Need some memory-making Christmas ideas for teens? Our 12 Days of Christmas Fun Ideas for Teenagers guide will have your family spending tons of quality time together this season!
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As my kids are getting older, it is becoming more and more apparent just how short our time with them living in our home really is, and I want to make the most of it! So, this year, we are going to be very intentional about making holiday memories with our teenagers.
After doing a little brainstorming and talking to my kids about Christmas traditions that are special to them, I put together this 12 Days of Christmas Fun with Teens calendar to help us remember to focus on family togetherness and memory-making this year.
You can download and print the calendar below. Put it on the fridge so everyone will know when to set aside time for Christmas fun!
On the 1st day of Christmas fun…
Design your own ugly Christmas sweater!
You’ll want to do this first, so you can wear it for all of your other fun Christmas activities throughout the season!
You can use an old Christmas sweater and add your own flair with ribbons, bows, Christmas ornaments, or other accessories. Get that glue gun warmed up!
Another good option is to purchase plain sweatshirts and use fabric paint to create a brand new design! Of course, your sweater doesn’t have to be ugly-just let your creativity shine!
Don’t forget to make fun hats, headbands, jewelry, and pet outfits to go along with your original Christmas sweater!
On the 2nd day of Christmas fun…
Draw names for Secret Santa with your family!
You can choose the best way to do this to fit your family. You might want to do small gifts once a week, coupons for kind deeds, or just do something nice for each other. The point is for everyone to focus on making the season special for another member of the family.
Not only will Secret Santa give all family members a chance to receive a little something extra, but it might also forge some deeper connections. Take some time to make up some little forms with categories like favorite candy, least favorite chore, etc. to use when drawing names.
Secret Santa was a huge hit for our family last year! We’re going to make it a yearly tradition!
On the 3rd day of Christmas fun…
Write a new Christmas song and record it to share with others!
Depending on your family’s level of musicality, you might write a brand new Christmas song or just make up some fun new words for an old classic. We are a family of musicians and songwriters, so I’m hoping we can come up with a new one that will become a family favorite!
If you have the equipment, go ahead and go all out on the recording! If you don’t, a cell phone recording will do just fine for sharing with family and friends on social media. (Just make sure you don’t overstep onto a copyright of an existing song.)
If you’re more confident as a poet or storyteller, write your own poem or story instead! You could do a personalized version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
On the 4th day of Christmas fun…
Make Christmas care packages!
Care packages are a great way to connect with others and help your family focus on those who may be less fortunate. Nursing and long-term care facilities, military bases, homeless shelters, and pet shelters are just a few ideas of places that you can contact to find people who would benefit from your gifts. They can probably give you ideas on items to include in your care packages as well.
On the 5th day of Christmas fun…
Build gingerbread houses!
Teenagers are not too old to enjoy some classic Christmas activities! In fact, they’ll probably like it more than they’ll admit. Take it up a notch and bake your own gingerbread or build a village instead of just a house. The ready-made kits will work just fine. too.
And a little friendly competition never hurts. Put your finished products on social media and have your friends vote on their favorite!
On the 6th day of Christmas fun…
Make Christmas decorations!
Personalized Christmas tree ornaments are always fun! And wreaths are really easier to make than you might think.
Another fun idea is to paint Christmas scenes on canvas. Take a look at YouTube for tutorials!
On the 7th day of Christmas fun…
Make a Christmas video!
Your friends and family would love to get a Christmas video from your crew! This can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like it to be! Maybe you’ll want to do a life update or holiday greeting.
If you want to add a little more fun to your video, here are some ideas that are sure to help you create some memorable moments:
-Put together costumes (a.k.a. sheets, towels, etc.) and act out the Nativity story.
-Recreate a scene from your favorite Christmas movie.
-Ballet anyone? Take on the challenge of The Nutcracker.
-Do your own version of A Christmas Carol or another well-known story.
On the 8th day of Christmas fun…
Bake Christmas cookies!
Another classic Christmas tradition…but your teens will love it! This is one you can elevate a bit with a competition, if you’d like to, as well. See who can find the best cookie recipe, try different decorating methods, etc.
You can also do an online cookie challenge with your friends! Post your favorites and call out friends to post their own cookie creations.
On the 9th day of Christmas fun…
Have an old-fashioned Christmas!
