Fun Ways to Spend the Holidays with Friends

  1. 1. Board Game Gift Exchange

    Unlike a traditional gift exchange, the gifts here are meant to be opened and used right away. Have your friends buy each other different board games as gifts, and then open them immediately for a fun and laid-back holiday party!  Try to stay away from buying common games like Monopoly, as your friends may already own them or you’ve all probably already played them one too many times. There are tons of unique and fun board games available if you look online. If you already have many board games, everyone can buy and wrap one small gift. You can give these gifts to the winners of each board game you play!

  2. 2. Make Holiday Cards with Your Friends

    No, not like the cards your family sends to relatives you’ve probably never met. Instead, make cards by taking some fun pictures of you and your friends! You can wear matching sweaters, remake old family holiday photos, or take pictures with all of your pets! After the cards are printed, each friend can keep a copy. Writing notes or stories about your favorite holiday memories with your friends in each other’s cards can be a super sweet momento for them to keep all year round. This is especially great if you have friends that you only see during the holidays; you all can have a keepsake to bring on your various travels!

  3. 3. Go Christmas Caroling...to Your Friend's House

    I know what you’re thinking: you love to sing along to Christmas songs, but you don’t want to show up on a stranger’s doorstep. Maybe you’re too embarrassed to sing in front of people other than your friends. So, instead of traditional caroling, you can show up to one of your friend’s houses, singing your favorite holiday tunes! Once they open the door, have them join you to a different friend's house until all of your friends are with you, and you’re singing all of  your favorite holiday songs together! It’s a fun and surprising way to get into the holiday spirit. 

  4. 4.  Dollar Store Gift Exchange

    A dollar store gift exchange is one of my favorite alternatives to a traditional gift exchange! It’s as simple as going to your local dollar store, or if you feel like spending a little more, Five Below is another great option! You can either tailor the gift to a friend, or you can buy something random to have a laugh with friends!  

  5. 5. Buy Ugly Holiday Sweaters

    Ugly sweaters are a must-have for the holiday season. To switch it up a little, pick somewhere your friends have to wear the ugly sweater, like the store or class! Conversely, your friends can pick the ugly sweater you have to wear and surprise you with it. Another fun activity would be decorating festive sweaters with friends; add some cotton balls for snow or bells if you’re feeling crafty. 

  6. 6. Decorate Gingerbread Men

    Instead of using typical gingerbread men, have your friends decorate gingerbread cookies to either resemble each other or celebrities everyone knows. Then, everyone can guess who each cookie resembles; whoever guesses the most correctly wins! If you want to make it more challenging, buy gingerbread house kits and decorate them to resemble houses from your favorite TV shows or movies! Make a gingerbread scene and see if anyone can guess what show or movie it is from. 

  7. 7. Build-A-Bear Exchange

    Feeling nostalgic this holiday season? Go to Build-A-Bear with your friends and make each other bears for the holidays! You can theme each bear based on your friends’ interests. You can even color the cardboard houses together over some hot cocoa to celebrate the holidays like when you were kids.

  8. 8. Holiday Bake Off

    Ever watched The Great British Bake-Off or Cake Wars? Now is your time to put all that screentime to the test! Pick a dessert you and your friends want to bake, and compete with each other to see who can bake the best version. Have someone judge by blindly tasting the different desserts and crown a winner! You can design the game any way you choose, but a sweet night is guaranteed!  

  9. 9. Find the Perfect Tree

    Take a trip with your friends to the Christmas Tree Farm! (Or, maybe just to Target if, like most of us, you’re on a budget for the holidays.) If you go to a place like the Christmas Tree Farm, make a game out of picking the smallest tree you can find. Even if you don’t find the perfect “Charlie Brown” tree for you and your friends, you’ll at least have seen all the pretty trees and hopefully enjoyed a nice warm cup of hot cocoa along the way! You can also pick out a small decorative tree from Target’s holiday section. You can either make your own ornaments for the tree together or have everyone contribute one!