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Top Ten Things

to do with Teenagers

at Christmas time

For young kids Christmas time is about wonder, magic and presents from a mysterious man in a red hat who keeps reindeers. For young teens, it’s about presents, time-off school and general moping about. Where once your little darlings cried on Santa’s lap and begged you to bring them to the North Pole, now they roll their eyes at the mere mention of him. The Christmas magic may be over for them but that doesn't mean you can’t add a little glitter to their terribly boring lives and have fun over the holidays.

So how do we put the spark back into Christmas for your sulky brood? Here are a few suggestions:

Get Decorating!

Although they'll never admit it, teenagers (well everyone really) thoroughly enjoy decorating the house for Christmas. Give them some responsibility that will keep them busy and entertained. Don't bark orders at them though, keep the task light and airy. Turn on the trashy Christmas music and roll out the chocolates or get them to be the disc jockeys as you decorate.

Donate to Food Banks

Christmas isn't all about iPads and new jeans, it’s also about looking after those who are less fortunate than ourselves. A great way to get teens thinking about those less well-off is by donating to food banks. See for more information on how you can help this Christmas.

Donate Old Clothes

Go through the wardrobes together and get rid of old clothes that don't fit them anymore. Not only will this kill a few hours but it will also give you both an idea of what to put on the Christmas list. Everyone wins, clean decluttered room and gift ideas!

Get Baking!

Christmas is the best time to bake all those tasty treats. You're never too old to enjoy chocolate and your teen will wholeheartedly agree! Clear an afternoon for the both of you to bake lots of delicious treats in the kitchen, whether for yourselves or as gifts for others. See our Christmas Baking section for some ideas.

Check out local attractions

Bring your teen for a drive around the local surroundings to look at some of the great Christmas decorations, go on a trip to the nearest big city to look at some of the spectacular window displays or visit some of the great Christmas Markets on our list.

Bad Santa

Get the whole family in on the fun with a quirky twist on the Secret Santa tradition. Set a small budget and give the task of buying the most tacky present that can be bought. On Christmas Day, the person with the tackiest present wins the honour of opening the first proper present!

Have a Party

Although the idea may not be appealing to your teen at first, once they start inviting friends and setting up decorations and food, they will be delighted with the chance for a party. It is much harder for teenagers to get together over Christmas break so a small, festive party will be a welcome social event for most teenagers.

Christmas Movies


Throw on Die Hard or some other Christmas-esque movie that will appeal to your teen. Make sure there's plenty of popcorn and sweets and you have the perfect family night in over Christmas. Check out our top ten picks for Christmas movies here.

Involve them

Get your teen involved in your Christmas routine so that they can experience what Christmas is like for adults (its not all bad). Get them to bring their younger siblings to see Santa or help them write their Christmas list. The younger kids' excitement will spread to your teen, although they may hide it well!