Skip to Content

20+ Fun Things To Do On Christmas Eve With Your Family

Moms Helping Moms! Share The Love!

20+ fun things to do on Christmas Eve with your family and kids!

Ring in the holiday season with these family-friendly Christmas Eve activities and traditions that will make your Christmas Eve merry and bright!


How To Have The Best Christmas Eve Ever


Choosing Christmas Eve as the day to get together with family has been a tradition itself for many years.

For some, it might be because they can’t get along any other day of the year.

For others, it’s simply because that particular day has more meaning than any other during the holiday season.

What matters most is that we all take the time to appreciate our family members – even if they drive us crazy! Here are some fun Christmas Eve activities you can do to create some wonderful memories!

What To Do On Christmas Eve?

Christmas is a time for family, fun, and tradition.

Many people believe that Christmas Eve is the best time to spend with your family because you feel the magic in the air with the anticipation of Christmas morning.

Every family has its own traditions that they celebrate on Christmas Eve.

Whether it’s watching a certain movie, going to church, or opening one gift before bed, these Christmas Eve traditions help make the holiday special.

There are many fun things to do on Christmas Eve with your family. 

If you’re looking for some new ideas to add to your Christmas Eve activities, check out this list of fun ideas!

There are plenty of new holiday traditions to add to your Christmas Bucket List!

Christmas Eve Activities & Traditions For Families: 20+ Things To Do


Things To Do On Christmas Eve


Whether you are looking for Christmas eve activities for toddlers or adults this list has you covered!

Wear Matching Holiday Pajamas

It’s a really fun tradition for families to wear matching pajamas on Christmas eve.

Kids love the idea of wearing matching pajamas with their parents and it makes the perfect photo op opportunity for mom!

The tradition of wearing matching holiday pajamas is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

It’s also a great way to make memories with your family and kids, who will always remember this special night.

Take Family Photos

Taking family photos is a great Christmas Eve tradition. 

It’s even better if your family has matching pajamas or is all dressed up.

Gather around your tree, set your camera’s timer, and let the fun begin. 

Wrap Gifts

If you have a Type B personality like me, you may leave most of the Christmas gift wrapping for the last minute.

Make it a family event, to help wrap each other’s gifts.

My kids really enjoy wrapping gifts for their siblings on Christmas Eve night. 

Then they all get together to wrap a few gifts for Mom and Dad.

Related Post: Christmas Bucket List Ideas That Are FREE

Bake Holiday Cookies

Christmas Eve is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, and there are many different traditions that people can enjoy.

One tradition that is sure to please everyone is making homemade holiday cookies together.

This is a fun activity for kids of all ages!

Not only will they have fun decorating the cookies, but they’ll also love eating them afterward.

Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone in the kitchen and working together.

After you bake your Christmas cookies, be sure to save a batch for Santa Claus!

Related Post: 25 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes To Make With Kids

Elf On The Shelf Shenanigans

If your family loves Elf on the Shelf then Christmas Eve can be the Elf’s last hoorah!

Make sure you think of a really great idea for your Elf’s big send-off.

You can download these free Elf on the Shelf notes for a fun scavenger hunt.

Or even this Elf on the Shelf Donation Letter to get your kids to go through their toys for donation.

That is a great idea to make room for the new toys on Christmas morning. 

Related: Christmas Countdown Elf Activity Kit

Look At Christmas Lights Around The Town

One of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is going for a walk or drive to look at Christmas lights.

It’s a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the festive decorations that many people put up this time of year.

Also, it’s a great way to spend some quality time together as a family.

We usually try to go to a different neighborhood each year, so we can see all the different ways people decorate their homes for the holidays.

Of course, it’s always fun to see which houses have the most creative or over-the-top displays.

Whether it’s a simple string of lights or an elaborate display, I always enjoy seeing the Christmas lights and getting into the holiday spirit.

Also, check to see if your town has any local light displays or winter wonderland exhibits. 

Load the entire family in the car and don’t forget to sing Christmas carols on the way.


Fun Things To Do On Christmas Eve


Family Game Night

Christmas Eve is a time for family, and what better way to spend it than by playing some games together?

Board games are a great way to laugh and have some friendly competition, perfect to be on the list of Christmas Eve activities!

Plus, if you’re feeling extra festive, you can even break out the Christmas-themed games.

Cards are another option that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Whatever you choose to play, make sure to take some pictures so you can look back and remember all the fun you had.

Christmas comes but once a year, so make the most of it with your loved ones.

Download FREE Would You Rather Cards Christmas Edition

Christmas Mad Libs

If your family is all about laughing, then make it a Christmas Eve tradition to play the Christmas Mad Libs game. 

The kids will have a blast creating funny stories about all of their favorite things like Santa, elves, gingerbread houses, and more!

It’s also great for getting the whole family involved.

Parents and grandparents will have some memorable laughs when the funny stories are read out loud. 

Watch Christmas Movies

Another fun activity is watching Christmas movies together as a family.

This is the perfect opportunity to cozy up with some popcorn and hot chocolate and enjoy classic holiday films like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Polar Express,” or  “Miracle on 34th Street”.

