LOOKING FOR FUN CHRISTMAS EVE ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES?
This year is the year. Now that we’ve had the cutest little baby ever, I feel like our Christmas Eve activities will be a little bit different.
And maybe not in a “stay up late and wait for Santa” type of way but more in a way where we’re going to start making our own activities and traditions for the next handful of years.
Truth be told…It’s no secret that I LOVE Christmas. I’m all about the family time, the birth of Jesus, the giving of presents and the abundance of food and sweets. And this year, I feel like it’s going to be such a special time for our growing family.
Do I expect our Christmas Eve Activities to be wild and crazy? No, of course not. (unless the eggnog is spiked but that’s a whole other story -ha!) But I do know that I’ll remember this Christmas Eve for the rest of my life.
Spending the night leading up to Christmas with my family is what it’s truly all about. (okay, can you tell I’m still figuring out my after birth hormones?!) Enough with the mushy stuff, let’s talk fun!
What are some Christmas Eve Activities that we can do now and what are some that we’ll put on our radar for later? These are valid questions that I’m certain you’re thinking, too!
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WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH KIDS ON CHRISTMAS EVE?
So. Many. Things. I have fond memories of doing fun activities on Christmas Eve. With how hyper and excited my sister and I were “patiently” waiting for Santa, my parents had to have activities to occupy us for sure.
Make certain that you keep in mind that Christmas activities are different than Christmas traditions. BUT they can intertwine and be used together pretty easily.
If you’re asking me (and my tummy), food always needs to be involved the night before Christmas. Santa isn’t the only one that gets to have fun snacking, right?
Plus, you’ve worked hard this year staying on the nice list. (just like everyone else in your family) Food always needs to be involved when it comes to Christmas Eve Celebrations.
Other activities for kids can include:
If you’ve got a voice, sing it loud. (and even if you don’t, go for it, too!) Caroling in your neighborhood or even going to the local nursing home is a perfect way to spend Christmas Eve.
Go Visit Santa
Check out the local listings in your town and see where Santa is going to be hiding out. Load up the car and take the kids to see him one last time before he’s starting his night.
Bake Christmas Cookies
Okay, I know what you’re thinking…I’m back to food. But seriously…sweets and treats are all part of Christmas. Spending Christmas Eve baking is one of the best activities ever!
Hop in the car and check out all the Christmas lights
I used to love doing this as a kid. Make certain to grab some snacks and make a whole event out of it to really play it up.
Depending on where you live, there are probably a lot of Christmas light displays that you can see. Some towns even have paid displays that you can drive through literally thousands upon thousands of lights.
To think of all the work that goes into putting up the lights AND then taking them down literally makes my head hurt. That’s true holiday spirit dedication, my friends.
Sip on hot chocolate and just enjoy each other’s company
When you stop and think about it, life is really quite hectic. All of our schedules are jam-packed from the moment we wake up to the moment that we go to sleep and there are very few times when you can just sit down, put up your feet and talk with your children.
Make up some homemade hot chocolate (or buy the pouches – no judgment here) and sit down, relax, and bond with your children.
These activities can all easily be done with kids of all ages making them the perfect Christmas Eve fun.
CHRISTMAS EVE ACTIVITIES AT HOME
Even though above I mentioned some activities for kids to do, there are even more fun activities that you can do at home.
Some families actually prefer to not get out in the chaos of the night before Christmas and want to stay home and put on their pj’s and snuggle up for the night.
If you’re in that same mind-frame, I totally understand…Put on your fleece onesie and celebrate the joy of Christmas without ever having to leave your house.
Putting up the Christmas Tree
There are some households that don’t put up the Christmas tree until the night before Christmas. (And while I’m not one of those households, I get how this could be a fun activity. But seriously…if I could get away with having the tree up all year, I would!) Putting up the tree, adding on the ornaments and spending time together as a family really does sound like the perfect way to ring in the Christmas holiday.
You’ve probably heard of holiday cookie exchanges, right? This is sort of like that but instead of making cookies and giving them away, you get to make and decorate them to eat yourself. #winning, right?
While my family doesn’t necessarily spend hours baking cookies, I could definitely give in and eat them. I grew up knowing families that literally spent their entire Christmas Eve baking and decorating cookies and I always thought that was such a fun activity.
If you’re a household that doesn’t put presents out until the night before Christmas, you’re probably all too well aware of the activity of wrapping presents. And depending on how many presents you have, this could literally take all night!
Think of it as a sporting event and challenge yourself to beat your own personal best time. And remember…your wrapping skills are being done for the greater good of Christmas morning happiness.
Family Game Night
You just might be amazed at how many old Christmas presents that you uncover that are hiding away behind those doors.
