Party Themes to Spice Up LDS Ward Christmas Activities

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Out-of-focus image of a Christmas tree with lights.
Image via Digital-photography-school.com

Uh oh, you’re sweating again. You’re the ward activity director and Christmas is rolling around once more. But you have no idea what to do this year. Some years are better than others and though you try to be creative and innovative, you’re running out of ideas.

After tirelessly scouring the internet for hours, LDS.net has composed a list of breath-takingly brilliant ideas and programs to add pizzazz to any seasonal church activity.

  • Christmas Programs for Ward Activity Directors
  • Pick the Perfect Christmas Theme
  • Utilize Your Ward in Planning
    • Musical Merriment
    • Ugly Sweater Party
    • Mix & Match
    • Symbols of Christmas
    • Christmas Traditions
    • Winter Wonderland
    • Secret Santa Exchange
  • Holiday Movie Themes
    • Harry Potter
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    • Frozen
    • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    • The Polar Express
  • Christmas International
    • Food Focused Fiesta
    • Christmas Gone International
    • Nativity Themed

Christmas Programs for Ward Activity Directors

Ward Primary reenacting the Nativity scene.
Christmas programs always remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. Image via dailymail.co.uk.

Let me guess: you’re sitting at your computer, dumbstruck, wondering how in the world you’re going to pull off the Ward program this year. You may have never conducted a program for your Ward before or you’re a Ward activity guru but you’ve run out of ideas.

Within the following lists you’ll find a number of programs, what you’ll need, and how you can best prepare.

So why don’t you get started?

On mormonshare.com they have complied a list of great LDS Christmas programs. These ones are especially exciting.

Christmas program layouts, such as:

  • The Women Who Knew Jesus
  • Jenny’s Super Simple LDS Christmas Script
  • A Night in Zarahemla
  • LDS Christmas Programs

Here are some more Christmas programs from other sites:

A Heart Toward Bethlehem Christmas Program- Book of Mormon and Bible Centered program.

  • You’ll need: Pianist, piano, speakers, actors, choir members, scriptures, and biblical clothing
  • Best for: Primary, Ward Christmas party, or Mutual activity

Christmas in the Americas– Focuses on Christ’s birth and the revelation Samuel the Lamanite gave.

  • You’ll need: 16+ actors and singers, biblical clothing, and props
  • Best for: Ward activities, Family Home Evening and Primary

Sharing Time: The Christmas Story from The Book of Mormon–  A Christmas story focused around The Book of Mormon.

  • You’ll need: Biblical clothing, actors and singers, and props if needed (though not required)
  • Best for: Primary or Family Home Evening

The Spirit of Christmas- Focusing on different Christmas symbols and tying them into a religious message.

  • You’ll need: Singers, actors, Christmas tree, candy cane, star, bow, red ornament
  • Best for: Family home evening, ward activities, Sunday school class (no actors, just the objects and their meaning), and Primary

Two Witnesses of Jesus’ Birth– Nephi and other witnesses visit Christ soon after His birth

  • You’ll need: Shadow box, paper or cardboard cutouts, actors, and biblical clothing
  • Best for: Family Home Evening and Primary

A Nativity Presentation– Script focuses on the classic version of Christ’s birth

  • You’ll need: Actors, musicians or a choir and biblical clothing
  • Best for: Family Home Evening and Primary

Sally DeFord from Defordmusic.com has also compiled a superb list of programs. Feel free to check it out!

Picking the  Perfect Christmas Theme

Christmas ornament, Ornament
Image via clutchofinspirations.com

Though Christmas may seem like a theme already, there are many ways to branch out. From across the globe, Christmas has garnered various styles, colors, and traditions that can be incorporated into parties and ward functions.

Think outside the box: perhaps go for a sugar-plum theme verses the classical red and green color theme. Or focus on a more chilly idea, such as blue and silver bells, ornaments, and lights rather than the usual warm fireplace and clove setting.

Also, feel free to pick from the themes below and branch out, extending these ideas further and adding your own flare to your ward functions.

Utilize Your Ward in Planning

Local LDS Ward gathered together for a Christmas activity.
Plan an activity that gets everyone involved  Image via dinnerwiththemitchells.blogspot.com

You’ve taken on the calling of being the ward activities coordinator, but you also have a separate life outside of church. Understandably, you wouldn’t like all of the responsibility to fall on your shoulders as ward activities can be stressful to prepare.

Involving your ward is important not only to take some of the weight off your shoulders, but for other reasons as well. As you include those in your ward, you’ll be incorporating new ideas, new eyes, new recipes, and more mental capacity to handle some of the stress that comes with taking on responsibility.

With the ideas below, you’ll find brilliant ways of livening up your holiday events without breaking a sweat.