If you’re looking for something more modern, there are plenty of great Christmas-themed movies out there, too!

Look over this Ultimate List of Christmas Movies to find the perfect holiday movie to watch on Christmas Eve. 

Play Christmas Movie Bingo

So we all have our favorite Christmas movies!

Even if there is a new Christmas movie on Hallmark or Netflix, they all have some type of holiday predictability you can count on.

This a fun game for the older kids!

So grab some Christmas bingo cards, and start your Holiday movie marathon!

The first one to get Christmas bingo gets to open a gift!

Make Gingerbread Houses Together

Christmas eve is a time for family, friends, and fun.

One of the most memorable Christmas Eve activities that everyone can enjoy is making a gingerbread house together.

This festive tradition is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit.

Plus, it’s a great way to bond with loved ones and create lasting memories.

The best part about making gingerbread houses is that there are no rules.

Be as creative as you want with your design.

Use whatever candy and decorations you like.

And don’t be afraid to make a mess!

After all, that’s half the fun.

Make Homemade Ornaments

Making homemade ornaments together is a meaningful Christmas tradition for my family.

Not only does it create holiday memories, but they are keepsakes we can hang on the tree yearly. 

Every time my kids hang their handmade ornaments on the Christmas tree, we are reminded of the time they spent decorating them.

Here are some homemade ornaments you can try:

Track Santa

One of my most memorable Christmas Eve memories was when my mom bundled me up and took me outside to search the night skies for Santa.

Now you can track Santa with the Norad Santa Tracker or the Google Santa Tracker.

Young kids get really excited about knowing Santa is coming to town.

Make some hot cocoa and watch Santa travel from the North Pole to homes all over the world. 

Make Reindeer Food

Making homemade reindeer food with the kids is a great way to get them excited about Christmas Eve.

Before bed, take the kids outside and sprinkle the reindeer food on your lawn.

The glitter will glisten in the moonlight and look like magic dust that helps the reindeer fly.

It is simple to make and a fun activity that will get your family into the spirit of Christmas.

Use our recipe for Magic Reindeer Food; it’s simple and easy.

Sponsor A Family

Last year, we sponsored a family in need at Christmas.

We delivered presents and Christmas dinner to them on Christmas Eve. 

It was such a wonderful experience that I am sure my children will never forget. 

It really is what Christmas is all about. 

Read Christmas Stories By The Fireplace

While some people may prefer to watch Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music to get into the holiday spirit, there is something special about sitting around the fireplace and reading Christmas stories together.

These Christmas Eve traditions for families date back to the Victorian era when families would gather around the fire to read tales of Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus.

Reading these stories aloud helped spread holiday cheer and allowed families to bond with one another.

In today’s world, we often get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to slow down and enjoy the company of our loved ones.

We can create new memories and build stronger relationships by taking a few minutes out of our day to read a Christmas story together.

Make Paper Bag Snowflakes

If you don’t live in a climate that can give you a white Christmas, then make your own snowflakes.

Use an easy tutorial to make giant snowflakes from paper bags. 

The kids will love cutting out their own unique snowflakes. 

Then they can be hung as beautiful Christmas decorations. 

Do A Christmas Random Act Of Kindness

There is a special feeling in the air during Christmas time.

It’s a time of giving and receiving, of caring for others and being cared for.

It’s a time when we can show kindness to people who may not have had such a great year.

Christmas eve is the perfect time to do random acts of kindness because you and your family can feel like Santa Clause and make someone else’s day by doing something nice for them.

Use some ideas from this printable kindness challenge.

Play the Chimneys and Ladders Christmas RAOK game with the kids, to learn about random acts of kindness while playing a family game. 

And download this free printable 12 days of kindness Santa Claus craft

Make A Hot Chocolate Bar

Making a hot chocolate bar on Christmas Eve will be such a treat for your family.

Hot chocolate bars are fun for all ages! 

Make it even more fun by making a batch of hot chocolate in the crockpot or making homemade hot chocolate bombs.

Mix it up with multiple toppings like mini chocolate chips, candy canes, and sprinkles. 

You can even get creative and use unique hot chocolate bomb flavors. 

Personalize Your Stockings

Christmas Eve is the perfect time to do it if you haven’t already added some personalization to your stockings.

You can use glue and glitter to make old-fashioned stockings.

Or you can download some printable stocking tags

Attend A Special Church Service

Finally, one of the best Christmas Eve traditions for families to do together is attending a special church service.

There’s nothing quite like celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with your loved ones by your side. If you don’t have time to go to church on Christmas Eve, consider attending a candlelight service or watching a religious program on television.

Or, if you are Catholic, there is something truly special about midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  

RELATED: Santa’s Helper Christmas Planner


Best Christmas Eve Ever


Fun Christmas Eve Activities and Traditions For Families

Christmas Eve is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends.

By doing these Christmas Eve traditions for families like those listed above, you’ll be sure to make this holiday one to remember!

So get out there and enjoy the festive season!

Did you find a new Christmas Eve tradition? Let me know in the comments.

Moms Helping Moms! Share The Love!

Be sure to check out the SMART MOM RESOURCES page for more parenting hacks and tips!