Is Christmas going to look different for you this year? Are you spending Christmas in a hotel room? Don’t fret- there are still ways you can make the holidays feel magical, even away from home.
There are many reasons why you might be spending Christmas in a hotel room this year. Maybe you are traveling for the holidays, visiting family, in between houses at the moment, or some tragedy struck and you are forced to say at a hotel for a bit.
Whatever the case, you deserve to have a holiday that is special and magical- even in a hotel room!
Especially if you have young children, you might be worried about ruining the holiday magic. How can you possibly have a nice Christmas in a hotel room?!
Luckily, there are tons of ways you can make the holiday fun, exciting, and maybe even start some new traditions!
Since you won’t have all your typical household items, you will need to do some preparation, which we will discuss later in this list. You will definitely need to do some strategic planning and reorganizing!
Remember- don’t start doing any of the things on this list before you do this in your hotel room!
If you are ready to have a magical and unique Christmas holiday this year, you are in the right place! This year might look different, but it will be one to remember for years to come!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Preparing Children for Christmas in a Hotel Room
If you have young children, you might be concerned about how they will react to having Christmas in a hotel room and not at home. They might start to ask questions, and you just aren’t ready to break the truth to them.
No one wants to ruin the holiday magic for kids, and having to stay in a hotel room this year is a lousy excuse to do so. So, what can you do?
Before you leave for your hotel stay, have a discussion with your kids that you will not be spending Christmas at home this year. They might be too young to even consider questions like, “But, how will Santa find us?!” or, “How will Santa know where we are?”
You don’t want to be caught tongue-tied and stumbling over your words trying to find some answer that seems good enough for them. Instead, have a plan!
Suggest to your kids that you leave a note for Santa at your house. You can even put out some milk and cookies for a more authentic magical feel!
In the note, have your kids tell Santa that you will be away from home this year, and leave the address of the hotel you will be at (and the hotel room number!)
This way, your children will know that Santa will be able to find them and deliver their gifts!
Traveling with Christmas Gifts
Traveling with all your Christmas gifts is a tricky one. If your kids are a bit older, you won’t want them to see all the gifts in the car and start wondering. But, you obviously have to bring the gifts with you, so what can you do?
If your hotel is relatively close, consider dropping the gifts off ahead of time. The hotel staff might have a room you can store the gifts in, or you can find space in your hotel room to hide them. You can always put them in the closet and throw a blanket over the top of them!
If the hotel is too far to do any of this, you could deliver the gifts, but that can get rather expensive! Instead, you’ll have to get creative!
See if you can fit the gifts into a suitcase. Just pretend it is full of clothes, and your kids won’t think anything of it! Or, put the gifts in the trunk of the back seat and put stuff on top of it or a blanket. This will all depend on the size of your gifts and your car, of course!
No matter what you choose to do, always wrap your gifts ahead of time! You won’t want to do any wrapping once you are in the hotel room. Plus, this will definitely be tricky to try and hide. Do yourself a favor, and get all of this done before you leave!
Stuck on gift ideas? Here are some travel gift ideas for couples!
Christmas Tree in a Hotel Room
Everyone knows you can’t have Christmas without a Christmas tree. Just because you are spending Christmas in a hotel room shouldn’t mean you have to do without it!
However, you probably don’t want to set up a full-size Christmas tree in your hotel room (unless of course, you are spending an extended stay in the room) If that is the case, then by all means- go big or go home!
For the rest of you who are only spending a few nights in the hotel room, consider just setting up a small Christmas tree. This 24-inch tabletop mini Christmas tree will do just the trick! It comes with all the ornament and lights, so you can set it up in a pinch!
You can set it up on the dresser, desk, nightstand, or table if you have one in the room. A small tree is better than nothing, and the kids can wake up to presents around the tree!
This also gives you an opportunity to let the kids help you set up the tree. Kill some time and let them take turns putting ornaments on the tree, just like you do at home!
The kids will wake up surprised and excited when they see Santa made it, even to their hotel room!
Christmas Decorations in a Hotel Room
Okay, so you’ve got the Christmas tree set up, but what about other decorations? Christmas just isn’t the same without some holiday cheer!
You can use pretty much any decorations you are used to using, even in a hotel room!
For example, bring your stockings and hang them on the wall with some command hooks. Or, just place them on the sofa or table! You can also bring some additional Christmas lights and hang them around your room- just remember to use temporary hooks so you don’t get charged any damage fees.
You can also get some Christmas window clings, and let the kids go wild with them on the window or mirror. An easy and clean way to spread some holiday cheer in your hotel room!
You can always bring your own holiday decorations from home, such as Christmas towels, wreaths, blankets, or pillows! This will also help the room to feel more comfortable and just like home!
Christmas Activities in a Hotel Room
Once you’ve got everything set up, how will you actually spend Christmas in a hotel room? What are you going to do all day long? How will you keep the kids occupied?
Hopefully, the kids’ new toys will keep them occupied for a while, but if not, you’ll need backup. Just think about what you normally do during the holidays!
Consider getting a hotel room with a small kitchen so you can make your own meals, and bake cookies with the kids! You can kill a couple of hours frosting cookies and making some delicious desserts. You can even do this on Christmas Eve and have freshly baked cookies ready for Santa.
You can also bring a gingerbread house kit and let the kids spend time putting it together! Watch some holiday movies together, have a dance party, do some holiday crafts, whatever you gotta do!
You can always pack the kid’s snow gear, and go play outside in the hotel lawn for a bit! Make a snowman, do some snow angels, and pretend you are a kid again!
Other Ideas for Spending Christmas in a Hotel Room
- See if there are any local events in the area. Maybe the kids can go visit Santa, go to a holiday show, see some Christmas lights, or see some reindeer!
- If the weather allows for it, go sledding or ice skating for the day! Just remember to pack your snow gear!
- If you are bringing your furry friend along with you, don’t forget he will need some things! Check out this packing list for dogs in a hotel room!
- Order room service as an extra special treat for Christmas brunch.
- Or, if your room as a kitchen, bring your own ingredients and make a nice meal for your family!
- See if the hotel will be having any special events for the holidays- you never know, Santa may just make an appearance!
Santa, reindeer, and elf footprints. This is a cute idea to do on the sidewalk of the hotel (be sure to get permission first!). Bring the kids outside on Christmas morning and watch as they look in awe that Santa was really here!
Grab some reindeer food as a fun activity with the kids. Sprinkle the food outside to lure the reindeer in! We used to do this when I was a kid, and it was a fun tradition! You can even make your own: We used oatmeal for the food, then added sparkles or glitter so the reindeer could find it!