9 Christmas Eve Traditions to Start with Your Family

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I love Christmas. In the famous words of Andy Williams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” The time you spend with family, the decorations, food, snow, and the fact that I get to play Christmas music for two months straight. It’s all so magical, really.

Christmas Eve has always been one of my favorite days of the year. I think that it’s a great day to spend time with family, incorporating all of your favorite traditions.

If you are looking for new family traditions to start with your family, here are some Christmas Eve traditions you can start with your family.

1. Decorate Cookies

Christmas sugar cookies
Get the recipe for these Easy Glaze Sugar Cookies.

When I was growing up, every Christmas Eve, my mom would bake a ton of sugar cookies, and my siblings and I would decorate them. Those moments meant so much to me when I was a kid, which is why I carried on the tradition in my own household.

2. Play in the Snow

family playing in snow

We love snow in this family. On those lucky years when we get snow on Christmas Eve, we love making snow people,  snow angels, and having snowball fights.

3. Create a Hot Chocolate Bar

hot chocolate bombs
Check out these 12 DIY Hot Chocolate Bomb Recipes.

After playing outside in the cold snow, sit down and have some hot chocolate with the family. I create a mini hot chocolate bar at my house.

The bar includes hot chocolate packets, marshmallows, sprinkles, coconut, and candy canes. If you want to go all out with your hot chocolate bar, use these hot chocolate bar labels. Also, no hot chocolate bar is complete without DIY Hot Chocolate Bombs.

4. Go Christmas Caroling

We aren’t good singers, but we love singing Christmas songs. Singing Christmas Carols with your family is a fun Christmas Eve tradition. The Spruce has great tips for going Christmas caroling with your family in their article 14 Christmas Carol Etiquette Tips.

5. Play Board Games

We love playing board games together. Some of our favorite games to play as a family are Pictionary, Game of Life, and Exploding Kittens.

6. Have a Christmas Eve Scavenger Hunt

christmas scavenger hunt

Instead of doing stocking stuffers, why don’t you allow the kids to find their gifts by participating in a scavenger hunt? For the Love of Food has a free Christmas scavenger hunt printable you can use.

Recommended Reading: 40 Gorgeous Decorating Ideas for Christmas Trees

7. Volunteer

We’re not sure where we want to volunteer this year, but we do like the idea of giving. You and your family can spend a few hours volunteering at the local soup kitchen, food bank, or toy drive. You can use websites like VolunteerMatch.org to find local volunteer opportunities.

8. Watch a Christmas Movie

No Christmas Eve would be complete without watching a Christmas movie together. Some of our favorite Christmas movies are Elf, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

family watching Christmas movie

9. Read a Christmas Book

Once it’s time for bed, make it a Christmas Eve tradition to read a book together. A few books your kids might enjoy are The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish, The Polar Express, and How to Catch an Elf.

Bonus: Create a Christmas Eve Box

christmas eve box

Believed to derive from the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve, the Christmas Eve box has become a way to start the festive spirit early with a box of treats. The Christmas Ever gift box that I use is the Personalized Christmas Eve Gift Box that I found on Amazon.

The beauty of a Christmas Eve box is that you can fill them with whatever you like and give them to whoever you like, as long as they suit your Christmas Eve needs – that could be food and drink orientated a plan to get the children to go to sleep early, or everything Santa needs on his arrival into your home.

Adult Christmas Eve boxes can be filled with boozy, foodie treats, whereas a child’s Christmas Eve box might contain pajamas, a classic Christmas film, and some hot chocolate to help them unwind.

Essentially, a Christmas Eve box can be put together using any container you like. This might be a wooden box, stocking, pillow case, or wicker basket. You can easily jazz up an existing box using festive ribbon or paint.

Here are some items you can put in your family Christmas Eve box:

  • a Christmas film
  • a Christmas plant
  • handmade gifts
  • a book
  • a mug
  • Christmas wine
  • hot chocolate
  • sweet treats
  • favorite snacks
  • favorite drinks
  • treats for Father Christmas
  • pajamas
  • slippers
  • soft toy
  • toiletries
  • small gifts personal to the recipient
  • candle

Christmas is a time for family, friends, and traditions. We hope that you have found at least one new tradition to start this year with your loved ones.

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