22 Special Christmas Eve Tradition Ideas

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1. Movie.  Ever single holiday my mom would buy us a new movie.  This is the only time we really got new movies, so we really looked forward to it.  It gave us something fun to do while my parents would be getting ready or cooking for the evening.  With digital movies now (amazon, etc) it does take the fun out of presenting a wrapped VHS to the kids, but hey, this is the world we live in.  We buy one from Amazon and pop some popcorn.

2. Live Nativity.  Each year, we go to my moms and we have the kids act out the nativity scene while someone narrates by reading in Luke.  The kids LOVE this.  We have robes, a star costume, an angel, a baby Jesus, etc.  It gives a little break to the gingerbread houses and presents, and reminds us all why we are doing what we are doing.

3. Food.  Every  Christmas Eve, we have an “Hors D’ouvre Party {Competition}”  This is one of my favorite traditions.  We do it on my husbands side.  Each sibling takes this VERY seriously, and we spend time during the year looking for the BEST recipe.  We have prizes for presentation, taste, and after a particularly spendy appetizer one year, we added the category of “most expensive to make” 🙂  We all vote, and the appetizers are the dinner for the night.

4. Christmas mugs.  Each Christmas, I buy each member of the family a new holiday mug.  My husband thoroughly resists this tradition, because we are collecting a LOT of mugs, but I’m the boss;)  We spend all winter drinking hot drinks and the kids love their new mugs.  I try to buy them on sale right after Christmas for the next year, so it doesn’t break the bank.  One day, the kids will get married and move on and take their 18 holiday mugs with them:)

5. Christmas PJs.  Each Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one present and it is always something they get to wear to bed.  A new robe, PJs, slippers, etc.  Nothing like going to bed in new cozy pjs on Christmas Eve.  I even started doing it for my husband and I, because….  I wanted new jammas,  too.  🙂

6. Reindeer Food. My kids make a concoction of oatmeal, sprinkles, and anything else they feel like putting together.  They call it reindeer food and it entertains them for a good hour.  It’s pretty fun.  They sprinkle it on our front lawn and of course, that keeps Santa’s reindeer from going rogue.

7. Cookies and carrots of course.  Need I say more?

8. Each Christmas Eve, I buy the kids a new Christmas story.  We spend time reading them that night and we have fun collecting new ones each year.

9. Resolutions.  Every Christmas Eve, we open our stockings and pull out the previous year’s New Year’s Resolutions.  We all go over our resolutions and see how we did!  Each year on New Years Eve, we write down our resolutions and put them in our stockings before we pack the Christmas stuff away.  Then, on Christmas Eve, before Santa fills the stockings, we take out the resolutions and we all evaluate how we did (or remind ourselves of the resolution, ha ha) and talk about it.  This is really fun!

10. Christmas gifts to Christ.  Each year we have a little basket that we use to fill with Christmas gifts to Christ.  These are pieces of paper that we have written things on that Christ would like.  For example, the kids gave a gift to Christ last year that they would be treating each other kindly and not fighting as much.  This turned out to be more like an IOU, but you get it. (PS- do ALL kids fight this much?  Ugggh.)

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7 comments for “22 Special Christmas Eve Tradition Ideas

  1. January 2, 2015 at

    What some wonderful ideas! Simple, meaningful, and fun!

  2. Jason
    September 12, 2015 at

    i just figure I’d say what one of our traditions are we play a find the present game where we get a clue that send us to the next clue and so on till we find the present

  3. Diane
    September 15, 2015 at

    Those sound like you don’t by family. We have any where from 9-16 up to 18 people for Christmas eve. We eat turkey as usual. Ever one runs off and doesn’t hang, because then they go home and do their Christmas Eve. Which kid of disappointments. I have tried to play games, and some play and some don’t so if they aren’t going to play I won’t make them and so I stopped playing games. Some times I do a theme, like one year a $1 gift. One year we had to wear Santa hats for a game. maybe I should bring those hats back and we will make pillows out of them. I also do little gifts, and last year no one hostess gift, although I always bring one to their house. So I don’t know throw some traditions out and start new one when my kido 22 has his own kids I guess, if the wife wants to spend on event with us.

  4. Stephanie
    December 11, 2015 at

    Santa always left my kids movies in their stockings. They were allowed to get into their stockings without my husband and I being up. So while they enjoyed their new movies, we could sleep in…Gotta love Santa

  5. Diana
    December 20, 2015 at

    Wow, this is really good! Thanks for these great ideas! I’m going to try out a lot of them 🙂
    Maybe you should try: Decorating rooms with Christmas stuff as a family (Bedrooms, Kitchen, Livingroom, ect.)
    Making card (Treats, Gifts, ect.) for seniors, family, or friends
    Thanks again, Merry Christmas!

  6. Michelle
    October 31, 2017 at

    Great ideas. I guess I don’t always have to do PJ’s and can just do a robe or slippers some years. I do a love letter for each grown kid. Something written that reminds them of what they did that year & how proud of them we are. It takes awhile to write, so I pace myself. 🌲

  7. Clare Kennedy
    December 26, 2018 at

    the resolutions is a fabulous idea!

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