Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays!

by Melanie Studer
Christmas with teens can be great!

Christmas with teens is the best!

Christmas with teens can be special, so make plans that they want to be a part of! This is my favorite time of the year with my kids. Your time is limited, so it’s fun to make use of it in all the ways that your kids love.


This GIF cracks me up!?

Before the break begins

Before the season even begins, be sure that you set up a budget so that you don’t overspend. I am a big fan of “less is more”, and with teens they are just looking for comfort, food, and fun. Let’s get started!

If your teens are away at college, then they will be going through their finals season. Send them a fun care package to get them through these stressful days. My friend Laura over at has great ideas for winter care packages.

Laura also has a template for planning your entire holiday on an app called Airtable -it is amazing, and super helpful, and FREE!

Here are all the holiday ideas I have gathered in one spot

A friend of mine just wrote a book all about holiday planning -taking the stress out of the holidays! She includes all sorts of checklists and pages to stay on top of all your holiday planning.

Set up expectations

Some of your older teens will be  coming home from college or elsewhere. You might need to set up some expectations. Here is a great post by my friend Miranda over at about how to survive and connect with your teens over winter break.

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Christmas with teens can be so fun!


My teens loved to decorate! We always made a big deal about it right after Thanksgiving, and played music to set the mood. They each used to have a tree in ther rooms, but over time, they decided against those. Start this tradition with your teens, and end the day with a favorite meal or dessert to thank them for their help.

Simple ideas for Christmas decor throughout your house from

Front porch decor from

Setting a holiday table by

Easy decorations for cabinets -you could do almost anything! I do my pantry doors and clip our Christmas cards onto it. Very festive! from

Ideas for bedrooms at Christmas from


I tried to find complilations of easy recipes!

30 easy appetizers -my boys love “snacky” dinners from

21 casseroles to accompany your main dishes -from

Simple and festive main dish recipes -you had me at simple! from

24 cookie recipes – try a new type of cookie this year! from

Snowman pretzels – so many variations – by


Tradition:  1. : the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another. 2. : a belief or custom handed down from one generation to another. tradition. noun. (

Hold onto the traditions that mean the most to each of you, and let go of the others to make room for new ones! Have fun. I talk about this in my YouTube video.

Here’s a fun tradition that I hadn’t heard of. Christmas Eve boxes. My kids always got new pajamas to wear, and a new game for the family to share. I might have to try one of these box ideas this from

Build a gingerbread house  -from -I will have to find a picture of one of our boys’ creations from the past! Here are some kits that would be fun to build!

Here’s another fun tradition -from Have  basket of books for each major holiday. I have done this, and each year I would purchase one or two new books to add to the basket.


Use this down time for your teens to find something new for them to try or continue with their love of creation. So many hobbies are relaxing, and this will go a long way to their decompression after a hectic semester.

 20+ Sharpie crafts that are perfect for the holidays from

Washi tape crafts for the entire family from

String star ornaments -so cute from

Scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments from


Game night is such a fun way to connect with your teens.

 10+ games to play with your teen -all different kinds of games included in this post from

12 games to play virtually if you are not together by

Guess Who (Christmas version) by

Holiday Jeopardy from

Saranwrap candy ball -this is really fun- from

‘Tis the Season Trivia game -we love this! I just keep it on our table during the holidays to spark conversation?


Here’s a post with more than 50 movies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Checklists included for keeping track of the ones that you have watched.

Here are some ideas for setting up a fun family movie night… from

Holiday Bingo for Hallmark Christmas movies -such a fun idea!


25 Days for a Teenage Christmas -ways to enjoy the holidays with your teens?

Stained Glass Adult Coloring Book -for relaxing in front of a fire or good movie!

Putting together gift baskets for neighbors, friends, and other people can be a great family activity. Shannon at has some great ideas for this from the dollar store!

A great activity for giving back are these feed the hungry stocking packs -from The family that serves together, stays together! Or make these sock packages for the homeless from -these are such a great idea.

Binge watch a series as a family! We LOVED Schitt’s Creek, but this post gives other ideas as well. Plus, the post has lots of gift ideas if you know someone who loves SC!

Work on a holiday puzzle -we always have one set up on a side table in our sunroom for the holidays, and we all work on it at different times while watching movies.

Holiday scavenger hunt -we have done this before with our dinner club, and had so much fun!


Here are a couple of books that will help you during this season.

Have Yourself a Minimalist Christmas

A Christmas Memory Book

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living -If you have not heard of this, there are so many ideas for comfort. And, what is Christmas if not comfort?


The posts below are from my blog. They are all updated often during the year. I have vetted the gift lists with a number of teens and their families over the years as I have continued to add posts, ideas and update them. I hope that these are helpful in your search for the perfect gifts!

Gifts for teen gals

Gifts for teen guys

Gifts for mom

Gifts for dad

Best family games

Stocking stuffers

Have a December graduate?

Gifts for 18 year old – This post is about all sorts of things regarding a teen turning 18, but there are gift ideas at the bottom of the post.

147 Jolly Holiday Ideas to Enjoy with Your Teens

Christmas with teens can be such a fun time. Be sure to do your prep work. Talk with them ahead of time to make sure that any plans that you make are something they like to do or that they know is one of your non-negotiables. Relax. Do as much ahead of time as possible. Enjoy!

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Christmas with teens can be so fun!


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Hello! My name is Melanie and I love to encourage moms of teens and tweens!

Are you ready to create a stronger, healthier relationship with your teens? Do you want to do all that you can to foster a stronger bond with your family? 

I will give your encouragement to take care of yourself in the midst of this messy place that we call life. I’d like to help you with some strategies to make things a little bit easier.

Let me help you to parent more confidently. With more love. With more connection.


  1. I have so many tabs open! Thank you for sharing all of these resources for Christmas fun with teens.

    • I know, right?! It was a really fun to think about and research fun ideas for this upcoming time of the year?

    • That is the best compliment! I am glad that you liked it, and I hope that you were able to get your thoughts rolling towards the holidays?

  2. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing them all!

    • You are welcome! I love all holidays, and especially the ones that my kids are all home for:)

  3. Great post! So many ideas. Pinned

    • Thank you! Heaven forbid that you run out of things to do!


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