For many folks, Christmas Eve is just as magical and cherished a time as Christmas morning. Some of the magic comes from the time spent with family, some from the promise of something shiny and new and some from the traditions that make holidays worth celebrating.
From cookies and milk to movies and songs, Christmas Eve is celebrated in many different ways. In the spirit of the season, here are some of our favorites.
Setting up for Santa’s Arrival
If there’s any day of the year that kids really look forward to, it’s Christmas. Setting out cookies and making sure the fireplace is cleared for landing are just a couple of the Christmas Eve activities that make this night so special. And while we’re always up for a crafty new idea, sometimes the classics are just too good to let go of. So keep it simple, making cookies together and writing Santa a letter in front of the fireplace.
Watching Christmas Movies as a Family
With so many classics and new additions that have quickly become classics, there’s no shortage of Christmas movies to touch anyone’s heart—or tickle their funny bone. Movies such as “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Home Alone” run the gamut from heartwarming to laugh-till-you-cry funny. Christmas Eve is a time for family, and nothing gets the brood together like some holiday cinema. Make your Christmas Eve movie fest even more special with an early gift of new pajamas and freshly baked cookies.
Reading Christmas Books
For some one-on-one time with your favorite little one, or even as a group activity to entertain a group of little ones, read a book or two about the magic of Christmas. Even if your children are grown, everyone gets to be a kid on Christmas Eve. So settle in, grab some hot chocolate and listen carefully—story time is about to begin!
Opening one Gift on Christmas Eve
Some swear by the “one gift on Christmas Eve” tradition while some say waiting until Christmas morning is the only way to go. Others go all out and open everything on Christmas Eve. If you don’t have a preference, use this year to create a new unwrapping tradition with your family. Open everything on Christmas Eve and do something new on Christmas morning. Go see a movie, read books in front of the fireplace, volunteer at a homeless shelter or plan a family outing.
Caroling for the Neighbors
While the neighborhood is gearing up for the big man in the red suit, bring your neighbors a little extra holiday cheer with some of the favorite songs of the season. If your singing voice is best left in the car or you have a few shy ones in the bunch, you could swap carols for cookies as a sweet treat for your neighbors.