When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was both my favorite and least favorite night of the year. The anticipation of The Big Day was almost too much to bear, but at the same time, it was fun to be so excited.
My children bounce off the walls on Christmas Eve, so Terrence and I decided that we needed to create a consistent family tradition so that our kids can actually get some sleep!
We’re going to candlelight service at our church, then we’ll drive around and look at lights for a bit. When we come home, I’ll read a Christmas story to her, and hopefully she’ll be ready for bed.
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions for your family? If not, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Hide a small pickle ornament on the Christmas tree.
Whoever finds it gets to open a present that night, or open the first present on Christmas Day. I heard about this tradition at the 1st grade mom’s ornament party the other week and it sounds like fun.
2. Drive around looking at lights.
You could even create a scavenger hunt where you have to look for things like a house that’s decorated with just one color lights, an outdoor tree with ornaments on it, or keep your eye out for Santa.
3. Track Santa on an app like Norad.
Read a story like “The Night Before Christmas” and then track Santa over the course of the evening. Pull out a map and it’s a great way to incorporate a little learning in your Christmas Eve fun, too!
4. Go to a candlelight service at your church.
Even if you don’t have a church home, you can visit any one to sing hymns and hear scripture. There’s something that’s incredibly awe-inspiring about hearing the Christmas story by the glow of candles.
5. Prepare Christmas breakfast.
There are so many overnight breakfast casserole recipes out there that look super delicious, gather the family to spend the evening putting breakfast together. It’s a way to bond and make sure you don’t have to worry about cooking on Christmas morning!
6. Sing Christmas songs.
You don’t have to be Mariah Carey or Adele to show your Christmas spirit through song. Turn on a Christmas station on Pandora and have a family sing-a-long. Out of all of the Christmas Eve traditions, this is my favorite!
7. Do holiday crafts together.
Even if Martha Stewart isn’t a relative, it’s fun to sit around the table with some glitter and glue and make something.
8. Have movie night.
Between the cooking and Santa and that darn Elf, by Christmas Eve you’re probably tired. Instead of going out and doing something, put on jammies (Matching. Obviously.), turn on a Christmas classic and chill out with your peeps.
9. Do last minute Christmas shopping with a twist.
Pick up a few boxes of candy canes, or bags of candy and head to the stores to thank the folks who are working. Put on Santa hats and encourage your kiddos to go up and wish the store associates a Merry Christmas.
10. Read the story of Jesus’ birth aloud.
He is the reason for the season. Santa and all of his gifts are great, but Jesus is better. Take a few minutes to sit in reverence of Jesus and the amazing gift that He is to us.
Merry Christmas, Friends!