Christmas Eve Traditions

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Christmas Eve will be here soon. The memories of Christmas Eve Traditions, both old and new, are where the Christmas magic happens.

Christmas Eve Traditions

Today I am sharing my favorite Christmas Eve traditions. As you decorate the tree, bake cookies for Santa, or wrap gifts for your loved ones, think back to when you were a child and what made Christmas Eve traditions so magical.

Christmas Eve Traditions

It’s Day Twelve of Twelve Days to Get Ready for Christmas! I cannot believe it is the last day of this amazing journey.

My very amazing and talented friend KariAnne Wood at Thistlewood Farms and I have been sharing tips for twelve days to help get you ready for Christmas. We have had so many fun ideas to share!

Today we are sharing Day 12 – Christmas Eve Traditions

I wanted to pass on a special thank you for joining me these past twelve days. I hope I inspired you to get ready for the holidays.

My Favorite Christmas Eve Traditions

I am a bit crazy when it comes to traditions. So sharing Christmas Eve traditions is the perfect item to share today.

I would love it if you all would add some of your family Christmas Eve traditions in the comments. I would love to read about every single one and I am ready to add some more.

If you don’t know my friend KariAnne then you really need to follow her. KariAnne is kind, funny, smart, creative and one of the best writers I know. She also motivates me every day! Be sure to head on over to Karianne’s blog to read about 7 Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year.

Family Cook-A-Long for Christmas Eve Dinner

I love cooking in the kitchen with our family. A few years ago we started a tradition where we team up and each team cooks a course. We all cook together and it is so much fun. This evening is one of my favorites in the holiday season. And usually, it happens on Christmas Eve!

Gift Wrapping All Day

How to Organize Your Gift Wrapping Room 18

Our family has always wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve (day). I am hoping we can change that plan this year and start a tradition to do it earlier. But I won’t hold my breath!

Reading the Night Before Christmas

Christmas Living Room

When the boys were really young, ages, 1, 2, and 3, Dave started reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve. He still reads it every year! And the boys are now ages 30, 29, and 27.

How cute is that?

Making/Decorating Cookies for Santa  on Christmas Eve


We always make homemade cookies for Santa and leave them out on Christmas Eve. One year I had a cookie cutter made in the shape of our home and decorated them with some royal icing. It is from Copypastry. Our kids are grown and we still do this. I love it so much!

Watch a Favorite Holiday Movie Together 

Christmas Joy

I love having a special family movie that we can watch with our family. When I was growing up, my sisters and I loved watching “White Christmas” every year. I think I know every word of every song and most of the dialogue throughout the entire movie!

As hard as I have tried to get my boys to watch the movie “White Christmas”, they haven’t shown any interest. They like movies such as A Christmas Story and National Lampoon Christmas Vacation.

Open a Gift on Christmas Eve

Growing up, we always opened one gift on Christmas Eve. Usually, the gift was pajamas or a new robe. Do you open one or more gifts on Christmas Eve?

Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights

holiday decor ideas

The last tradition I am sharing is one we have enjoyed for many years. Every Christmas Eve we put on our pajamas, pile the dog in the car, and head out to St. Alban’s street to look at the Christmas lights. Now that we are a family of six, it’s a very tight squeeze in the car! We always put Christmas carols on the car radio and we have so much fun.

I hoped you have enjoyed our Family Christmas Eve Traditions. Now it’s your turn to share your traditions. Please leave them in the comments.

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I have put together some cozy favorites of mine for you for Christmas Eve. Whether you are putting out the milk and cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer, are curling up on the couch to read about Santa and his Christmas Eve adventure or to watch your favorite Christmas movie, I have gathered something for everyone for some Christmas Eve magic.

Christmas Eve Traditions

I also summed up some of the gift guides I have included in this series!

Decorating a Farmhouse Christmas Tree

(click title for all of the gift guides)

Stocking Stuffers for Christmas Morning

(click title for all of the gift guides)

Make Ahead Christmas Sweets for the Dessert Table

(click title for all of the gift guides)

‘Tis the Season of Giving Christmas Gifts Under $25

(click title for all of the gift guides)

Gifts Under $25 for the Decorator

Gifts Under $25 for the Entertainer

Holiday Gift Guides for Everyone You Know

(click title for all of the gift guides)

Gift Guide for the Pet Lover

Gift Guide for your Pet

Gifts for the Crafter

I own 100% of these items. Which means they are good. I promise.

Gift Guide for the Crafter

Be sure to head on over to KariAnne’s post titled 7 Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year.

If you missed any of my Twelve Days to Get Ready for Christmas, you can find them here:

You can also find KariAnne’s amazing blog posts here:

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

Christmas Eve Traditions

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  1. We always had a fondue dinner- cheese and bread, oil and meats, and chocolate. When we were in jr.high, we started opening our gifts afterwards, one at a time. My uncle passed away the, so my mom had us celebrate Christmas Eve as she was flying out the next morning. The tradition stuck, so we always opened gifts Christmas Eve after that. We loved it- we could get a good night’s sleep and look over everything in the morning. When i was single, i had parties Christmas Eve- sometimes for 6 or 20! I made dinner, and we all had a great time. Now being married, we have a nice dinner and watch hallmark movies. My husband’s adult kids ( when here) come over Christmas Day at noon, play games, open gifts, eat dinner, and consume mass quantities of candy and popcorn!

  2. Wow, these are all wonderful Christmas Eve traditions but it must make for a very busy day and night! I like to be a little more restful now that my kids are grown. We all still gather at our cottage where we have plenty of snow here in Canada. We go tobogganing down our hill and drink hot spiked cider by the outside fire. Then we gather inside for a big feast of Pasta Bolognese by the roaring fire and massive tall Xmas tree! We wear light up necklaces and hats and ugly Xmas sweaters. It’s always a wonderful way to celebrate with just our nuclear family in the woods!

  3. Same thing at our house with White Christmas……hubby falls asleep, kiddos watched it when they were home but are in their own homes now….and I too can sing all the songs and know all the lines….but it’s so fun and it’s just not Christmas without it! Love reading your blog everyday, your button crafts were very inspiring!

  4. All these are great and beautiful ideas…but I see nothing about celebrating the real meaning of Christmas. That we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, who came to earth to offer salvation to all!

  5. Christmas Eve – for years we have had the same meal – home made cabbage rolls, ham and perogies. Oftentimes we were wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve day as well, but as the kids are grown now, gifts are less and often too large to wrap! Up until 3 years ago, our kids always opened a gift on Christmas Eve as well, and it was always pajamas! That was a tradition I grew up with as well. Our kids are 34 and 30 with spouses of their own and this year they want to start their own traditions and one of them is to open gifts in their own home on Christmas morning. This makes me a little sad but I understand that things change and I don’t blame them. Covid started that last year…so we will see what this year looks like.

  6. Love your blog! Not a Christmas Eve tradition, but a Christmas Day tradition — Since I was a child (and I am a senior now) we always sing Happy Birthday and have a special birthday cake for Baby Jesus. With all the excitement of Santa and Christmas it is a reminder of what the holiday is really all about

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