Home Children's Ministry Leaders Articles for Children's Ministry Leaders Christmas Family Night: Host a Happy Holiday Happening

Christmas Family Night: Host a Happy Holiday Happening

Christmas family night

At our church, we decided we needed to host more family events for our children’s ministry. To kick it off during the Christmas season, we held a Christmas family night.

People love Christmas events, and it’s easy to put together a Christmas Family Night that offers fun for the entire family. We required pre-registration online, which helped a ton with planning. That way you’ll buy just the right amount of supplies.

We charged a flat fee of $10 per family to make it affordable. Then we raised the price to $15 for late registrations. Everyone thought that was fair, and turnout was great. Read on to discover insider tips for a successful Christmas Family Night!

How to Host a Christmas Family Night

1. Theme and Photo Booth

For our Christmas Family Night, we used an ugly sweater theme. A photo booth captured lots of pictures of all those horrendous outfits.

After searching Pinterest, we used large pieces of insulation foam board to create the booth. We bought two large ugly frames from thrift stores. Removing the pictures and glass made them very lightweight. Before attaching the frames, I traced them on the foam board and cut holes for the frames with a large X-acto knife. It doesn’t need to be perfect because it’ll be covered. Once you have the holes, you may want to reinforce the sides. I used Gorilla Tape to make them sturdier.

Next, cover the entire front of the board with wrapping paper. You can wrap the edges like a present and tape them to the back. Heavy-duty paper works best. Then cut out frames. Leave some edges to wrap over the sides, and tape to the back to cover up the inside of the foam. We attached frames to the front of the paper using hot glue.

You can get creative with the rest of your photo booth. We bought large stockings and hung them on the front using hooks. For along the top, we made ugly sweater garland with craft embellishments, all from the dollar store.

Next, make a stand. We had 2x4s that were already attached to wood bases. So we hot-glued those to the back of our booth. Someone helped us screw a piece of flat plywood to the wood bases to create a stand. That way, smaller kids could stick their heads through the frames.

Photo Booth Props Made Easy

For this theme, we purchased adorable ugly sweater props from Oriental Trading. We also had garland, Santa hats, and Christmas headbands for props. The photo booth was a huge success. Best of all, it didn’t fall apart!

To keep table decorations simple, we bought garland-covered trees for centerpieces. Then we hot-glued foam bowls to the bottom of some to make them appear taller.

2. Ugly Sweater Contest

Families went all-out for this event. We set up a voting table and provided free printable voting cards for people to fill out. For an added touch, we bought an ugly sweater from the thrift store and covered the voting box with it. The neck opening was the place to put votes in the box! We added a large bow for a final touch.

Give out awards for several categories of ugly sweaters. We purchased hilarious trophies for the winners. Stickers or ornaments would be just as funny. Our award ceremony was the grand finale. We gave awards for Ugliest Sweater, Ugly but Classy, Creative, DIY, and a Family award.

3. Food/Hot Cocoa Bar

For a Christmas Family Night, you’ll need lots of yummy treats and snacks. We set up three tables in a row for our food and hot cocoa bar. You could serve yourself from either side. We even found cute disposable tablecloths that featured hot cocoa cups.

Food included cracker trays, cheese trays, and homemade Chex mix. We used mini metal cookie cutters to cut cheese for a platter. People were definitely there for the cookies! Be sure to avoid nuts, and provide some egg-free and gluten-free options. My favorite cookies were the ugly Christmas sweater cookies I made. I purchased a kit from Big Lots for $5.

For the hot cocoa bar, we had fun collecting ugly Christmas mugs from church members and thrift stores. We wanted everyone to have a Christmas mug for their hot cocoa. It was a bit of an investment, but you can use them year after year.

At the hot cocoa bar, we provided lots of yummy mix-ins. These included caramel sauce, mini marshmallows, peppermints, caramels, and several varieties of chocolate chips.

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Corinne (KidMinCorinne) is a Children’s Pastor, credentialed with the Assemblies of God, and has a passion to impact the world through teaching kids to know Christ. She was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri by a single mom and has felt called to be a Children’s Pastor since was ten years old. She has been involved with children's ministry since she was in middle school and the majority of her life decisions have centered around her strong calling towards ministry. Her personal hobbies include cooking, baking, and juggling (no chainsaws… yet).