1. Get your friends together to string popcorn and cranberries while watching animated kids’ classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
2. Get your youth group to create a living nativity scene one night a week in front of your church.
3. For a few laughs and a lot of fun, get together with friends to look at each other’s family photos from past Christmases.
4. Form a kazoo band and go caroling—no singing allowed!
5. Pile the family in the car and drive around your town looking at Christmas lights.
6. Drop anonymous notes on your teachers’ desks thanking them for sharing their gift of teaching with you. You may want to include a message about the greatest gift of all, Jesus!
7. Make your own creative wrapping paper using butcher paper and festive stamps.
8. Make a nativity scene from snow; if you live near a sunny beach, sand-sculpt the nativity scene.
9. Check with your local animal shelter and see if you and your friends can help give the animals their baths. Bring red and green ribbon to give them bows when you’re done.
10. Go to your church one evening when no one else is there. Bring a single candle to light and sit in the silence, enjoying the peace of the season. (Be sure you’ve cleared this with somebody on the church staff.)
11. Grab your siblings for a fun day of shopping for your parents. After you’ve purchased the gifts, find a good place to sit and watch people. Try and guess who they’re shopping for and what they bought.
12. Make hot cocoa for your grandma or grandpa. Ask them about Christmases past and their favorite traditions.
13. Try a holiday recipe from a different culture, like Mexican wedding cookies or Norwegian lefse.
14. Make a mixed tape of familiar Christmas carols sung by famous musical artists and have a contest to see who can guess who’s singing; award the tape to one who gets the most correct.
15. Read the Christmas story (Matthew 1 and Luke 2:1-20) several times before Christmas; write down some new insights God gives you as you read.
16. Offer free babysitting for a busy mom in your church while she goes shopping.
17. Give out candy canes at school with a little note that explains where this tradition came from—to represent the staff of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ; the red is his blood; the white is the purity of Christ. (Get the whole story here.)
18. Turn off all the lights and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by candlelight.
19. Get your youth group to clean your pastor’s or youth pastor’s house while they relax with their favorite Christmas album.
20. Volunteer to be a Salvation Army bell ringer. Give candy to young children who drop money in the bucket.
21. Keep a journal of all your favorite Christmas memories from this year so you can thank God for each one and remember them next Christmas!