12 Christmas Eve Traditions for Family: Fun Things to do on Christmas Eve

We can all agree Christmas Eve traditions are different in each family

…but maybe you’re looking for new things to do on Christmas Eve.

Find 12 fun Christmas Eve traditions, activities, & things to do below:

Christmas Eve Traditions & Things to Do

12 Christmas Eve Traditions for Your Family

December is in full swing – Santa photos, holiday shopping, Christmas parties…by Christmas Eve you’re probably worn out.

So, we’ve got you covered in the family fun department.

Before Christmas presents take over your entire living room, spend some extra family time together.

Many of the best things to do on Christmas Eve involve simple, holiday activities and your family.

Try some of these fun Christmas Eve traditions with your family for holiday fun!


Things to do on Christmas Eve

  1. Check out Holiday Lights in KC

It’s likely that by Christmas Eve, everyone has their Christmas lights

Drive around the neighborhood to look at the different holiday light displays, or check out the 2018 Holiday Lights Map for a full guide of Christmas lights in KC…over 80 spots!

Of course, making the drive to a local shopping center or Union Station to see how they’ve lit up the area is a fun option too.

  1. Give the gift of Holiday PJ’s

One of the best Christmas Eve traditions is to give your kids one gift early in the evening and have a holiday pajama party.

What’s more festive than cuddling up on the couch in matching pajama sets with a warm mug of hot chocolate?

Target, among many other retailers, is selling matching holiday sets for the whole family – including your dogs! We’ve even seen some pajama sets complete with fabric markers so the kids can actually design their own PJs.

Another favorite that we’ve heard is allowing the kids to have a special, sibling slumber party so they all wake up on Christmas morning together. 🙂

  1. Take-out Christmas Eve dinner

Chances are that you have done or will be doing a lot of cooking for the holiday. So, cooking dinner is probably not one of your top things to do on Christmas Eve…

Take the night off and enjoy someone else’s cooking.

  1. Sing Silly Christmas Carols

There are plenty of traditional Christmas songs circulating the radio and playing in every store.

If you would like a good laugh, then sing some silly, non-traditional holiday tunes. Have your own karaoke party in your living room! Even better, let your children write and perform their own.

  1. Make Homemade Gifts or Holiday Cards

Looking for fun things to do on Christmas Eve? Put everyone’s name in a hat and then draw one name each.

Everyone goes to different parts of the house to make gifts for the person they drew.

They can be simple crafts or homemade cards.

Make sure to keep each gift a surprise, NO peeking! Wrap them up and put them under the tree for Christmas morning.

Or, you could have the kids make gifts and cards for Santa, since he rarely gets gifts in return.

  1. Play Unique Holiday Games

Time to take a break from the traditional board games and try something new. There are lots of simple, holiday-themed games to play at home.

For example, you could play candy cane pick-up: hold a candy cane in your mouth and race against someone to see who can pick up the most without using their hands.

Another simple game is marshmallow toss: Hang up a couple wreaths dangling in the doorway with a bucket on the other side. Toss giant campfire marshmallows through the wreath and see who can get the most in the bucket.

For other ideas and twists on some favorites, head to Pinterest!

  1. Watch a Christmas Eve Movie

There are SO many holiday movies perfect Christmas Eve.

One of our team’s favorites is Mr. Magoo’s a Christmas Carol by Abe Levitow.

The holiday movie is based on the story by Charles Dickens, but as an animated classic. Great for the whole family to enjoy! It covers the great moral concept of the original story, but is less scary for those little ones. The music is also very catchy.

Luckily, aside from the regularly programmed movies on TV, the streaming apps have a variety of holiday movies to choose from too. Check out some holiday favorites available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.

  1. Make Santa’s Cookies and Reindeer Chow

Baking and decorating cookies with kids is a fun Christmas Eve tradition in many families.

Whether its grandma’s secret recipe cookies from a kit, nothing is sweeter than spending time together. Check out these fun recipes for homemade cookies.

Another favorite is Reindeer Chow – You could just set out carrots for the reindeer but I bet by the time they reach your house, they will want a treat.

Here is a fun recipe for reindeer food that is 100% edible and your kids can toss it out in the yard.

  1. Christmas Story Time

We love the idea of reading a holiday story or two before bedtime.

A popular holiday tradition that goes along with the same theme is to gift a new holiday book each year to read together.

…what a fun thing to do right before bed!

  1. Track Santa’s Journey

The Norad Santa tracker is a weather service that is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force.

Each year they put up videos and give regular reports of Santa traveling around the world all evening long on Christmas Eve.

They reach the United States between 10pm – midnight to help your child know when to head off to bed.

  1. Family Game Night!

Grab your coziest sweats & plan a family night for Christmas Eve – full of fun game ideas.

Let each child pick a game, then spend the evening playing games while waiting for Santa.

  1. Make a Christmas Craft

Have fun making arts and crafts your kiddos during Christmas Eve.

Find great options of Christmas crafts for kids now!

We’d love to hear about the fun Christmas Eve traditions your family has – drop them in the comments!

No matter what holiday activity or thing to do you choose to do, it will bring your family together in the spirit of the holidays. It doesn’t get better than family time…

Be sure you get The Scoop too! You don’t want to miss exclusive invites to movie premieres, Kids Club Events, & more things to do with kids in Kansas City…plus it’s free!

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC. 

Things to do in Kansas City

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