By the time Christmas Day arrives, most families have all of their festivities planned out.
But what about the night before? It’s screaming to be filled with fun and meaningful activities and traditions, to build anticipation for the following day!:
One of my favorite things about taking advantage of the night before the big day, is the opportunity to spend intimate time with you’re immediate family (kids, partner, etc.).
Some families have activities they do every Christmas Eve. Why not add a new activity or three to your Christmas Eve this year?
Here are some fun ideas to try out. They just may become your new family tradition for years to come!
Read The Night Before Christmas
Are there any better words to begin a story?
So classic, so exciting! It’s a short read, and you can have the kids take turns. Even as an adult, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic that is Santa Clause. Especially as you all shout out in unison the last words of the story: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”
Get the ebook here and read it on the free app Amazon offers.
Open a Gift
In our family, we like to get a nice cozy pair of pajamas for each member, and open the gift the night before Christmas. That way we all go to bed in fresh pajamas, and wake up in the morning feeling crisp, new, and ready to open gifts!
However, if you haven’t planned ahead for that, why not each open one gift from under the tree? It’s a nice preview of what’s to come, and really builds up the anticipation.
Take a Walk in the Snow
Do you live in a place where you have the privilege of enjoying a white Christmas? Why not bundle up on Christmas Eve and take a family walk together?
It’s the little things that make life worth it, right?
Let those snowflakes land on your tongue, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman.
Just enjoy each other! Isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?
This one is kind of obvious, as you need to leave cookies out for Santa anyway.
But this year, make it a big affair. Have everyone participate in mixing, baking, and decorating. Try making something besides cookies, like cupcakes or cake pops.
Santa (or mom and dad) will appreciate it, too!
Have a Drink
Kid free? How about a drink? Have mom, Aunt Sally, and Grandma Peaches all get cozy in their pajamas, and then crack open a bottle of wine, or make a nice hot buttered rum.
Here’s a yummy recipe!
Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights
Again, bundle everyone up, squeeze in the car (or two), and take a drive to a local neighborhood or area known for having awesome Christmas lights. Every town has that neighborhood that just goes ALL OUT when it comes to putting up lights.
Just don’t forget your camera!
Keep Tabs on Santa
Did you know that Google has an amazing Santa Tracker?
Get the kids excited by checking in on where Santa is throughout the evening. If you are awake when he flies over your area, run outside to try to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose! Point out a plane flying over head and show them that Santa is coming!
Follow the Santa Tracker here.
Make Homemade Hot Cocoa
I truly believe there is nothing in this word better than a homemade cup of warm chocolaty, creamy cocoa on Christmas Eve. Of course, you need marshmallows too. And you may as well leave the bag within reach, because I’m going to need to reload on marshies at least twice!
Play a Game
You’ve made the hot cocoa, and the family is all gathered anyway. Why not play a game?
Charades is a great one for the whole family. Or if the kids are already in bed, how about Cards Against Humanity?
Just watch out for Monopoly! It sucks you in and never ends!
Draw Santa a Picture
This is a great idea to keep the kids busy, and is actually quite fun for adults too. Just set out some washable markers or crayons and paper, and have everyone draw their favorite Christmas memory, or their best portrait of good ol’ Saint Nick.
Plus, you can tuck those pictures away and save them for when the kids get older. They’ll love taking a walk down memory lane, and so will you.
You know the kiddos will be getting lots of new toys. How about giving them each a bag or box and having them fill it with some of their old toys to donate? Make sure they aren’t broken or ruined. Not only will you be making room for the new toys, but you are teaching the kids to give back.
Have them leave their box or bag of toys near the tree with a letter to Santa asking him to donate them to kids in need. Just don’t forget to drop the donations off at your local community house or domestic violence shelter later this week.
Buddy Elf had it right. Singing is contagious, and while at first you may feel a bit awkward, pretty soon you’ll be shouting “Deck the Halls” at the top of your lungs.
This is a great way to wrap up your evening. You can all sit together around the fire (or the tree) and sing your favorite carols.
My family will be doing some of these today. It will be the perfect night before Christmas!
What about you? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to hear! Have fun!
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!