Christmas Eve is one of the most magical days of the year, with so much excitement in the air, particularly if you have young children. It’s also time to relax, and spend quality time together getting ready for Santa’s arrival.
To make your Christmas Eve even more special, we’ve put together our top 10 favourite Christmas Eve traditions, which the whole family will love.
1) Put together a Christmas Eve box
Christmas Eve boxes come from the German tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Eve, and they have become a popular way to get little ones even more excited on Christmas Eve with a box of festive treats. A child’s Christmas Eve box could contain festive pyjamas, a Christmas book, novelty socks, and a Christmas colouring book or stickers. You could even include a Christmas Eve letter from Santa, or reindeer food to scatter on your driveway.
2) Make a gingerbread house
Create magical Christmas memories to last a lifetime by making your very own Gingerbread House on Christmas eve, enlisting the little ones to decorate it with sweets, sprinkles and icing. You could bake your own gingerbread from scratch, or take the easy option and use one of the many wonderful kits available. You could even make little gingerbread trees or people. A really fun activity for the whole family to get involved with.
3) Make reindeer food
Children of all ages will love making reindeer food to scatter in the garden or on your driveway. It’s wildlife friendly and super easy for little ones to make as it simply contains oats, and a variety of sugar sprinkles leftover from your festive baking. Give it a good mix together and sprinkle outside to feed Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.
4) Watch a Christmas film
You’ve finished all your Christmas Eve activities, so what better way to snuggle up and feel festive and excited for Christmas Day than by watching your family’s favourite Christmas film. There are so many incredible festive films for children, from The Snowman, to The Polar Express, Elf, and Stickman, so pick the one that makes your little ones feel warm and fuzzy, sit back and relax.
5) Go for a Christmas lights tour
As a Christmas Eve treat, once the children are in their pyjamas, put your coats on and go for a walk or drive around your neighbourhood to see if you can find any Christmas lights. There’s something magical about going out in the dark on Christmas Eve, when all the decorations are up, and the lights are at their twinkliest. You could even do a scavenger hunt and see who is the first to spot a snowflake, a reindeer or a candy cane.
6) Go for a festive walk
If your children are full of energy and excitement on Christmas Eve, it may be a good idea to get out during the day and take the whole family for a festive walk. Spending time outdoors will also help make sure the little ones have a good night’s sleep.
7) Leave mince pies out for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolph!)
This is our favourite Christmas tradition, and in our opinion is the most magical part of Christmas Eve. Ask your children to help you put a mince pie, a carrot, and either a glass of milk or festive tipple on a special plate for Santa, and leave it somewhere he will see it when he delivers their presents. The look on their faces on Christmas Morning when they see that Santa and Rudolph have enjoyed their treats is a memory you’ll want to hold onto forever.
8) Track Santa as he makes his deliveries
One of our favourite modern traditions is sitting down as a family to have a look at NORAD Tracks Santa
, which shows you where Santa is delivering presents on his journey around the World. It’s a fantastic way to bring the magic of Santa to life for little ones, and older ones (and adults) will love checking where he is at various stages throughout the evening.
9) Visit a Christmas market
Nothing beats a Christmas Market for a bit of last-minute shopping, mulled wine, entertainment and twinkling lights. There are Christmas markets popping up all in towns all over the country, and they’re a wonderful way to see friends and feel festive on Christmas Eve. Christmas markets originated in Germany, and nothing beats tucking into a bratwurst or picking up some lebkuchen while you’re there.
10) Make (and deliver) Christmas biscuits for your neighbours
We love spreading a bit of Christmas cheer, and baking and delivering Christmas biscuits is one of our favourite Christmas Eve activities. It teaches little ones to be kind, and your friends and neighbours will love receiving a handmade gift. Use festive cookie cutters and ask children to decorate with sweets and sprinkles.