Musical Merriment

Christmas ornaments and sheet music.
Few things bring more Christmas cheer than Christmas music.  Image via itutozone.com

So your ward is very…musically talented? Then you can definitely use that to your advantage. Talk to those in your ward that play instruments, and not only adults! Many teenagers and kids play in their school bands or play an instrument on the side.

Perhaps you can have the Primary learn a musical number using hand bells, or incorporate the harp-player in your ward to serenade attendees as they enter the cultural hall.

If those ideas fall through, recruit your ward choir to dress up as carolers and sing while festivities take place. To involve craftier members, set up an ornament making booth by creating sheet music mache baubles.

 Christmas Sweater Party

Ugly, Christmas Sweater, Christmas Tree, decorations
Ugly Christmas sweater. Image via Creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com

Though the ugly sweater phase began a few years back, it’s still alive and well. Extremely popular with teens and young adults, an ugly Christmas sweater party invites creative innovation within a fun church setting. An ugly Christmas sweater party allows for minimal decorating as most of the decorations will come in on your guest’s sweaters.

If you have time and help available to you, consider holding an ugliest sweater competition, or a “Deck my Sweater” booth where attendees can further decorate their sweaters using cheap Christmas decorations.

Mix & Match

Simplistic wood carving of the Nativity.
Let everyone participate in creating the ward activity. Image via Dezignhd.com

For a quick and easy idea to spice up any ward or stake Christmas event, confide in fellow ward members or make announcements in Sunday school, Priesthood, and Relief Society to contribute.

Ask if they’d be willing to lend some large Christmas items for decorations or center-pieces. This will ease some of the burden that often comes with planning.

Perfect for striking up conversations with fellow members about what they’ve contributed.

Symbols of Christmas

Various Christmas ornaments on a wreath.
Knowing the historical symbolism of Christmas ornaments helps us turn our thoughts towards Him. Image via Walluck.com

This is another easy and convenient method for tackling seasonal church functions while adding a religious spin on popular Christmas items. Though some may see these items as Christmas being celebrated in a worldly manner, many religions are striving to attach more religious meanings to popular Christmas symbols.

Celebratingholidays.com offers a historical and religious background to the following objects and symbols:

  • Holly
  • Candy canes
  • Angels
  • Bells
  • Santa Claus
  • Snowflakes

Recruit members of the ward to contribute to any Christmas activity by donating any type of Christmas symbol or those provided above.

You’re always welcome to add more!

Christmas Traditions

Temple Square Christmas
Everyone celebrates Christmas differently; unite those differences.

Focusing on Christmas traditions is a fun and easy way to gather everyone together. Include your whole ward family by brainstorming some of their favorite traditions. When the event finally takes place, it will be a wonderful and fun compilation of traditions that everyone has contributed to.

Some ideas to kickstart the event are a pajamas only party, string popcorn and cranberries while conversing with members, provide milk, hot chocolate and cookies to make it feel like the night before. You can also provide candy canes for kids to hang on the tree or a gingerbread house building booth.

But don’t stop there! Branch out and see what you can come up with.

Winter Wonderland

Winter suburban landscape at night.
Choose from the many different winter themes for your party ambiance. Image via news.discovery.com

So you’re not a fan of the colors red or green, but you are a fan of the cold atmosphere that the colors blue and silver create. Create your very own winter wonderland with unique twists and spins that very few people have used before.

Ask your fellow ward members to help you make your own snow globes using glass vases, bleached twigs and pine cones, and other Christmas decorations of your choice. Offer a snowflake-making station for members of any age, or a glittery DIY ornament making booth.

But it doesn’t have to stop there. Learn how to make chilly blue party punchrock candy ice, or melting snowman cookies as these ideas are guaranteed to give your guests the chills.

Secret Santa Exchange

Secret Santa letter.
Few things bring the holiday spirit stronger than through giving. Image via Fabandfru.com

Nearly everyone has participated in at least one Secret Santa exchange, if not more. The Secret Santa exchange is a classical favorite for any  activity director.

Some fun ideas to incorporate into your event include a ward member dressing as Santa, Dollar Store gifts, and creatively wrapped present inspirations found on Pinterest.

 Holiday Movie Themes

Christmas vacation movie poster.
With a holiday movie themed activity you’ll never have a dull moment. Image via popcornmonster.com

Over the years, the entertainment industry has created dozens of books and films that reflect unique ideas centered around Christmas.

Additionally, many of these themes require extensive time and work, so choose something simpler if you’re on a tight schedule and budget!

Harry Potter

Hogwarts dining hall at Christmas.
Create a not-so-traditional yet magical Christmas atmostphere. Image via Harrypotter.wikia.com

In Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling describes Christmas decorations as 12 Christmas trees (easily made with pine tree branches and green styrofoam cubes or fake Christmas trees), bats, icicles, and gold ball ornaments.

Rowling also describes some of the festivities to include Christmas Crackers, sitting at one, long table, plenty of  eggnog, butterbeer, ham, string-cheese broomsticks, and other foods, and initialized sweaters. Set up activities for ward members like a trail of spiders to the wand-making station or a Quidditch tournament.

