Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality. Or so believed Washington Irving. And what better way to do so than arranging a Christmas sleepover? This can be done throughout the build-up to Christmas but is especially exciting on Christmas Eve. If circumstances don’t allow, arrange a sleepover with your children to get in the spirit of Christmas or host a virtual Christmas to include friends and relatives, wherever they are in the world. For adults and children alike, a Christmas sleepover can really get you in the spirit of the season. Here are some ideas and tips:
Planning a Christmas sleepover
It’s important that you plan your Christmas sleepover, to ensure that it’s truly magical. This will also build excitement for everyone. Here are some things you simply must do before your sleepover:
1. Choose a theme
Having a Christmas theme can be fun not just for kids but for adults too. Think Christmas jumpers or go all out with full Christmas character fancy dress (you could even have awards for the best costume). Be sure to give plenty of warning, so that everyone has a chance to choose their outfit.
Whether the sleepover is for your children, or if you’re having a virtual sleepover, ensure that you decorate. Set a room aside for the sleepover and go crazy with the decorations. Keep the decorations within your theme, if you can. For example, if you’re choosing a snowglobe theme, opt for white tinsel and fairy lights for a winter wonderland feel.
3. Make your room a slumber party haven
Whichever room you have decided to set aside for the sleepover, make it as comfy as possible. Not only do you need lots of decorations, but think big, cosy cushions and warm blankets. Have areas set aside for food and drink too.
The aim here is to make the room as warm and cosy as possible. That way you can make sure everyone is comfy when they finally drift off to sleep.
Christmas sleepover activities
As Carroll Stuhlmueller said: “Christmas belongs to children and to the child in all of us.” So what better way to bring the magic out at Christmas, for children and inner-children, than to have Christmas activities planned? This will keep the evening going and ensure everyone’s ready to sleep at bedtime. Here are some activity ideas:
1. Christmas scavenger hunt
Although your scavenger hunt will be different for virtual and household sleepovers, both are a fun way to get everyone moving. They’re great for kids and adults alike, just be sure to tweak it to the right age group.
In the home, you have a few ways of doing this. You can give each guest a list of items to collect throughout the night (make sure there are some hard to find items). Set a time for the scavenger hunt to end and once the time is up the person with the most items wins.
Another option is to make this more of a team activity, by setting clues and riddles. Each clue should lead to an item and another clue. The last item should be a prize that will be used during the night, maybe a family-sized box of chocolates to share throughout the evening.
2. Set up a hot chocolate bar
Winter simply cannot pass without hot chocolates, and these are a vital part of a Christmas sleepover. Set up a hot chocolate area, where everyone can help themselves to any toppings and extras that they want.
This is a good activity for the start of the night or can be done throughout the night as a “break” from activities.
3. Get crafty
Having a crafty activity can be good fun for all ages. Why not set aside time to make your own decorations? These could be something that you plan to hang on the tree once done. You could get everyone to make Christmas cards for each other.
You could go the extra mile and get everyone to find an old (clean) sock and decorate their own stocking. Hang these above the fireplace at the end of the night and (as the host) fill them with some sweets ready for the morning once everyone is asleep.
4. Pin the nose on Rudolph
Let the donkey take a break and instead play pin the nose on Rudolph. Make a basic Rudolph face without the nose (but draw on where the nose is meant to go). You can do this with a piece of card or decorate a corkboard to make it look like a reindeer face (all you need is antlers, eyes and a mouth).
Next, give everyone a red circle with their name on it. This is Rudolph’s nose. Each player is blindfolded and must pin the nose in the correct place. Whoever gets closest wins!
5. Watch a christmas film
Is there anything more Christmassy than watching a Christmas film? Choose an old favourite or go for something new to get everyone in the spirit of Christmas. Do this later on in the evening, when you want everyone to start quieting down. Ensure everyone has a comfy place to sit, bring in popcorn and other snacks (maybe even let them all have another hot chocolate from the bar), dim the lights and settle down to watch.
Hosting a virtual Christmas sleepover
The digital world has many uses, one of which is the ability to bring people who are far apart together. If you live far away from family and close friends, you can arrange a virtual Christmas sleepover. This can be a great way to get grandparents involved if they live far away. Although you won’t all be together in the same room, you can still have fun with a variety of games and activities.
To make this more than just a video call, you’ll need some planning. Send out a virtual invitation and choose a theme. Give people plenty of time to come up with an outfit for the virtual sleepover and encourage them to decorate their background.
You can still play games like the scavenger hunt. For this, you as the host should have the list of items (or you could make it more difficult with riddles). Call out the item or riddle and the first person to bring the correct item to the video call wins a point. Also, ask the point scorer to tell a story about the item too. The best story can also win a point. The person with the most points at the end wins. You could also play games like charades or do a Christmas trivia quiz.
One thing that is important for a virtual sleepover is arranging a time for everyone to join a video call the next morning. You don’t want to miss out the waking up together and reminiscing about the fun of the night before.
Tips for planning a Christmas sleepover
Arranging a Christmas sleepover is no easy task, there’s lots to think about, even if you’re hosting a virtual sleepover. Here are some tips to help you with the arrangements:
- Plan early – Christmas time gets busy really quickly, so ensure you block out the date, make sure everyone else knows the date and get planning before December.
- Have time to set up – decorating, making the room comfy, setting up crafts and hiding items for a scavenger hunt takes time. Buy anything you need in advance and ensure you have plenty of time before the sleepover starts to set everything up. Get the kids to help with setting a few things up so that the excitement starts nice and early.
- Have a loose timeline – You’ll want a rough idea of what should be happening at specific times, with a few scheduled breaks too. However, don’t stick rigidly to this plan. If everyone’s having fun making decorations and you’re meant to be starting the scavenger hunt, don’t move everybody on. Let the sleepover flow naturally and check in with your rough timeframe if it needs some direction.
But most importantly, ensure you have fun and embrace your inner child during your Christmas sleepover, for as it is said in A Christmas Carol:
“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas”.
What’s your favourite Christmas sleepover game? Let us know in the comments below!