What can you do at home on Christmas night?

Christmas night is a magical time when families come together after a long day of gift giving, big meals, and holiday celebrations. The presents have been opened, the dinner dishes have been cleared, and now you have a quiet evening at home before the festivities start up again the next day. Christmas night is the perfect time to relax, spend quality time with loved ones, and partake in some cozy holiday activities. Here are some fun ideas for ways to enjoy the night before Christmas at home with family and friends.

Have a Christmas movie marathon

Curl up with blankets and don your fuzzy holiday socks for a Christmas movie marathon. Make some popcorn or break out the hot chocolate and watch all your favorite holiday flicks. Classics like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, and A Christmas Story never get old. You can also opt for newer favorites like The Polar Express or Arthur Christmas. Don’t forget about the nostalgic claymation classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Make it a themed marathon by watching adaptations of A Christmas Carol or just sticking to romcoms like Love Actually and The Holiday. Christmas movies are perfect for bringing the family together to get in the holiday spirit.

Play board games and do puzzles

On Christmas night, get the family engaged in some classic board games and puzzles. Pull out classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, Sorry!, and Candyland. Try fun new games like Exploding Kittens, Codenames, or Ticket to Ride. Get some friendly competition going over rounds of Jenga, Uno, or Trivial Pursuit. Turn on some Christmas tunes in the background while you play. If you need a break from board games, do a jigsaw puzzle on the coffee table or get cozy on the floor to put together a 1000 piece puzzle of a winter scene. Playing games together is a great way to bond and create new Christmas memories.

Make handmade gifts and cards

Get crafty on Christmas night by making handmade gifts and cards to give to family and friends. Pull out colored pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, and construction paper. Make personalized drawings, collages, and cards for each family member. Craft homemade ornaments, decorate picture frames, or design holiday home decor you can display next Christmas. Write poems, craft friendship bracelets, or even knit scarves. Get the kids involved in making handmade presents—it will create memories and give them a sense of pride. Homemade gifts mean so much more than store-bought ones.

Indulge in holiday treats

After stuffing yourself at Christmas dinner, you may think you couldn’t possibly eat another bite. But late on Christmas night, it’s time to indulge in even more holiday treats! Break out the cookies, fudge, candy canes, eggnog, and slices of pie. Make some peppermint bark, haystacks, buckeyes, or English toffee. Warm up leftover apple pie or pecan pie with a scoop of ice cream. Roast chestnuts or make s’mores by the fire. Eat, drink, and be merry enjoying sweets in the spirit of the season. Don’t forget to leave out cookies and milk for Santa before you go to bed!

Tell stories around the fire

If you have a fireplace, cuddle up around the fire and tell stories on Christmas night. Share favorite memories from past holidays and Christmases when you were young. Reflect on the year that is coming to a close. Tell funny anecdotes from time spent with family over the holidays. Get cozy under blankets, make some hot chocolate, and let the kids stay up late reminiscing about Christmas day. You can even read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas or recite classic holiday poems. Bonding over stories is a heartwarming way to enjoy quality family time.

Do a holiday photo shoot

On Christmas night when you’re already dressed up and feeling festive, do a fun holiday photo shoot! Get the whole family together in matching pajamas or holiday sweaters for posed photos around the Christmas tree and fireplace. Use fun props like Santa hats, reindeer antlers, snowflake decorations, and festive signs. Take candids of the family playing games, baking treats, or snuggling under blankets. Stage some shots focused on special gifts the kids received. Print out select photos to frame or use for next year’s Christmas cards. You’ll cherish photos capturing Christmas night forever.

Sing carols or have a concert

Belt out all your favorite Christmas tunes on Christmas night! Gather around the piano to sing classics like Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Deck the Halls. Play holiday songs on guitar, violin, or other instruments. Let the kids put on a holiday concert performing songs they learned for their winter band or choir concert at school. Make up new silly songs about Christmas day highlights. Record performances so you can listen to them during the holidays for years to come. Spread Christmas cheer through the power of music.

Read Christmas stories and poems

Cuddle up with the kids and read classic Christmas stories and poems on Christmas night. Enjoy How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Share the biblical story of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke. Read passages from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Recite favorite poems like “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Let kids read stories aloud or recite poems they learned in school. Make reading Christmas stories a cherished family tradition.

Do holiday-themed arts and crafts

Tap into your creative side with some festive arts and crafts projects on Christmas night. Make homemade Christmas cards, ornaments, and gift tags you can use next year. Decorate stockings with puffy paint, glitter, and iron-on designs. Design Christmas wreaths out of greenery and bows. Construct a gingerbread house, just for fun—you don’t even have to eat it! Color holiday pictures or make Christmas coloring books. Paint ceramic mugs or vases with Santa, snowmen, trees, and other festive designs. Crafting Christmas decor makes the holiday last beyond just one day.

Enjoy Christmas treats from around the world

Continue the global holiday spirit by tasting Christmas treats from around the world. Leave out sweets for Santa like panettone bread from Italy, buche de noel Yule log cakes from France, and mince pies from England. Savor pavlova meringue desserts from Australia, biblical sweets from Israel like sufganiyot jelly donuts, bolo rei Portuguese Christmas cakes, and Polish makowiec poppy seed rolls. Drink wassail, horchata, or coquito coconut eggnog. Cranberry sweets are big in Nordic countries. Indulge in a smorgasbord of international holiday flavors.

