10 Festive Christmas Eve Traditions Your Family Will Love
There are few nights more magical for children than the night before Christmas. The anticipation of Santa Claus’ arrival, the promise of goodies under the tree- it’s no wonder so many little ones are reluctant to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. If you’re like me, it’s fun to add small touches to special days, to make them that much more memorable. Check out my ideas for 10 festive Christmas Eve traditions you’ll want to start with your family this year!
1. Have A Movie Night
Nothing beats cuddling under blankets with your kiddos and watching a Christmas themed movie. It can be extra fun to share a childhood favorite of yours with them! Another fun option is to pick up a holiday movie no one has seen before and surprise your family with it on Christmas eve.
2. Make Cookies For Santa
If you’re looking for a tasty way to pass some time on Christmas Eve, baking cookies for Santa is a fun choice for the whole family! Spending time together mixing and decorating can really amplify those sweet, warm holiday feelings. Even if you’re not interested in baking together, don’t forget to leave a few store-bought cookies out for Santa Claus before bed!
3. Make Hot Cocoa
Put together some sweet cocoa to keep the house feeling cozy on Christmas Eve! If you’re feeling really ambitious, fill a thermos and head out to go…
4. Christmas Caroling
This is a tradition I’ve not participated in often, but it seems so fun and festive. After all, Buddy in ‘Elf’ said it best… “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”
5. Take In The Lights
My boys love to get bundled into the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights. Even if we don’t go far from our neighborhood, it’s still magical for them. Check local websites or Facebook groups to find listings of the most impressive light displays near you. Be sure to play some Christmas music to make your drive extra festive! (And bonus, this is a Christmas Eve tradition that might actually help your little ones settle down before bedtime!)
6. Make It A Holy Night
Although many celebrate a fairly secular holiday, attending Christmas Eve services at your place of worship can be an incredibly meaningful Christmas Eve tradition for your family.
7. Unwrap Some fun
For kids who have been waiting all month long for presents, the promise of opening a gift on Christmas Eve is magical. Consider a Christmas Eve tradition where everyone is allowed to open just one gift. Or consider unwrapping a ‘family’ gift on Christmas Eve- maybe a new board game to turn the night into family game night?
8. Get Cozy In New Jammies & 9. Read Together
Ever since #thebigone was very tiny, I have always loved getting him new pajamas especially for Christmas Eve. Some years, his Elf On The Shelf Pizza has delivered them to our home, and other years he knows they are from me. When #thelittleone arrived, I started getting him into the spirit on Christmas Eve with festive pajamas as well. It’s such an adorable Christmas Eve tradition, truly one of my favorites.
This year, the boys and I went to Carter’s together to pick up their new Christmas pajamas. Carter’s is typically our go-to for holiday pajamas since they have such cute options that are super cozy and comfortable for my kiddos. (And confession, obviously, we pick our sets out from the selection of boy pajamas each year. But honestly, there’s a little part of me jealous of the mamas choosing from the sweet girl pajamas in the store! Boy mom problems, I guess!)
When we stopped in to choose pajamas, we discovered that Carter’s is working with the Pajama Program again this year. We love this partnership because it allows us to easily make a donation that directly impacts our local community. The program aims to provide pajamas and books to children in need within local communities. It’s incredibly simple to make a donation in your local Carter’s store– they will accept either new pajamas or monetary donations at check out. In addition, if you’re grabbing your Christmas jammies online, it’s simple to donate money there as well. With Giving Tuesday upon us, it’s such a simple way to directly impact the lives of children around you. They’re collecting donations through the end of 2017, so be sure to bring your kids in to teach them a bit about giving back!
My favorite thing about the Pajama Program is their commitment to early literacy. (Big surprise, since I blog about children’s books often, right?!) The pajamas that are distributed are paired with a book, to encourage reading at home. It makes sense- children’s who’s parents struggle to provide them with basic necessities like warm pajamas in winter likely do not have the additional funds to also stock a home library. These children may ultimately end up reading below grade level, and Pajama Program steps in to try to remedy that.
It only makes sense to mention another favorite Christmas Eve tradition here- reading together before bedtime. The old standard is, of course, The Night Before Christmas, but there’s no reason you can’t mix things up. There are SO many fun and new holiday books released each year- you’re bound to find the perfect choice for your family.
10. Bring The Magic To Life
This Christmas Eve tradition is one to put into action after the little ones are in bed. Kids grow up SO fast these days, it’s fun to keep the magic of Christmas alive just a bit longer. Make sure to take a bite of the cookie your child left for Santa, or gnaw on that carrot for the reindeer a bit. A quick online search will teach you how to make your own ‘Santa footprints’ throughout the house. There are apps to help you snap a photo of ‘Santa’ leaving gifts under your tree. The possibilities are endless thanks to Pinterest, making this an especially fun Christmas Eve tradition.
DOES YOUR FAMILY HAVE ANY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS? I’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!