20 Awesome Christmas Projects Hidden in CodePen

CodePen is an online playground for talented front-end developers, a place where you can always find cool projects to widen your horizons, and see what other developers are up to. Year-end holidays are a great time to surprise your loved ones with creative personal projects, or to say thanks to your customers with some cool, cutting edge designs that will help the holiday cheer.

In this post we will take a peek at 20 awesome Christmas experiments on CodePen, that you can use for inspiration to create your own designs.

1. Family Christmas Songbook

This lovely Family Christmas Songbook app can play your favourite Christmas songs hosted on SoundCloud. The style rules are written in the LESS stylesheet language, and the music player functionality is provided by a custom jQuery plugin.

The snowflake and Christmas tree icons in the background give a solemn atmosphere to the design, and if you hover over the pen you can also find some subtle CSS effects.

2. Digital Christmas Tree

Designing for Christmas is always a thankful job, as its typical visual elements can be built in many creative ways. This pen is a good example for this. At first you can only see colourful triangles, seemingly unrelated to the holidays, but when you click on the Reveal button, they are set together into a Christmas tree. It’s not only a unique solution, but also reminiscent of a simpler game.

3. Christmas Animation with Snowfall

You don’t necessarily need to use JavaScript, if you want to create a cool animation for Christmas. In this pen, both the snowfall animation and the background images are created purely in CSS. It’s worth to examine the code a bit, as it shows the incredible capabilities of CSS3. The background image can be even mistaken for a real SVG graphic.

4. Santa On The Run!

Santa On The Run! is a fun JavaScript game for the holidays making use of the phaser.js HTML5 game framework. There are not too many rules in this game: Santa runs infinitely, or at least until he falls down. This pen gives you an excellent opportunity to understand how to write a simpler game in JavaScript.

5. Secret Santa Name Picker

Picking a name out of a hat has been a popular way in schools and offices to pick Secret Santas – this pen is merely a digital version of this tradition. As it uses only vanilla JavaScript, you can easily embed it into your own site. Just change the names inside the give variable.

6. Christmas Balls in Pure CSS

These cheerful Christmas balls are written in pure CSS taking leverage of the border-radius rules. The different parts of the balls are set together by utilizing precisely calculated relative positions.

If you want to quickly add a holiday atmosphere to a web page, just insert some of these balls to the appropriate places in a colour that matches the overall design of the site.

7. Movable Snowflakes

You can make these snowflakes move by hovering over them on a desktop, or by tilting your smartphone. The functionality is provided by object-oriented JavaScript that is smartly used by the developer to create a custom Snowflake class.

The snowflakes themselves are built in CSS3, and the background uses gradients – there are no images in this pen at all.

8. Holiday Accordion Experiment

This holiday accordion is simply beautiful. If you hover over a tab it comes to focus by expanding a bit, and if you click on it it suddenly pops up and covers the whole page. It’s interesting to note that this pen uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) that are styled with CSS.

SVGs are more powerful than they seem to be at first sight, they can be smartly positioned and designed with the same style rules we use with regular HTML elements.

9. Flat Pure CSS Snowman

Who said flat design needs to be boring? This lovely snowman can easily add Christmas spirit to any design. There’s no images used for the snowman, it’s completely written in CSS. It’s worth to take a look at the CSS code a bit, and see how the developer uses the :before and :after pseudo selectors to achieve the intended result.

10. CSS3 Snowflake

You can facilitate the creation of CSS3-only images by using advanced front-end development tools; this well-designed CSS3 snowflake is an excellent example for this. The developer made use of the Jade templating language that compiles into HTML, and the Sass CSS preprocessor to implement this stunning snowflake design.

11. Christmas Button

Smart designs frequently opt for subtle solutions, just like the snowy Christmas Button in this pen. The dark red background is a perfect choice for a Christmas design; not everything needs to be green after all.

The colours, the gradients, the typeface, and the hover effect make this button very elegant and solemn. You need only a few of them to quickly decorate a site for Christmastime.

12. Parallax Happy Holiday

If you like parallax scrolling, why wouldn’t you use it for your holiday designs? The developer of this pen smartly experimented with the effect, and used the Parallax.js jQuery plugin in a less common way, the scrolling effect is not vertical as usual, but horizontal. The Christmas atmosphere is intensified by an impressive snowfall

If I had to pick on any flaw of this pen, it would be the colour choice: white letters on a partially white background significantly weakens the accessibility of the design.

13. CSS Christmas Wrapping Paper

You can create a completely unique Christmas wrapping paper with the help of CSS3. The developer of this pen shows not only one, but six variants for this. The beautiful patterns are achieved by the smart utilization of CSS gradients and the background-blend-mode property.

You can find even more cool examples and a detailed explanation on the developer’s own website.

14. Box Within a Box

This imaginative design was inspired by traditional Russian dolls (a doll inside of a doll). If you open the outer box by clicking on it, it reveals an inner box that is also the outer box of another inner box. The functionality is written in jQuery, and the exact places of the boxes are set with the help of absolute and relative position rules in the CSS file.

15. Gift Box with Paper Peel Effect

If you manage to remove the ribbon from this gift by dragging it away, you can take a look at the supercool paper peel effect that reveals the inner contents of the gift. You can read the full tutorial on the developer’s website, it’s a trick that it’s definitely worth to learn. If you just want to use the code you can clone it from GitHub as well.

16. Holiday Spirit Animated Canvas

Christmas can be a great time for experimenting with new things, just like the developer did it in this pen by using HTML5 canvas as an animated background. The canvas comes before the content (Happy Holidays!) in the HTML file, and it’s set as a background with the help of smart CSS positioning.

The pen also uses a background animation script included as a separate JavaScript file.

17. Gift Card UI

This eye-catching gift card is not only for Christmas, but can be used at any time when you want to surprise your users with a gift on your website. It doesn’t rely on JavaScript as it’s entirely written in the Sass stylesheet language.

The design makes use of the clip-path CSS3 property that allows developers to display only a specific region of an element, instead of showing its whole area.

18. Pure CSS Merry Christmas Card

This infinitely laughing Santa – using only HTML and CSS3 – can give you the opportunity to understand how the keyframe animation syntax can be used in practice. In CSS3 you can use the @keyframes rule to specify the rules of an animation, and then you can bind this specified animation to a certain element by using the animation CSS3 property.

You need to add the name of the keyframe as the first value of the animation property, just like the developer did this with the custom keyframes called bodyLaugh, beardLaugh, headLaugh, and mouthLaugh specifically created for this pen.

19. Xmas Cracker

If you hover over this impressive Xmas Cracker, it reveals a unique Christmas message that’s an amazing way to wish a Merry Christmas to your visitors. The HTML is written in HAML, the HTML Abstraction Markup Language, while the style rules take leverage of the power of the Sass Syntactically Awesome Styesheets language.

The result is smart and awesome indeed. By adding a little more JavaScript it can be even used to deliver custom quotes or messages to the users.

20. Flashing Xmas Lights

These flashing Christmas lights can quickly give a unique atmosphere to any website. The front-end code is written in HAML that compiles into HTML, Sass that compiles into CSS, and jQuery.

The animated glowing effect is achieved by the aforementioned @keyframes rule provided by CSS3. The colours of the leds are set in the jQuery file by adding 50 degrees to the Hue value of the previous led using the HSL colour scale.

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