Here are 24 icebreaker questions and activities I’ve written over the years that you can choose from. (Tip: save or print this for future use!)
How are you “lighting up” your home for Christmas? Who is in charge of the lights and other decorations? Any special traditions?
What are your expectations this Christmas? What are you hoping for?
What does your busiest week in December look like?
Describe the favorite or most meaningful Christmas card you’ve received this year. (If possible, ask group members to bring their favorite card with them.) What makes this card so meaningful?
In 60 seconds, write down the titles of as many Christmas songs or carols as you can think of that mention angels. At the end of the 60 seconds, see who came up with the most and the most original.
How well are you prepared for Christmas? Physically (home decorations, buying gifts)? Financially? Emotionally? Spiritually?
What is the most special Christmas gift you’ve ever received? What makes a gift special to you?
Ask all three of these questions:
- What is the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received?
- What is the most memorable Christmas gift you have ever given?
- Which was more meaningful to you?
As you anticipate Christmas, what phrase or phrases best describe you?
- OH NOOO, there’s so much to get done!!!
- How long IS your family staying?
- Do we HAVE to buy a gift for every single person we know?
- What a wonderful time of year to reflect on the birth of Jesus and all the promises.
- I really miss the people who are not going to be with us this Christmas.
If you could give any gift to anyone, what would you give, to whom, and why?
What is the silliest gift you ever received for Christmas? What was the silliest gift you ever gave for Christmas?
Is there someone (don’t name names) that you will avoid at a Christmas Party this year? What avoidance techniques do you employ?
Which Christmas carol evokes the strongest memory for you and why?
When you were a kid, did you sneak and find your gifts? How far did you go to figure out what you were going to get for Christmas?
What scene is your favorite from It’s a Wonderful Life? Can you quote a line from the film?
As people arrive, give each a name tag to wear for the evening. Instruct them to print their first names vertically down the left side of the tag and then print a word or words for each letter describing their favorite things about Christmastime.
Leader Tip: Create your own name tag first, before other people arrive. As always, you as the leader go first and model this for the group.
As everyone gets settled, invite each person to introduce themselves and say why they chose the words they put on their tags.
Before the meeting, set up a nativity set in the center of the room where all participants can see it. Ask:
- What traditions, if any, did your family have with the nativity set?
Now pick up Mary and show her to the group. Ask:
- How have you viewed Jesus’ mother Mary through your life?
- From where did you develop your views of her?
Set up the nativity set in the center of the room where all participants can see it. Pick up Joseph and show him to the group, then ask: What is your general impression of Joseph? Explain your response.
- He’s an extra in the Christmas story. I don’t even notice him.
- He’s got a part in the manger scene, but he’s always in the background.
- He was always there for Mary, standing behind her and taking care of her. His role was simply to be Mary’s husband.
- He probably was a good dad. He taught Jesus to be a carpenter.
- He’s the leading man in the Christmas story. God chose him to be Jesus’ earthly father.
- He’s a great man of faith, a great model for us to emulate.
- Other: ______
Point out the shepherds and angels outside the nativity scene. Without saying anything, move the shepherds so that they are gathered around the manger. Then ask:
- As a kid, what Christmas traditions, if any, did your family have as it related to the shepherds and angels?
- Did you ever play one of these parts in a Christmas pageant?
- Was your tree topper an angel?
- Anything else?
- How about in your family today?
As a child, how did your family build up to Christmas Day? Did you have any particular traditions to help you anticipate Christmas (for instance, an Advent wreath, candles, a calendar, creative use of the nativity set, etc.)? Do you have any traditions today?
As a young child how did you anticipate the coming of Christmas Day?
- It can’t get here soon enough!
- It can’t be over soon enough!
- Other: _______
How would you answer the same question now?
What family Christmas traditions are you using this year to focus on Christ and why he came into the world?
What’s your favorite quote from any Christmas movie? The first person to guess what movie it’s from and the name of the person who said it wins (a white elephant gift?).
(For after Christmas) How was this Christmas different from previous Christmases?
MORE CHRISTMAS IDEAS AND RESOURCES
What to Do When God Does Not Feel Very Much Like “Immanuel”
Not Just Another Sentimental Christmas Message
7 Ways Your Small Group Can Celebrate the Incarnation this Christmas Season: #1: Experience Christmas!
#2: Celebrate Immanuel
#3: Love Those Who Are Struggling
#4: Give Gifts
#5: Start Some New Traditions
#6 & 7: Party and Plan