According to the old Christmas song “Deck the Halls,” this “’tis the season to be jolly.” But when many youth leaders start trying to put together a youth event around Christmas, the jolly quickly turns to “OH GOLLY” when looking for a good game or fun activity. Well, help is here because I have a file folder (a real file folder not one on the computer) just packed with great Christmas games I have used over the past 30 years. I have pulled out four of my favorites that are guaranteed to add that extra sparkle to your fellowship or get together. Here are four favorites I have had great success with over the years.
Christmas Youth Group Games
1. CHRISTMAS MATCH GAME
Purchase many different types of inexpensive Christmas wrapping paper. Cut out squares from the wrapping paper based on the size of your group. Make sure you have two squares that match but make all the others different. Fold each square and place inside a separate plain envelope. Let each student pick an envelope then say, “The first two people who find matching squares will win a prize.” If your group is larger you can have more than one set of matching Christmas paper squares. Tell them to start then award the prize to the matching team.
An alternative idea is to have one or two matches for every square and give out a prize to the FIRST two people who match their squares. Another twist is to do this game in the dark and let students use a flashlight or the light from their cell phones to find matching Christmas paper squares.
2. CHRISTMAS CAROL SONG GAME
Take two 3×5 cards and write “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” on one card and “Joy to the World” on the other. Next take nine 3×5 cards and write one of the following songs on each card so that you have a different song on each one:
- Silver Bells
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- We Three Kings
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- White Christmas
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Oh Holy Night
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- The Little Drummer Boy
Repeat the process until you have enough cards for everyone in your group but make sure you only have one card with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and one card with “Joy to the World.” Next lead the group in a time of singing Christmas carols and say, “If we sing the song on your card, stand up and you will win a prize.” Sing songs in the following order:
- The First Noel, Jingle Bells, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Deck the Halls, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Away in a Manger, Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
You should have one winner after the fifth song and one after the last song.
3. THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PLUS
There was a story passed around youth ministry circles years ago that the Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was created centuries ago somewhere overseas to teach the Bible to children who were not allowed to express their faith. That has been proven to be a myth. However, the numbers one through 12 ARE very significant in Scripture so this is a matching game that pairs the items in the song with something in the Bible that has the same number.
Each pair of items below corresponds to a number 1 through 12. Match the items with the number. Each number is used only once:
- Geese A-Laying, Days of Creation (6)
- Drummer’s Drumming, Points of the Apostles Creed (12)
- Partridge in a Pear Tree, True Gods (1)
- Golden Rings, OT Books of Law (5)
- Turtle Doves, Testaments in the Bible (2)
- Lords A-Leaping, Exodus Commandments (10)
- Maids A-Milking, Beatitudes (8)
- Swans A-Swimming, Gifts of the Holy Spirit (7)
- French Hens, Persons of the Trinity (3)
- Pipers Piping, Faithful Apostles (11)
- Ladies Dancing, Fruits of the Spirit (9)
- Calling Birds, New Testament Gospels (4)
4. CHRISTMAS WORD SEARCH
You can create your own unique word search puzzles online by clicking here.
You can use whatever Christmas words you choose to create your own puzzle. I especially like using the names of all my students for an extra twist. Give a prize to the first person to find all the words.
I hope these Christmas youth group games work as well for you as they have worked for me. Merry Christmas!
Richard Parker has been a student minister for the past 31 years, serving at First Baptist Church in Russellville, Ala., since 1989. He has written a three-volume set of Character Education curriculum for schools and has written Character, a year-long devotional book for students. Richard speaks in schools as well as at various church and civic conferences.