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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

Christmas Eve Traditions Every Family Should Try This Year

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Christmas morning is one of the most exciting times of the year. My family and I love gathering around our tree and opening our gifts. Still, while presents are definitely exciting, gift-giving isn’t the highlight of my holiday season. What matters most to me is spending quality time with the people I love.

There are so many fantastic holiday traditions that families can share together this Christmas Eve. The possibilities are endless if you want to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Each family has its own unique traditions, but if you need a few ideas for Christmas Eve this year, then keep reading. I’ll share some of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions here.

Best Kid-Friendly Christmas Eve Traditions:

1. Saran Wrap Game

The saran wrap game is a fun Christmas game my family and I started doing 2 years ago. This is great for Christmas parties or small family gatherings. Basically, parents purchase presents and then hide them in layers of saran wrap.

You want to hide the best gifts in more layers of wrap to make the game more exciting. Wrap the presents in a ball shape. You can also make some of the saran balls bigger or smaller. Then have your kids or other people visiting sit in a circle.

Saran Wrap Game Rules:

You’ll need a dice and one of the saran balls. Someone rolls the dice. If they roll doubles they can unwrap the ball until someone else gets doubles. If you roll 7 or 11 you have to pass the dice in the opposite direction. If you roll any other number you pass the saran ball.

Keep doing this till all the presents get unwrapped. The fun of the game is that the person who fully unwraps the present gets to keep it!

Saran Wrap Game Gift Ideas:

  • Makeup Brushes

  • Candy Canes

  • Gift Cards

  • Santa Hat

  • Money

  • Lip Gloss

  • Small Toys

  • Travel Size Toiletries

  • Candles

2. Make Christmas Cards

If you don’t have the time to buy extra presents for the saran wrap game, consider making your very own DIY Christmas cards with your kids. This is a great way to show gratitude during the holiday season. Kids also get the chance to create a fun Christmas craft with their families.

There are tons of ways you can make Christmas cards, but I recommend getting out some watercolor paints or other acrylic paints to create beautiful Christmas imagery on your cards. If you need more ideas, check out these kid friendly card options here!

3. Bake Christmas Treats

Christmas treats are another exciting Christmas Eve tradition you can try with your kids. Who doesn’t love making fun holiday-themed treats right before Christmas morning? You can even leave out some cookies for Santa!

Like Christmas cards, there are tons of options when it comes to baking. I’ll include some fun kid-friendly Christmas Eve treats below. It’s definitely worth getting the kitchen a little messy to test out these holiday recipes!

  • Gingerbread Cookies

  • Decorate Sugar Cookies

  • Christmas Tree Brownies

  • Santa Hat Cupcakes

  • Cranky Cupcakes

  • Christmas Tree Cookies

  • Christmas Light Cookies

  • Oreo Christmas Tree

4. Attend a Christmas Eve Service

Your family might not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t attend a nice Christmas Eve service. Churches offer services all day long and this can be a great chance for your family to gather together and enjoy your evening. Churches will sing hymns, light candles, and talk about Christmas stories.

5. Watch Christmas Movies

While you wait for your Christmas treats to bake, put on a Christmas movie to keep your kids entertained. Christmas Eve is the best time to stay inside and watch movies. There are many amazing holiday movies for kids to enjoy, as well! My family and I like to make hot cocoa and pick out our favorite Christmas movies to watch. If you need some ideas for kid friendly Christmas movies, check out this list.

6. Have A Snowball Fight

Just because it's cold out, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors. Have your kids bundle up and put on their warmest pair of gloves. Then, if there is snow on the ground, get ready for a snowball fight! Snowball fights are a classic Christmas Eve tradition for kids.

While you might not want to get hit by a snowball, It really gets the whole family in the holiday spirit. You can also do other fun snow day activities like sledding and making snow angels.

7. Create Christmas Crafts

Christmas crafts come in all shapes and sizes. Your family can create beautiful ornaments and decorations to place around your house. There are so many fun Christmas crafts for kids to try out. I’ll include a list of some of my favorite Christmas crafts below. This way your family can take the time to get creative together!

  • Hot Cocoa Kit

  • Paper Plate Santa

  • Pinecone Christmas Tree Craft

  • Snowflake Ornament

  • Paper Plate Christmas Tree

  • Grinch Slime

  • Handprint Christmas Crafts

8. Make Your Very Own Gingerbread House

Making Christmas cookies and other baked goods is a fun way to bond with your family, but if you want to take Christmas Eve to the next level, try making your own DIY gingerbread house. This Christmas activity can be a lot of work, but assembling a gingerbread house will be something your family will remember for a long time.

You can buy a gingerbread kit at your local store or bake your own gingerbread at home. Look at this link for more gingerbread ideas for Christmas Eve. You can get really creative with the way you decorate your gingerbread house.

9. Host Game Night

Have a night in and invite family and friends for game night. Christmas Eve can bring everyone you love together with a little bit of competitive fun. There are all kinds of Christmas-themed games you can play along with other classic family games.

  • Christmas Themed Pictionary

  • Christmas Themed Family Feud

  • Christmas Themed Monopoly

  • Who Am I: Christmas Edition

  • Snowman Bowling

10. See Some Holiday Lights

Finally, take a drive with your family to see some Christmas lights. You can pack your Christmas treats and some hot cocoa and go see Christmas lights in your neighborhood. There are also Christmas light shows you can drive through. Just do a quick google search to find local events in your area.

Final Thoughts on Christmas Eve

The holiday season isn’t just about opening presents. This is your chance to get closer to your family and make Christmas Eve traditions that will last for the rest of your lives. I talked about some of my own family traditions to help you out this year. Don’t be afraid to create your own traditions and search for other ways to bond over Christmas Eve.

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