Play in the snow

If you woke up to a beautiful white Christmas, take advantage of the snow on Christmas night! Bundle up for some classic winter activities. Build snowmen, igloos, snow forts, and snow angels. Have a friendly snowball fight or go sledding down hills. Make snow lanterns by carving out snow bricks. Shovel snow off the roof or driveway. Take festive photos in the snow. Kids of all ages love frolicking in freshly fallen snow. Don’t let the winter weather go to waste!

Do a holiday jigsaw puzzle

Cozy up by the Christmas tree and do a festive jigsaw puzzle on Christmas night. Choose a puzzle that gets you into the holiday spirit with images of snowy villages, Santa’s workshop, Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, or winter wonderland landscapes. Make it a family affair, taking turns adding pieces.Race to see who can finish a corner or section first. When you’re done, break out the glue to mount and frame your finished puzzle. Doing puzzles together helps keep kids’ minds active over the holidays.

Play holiday hide and seek

For some lively fun on Christmas night, play hide and seek with a holiday twist! Take turns hiding behind the Christmas tree, under piles of wrapping paper, in stockings hung by the fire, under blankets, or in other clever spots. See who can go the longest without being found. For an added challenge, have the seeker wear noise-canceling headphones while counting so they can’t hear any giggles or rustling. Play hide and seek tag where the first person found becomes the next seeker. This exciting game will let the family bond and burn off energy before bed.

Enjoy Christmas breakfast for dinner

If you gorged on a huge Christmas feast for lunch or dinner, try a lighter Christmas breakfast spread on Christmas night. Make pancakes, waffles, or French toast topped with syrup, fruit, and whipped cream. Fry up bacon, sausage, and eggs. Drink mimosas or Bloody Marys with brunch. Set out pastries, muffins, scones, or cinnamon rolls. Savor quiche or strata loaded with holiday flavors. Fuel up with protein and energy to play late into the night. Having breakfast for dinner makes the holiday last a little longer.

Attend Christmas Eve or night church services

Many churches hold special services on Christmas Eve or Christmas night. Attend a candlelight, lessons and carols, or midnight mass service. Sing joyful Christmas hymns with fellow worshipers. Hear the story of Jesus’ humble birth retold. Some churches have live nativity scenes. A spiritual Christmas service focuses the holiday on faith, hope, and community. Dress up and bring the family to share this meaningful experience. Kids love staying up late for midnight mass!

Drive or walk around looking at Christmas lights

Pile in the car or take a stroll around your neighborhood to look at beautiful Christmas light displays on nearby houses. Many people go all out stringing lights along the roof, windows, trees, and yard. See colorful lights, inflatable characters, light-up wire frames, and more. Neighborhoods coordinate displays on cul-de-sacs or specific streets. Listen to Christmas music as you gaze at the sparkling lights. This outing has become a favorite holiday night tradition for families.

Do a holiday scavenger hunt

Have fun family bonding on Christmas night with a holiday scavenger hunt at home. Make lists of Christmas-themed items hidden around the house and yard. See who can find items like ornaments, stockings, a Santa figurine, candy canes, wreaths, Christmas books and movies, and decorations first. Split into teams for a friendly competition. Offer prizes like candy or small gifts to the winners. Kids will have so much fun racing around trying to locate everything on the list.

Make gifts for pets

Our furry family members deserve some Christmas love too! On Christmas night, make special treats and toys for your pets. Bake peanut butter dog biscuits or tuna cat treats. Make pet toys from old t-shirts and socks. Construct a cat condo or hamster maze from cardboard tubes. Sew a pet blanket from old clothes with your scent on them. Wrap gifts creatively in holiday ribbons and paper for your pets to unwrap. Include pet stockings in the festivities. Making homemade pet gifts shows you care.

Make Christmas crafts

Keep kids occupied on Christmas night by doing crafty projects with all your new art supplies. Make DIY Christmas ornaments from clay, felt, beads, wood slices, or pom poms to decorate next year’s tree. Construct gingerbread houses from graham crackers, frosting, and candy. Decorate frames, candles, or vases with puffy paint, glitter, sequins, and more to add holiday sparkle. String popcorn garlands for the tree. Let the kids make paper snowflakes to hang in the windows. Simple crafts extend creative holiday fun.

Wrap up gifts for charity

‘Tis the season for giving—on Christmas night, wrap gifts you plan to donate to charity. Collect toys, clothes, canned goods, and more to give to organizations that support families in need. Have the kids help sort items, wrap them creatively, and label gifts for various ages. Get inspired watching classic movies like Miracle on 34th Street. Teach kids about compassion and sharing with those who are less fortunate. Giving to others infuses the holiday with true meaning.

Set out milk and cookies for Santa

Late on Christmas night, be sure to set out milk and cookies for Santa before heading to bed. Kids love preparing a plate of homemade holiday cookies—an essential Christmas tradition. They can also leave a handwritten note thanking Santa for all the presents that magically appeared under the tree. Let little ones sprinkle reindeer food (glitter and oats) outside to guide Santa’s sleigh. Savoring these small rituals creates lasting childhood memories and holiday magic. Don’t forget the yummy cookies for yourself!


The celebrations may wind down after Christmas dinner, but the night holds many opportunities for family fun and togetherness. Simple pleasures like movies, stories, games, crafts, and music carry the holiday cheer into the late hours. Intimate moments reading Christmas tales and singing carols continue time-honored traditions. Creative activities make new memories through gifts, crafts, and food. Don’t let the night end too soon—find unique ways to extend the Christmas spirit at home. Most importantly, cherish time spent with loved ones this holiday season.

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