If you’re looking for fun ways to spend Christmas Eve at home, you might not even have to step out your front door.
Speaking of fun activities….I’m always amazed at how new traditions and activities emerge and one of the latest that I’ve learned about recently is a Christmas Eve Box.
WHAT GOES INTO A CHRISTMAS EVE BOX?
Now, let me just start by saying that Christmas Eve Boxes weren’t a thing when I was younger…but now that I know about them, I foresee them being in our Christmas family traditions in a few short years.
Before we dive into what goes into it, first you need to understand what a Christmas Eve Box is. Basically, it’s a “present” (in a box) that the family gets to open together on Christmas Eve.
Whatever is in this box is what starts the Christmas activities of the night. Some great examples of things you’ll find in a Christmas Eve Box are:
- Matching pajamas for the family (look at these!)
- A classic Christmas movie
- Books (like this one)
- An ornament to hang together on the tree
See the theme? You can easily create a super fun Christmas Eve tradition by introducing a Christmas Eve Box to your family. Fill it full of all their favorite things, change into your matching pajama’s and snuggle up for an awesome movie night. (Don’t forget to snap a pic – you’ve got great material already for next year’s Christmas card!)
FUN ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES ON CHRISTMAS EVE
With all the options and activities, there really isn’t a reason why anyone should be sitting around and twiddling their thumbs on Christmas Eve. And just in case the above ideas haven’t quite resonated with you or aren’t quite up your alley, don’t worry…I’ve got even more ideas of fun ways to spend Christmas Eve at home or around your local town.
Give back to others in the community
This just might be one of my most favorite things to do on Christmas Eve because it really does highlight the true spirit of the season. Check and see what volunteer options there are available in your town for your family to try out and see how simple it can be to make a difference.
Volunteering at a soup kitchen or even adopting a family and delivering presents on Christmas Eve are amazing options to have. And even if your town doesn’t have anything like this, you can bake up some treats and drop them off at the local fire station or a police station to show thanks instead.
Where there’s a will, there’s always a way to give back to others.
Related: Having an Intentional Christmas
Cook together in the kitchen for a Christmas Eve feast
There’s just something so special about cooking together in the kitchen. Everyone has an opinion and idea on what they want to feed their tummies and somehow, all the dishes magically work together.
Even if you’re wanting grilled chicken and your child is wanting lasagna, on Christmas Eve there are no food rules.
Gather up all the needed ingredients and bake and cook together. Take your time, create something new and communicate all throughout the process.
Oh, and don’t forget the best and biggest perk of being a cook…you get to sample all along the process of every single dish. A cook doesn’t want to take the chance of serving the others something not tasty, right?
You’re taste-testing for the overall happiness on Christmas Eve.
Decorate and put up Christmas Stockings
One of the ways to wind down the evening is to decorate and hang up your Christmas stockings. Add something new and decorative to your stocking (you can grab a plain one here to start!) every single year and get them ready to be filled by Santa.
After all…we all know the line from the book “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, right?
“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”
If you hang them, Santa will come!
(And…. you don’t have to spend a fortune filling them. Just choose a couple of these awesome toddler stocking stuffer ideas for under 10$!)
CHRISTMAS EVE TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Christmas traditions really do vary from country to country. As we’ve touched base on a little bit above, there are so many activities and traditions that can easily be done.
And as fun as it is to think about all of those, it’s also pretty awesome to check out a few other options for Christmas Eve traditions around the world.
Mexico Christmas Eve Tradition
Known as “midnight mass”, families in Mexico will go to church services at midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.
And before that, they enjoy a family feast full of love, laughter, and happiness.
Denmark Christmas Eve Tradition
Those who live in Denmark are quite lucky because they get to celebrate two Christmas Eves!
Denmark recognizes December 23rd and December 24th as the two days of Christmas Eve. Most people spend the 23rd shopping and getting things finalized for Christmas while the 24th is used more as a day of rest.
There’s also a fun belief that on the two days of Christmas Eve, animals can communicate to humans…True or not, it’s a pretty fun Christmas Eve activity and tradition to think about!
WRAPPING UP CHRISTMAS EVE ACTIVITIES
As you can see, there’s really no right or wrong way to figure out what you want to do for Christmas Eve activities. What it really comes down to is finding ones that you and your family enjoy.
If you want to spend your time at church, do so. If you and your family want to put on the movie “The Christmas Story” and laugh until your sides hurt, make it happen.
And if you and your family want to bake cookies and eat them till you literally can’t even walk…sounds like a truly delicious activity to me.
The main point to think about and remember is that as long as you’re doing the activities together, you’re creating memories and stories that will truly last a lifetime.
Do you have any Christmas Eve activities that you like to do in your home?