12 Christmas Writing Prompts for Stories and Essays

Kate Miller-Wilson

Writing About the Christmas Season

Get through your holiday writer's block with the creative Christmas writing prompts. From plates of delicious Christmas cookies to piles of elaborately wrapped gifts sitting around the tree, Christmas offers plenty of inspiration for writers. It just comes down to knowing where to start.

Modern Version of A Christmas Carol

Everyone knows the story of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but what if you imagined it as a modern tale? Rewrite this beloved story with Scrooge as a distracted and successful business man who won't put down his phone to be with his family. What will the Ghost of Christmas Past show him? How will he atone for his actions in the end?

The Story of Your Holiday Heirlooms

For a bit of holiday nonfiction writing, take a look at your Christmas heirlooms. Are there dishes or silverware you only use during this time of year? Are there special decorations you inherited from your grandparents? Take a moment to record the stories that go with these special items.

He Knows if You've Been Naughty

Writing from the perspective of an imaginary character or about yourself, imagine Santa calls. He's been watching. He knows if you've been naughty. Have you? What has he seen this year? Will he be giving you any gifts? How will you explain your choices?

Your Family's Christmases Past

How did your parents or grandparents celebrate Christmas? Tell the story of these holiday celebrations of years gone by or imagine you are invited to participate. You can even write an essay about how these early celebrations influenced the way your family celebrates today.

The Christmas Date

Choosing a character or using your own life, imagine you've been set up on a Christmas date. He (or she) arrives, and your first impression is not good at all. What does this person look like? How does he or she act? As your festive evening unfolds, describe the drama that ensues. Are you surprised in the end?

A Christmas Wish

Imagine you've been given a magical snowglobe. As you shake it, an elf appears and says he will grant one Christmas wish. What do you wish for? You can write this an essay from your own perspective or use the scenario as a way to explore the perspective of a character.

The Role of Christmas Food

Food has a role in many holidays, especially Christmas. Do you bake the same holiday cookies your mother did? Do you use your father's Christmas turkey recipe? Are there foods that immediately take you back to your grandmother's dining room table on Christmas Day? Write about food at Christmas, being as specific and descriptive as possible.

Holiday Time Travel

Nostalgia has a place at Christmas, as people think fondly of sleigh rides and figgy pudding. But what if you were suddenly transported back in time at the holidays? Use this Christmas story prompt to write about how you or a character deal with a sudden jump back to the Victorian era. How do you find shelter and food? What do you learn about the era and about the holiday spirit?

Secrets in Santa's Workshop

Santa is making a secret toy, a toy that will change the life of the boy or girl who receives it. What is the toy? How will it change things? Who will receive this gift? Write a Christmas fiction story describing the toy and how it makes a difference.

An Unexpected Holiday Visit

You're sitting in front of the Christmas tree when you hear the doorbell ring. When you answer it, you find it is the last person you expected to see. Who is there? What kind of conversation do you have?

Christmas in the Hospital

Have you ever celebrated the holidays in a hospital or nursing home, whether as a visitor or a patient? How is that kind of celebration different than one at home? Are there joys among the challenges in a hospital holiday? Use this theme as a Christmas essay prompt.

A Christmas Mishap

Even though it's a time of joy and celebration, Christmas accidents happen. Tell the story of an accident that happened to you or an imaginary holiday accident. It can be serious or funny, fictional or true-to-life.

Celebrate With a Christmas Story

Christmas story prompts and writing exercises are a fun way to celebrate the holiday season. Writing can give you a break from the hectic holiday schedule and provide a chance to channel your stress in a creative direction.

Kate Miller-Wilson
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12 Christmas Writing Prompts for Stories and Essays