There’s no other evening quite as magical as Christmas Eve. It’s a lovely time of family traditions. Traditions which are guaranteed to make the night before Christmas almost as special as the big day itself! Every family celebrates special holidays in their own way. Christmas Eve is no exception, with families incorporating a wide variety of traditions, from the sacred to the sentimental. Here are a few of our favorite Christmas Eve Traditions. Maybe they will inspire you to start a new tradition this year with the ones you love!
1. Pajama Game
In more than a few families we talked to, each family member is allowed to open just one gift on Christmas Eve. Several of these same families know exactly what they’re opening: snuggly Christmas pajamas. This traditional kick-off to the giving and receiving of gifts gets everyone set for bed and looking cute for Christmas morning photos.
2. Movie Night
What’s Christmas Eve without watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Story? Gather the family and snuggle up in front of a DVD or Christmas film. You could make a supper of hot chocolate and popcorn (or gingerbread cookies) to enjoy while you watch.
3. Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate and Christmas Stories
Before your little elves head off to bed, spend part of the evening drinking hot chocolate and sharing Christmas stories. We have 10 Great Christmas Stories you can print out and read to your children tonight. Some also have free e-reader versions. Of course, you can always go right to the source for your Christmas story and choose a reading from the Gospel.
4. Candlelight Communion
Many of our families treasure memories of attending a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, with some even taking communion. While attending church together is a year-round family staple, there’s something uniquely moving about the dim lighting, the glow of the candles and the words of the age-old Christmas hymns.
Can’t make it to church with small children or elderly relatives? Then bring the warmth of the experience to your living room. Just dim the lights, let members of the family read the story from scripture, and sing your favorite carols by the glow of candles.
5. Reindeer Gifts
On Christmas Eve, when we are at church, the reindeer come and bring all 5 of us a gift—usually PJs, slippers or robes. They leave a note saying they wanted to figure out where our stockings were to let Santa know. They also remind our kids to get to bed early so Santa can come. My kids look forward to it every year!” -Kim Van Camp
6. Sibling Slumber Party
The anticipation of Christmas morning can bring together a group of siblings like little else. Some maximize the fun by sleeping together in one room. It’s fun to have someone to whisper to while listening for reindeer hooves on the roof!
7. Caroling the Neighborhood
What better way to spread Christmas cheer than to serenade the neighbors? Some families love bundling up after a hearty Christmas Eve dinner and singing their way through the neighborhood. Who knows? If you’re good enough, there might be hot cocoa and cookies in it for you!
8. Stuffer Scramble
One family reported a hilarious tradition that started on the parents’ first Christmas together: having just married 6 days earlier, they realized they had no “stocking stuffers” for one another. In a panic, they set out for K-Mart and had only 15 minutes until closing to come up with unique, funny gifts for one another. It was so much fun, they’ve done it every year since—on purpose!
9. Twinkling walk
You could also wait until it is dark and head out on a family walk around your local neighbourhood to spot all the twinkling Christmas lights. The streets always look magical lit up ready for Christmas and you can stretch little legs to help children get a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve with all the excitement ahead.Steaming mugs of hot chocolate are a great way to warm up when you get back home.
Traditions are so important; you’ll see it more as time goes by. And once you stop them, it’s very difficult to start them again. What are your favorite Christmas traditions?