One of the best parts of the holiday season is the opportunity to spend quality time with the ones you love. But sometimes it can be hard to find activities that the whole family will enjoy. Are you struggling to find some creative ideas for your older children this Christmas?

Here are 10 ideas to help you create some new traditions in your family.

Creating Christmas Traditions with Teens

1. Attend a Christmas Eve Church Service

Never forget that Jesus is the reason for the season! Christmas Eve services are a special opportunity to sing your favorite Christmas carols, enjoy the candlelight, read the Christmas story, and rejoice together about the greatest gift of all.

What if your church doesn’t offer one? Consider attending church that evening with a friend or neighbor that does have one at their church. This is a great way to focus on Christ before the presents and join with other families in the community.

2. Read the Bible Together as a Family

Gather the family and open up to Luke 2, and have your teen read the Christmas story to the family. You can even take it a step further by having an impromptu drama night as the rest of your family acts out the story while one member reads it.

3. Heads or Tails?

Load everyone in the car after dark for a trip around the neighborhood. Your goal is to find the best decorated houses and maybe a hot chocolate stop along the way, too. Have your teen be the “navigator” and before you approach an intersection flip a coin for heads or tails. Heads means you turn right, tails you turn left. You might want to pack the GPS along in case you get lost!

4. Host A Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long

Invite friends and family for a fun evening of singing and snacks! So many Christmas Carols have rich biblical truths, and interesting history behind why the author wrote it. 

Print out the lyrics ahead of time or have everyone look up the lyrics on their phones. This could be such a special way to kick off the Christmas season!

5. Visit an Elderly Neighbor

Christmas can be a very lonely season. Have your teen stay on the lookout for someone who may be alone. Make and decorate cookies together to pass out on Christmas Eve. An hour of your time might cheer someone up and help your teen begin to see other people’s needs in your community.

6. Hot Chocolate Bar and Movie

Peppermint stick? Extra chocolate syrup? Whipped Cream? A dollop of ice cream? Set up your own hot chocolate bar and have your teen select a Christmas movie from your family’s collection to watch that night. Or gift your teen with a new Christmas movie to watch together as you enjoy your yummy hot chocolate.

7. Christmas Carol at the Nursing Home

Take the family to the local nursing home to sing Christmas carols door to door to residents there. You probably want to call ahead and clear it with the nursing station, but most nursing homes welcome the company.

8. YOUR MISSION: Under Cover Santa

Go to Walmart or the mall on Christmas Eve and give each member of your family a gift card to give away. Depending on the age of your kids, you can split up or stick together as a family. Be on the lookout for someone who may need a little extra blessing this holiday season and surprise them with your Christmas gift. Afterward, meet back up as a family and share your experiences and stories over apple cider or hot chocolate.

9. Family YMCA gym night

Christmas is full of scrumptious food that will probably be deliciously high in calories! Get a head start on your goal to get in shape next year! On Christmas Eve, spend some time exercising together as a family. Take a trip to the local gym, play a family game of basketball, or perhaps just take a walk (or run) around the neighborhood.

10. Christmas Eve book swap

Encourage your teen to read by giving them a present of a book on Christmas Eve. You can even make it a family book swap by letting everyone know of your plans in advance so they can shop for book gifts, too.

A very Merry Christmas to you from Dual Credit at Home!