Make popcorn balls or string popcorn and cranberries to make garland for your tree. There are also some great garland ideas out there with dried oranges and cinnamon that will make your house smell divine!
One of my favorite Christmas memories from when I was a kid was making old-fashioned Christmas candy at Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. Divinity and chocolate peanut butter balls were my favorites! I’ve added chocolate mint patties to that list in recent years!
On the 10th day of Christmas fun…
Have a Christmas Game Night!
Play a gift exchange game with items that you already own, dollar store items, etc. I’ve heard this called by many names (White Elephant, Chinese Christmas, Dirty Santa), but no matter what you call it, it’s tons of fun!
You could also play Fish Bowl with a Christmas theme, try to wrap presents while wearing oven mitts, have a snowman-building race (by wrapping family members with toilet paper), or play Christmas-themed Minute-To-Win-It games.
On the 11th day of Christmas fun…
Go Christmas caroling!
Print out some booklets with Christmas carol lyrics, make some homemade cocoa or hot apple cider to take along, and go serenade your neighbors with festive holiday tunes!
Every time we’ve done this, people are so excited to have carolers come by! It’s just really not that common anymore, so it’s a special treat for all!
On the 12th day of Christmas fun…
Go see Christmas lights!
Nothing beats loading up in the car and driving around to look at Christmas lights! Whether it’s a neighborhood display, a local park that’s all lit up, or just driving around town to see what you can find, Christmas lights are always a favorite!
Of course, if you’re really serious about Christmas lights, you could also create your own display. Team up with the neighbors to create a competition or put your neighborhood on the map as a Christmas light destination!
12 days of Christmas fun and memories to last a lifetime!
These past couple of years have been challenging for all of us. I hope our 12 Days of Christmas Fun Ideas for Teenagers gives your family an opportunity to start some new traditions, make the most of old favorites, and create memories to last a lifetime!
These are great ideas! I am in a house with three teenage boys and we have no places to go – we gotta keep the Christmas spirit alive!
I hope you guys create some great memories this year!
These are great ideas! Four of my six grandkids are in their teens and preteens. They love doing these kinds of activities. One my son did last night with his wife and three teens was to go to their downtown area where they had gorgeous light displays set up. They did family Christmas photos and each child took selfies for their social media accounts. They all loved it.
Sounds like they made some great memories! Love that!
We sometimes do gingerbread houses; recently, I saw someone post about using Pop Tarts instead of gingerbread, so we might give that a go.
Oh, I bet that’s cute!
I love the care packages and cookie ideas!
I don’t have teenagers anymore, but my girls would have loved these ideas when they were younger.
Maybe you could get them to do one or two with you anyway if they live close by!
Looks like a great list of activities!
Suzan | It's My Sustainable Life
Such fun ways to get those teenagers (or those of any age) interacting and participating!
This gets me excited for all things holidays. It is harder to find things they’ll enjoy doing together as a family, great list.
These are great ideas! I love going to look at Christmas lights! We tend to do a huge amount of baking at Christmas, so I always try to get the kids involved in the easier recipes.
Christmas lights are one of my favorites, too!
What fun ideas! I am sure you will treasure those memories with the kids. I am in love with that marshmallow snowman floating in the hot chocolate!
Isn’t he the cutest?!
Teenagers are the best. I love all these traditions and fun things to do this season.
Family games and looking at lights are some of my favs. Lots of great ideas for each day of Christmas. That little marshmallow snowman in the hot chocolate could have his own day at my house!!
I know! I love him! We might have to add that to our list.
All great ideas! Christmas game night is my favorite! It’s so hard to please teenagers but these ideas could do the trick!
Isn’t that the truth?! Let me know how it goes with your family!
Oh my goodness this is amazing! So much fun not only for teenagers but the whole family! I can’t wait to share this with my family!
Great way to get into the holiday spirit and spend quality time with one another
Sydney Delong-Eat Simply Sweet
I am OBSESSED with these ideas!!! Now I can’t wait for my kids to grow up LOL
Ha, ha! They will be teens before you know it…it happens so fast!
Great ideas for big kids too, aka. me, an adult haha.
For sure! 🙂
My kiddos are too young for some of these, but I bet they would love to do many of these activities with their cousins. These are great ideas and I can’t wait to share them with my family.
Thanks, Sarah! I made sure to include some that would be fun for families with kids of any age. Hope you guys have fun!