12 creative writing prompts for Christmas

Woman hand holding pen on notepad at home on winter holidays xmas.
The Christmas season is a great time to make time for your writing passions and explore some festive-inspired storylines.

With snow-covered settings and family reunions, winter makes the perfect backdrop for many story writers. Let the merriment of Christmas seep into your tales, or perhaps explore a sinister side to these dark, wintery days.

These Christmas writing ideas fit perfectly with this dynamic season and are sure to add a festive spark to your writing journal.

It’s Christmas Eve and you can’t sleep. You decide to go downstairs for a glass of water. You walk into your living room just in time to find a pair of feet coming down from your chimney and landing in your fireplace.

There are a number of ways you can go with this prompt. While the above image may be a child’s dream, it could also be an adult’s nightmare. A classic start to what is sure to be an intriguing tale.

You are stuck in the world of a Christmas song. You must write a suspenseful story based on the words and concepts.

Love them or hate them, the same Christmas songs resurface each year without fail. Use these festive jingles as writing inspiration for your next Christmas story idea. Pick your favourite (or most hated) and embed it into your own fictional world.

It’s just a few minutes until Christmas Day. You forgot to leave cookies and milk out as an offering for Santa Claus. He’s not going to be happy, and it terrifies you.

cookies and milk for santa claus, christmas concept, seasonal celebration, new year eve, xmas evening, festive family tradition.

Again, the direction your story takes following this prompt depends largely on your main character. ‘Offering’ suggests something peculiar, but could this just be an innocent, misguided fear? How jolly Santa turns out to be is entirely up to you.

You wake up as Santa Claus on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. The sleigh is set, the presents are wrapped, and the elves are singing around the tree. Rudolph stands over you with his nose glowing bright, and asks if it’s time to take flight.

Take on the role of Santa Claus himself in this next Christmas creative writing idea. Will the day go off without a hitch, or will you encounter some festive mishaps along the way? Play around those other mentioned Christmas characters too, for a rich and varied story.

It’s Christmas Eve on one of the coldest winters of the century. You have 24 hours to think of something to do to get you high enough on the Naughty List to get enough coal to keep your small village warm.

This short Christmas writing prompt has so many layers already, pushing the idea of what it means to be ‘nice’ for Christmas. The harsh wintery scenes will no doubt be a joy to write while thinking up various naughty acts will bring you hours of fun.

You have been invited to a Christmas party by an old friend.

This idea has been purposely left short to allow your creative mind to wander where it wishes. Is your character happy to receive the invitation? Or perhaps the note brings up feelings they would have rather left buried…

You get woken up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve by a loud voice: “Help! I’m stuck in the chimney!”

A touch of comedy with this next Christmas writing idea. A rescue mission for Santa Claus himself, or will you be forced to help an incompetent festive intruder? A chance to experiment with your humour writing, whatever tone that takes.

One Christmas day, you wake up to find a bunch of mistletoe floating above your head. You feel as though it’s trying to lead you somewhere.

Mistletoe bunch with red bow on blurred background, space for text. Traditional Christmas decor

A Christmas mystery that could lead your character on a tale of love, heartbreak, or something else entirely. Choose to centre your story in the real world, or allow the supernatural element to take you into the fantasy realm.

While everyone else was getting Christmas presents, all you got was a card containing a name and a phone number.

So much for the wish list! This Christmas writing idea is thick with mystery and anticipation and has the freedom to move into a number of genres or styles. The age of your character will greatly affect their response, too.

You’re in a little coastal town pub on Christmas Eve. “What a night,” you say out loud to your drink. A salty old sea captain comes out of the darkness to tell the tale of his Night Before Christmas on the sea…

Coastal writing is always so much fun – throw in a Christmas twist, and you’ve got yourself a truly enjoyable festive tale just waiting to be penned. This dark and stormy writing prompt is the ultimate creative spark.

The Grinch is trying to steal Christmas, but things start to go wrong when he chooses to start with Kevin McCallister’s home.

A shout-out to two of the best Christmas films of all time, and plenty of opportunities to create a Christmas story idea that is already rich in character and contextual detail. The overlapping of these two worlds will be something to wrack your brain around but is sure to be a story your whole family will want to read.

A young child wished that it could be Christmas every day, and now it is – for every single person on Earth.

It’s Groundhog Day, the festive edition, for this final Christmas story writing prompt. How long will it take for society to tire of those ringing sleigh bells? Are there enough Christmas crackers to pull, day after day? And finally (perhaps most importantly), does Santa Claus have enough presents to go around?

Mariah enjoys typing articles for our blog on her laptop but she'd much rather be writing them by hand with a luxury fountain pen!