What are the best Christmas Eve traditions? What makes the night special and creates the best memories? Here’s a big list of ideas for a meaningful Christmas Eve that everyone in the family will enjoy and remember!

Often, the best memories are the simple ones. Christmas Eve traditions do not need to be complicated, extravagant, or cost a lot (or anything for that matter!). Kids usually love the security and comfort of knowing what happens on Christmas Eve and anticipating that special night.

Another benefit of a Christmas Eve tradition is that it gives excited and energetic kids some structure, and a plan to look forward to. This can help the holiday go a lot better!

Christmas Eve Traditions

Here are some fun options for creating your own Christmas Eve Traditions:

  • Open a gift early. In our family, we exchange Sibling Gifts on Christmas Eve. This has become such a special tradition that the kids look forward to all season long!
  • Open all the gifts! Some families do this, and then sleep in on Christmas morning.
  • Attend a Christmas Eve Service. Our church offers a Christmas Eve service in the early evening. We come home afterwards and eat dinner and then do our sibling gifts.
  • Read a story and make hot chocolate. Choose your favorite Christmas book!
  • Go look at Christmas lights. This Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt is really fun to do.
  • Christmas Eve Box. This is a very popular idea! Have the kids open a present with new pajamas and a movie to watch on Christmas Eve.
  • Serve a traditional dinner. It can be anything, but make it the same every year! Recipes that can be prepared ahead of time are always good. We like to have Chicken Tortilla Soup, which I make in the morning and then heat up after we return home from our church service.
  • Read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. For younger kids, you may want to consider a good Bible story book.
  • Go caroling. Carol in your neighborhood, or visit specific friends who could use a smile.
  • Take cookies or gifts to a family in need. Deliver treats to a family you know, sign up to serve at a community program, or think of your own way to serve. Puts things in perspective!
  • Learn a new card game together. Here are 20 Card Games for Families – games you can play with a deck of cards.
  • Decorate Christmas cookies. The early part of December can be SO busy with activities. Slow down and enjoy decorating cookies together on Christmas Eve!
  • Make a homemade ornament for the tree. Mark your ornament with the year so you can remember it! Here are 20 Fun Christmas Ornaments to Make.


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  1. Susan Dec 17, 2021

    These are such awesome ideas! I'm going to plan to do the sibling gifts the night before.
    Love this!


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