10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

6 Easy and Fun Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

By Rachel Tiemeyer

The Christmas spirit doesn’t have to stop after December 25! Here are a few easy ideas to do with family throughout the Christmas break, especially at gatherings.

1. Make a birthday cake for Jesus at Christmas.

Here is our go-to Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from Ina Garten. We make it every Christmas. We call this our Jesus cake, because we use this to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  The kids get SO excited to sing “Happy Birthday” to him, blow out the candles, and partake of this once-a-year cake. The coffee used in the cake mix and icing enhances the chocolate and provides a richness of flavor you’ll never find in a Pillsbury box. Warning: This is usually takes me about two hours to make from start to finish…but is worth it!

jesus' birthday cake

2. Read Christmas books together.

Last year, I read Song of the Stars by Sally-Lloyd Jones (one of my favorites!) to my kids and cousins while we ate a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas night.

10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

Former Elementary teacher and Children’s Ministry Director, Rachel J, shares 10 fantastic holiday-themed read-aloud ideas in this post.

10 Holiday Books to Read with Your Kids

3. Play The Question Game.

Here’s a fun and easy get-to-know-you game for a small group of family or friends. Perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering!

The Question Game: Fun Game for Groups

4. Create and play this hilarious homemade version of “Apples to Apples”.

From pre-readers to adults, all ages will enjoy this interactive game. We always get good laughs when we play together at family gatherings.

How to Make Your Own "Apples to Apples" Game

5. Play the Rate Your Mate game.

This is a game you can play with family or friends after the kids go to bed! We have done this game for years with our small groups (Bible study groups). My cheeks always cramp up from laughing so much.

Christmas Game for Couples

6. Make On-the-Go Bags for the homeless.

We did this for a family event at our church recently. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with my children about people who don’t have the things we have and how we can show them the love of God. We gave out our bag the other day and the man’s face lit up as I told him “Merry Christmas” and handed it to him. My kids were in the car and we had a chance to pray for him, the woman he was with, and their dog on the way home.

helping the homeless

Merry Christmas from Thriving Home! Glory to God and peace on earth. Our Savior has been born.


Rachel and Polly


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