Break the Ice:
- Share your favorite Christmas tradition from childhood.
- What is your favorite Christmas hymn? Favorite non-hymn Christmas song?
- Do you remember when/how you found out the truth about Santa? What was the experience like?
- What is the best Christmas gift you've ever received or given? The worst?
- What is one holiday dish or food item you must have on Christmas? Why?
- Light a fire in the fireplace during your meetings for a cozy atmosphere.
- Invite group members' kids to your small group and make gingerbread houses together. Have prizes for the most classic and the most creative houses.
- Play Christmas music while people are arriving. Here's a free playlist for you to use.
- Hold a Christmas trivia competition. Divide into groups and see who knows the most about the holiday. Don't forget to have a prize for the winning team!
- Exchange small gifts. For a fun twist, have everyone bring an "as-seen-on-TV" gift or do a white elephant exchange.
- Sing Christmas songs for your worship time. Check out our free songs for help.
- Bring plates of your favorite Christmas cookies one night. Then swap recipes.
- Offer peppermint mocha or gingerbread flavored creamer for coffee.
- Make a big pot of hot chocolate and stir in a few peppermints to serve for a festive drink.
- For a fun snack, dip pretzel rods in melted white chocolate and then roll them in crushed peppermints or red and green sprinkles. Set on parchment paper to harden before serving.
- Set aside one meeting to have a meal together and simply pray for one another to invite group members to slow down in the midst of a busy season.
- Ask someone on staff at your church for a list of elderly people who have a hard time getting to church every week. Choose a few of the people on the list and surprise them with caroling. Bring along a treat to share.
- Use this same list of elderly members to figure out who might need someone to shovel snow for them this winter. Divide up the needs within your group.
- Assemble several jars of Christmas cookie mix. Attach a tag to the jar with an encouraging Bible verse. Divide into groups of three or four and deliver the jars to people who are new to your church or who don't have family nearby. Make sure to let any new people know about your church's small-group opportunities or invite them to your group. After, meet back at your host home to pray for each person you visited.
- As a group, choose a holiday ministry to support (like Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child). Spend time praying for this ministry and the people who will benefit from your involvement.
- Host a Christmas appreciation dinner for the staff at your church to thank them for their ministry.
- Hold a Christmas dinner and invite people who don't have anywhere to go for the holiday.
—Compiled by the editors of SmallGroups.com; copyright 2013 by Christianity Today.