal time to do something for the community. Imagine the impact if you setup a free gift wrapping service at your local shopping center. No catches, just a service for people and a way to interact with your local community. Or what about helping at a Soup Kitchen? An important message to communicate to your young people is that this service shouldn't just be at Christmas time but all year round
- Christmas trivia night - you'd be amazed about what people assume is fact in relation to Jesus's birth (for example, how many wise men were there!?)
- Christmas Carol Charades - split your group into teams of 4 people. One person from each team member goes into the next room to receive the name of a Christmas Carol - they must then race back into the room and "act it out" to their team - with the first team to guess the carol the winner. Here are some carols which work well - 12 days of Christmas, Jingle Bells, I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, Little Drummer Boy, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Silent Night).
Variations include humming the Christmas Carol until the group guesses, drawing it (aka Pictionary)
- Christmas Card Blow - line up a whole heap of Christmas cards. To complete the relay, each person using only their breath needs to blow over every card. The next person quickly stands them up again and the following person goes until everyone has had a turn.
When the game finishes, an optional extra activity is to fill in the cards and send them to people who may appreciate it.
- Christmas Caroling - get the whole youth group together and go around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols to people. If you really want to make this night a highlight, go to a nursing home and sing some carols to some old people - they love it! :)
- Shoe boxes - Samaritan's purse have a fantastic program where you can prepare shoe boxes full of gifts for kids. They collect the boxes and distribute them to communities that don't have the luxury of being able to celebrate Christmas in this way.
- End of year Formal - a great way to finish the year is to have a Formal Dinner
- Serve the leaders dinner - this is a great way to recognize your volunteer leaders at the end of a long year.
- Kris Kringle - everyone must bring along a gift up to a specific value (ie. $10). Put them all under a tree and have Santa Claus randomly hand them out
- Pass the parcel - Christmas is a time of giving but instead of handing out gifts in the traditional sense, turn it into a game of Pass the parcel.
- Make Christmas Cards - this requires a good supply of stationary, colored cardboard, cotton wool balls, etc. Have your group spend 60 minutes making some Christmas cards. You can then either sell these as a fundraiser, or write in them and send them to people who would appreciate a Christmas greeting!
- Wrap up a Youth Leader - this can be very funny. Divide into two groups (or more depending on your group size). Provide each group with wrapping paper, tape and a leader! The goal is to wrap the youth group leader up in wrapping paper - you can leave their face exposed. Whoever finishes first is the winner. A tip for the leaders - you need to stay very still!
- Photos with Santa - if you have a charismatic Youth Leader, dress them up as Santa Claus, setup a camera, and let people sit on his knee and have photos. Wont' work for all groups, but definitely gets a few laughs!
What does your group do at Christmas?
There's some great ideas that have been shared in the comments below.
Feel free to add your ideas.... and have a Merry Christmas!