5 Cherished Christmas Eve Traditions with Children

 In DIY Projects, Free Printables, Holiday Themes, Home Decor, Lifestyle

Christmas Eve might look a little different this year, but traditions don’t have to be cancelled. They might just need a little modification. If you don’t have any Christmas Eve traditions of your own started, we are here to share some simple ideas you can consider starting. We happen to think that there isn’t a more magical night for children than Christmas Eve. Just imagining the scene of that evening, as children eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus, makes us smile. The anticipation of Christmas Day fills their little minds and hearts. And I would submit that time can’t pass quickly enough for both kids and adults. That’s where traditions come in to play! Planning a fun-filled Christmas Eve can help keep everyone busy and joyfully distracted, helping time to pass more quickly. Here are  5 cherished child-friendly Christmas Eve traditions you can incorporate into your plans and carry on from year to year.

Christmas Eve

#1- Read a favorite Christmas story. Children love reliving the magic of Christmas through their favorite book characters and cherished Christmas stories. (While this is a great activity for Christmas Eve, we also love the idea of keeping a box of favorite Christmas books on display for reading all throughout the Christmas season. Our AR Workshop boxes and trays are a great storage solution! Just substitute books for décor items in the photo below!)

#2- Bake and decorate Christmas cookies for Santa. It’s widely known that on Christmas Eve it’s tradition to leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa. Pull out your family’s favorite sugar cookie recipe and Christmas cookie cutters and let your children enjoy personalizing their own cookie with frosting and candy for Santa’s plate. If sugar cookies aren’t your family favorite, choose a recipe that Santa will love when he visits your home. Of course, this tradition may also involve sampling a cookie or two, which is always a good thing in my book! We refer to this as “poison control” in our home. (Our holiday trays and lazy susans are perfect options for displaying cookies for Santa!)

Christmas Eve

Christmas cookies

Cookies for Santa Small Round tray 12"

Cookies for Santa Small Plank tray 12x16

#3- Open the first gift of Christmas. Many families with small children allow one Christmas gift to be opened on Christmas Eve after weeks and weeks of patient waiting to unwrap the gift-wrapped presents nestled under the tree. This gift can be something simple like a Christmas book or game. My personal favorite is having my children open up a new pair of Christmas pajamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve as they dream about the magic of Christmas morning.

Family set of Christmas Pajamas - fun Christmas photo idea

Christmas Pajamas for family

Get a free printable Christmas gift tag to add to your special presents here.

#4- Go look at Christmas lights. Shortly after Christmas, the outdoor lights and holiday decorations start coming down. Take advantage of the opportunity to marvel at the beautiful scene in your neighborhood or local light festival. There is something so magical about Christmas time and the twinkling lights.

#5- Do an act of service. Teaching children the true meaning of Christmas is a wonderful Christmas Eve tradition. There are many ways you and your children can serve. Go heart attack the doors of residents at a nursing home. Collect toys and clothing for gifting to those in need. Volunteer to serve a hot meal at a homeless shelter. Bake and deliver Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors. Help shovel driveways and walkways if snowy weather is a problem in your area. If COVID restrictions in your area allow it, invite someone lonely into your home to enjoy a warm meal or your Christmas Eve program.

Christmas cards for the troops

oh so yummy gingerbread cookies

However you choose to spend your Christmas Eve, if you will be celebrating with children be sure to add in some fun, kid-friendly traditions of your own that your children will be talking about for years to come.

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