Christmas Eve Traditions
Christmas Eve will be here before we know it. The memories of Christmas Eve Traditions, both old and new, are where the Christmas magic happens.
Today is the last day of Twelve Days to Get Ready for Christmas and 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.
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Christmas Eve Traditions
It’s Day Twelve of Twelve Days to Get Ready for Christmas! Can you believe that it’s been twelve days already?
Thank you for joining me, I hope that you feel inspired and 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.
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
Our family has always wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve (day). For the past few years I have actually wrapped earlier but there are still some members of our family that need to start a tradition to do it earlier. But I won’t hold my breath!
Reading the Night Before Christmas
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 31, 30, and 28.
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
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.
Are you surprised?
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 none, one, or more gifts on Christmas Eve?
Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights
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 watching your favorite Christmas movie, I have gathered something for everyone for some Christmas Eve magic.
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- Twas the Night Before Christmas is a classic that we read every Christmas Eve
- These super cute Christmas cookie platters are in my cart!
- How festive is this darling Merry Christmas platter? Not just for cookies!
- This cozy red blanket will be a favorite to curl up under.
- You can never have too many snacks for Santa and his team, this one is darling!
- Twas the Night Before Christmas with Hidden Pictures for the little ones that are wiggly while reading!
- The Polar Express is all about Christmas Eve magic!
- I love that this set comes with a plate for cookies, a carton for milk, and a notepad to write Santa a note!
- Sherpa blankets are extra cozy and this buffalo check sherpa blanket is festive and cozy!
- This set has everything you need to make the cookies and put them out on Christmas Eve!
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my family’s favorites.
- In our family, we make sure to have a sherpa blanket for everyone. This tartan plaid sherpa blanket is in my cart!
- I have two of these knit sherpa blankets and they always seem to be the ones everyone wants. This one is a crowd-pleaser for sure!
- Mercury glass is so beautiful on a Christmas tree. I love this mercury glass garland!
- Kurt Adler makes vintage-inspired ornaments and this set of 12 is one of my favorites!
- All of these beautiful jewel-toned ornaments are so gorgeous and 25 glass ornaments for $30!
- How amazing is this vintage-inspired glass garland?
- These whimsical striped glass balls are so sweet. A set of 9 for $20!
- These red and gold vintage-inspired glass ornaments are absolutely gorgeous!
- I love to swag a tree with garland and this cranberry wood bead garland is 9ft!
- Or if you want less color, you can use this natural wood bead garland that is 12ft.
- How sweet is this set of 4 glass ornaments? I think the bear is my favorite.
- 25 mercury glass ornaments for $25! You can’t beat that deal!
- This box vintage inspired ornaments is one of my favorites!
- This set of red, green, and gold vintage-inspired ornaments is so pretty!
- I love these green glass pinecones. This set of 12 is only $17!
- This Best Choice Products 6ft Pre-Lit Spruce has almost 5,000 positive reviews and is under $120. Such a good choice!
- National Tree Company 6ft Pre-Lit Dunhill Fir is under $200!
- Want to put your own lights on the tree? This 6 ft unlit tree is under $100 and has over 3,000 reviews!
- Pencil trees are perfect for tight corners. This 7.5ft flocked and pre-lit tree has 350 lights on it!
- I love the shape of this 7.5 Foot Pre-Lit Aspen Fir.
- This 6.5ft Carolina Pine is pre-lit and so full. A gorgeous tree that is flocked and has pinecones.
- Balsam Hill 6ft Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree Classic Blue Spruce. Amazon Exclusive – get it here!
- Create a winter wonderland with this 7.5ft Pre-Lit Snow Flocked Christmas Pine Tree
- Have tall ceilings? This National Tree Carolina Pine tree is 7.5ft and pre-lit.
- This 3ft farmhouse tree comes with this farmhouse-style box and can be tucked into a small spot or kitchen!
Stocking Stuffers for Christmas Morning
- Both of these stockings for our kitty Kelly and our dog Sport are in my cart!
- How beautiful are these cable knit stockings in gorgeous cranberry and winter white?
- I am in love with this hand knit stocking with a vintage Santa, and it can be personalized!
- This beautiful needlepoint stocking comes in multiple patterns and can be personalized.
- If your Christmas theme is more neutral, these natural burlap or ivory quilted stockings will blend in perfectly. And they can be personalized.
- How funny are these little gnome stockings? If you love gnomes, check these out!
