15 Christmas Eve Traditions for Families

Begin your celebration on Christmas eve with one of these fun Family ideas:

twasThe Night Before Christmas Exchange

With the use of $1 store gifts and the story Twas the Night Before Christmas’

The  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ present exchange.  Buy $1 or less gifts and have  all of the kids sit in a circle holding one of the wrapped gifts-  She  read “The Night Before Christmas”  and  every time you read the word “the” tell the children to  pass the present to the right. Whichever gift they have at the end of the story they get to open and keep

Options:  You can use any book you choose.

Adults could also enjoy this game with a White Elephant gift exchange.

Idea adapted from Happy Home fairy


The Christmas Eve Box Tradition

Fill a box that the entire family gets  to open up Christmas Eve filled with new pajamas,  christmas books, slippers, games for a family night of fun or even a movie and snacks.  Use your imagination to create a fun family night an fill your box accordingly.



Family Pajamas

Each year make it a tradition that before the kids go to bed they get to open one gift.  This gift is a pair of new PJ’s ready to wear to bed that night.

You could even red the story The Pajama Elves: “The Pajama Elves” is a delightful, creatively presented holiday tale that shares a family tradition of giving children magic pajamas secretly tailored by Santa’s sewing elves, so they can sleep snug in their beds on Christmas Eve.



jesusHappy Birthday Jesus Party

Host a party celebrating Jesus with a birthday cake or cupcakes.  Be sure to read the Christmas story.




santa tree 


Prepare for Santa

Don’t forget all the traditions of leaving cookies for Santa, placing the Santa key on your front door if you don’t have a chimney and be sure to leave reindeer food so Santa can feed his reindeer.



 Hot Coco and Stories:  Create a fun hot chocolate bar serving hot coco and various stir ins (whip cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes etc.) then gather around the table or Christmas tree and have mom or dad share the Christmas story .

 One Gift:  Allow each person to open one gift which contains a new pair of PJ’s to wear to bed that night.

 Slumber Party:  Allow all the children to sleep in one room creating a big sibling slumber party

 Candle Light Communion:  Attend your local church Christmas eve candle light service or create your own around your tree. Dimming the lights, lighting candles, singing songs and sharing in communion.

Take -Out Meal : If you host the big Christmas meal and are overwhelmed with planning two meals then begin a tradition of take-out or pizza on Christmas eve.  Serve it pic-nick style around the tree for added fun.

 Movie Night : Make it a tradition to gather as a family and watch a Christmas classic eating popcorn and snuggling together.

 See The Lights:  Take a late night drive through town seeing all the beautifully decorated and lite homes

 No Time:  Did you run out of time to bake cookies or build your ginger bread house this year?  Use Christmas eve as the time to celebrate a family tradition of baking, building gingerbread houses, visiting Santa, painting on your windows or even decorating your tree.

 Night Before Kit: Create a fun night before kit for your children adding excitement and fun.  Click here for how to and ideas to fill your kit.

Boot Prints: Create evidence that Santa was in your home and checking on your kids with Santa Boot PrintsClick here to read how to do this fun tradition.

What is your Christmas eve tradition? leave us a comment sharing your ideas

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

This article may contain affiliate links to products. This means if you click and purchase, we may receive a small commission. Please see our full disclosure policy for more details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.