Encourage ward members to dress up in Harry Potter costumes and robes for a magical Christmas get-together.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wadrobe

Santa Claus from Narnia.
Bring the adventure of Narnia to your Christmas party.  Image via Theokieblaze.com

So you’re not into Harry Potter, but who says you can’t still have a rockin’ Christmas party? The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis has been a classic for many reasons. Aside from the fantastic that C.S. Lewis has incorporated into his novels, readers love his work because of the nostalgic pull they feel when reading about the winter wonderland he has created.

Ward activity directors can use crafting ideas with tree branches for decorations, fake snow to add to the corners of the cultural hall, fun crafts for kids such as straw pan pipes and of course, hot chocolate and Turkish delight.

Frozen

Disney's Frozen Movie Poster.
What better wintery theme than that of Frozen Image via Studio3arts.com

Ah yes, the favorite film of children and teenage girls everywhere. Incorporating a Frozen theme into your ward activity is sure to be a big hit.

The internet offers TONS of ideas for any activity, including Pin the Nose on OlafFrozen ice cubes, popcorn balls, and dipped pretzelsbuild-your-own Olaf kits, and silly putty.

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Movie Poster.
Use a movie theme that everyone can connect with. Image via fontmeme.com

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a classic for years. Whether your guests are young or old, all will recognize and enjoy this theme. For treats and food, make reindeer sandwiches, cake pops, pretzel squares, Reese’s Cup Rudolphs, Reindeer chow, and little bag handouts of Reindeer noses.

Make creative centerpieces using twine wrapped bottles with pipe cleaners resembling reindeer. Fun activities for kids include face painting, a Land of the Lost Toys booth where kids can make their own toys using polymer clay, or a pin the nose on Rudolph game.

Feel free to decorate using fake snow and silver and gold baubles, as well as recruiting someone to play as Santa.

Polar Express

Polar Express Santa Claus giving the first gift of Christmas.
Bring the magic of the North Pole to your Christmas activity Image via Storiesbehindthescreen.com

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg has been a childhood favorite for many. Starting as a book, this literary marvel burst to life for children across the globe and was given the chance to be relived on the big screen. Fortunately for you, there are ways to share its beloved glory through ward functions.

Print off golden tickets with ward activity information on the back, or deck out the cultural hall with construction paper train tracks. Have a reading of the book featured during your event and place silver bells in each seat.

Let guests know to attend wearing their pajamas, and have an steaming hot chocolate table.

International Christmas Traditions

An array of international flags.
Celebrate Christmas through the traditions of different cultures. Image via sos.ok.gov

Holding a holiday event with an international theme is always refreshing. If you live far or near, try to incorporate Christmas traditions and themes from around the world to remind fellow members what Christmas is truly about.

Food Focused Fiesta

Dining table set with Christmas foods from around the world.
Let the adventurous experience traditional holiday meals from various cultures. Image via fallonbyrne.com

So you love food. Why not incorporate it into the ward event your hosting? Ask members of your ward what their favorite holiday or traditional foods are. Include foods from around the world even if you don’t want to host an international themed activity.

A few fun foods you could include could be:

Christmas Gone International

Artistic depiction of Santa, his reindeer, and sleigh flying in Japan.
Visit Christmas from the perspective of foreign nationalities. Image via longcountdown.com

Setting up your ward function with an international theme is always a hit. Ask for various traditions, foods, and stories from any multiracial members that may be in your ward.

Try having several different Santas that represent the country or area where certain Christmas customs are celebrated.

Decorate the cultural hall with international flags and ornaments, and encourage families in the ward to come dressed in the attire of their heritage. The options really are limitless!

Nativity Themed

Nativity

A popular idea that has been kept alive through the Church is that of the Nativity. But don’t let your mind wander simply to that night in Bethlehem, expand your reaches and incorporate different nativities from around the world.

Assign ward members to reenact the birth of Jesus, use props, and use authentic foods and recipes from that time period. This theme is perfect for any small ward activity to stake dinner.

This theme compared to other ones is incredibly important, as it focuses on the true meaning of Christmas, which is Christ’s birth. It

As you’ve taken a look at this extensive list of ideas, LDS.net hopes that you’ve found what you’re looking for as you prepare for any ward activity.

Though these ideas are fun and exciting, just remember that all of the ideas used in this article belong to their rightful owners. We did not create any of them nor do we take credit for them.

If you have any other fun ideas or ward party experiences that can be added to this list, please comment below. We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Natalie New is a writer and intern for LDS.net and a current English student at BYU-Idaho. She was born and raised in an LDS home and has attending two Mormon universities up to this point. Natalie has also held a variety of Church callings and has had unique experiences, giving her a unique outlook on life. You can contact Natalie via email.