Below are tons of ideas we’ve used in the past for “Christmas Club.”
Christmas Club Schedule
On a typical Monday, we start club at 7:37pm, but for this particular event, we start earlier to allow more time for the “Mr. Christmas Tree pageant.”
6:50-7:20- Pics with Santa/ Awkward Christmas Cards
7:20- Seniors form entry tunnel
7:22- Tonight, Yes, Tonight- Buddy the elf (host)
7:23- Christmas Medley (band)
7:26- 12 days of Christmas (mixer & song)
7:30- Mr. Christmas Tree Training Video
7:35- Mr. Tree group dance
7:40- Buddy the elf spaghetti game
7:44- Judges Panel introduced
7:45- Talent Competition
7:59- JibJab Elf head video
8:04- Parade of Trees (Runway Script)
8:12- Contestant Interviews
8:16- Text Message Voting
8:19- Joy To The World
8:23- What Child Is This?
8:26- Intro speaker
8:43- Crown Mr. Christmas Tree
Mr. Christmas Tree Pageant
Brian Summerall started doing “Mr. Christmas Tree” at Pearce High School in Texas many moons ago. Since then, the idea has spread all over the country. Many Young Life clubs have each grade nominate one guy to represent their class in the pageant.
When we started doing it a decade ago, we decided to make it a senior guys competition- a sort of rite of passage. It’s created momentum and gave the underclassmen something to look forward to when they became seniors. This year’s senior guys will compete, many remembering their first-ever Mr. Christmas Tree Pageant they watched when they were freshmen. The past few years we’ve had around a dozen senior guys compete. Each of them brings friends to club to “vote” for them, so it typically is our highest attended club of the year. Because of the energy surrounding the event, we also make it the first night folks can sign up for our summer camp trip.
*We also do a similar event, “The Ms. Valentines Pageant” for the senior ladies in February.
A fun way to get teachers, coaches, YL committee, and former YL leaders involved is to ask them to serve on the Judges Panel.
If you select one guy from each grade, or use 4-8 total guys, each guy could have time to perform an individual talent like dancing, singing, silly tricks, etc… In that case the judges panel could help keep a running score.
If you have more than 8 guys, I’d recommend putting the guys into “talent groups.” Last year we had 4 groups of 4 guys.
You can decide if the panel determines the winner, or if you vote by applause, text message, or by the audience each circling a name on a ballot you pass out towards the end of the competition.
12 Days of Christmas Skit
Here’s a funny skit idea for 2 of the contestants to do together while the rest of the contestants sing the 12 Days of Christmas. It feels a little long so I might just do it once starting on the 12th day.
Parade of Trees
Some clubs duct tape actual trees to guys, which is hilarious. We encourage guys to dress as tree, open to their own interpretation. Some use actual tree branches taped to their body, some wear ornaments, tinsel, star hats, popcorn strings, some dress in green and brown, but every one of them is covered in strands of Christmas lights. After they walk down the runway onto the stage, we have a couple of power strips where they each can plug in their lights. (Some use battery packs)
During their runway walk we have an announcer reading a funny ‘runway script.’ Each guy submits personal stats they would put on a resume and we work together on making it funny. Here’s the script we used from a previous year. In the past, I have asked the PA announcer at our high school football games to come in and read the script in his awesome football announcer voice.
We typically have someone dress up as “Buddy The Elf” and host the entire evening as sort of a Ryan Seacrest/Will Ferrell combo character. It helps the flow of the evening if one person is directing stage traffic.
If possible, get last year’s Mr. Christmas Tree winner to return home for this club to crown the new winner. Create an elaborate “sash and star crown” for the presentation. We’re doing this after the talk in order to give time to tally the votes during the talk, and it’s a fun way to conclude the evening. You can also have kids vote via text messaging using PollEverywhere.com.
If you have just a handful of contestants, each guy could make their own “entry video” or “training video.” They could be practicing singing, doing pushups, running bleachers, visiting a Christmas tree lot, painting themselves green, duct-taping branches on their bodies, drinking lots of egg nog, etc…
If you’re using a lot of contestants, make one training video together. Here are some examples of videos from other clubs:
Ask friends for BIG inflatables and borrow Christmas lights. Click here for more details.
- Rudolph, Feliz Navidad, and Jingle Bells are good fast ones.
- ‘What Child is this?’ and ‘Silent Night’ are good slow ones.
- Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” is good background music for fillers and games.
- “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N’Sync is a must.
12 Days Of Christmas Song & Mixer
As a mixer, use the song “12 days of Christmas” and divide your club into 6 groups. Group 1 will have “the 1st day of Christmas and the 7th day of Christmas, Group 2 will have day 2 and day 8, etc… Personalize the song to fit your club. Ex: If you took kids to Crooked Creek and the program team used Skippy the fish, then you could change the lyrics to: “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Skippy in a Crooked Creek.” Get creative.
Get a few pairs of pantyhose and a bunch of balloons and have teams of 4 work together to blow up the balloons and then stuff them to see who can make the best reindeer antlers in 90 seconds.
If you need a large group game you can play “Encore” or “Sing-off” and have each class compete (team of freshmen, team of sophs, etc…) to sing Christmas carols. If they repeat one that has already been sung, they are out. This works pretty well if you have team captains for each group.
Little Nemo Elf
The traditional “Little Nemo” skit works great with Elves. It’s explained here.
Buddy The Elf Spaghetti Contest
Start it off by showing the clip from the movie Elf where Will Ferrell eats spaghetti with maple syrup, marshmallows, m&ms, & skittles. Then have a character come on stage dressed as an Elf. You can buy an “elf shirt” lots of places like Walmart/Target or online at Elf Shirt Purchase. Have “Buddy the Elf” come out with all the ingredients mentioned above. You also need a tarp, towels for the kids to clean up with afterwards, theme music to play in the background, and bowls. Have the kids race to eat with their hands. Give out decent sized portions where a kid can actually eat it all in a minute. If you put too much in there, it will take too long and be a dud.
Create a JibJab video of your YL leaders heads on the bodies of elves. You have to pay to download it, or you can just show it if you have WiFi where you have club.
Awkward Family Christmas Cards
Pics With Santa
Invite a committee member or parent to dress up as Santa and have kids get their pics taken with him. Invite another adult to take the pics in order to free up leaders to be with kids. Lighting is key for good photos. Chances are you have a parent or friend of YL in the community who loves photography, has a sweet camera, and would love to do it for free.
Pass them out before club. They’re cheap and festive.
Encourage kids to dress up in their ugliest Christmas sweaters. Odds are, their moms probably have some sweet ones in the attic. If not, a Goodwill trip is always great contact work.
Here are a few talk ideas thanks to Sean McGever and YLHelp.com.
What ideas would you add? Email us here.