While it’s possible to fill Christmas traditions for the family in an entire season, these ideas focus on “The Night Before Christmas.” Follow these Christmas Eve Traditions to create family memories for years and even generations. What are you doing December 24th?
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Christmas Eve Traditions
As our family has grown, traveling for family Christmas is occurring less frequently. It’s always nice to have extended family gathered around the Christmas tree, but the truth is, we pretty much take up the entire circumference. With a complete family, I have found it important to carry on, and begin new, Christmas Traditions.
Our first Christmas tradition has been Elf on the Shelf. Our family began this tradition in 2013 and we have continued it every Christmas season since. Since Christmas Eve is usually a slow paced day, I decided to roll other family traditions into this day. This included reading Christmas books before bed, making a Birthday Cake for Jesus, going to look at holiday lights, finishing our advent calendar and wearing matching Christmas Pajamas.
While many of these Christmas Eve traditions are ones that a lot of families do, also take a look at some of these unique family traditions that might be a bit out of the box. Perhaps you will try something new and it will stick for years (and generations) to come.
What To Do Christmas Eve
With places closed, there are many things to do Christmas Eve. Focus Christmas Eve on family. Stay home and follow these creative ideas including visiting Christmas lights, family game night, a Christmas movie-a-thon, baking, Christmas crafts, activities and more.
Host a Family Game Night
Have a Family Game Night (or day.) Play reindeer games, just like Rudolph and his friends. A holiday Christmas Minute to Win it Game Night would be fun, or split into two teams for a Christmas Name that Tune family game night.
You can also use this Christmas song list to go caroling. You can find your favorite Christmas carol on this list.
These 19 Christmas Party Games can be played with a large group or a small group. Whatever the party size, we think they will involve a lot of laughs! Comes with our Name that Tune Christmas printable and Christmas charade cards.
Christmas Eve Baking
One baking idea for Christmas Eve is Cookie Making. Bake your favorite cookies from our Cookie Exchange Ideas or create a Cookie Decorating Station for the kids like this idea from Taryn Whiteaker. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!
Don’t forget the meaning for the season. Take a look at our Jesus Birthday Cake Ideas. Christmas Eve is a perfect day to bake Jesus a cake. You could even leave a piece of cake for Santa Claus.
Don’t make today challenging. Make a Ginger Bread House. You can purchase a Ginger Bread House Kit or make an easy graham cracker ginger bread kit. Pull out some of that unwanted Halloween candy (since you won’t be tempted to eat it.) Alice and Lois share the best glue is actually hot glue. They also share a graham crackers gingerbread house template. All the more reason to keep it for a pretty display.
Christmas Eve is a great time to make Reindeer Food. It’s always nice to feed Santa cookies but did you know you can add this Magic Reindeer Food Recipe (from I Heart Naptime) to the yard. The reindeer will find it and stop off at your house with presents from the North Pole.
If you fear the rude green creatures that steal your gifts, you can also make this edible Grinch Dust Recipe from Premeditated Leftovers.
Christmas Eve Crafts & Activities
Curl up in a blanket, turn on a fire and watch the snow fall while enjoying a Christmas Movie-a-thon. Use this Countdown to Christmas Movie challenge with a merry binge-a-thon. Someone pop the popcorn.
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This is a fun Christmas Eve activity for kids. Have them draw Santa Claus portrait from this Roll a Santa Dice Game. You could leave this drawing out for Santa tonight with his cookies. Have your child add a note of thanks, like “thank you for visiting my house” or “thank you for the presents” or both! You can turn it into a Christmas card for Santa!
Go Look at Christmas Lights. In our Printable Scavenger Hunts for Kids, we included this Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt from Happiness is Homemade. Snowflakes, candy canes, frosty, a nativity, light set to music…. see how many you can find.
Christmas Eve Gift Ideas
Have a Scavenger Hunt. Download this Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt Printable PDF (you can use with or without a Scout Elves doll.) This Christmas scavenger hunt includes 22 rhyming clues you can omit or personalize to your home. Doing this as a Christmas Eve Tradition, have clues lead to a Christmas Eve gift box.
Do your kids always ask to open Christmas presents? Just one?! They can! One Christmas Eve gift idea you can continue every year – a Christmas Eve Box. We especially love this one from Dating Divas because it includes free printables for labeling your gift ideas. Christmas gift ideas include movies, snacks, a book and more – all in one family present box.
One item to included in your Christmas Eve gift box are Matching Christmas Pajamas for the Family. I would suggest buying these early, as sizes go quick the later in the season you shop. Some of my favorite places to buy matching pajamas are Target, Walmart, and Kohls, Often kids can only wear them one year, so try to keep your purchase low cost. You can see one year we had “pairs” of matching Christmas pjs.
Things of other’s this holiday season. Bring the neighbors a bottle of wine with this free White Christmas Wine Gift Tag. Another idea is to make the neighbors Reindeer Rudolph Bottle Craft using beer or IBC root beer.
Share the Gospel with the Legend of the Candy Cane or this M&M Christmas poem. Share with neighbors and friends. This is a fun way to share the new testament Christmas story while gifting a sweet treat.
Christmas Eve Family Traditions
If you have a north pole friend, take a look at these Elf on the Shelf Goodbye Ideas. These are cute last night Christmas Eve Elf on the Shelf ideas for your child. See more of our Elf on the Shelf Ideas.
Learn how to make Santa Foot Prints with baking soda and flip flops from Smart School House. It will bring a huge smile to your face to have the kids discover these on Christmas morning.
Christmas brunch is always a breakfast casserole. It’s hard to go all out with a fun Christmas tablescape because we are so occupied with opening presents. On Christmas eve, have a beautiful Christmas brunch spread with this Snowman Breakfast idea from Hoosier Homemade
Julie at Happy Home Fairy has an adorable Christmas Eve Activity bucket list printable. A few of these ideas you might do a bit earlier in the season, but some are perfect for the night before Christmas.
Decorate Christmas Cookies
Have a Christmas Dance Party
Sip Hot Cocoa by the Fire
Read The Night Before Christmas
Donate Books and Toys
Cut Out Paper Snowflakes
Want a printable Christmas Tradition Checklist? Grab one in our free printable library.
WHAT’S TRENDING? Looking for a few engaging activities? Grab Minute to Win it Games – Traditional, Christmas, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and more! Use these fun activities in the office, classroom, or at your next party.
Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Ashley at Frugal Coupon Living