20 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

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.

sweet cookies christmas baking
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

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.

christmas eve meatballs

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!

christmas eve gift exchange

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.

person wearing socks
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexel

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.

The polar express train miami

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.

RELATED: Ultimate Christmas Bucket List – Free Printable

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.

a person in red sweater making a christmas letter
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

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.

christmas chain links
Photo by goodto.com

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.

fashion people woman girl
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

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.

church candle

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!

little snowman
Photo by Nguyen Hung on Pexels.com

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!

christmas tree with decorations during nighttime
Photo by Sebi Pintilie on Pexels.com

In Conclusion, here’s our list of things to do on Christmas Eve:

  1. Bake Christmas Cookies
  2. Throw a Cookie Decorating Party
  3. Decorate a Gingerbread House
  4. Make a Feast – Christmas Eve Dinner
  5. Exchange Present(s)
  6. Light a Fire or Turn on the Yule Log
  7. Watch Christmas Movies
  8. Ride the Polar Express
  9. Santa’s Milk & Cookies
  10. Write a Letter to Santa
  11. Track Santa
  12. Game Night
  13. Christmas Crafts
  14. Host a Family Christmas Party
  15. Saran Wrap Ball Game
  16. Go To Church
  17. Christmas Music Dance Party
  18. Build a Snowman
  19. Give Back
  20. 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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