Looking for fun things to do on Christmas Eve or new Christmas Traditions to start with your family? Christmas Eve is as special as Christmas day in our family. Here’s our list of Christmas Eve traditions and fun things to do on Christmas Eve while you wait for Santa!
Fun Things to do on Christmas Eve
Whether your family loves to cook, play games, get outdoors, or even lounge on Christmas Eve, our to do list has ideas for long lasting memories on December 24th!
1. Bake Christmas Cookies
What’s Christmas without fresh baked cookies? This is one tradition my family passed down to me. Here’s our go to sugar cookie recipe.
Tip: Give each kid a sheet pan they can decorate their cookies on. It’s easy clean up and catches all the sugar and sprinkles.
2. Throw a Cookie Decorating Party
Invite friends and family over to decorate cookies. One year, I had all the cookies premade and I covered our dining table in brown craft paper for easy clean up. Each kid was given a plate with cookies and a cookie box to take home. Premix icing and put them in icing squeeze bottles.
3. Decorate a Gingerbread House
You no longer need to bake gingerbread from scratch(unless that’s your thing). Most grocery stores carry premade kits for under $20! We buy kits every holiday – Christmas, Halloween, and Easter! It’s a great time to use up leftover Halloween candy.
4. Make a Feast – Christmas Eve Dinner
Making meatballs is another one of our family Christmas traditions. Every Christmas Eve, the kids help make meatballs and we have a huge Italian feast for dinner. Pick a favorite meal and make it a tradition, our kids look forward to it every year.
5. Exchange Present(s)
Another Christmas tradition I grew up with was, we were allowed to open one present on the night of Dec 24. We keep that tradition alive but instead have our kids exchange gifts they bought for one another!
6. Light a Fire or Turn on the Yule Log
Yes, turn on the yule log! We do not have a fireplace but always have the TV on a yule log on Christmas Eve. Disney + and Youtube have great options. If you’re lucky enough to have a real fireplace, light it up! Make s’mores indoors.
7. Watch Christmas Movies
Home Alone, Elf, and Christmas Vacation are our favs! Throw on your Christmas pjs, grab the popcorn and snuggle up to one of the classics.
8. Ride The Polar Express
Relive the movie magic and and go for a ride on the Polar Express Train. There are over 39 locations in the US. Read about our experience here.
9. Santa’s Milk & Cookies
Put out milk and cookies for Santa. Don’t forget the reindeer. We always throw some carrots out front for them to eat too.
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10. Write a Letter to Santa
Santa loves milk and cookies but might love a letter or picture more! Have the kids write a letter or draw a picture for Santa and leave it next to the milk and cookies.
11. Track Santa
Get your kids excited and see where Santa is! There are many Santa Trackers available now – Norad, Google, even Alexa can let you know where Ole Saint Nick is. Don’t stay up too late!
12. Game Night
Breakout the board games – Monopoly, Sorry, Beat the Parents, and Uno. Or if you like video games, pass out the controllers. We love a Mario Kart family battle.
13. Christmas Crafts
Making paper chain links keep our kids busy for at least an hour. Cut the paper and give the tape and they will shock you by how long they will build the chains.
14. Host a Family Christmas Party
If you live near family, invite them over and host a party! Make it fun and turn it into a White Elephant Gift Exchange and wear ugly Christmas sweaters.
15. Saran Wrap Gift Ball Game
Also known as “Pass the Parcel”. The saran wrap ball game consists of different prizes that are wrapped tightly inside a ball of saran wrap. The goal of the game is to unravel the saran wrap as fast as you can during your turn to see how many prizes you get.
16. Go To Church
The real reason we celebrate Christmas. Attend your Church’s Christmas Eve service! Ours always has amazing music and they pass out candles to everyone.
17. Christmas Music Dance Party
We love a dance party – turn up the music and the disco lights. Christmas Eve karaoke is fun too.
Top Things To Do on Christmas Eve Outside
18. Build a Snowman
As Anna and Elsa would say, “Do you want to build a snowman?” You don’t need snow to make one. In Florida we make them out of sand. For those of you who don’t have snow or sand, get crafty. Have your kids make out of art supplies or use nature they find outside!
19. Give Back
One of the best feelings in the world is to give back and bring joy to others. Especially during Christmas time! Donate your time to local shelters, visit nursing homes, or do random acts of kindness.
20 . Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights
We enjoy driving around and looking at Christmas lights all season long!
In Conclusion, here’s our list of things to do on Christmas Eve:
- Bake Christmas Cookies
- Throw a Cookie Decorating Party
- Decorate a Gingerbread House
- Make a Feast – Christmas Eve Dinner
- Exchange Present(s)
- Light a Fire or Turn on the Yule Log
- Watch Christmas Movies
- Ride the Polar Express
- Santa’s Milk & Cookies
- Write a Letter to Santa
- Track Santa
- Game Night
- Christmas Crafts
- Host a Family Christmas Party
- Saran Wrap Ball Game
- Go To Church
- Christmas Music Dance Party
- Build a Snowman
- Give Back
- Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights
We hope we inspired you – have a very Merry Christmas! We’d love to hear from you, comment below with your family’s favorite Christmas Eve tradition. Subscribe to get more family fun ideas sent to you.
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