Christmas Service Ideas for Families

Last Christmas I was determined that my family would spend at least part of Christmas Eve doing some sort of service so that we could remember the true meaning of Christmas beyond all the toys and presents and treats and lights. But I wanted it to be fun. Something they would enjoy doing and remember as a good experience. So I came up with some fun Christmas service ideas for us.

Turns out our 2 hours of service we spent doing that morning were an absolute blast and for me, the highlight of the holiday season. And my boys enjoyed it quite a bit too.

We called what we did a Christmas Service Scavenger Hunt. We broke into 2 teams and spent two hours racing around the town doing as much service as we possibly could do in those 2 hours with the idea that the team that did the most service won. (But really-we truly were all winners because it was amazing!)

Christmas Service Scavenger Hunt Ideas:

Here are a few of the ideas of things we did on our Christmas Service Scavenger hunt or things you could do, so you can host one of your own. (It would work great with any group-family, friends, church, etc.)

Here’s a card that we attached to some of the things we did to explain what we were doing. If you want to use it you can print if free here.

Service Ideas:

Go through a drive thru and pay for the person behind you. (When we did this the lady at the drive thru said someone earlier had done the same thing and then one car after another paid for the person behind them and it lasted for about 10 cars. So cool.)

Take a treat and a thank you card to the local fire station or police station

Leave quarters on vending machines

Leave dollars in the dollar spot at Target or at the dollar store with these printable cards attached

Take flowers, a wreath, poinsettia to a nursing home

Leave candy canes on people’s windshields while they are in the store shopping with these printable cards attached

Make lunches and hand them out to homeless people

Find a beggar on a corner and give him money

Serve a meal at a food bank

Buy presents for a family in need

Send money to someone in need

Donate food to the food bank

Put together kits for a local shelter

Show up at a friend’s house and help wrap presents, clean for guests or do other to do items

Shovel someone’s driveway

Pick up trash

Go Christmas Caroling at a nursing home, to a widow, or someone in need

Write letters to people who are lonely

Put together a package for service men and women

Write thank you notes to people who make a difference in your life

Take treats to a friend

Make a meal for someone in need

Ding dong ditch someone

Do you have other ideas? Let me know so I can add them to this list!


And, here are a couple of other really fun Christmas Service Ideas:

Christmas Countdown Service Chain: Here is one that we are doing for sure in my family this year. The idea is to write a small act of service you can do each day as you count down to Christmas. Get all the details at Craft Quickies:


12 Days of Christmas: This is something we used to do a lot but haven’t done for a few years. I first did it with a few of my friends when I was in high school. We picked 3 widows and each night for 12 nights we left a gift for them. It was the most memorable Christmas I have ever had. Other years my family has picked others who we think could use a holiday pick me up and we have done the same thing-12 days worth of presents doorbell ditched each night for 12 nights leading up to Christmas. Here is the poem I wrote in high school to go with this. (Remember that I was a high schooler when I wrote this. It’s a little hokey, but feel free to use this if you want. Just click the image to get it larger):


12 Days of Christmas Service (basically a list of great ideas to serve others):


Make Gift Baskets for a Local Shelter: Find out more details about what I did here.

There are a ton more ways to serve this season. It doesn’t matter what you do-just pick something and DO IT!

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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!

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  1. says

    I love all of your ideas! One thing to add that I really enjoy doing is paying for the person in line behind me at a drive thru. I can always see their look of surprise when I glance in my rearview mirror as they are at the first window and get told that theirs has been paid for. Usually I pray that this small act of random kindness would be just what that person needed on that day…to feel cared for and have a renewed hope for the world. :)

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