- These knit stockings are so festive and red and green. These would make great decor items at four 18″ stockings for $11.99.
- This hand-knit stocking is so sweet with the nostalgic rocking horse and train on it.
- Over 1,000 positive ratings for this 8-pack of 20″ knit stockings for $22! I am ordering these for decor!
For the Cook in Your Life, Make Ahead Christmas Sweets for the Dessert Table
- Homemade lattes, yes, please! This latte machine is a sure hit.
- This cookbook is a bible for many cooks, both new and ones who have been cooking for years!
- How gorgeous is this stainless steel set of pots and pans?
- This Kitchen-Aid blender is such a helpful tool. So many uses!
- The Ninja Personal Blender is perfect for single-serving smoothies!
- Serious cooks will love this specialty salt sampler
- This 6-in-1 Ninja Air Fryer is something every cook would love to receive!
- For the baker in your life, yes, this Kitchen-Aid mixer is worth every penny!
- For the cook that loves to have fresh herbs year-round, this Click and Grow Smart Garden is amazing!
- This breadmaker is amazing! Wake up to freshly baked bread.
‘Tis the Season of Giving Christmas Gifts Under $25
- This round metal mirror can be hung on the wall or styled on a table and I love it!
- This nut bowl is so cute!
- How charming is this retro clock?
- I love the size and shape of this advertising pot!
- This pedestal bowl is so gorgeous and under $20!
- This beaded stoneware planter is so chic!
- How sweet is this footed pedestal bowl
- Pillow covers quickly change the look of any room
- Set of 3 brass candlesticks for under $25!
- I love to style shelves with english advertising pots.
- I love mercury glass and this ribbed candlestick is an incredible value under $25.
- These diamond shaped glasses with a gold rim are everything!
- How stunning is this crystal ice bucket? And it really is under $25!
- Can you believe 5 crystal bud vases for $20?
- This book makes Wine Simple and approachable.
- 6 mason jars with fairy lights, such a great deal!
- These gold candlesticks elevate any table.
- Photo clip string lights make any event fun!
- This set of 4 faux wood chargers looks beautiful in any table setting.
- How pretty are these blush colored wine glasses?
- Six linen hemstitched napkins are beautiful and $25!
Holiday Gift Guides for Everyone You Know
- Cats love this calming cat bed.
- Christmas dinner tastes better in a Christmas dish.
- 15,000 recommendations and 4 and a half stars for this cat toy!
- Dogs love to chase squirrels, this one they can catch!
- Every week can be shark week with this dog toy!
- This orthopedic dog bed has over 23,000 reviews.
- Cats LOVE this toy!
- This tunnel comes with a chaser toy.
- The Kong is a long-time favorite.
- This Santa bowl is so festive.
- This Gold Leaf Kit is a wonderful gift for your favorite crafter.
- A basic sewing machine is a must for every crafter.
- Fine crepe paper for making crepe paper flowers.
- This Brother embroidery machine is a powerhouse.
- The Cricut Maker 3 is the gold standard for crafters. This would make any crafter a happy camper.
- Lia Griffith is the queen of crepe paper flower making. This book is a must for anyone who wants to learn.
Watch My Amazon Live
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This show is titled Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know.
If you missed any of my Twelve Days to Get Ready for Christmas, you can find them here:
- Day 1 – How to Shop for Holiday and Seasonal Decor
- Day 2 – Pomegranate Christmas Theme
- Day 3 – Eleven Ways to Repurpose Least Year’s Christmas Decor
- Day 4 – Christmas Dishes and Table Decor Ideas
- Day 5 – Holiday Gift Guides for Everyone You Know
- Day 6 – Gift Wrapping Ideas
- Day 7 – Tis the Season of Giving Christmas Gifts Under $25
- Day 8 – 9 Gifts Handmade With Love
- Day 9 – Make Ahead Christmas Sweets for the Dessert Table
- Day 10 – Stocking Stuffers for Christmas Morning
- Day 11 – Decorating a Farmhouse Christmas Tree
- Day 12 – Christmas Eve Traditions
You can also find KariAnne’s amazing blog posts from last year here:
- Day 1 – What you Should be Christmas Shopping For Now
- Day 2 – How To Choose a Christmas Theme For Your Home
- Day 3 – 17 Ways to Make Last Year’s Christmas Decor Look New
- Day 4 – 7 Simple and Easy Christmas Centerpiece Ideas
- Day 5 – Gift Guides For Everyone On Your List
- Day 6 – 21 Easy DIY Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas
- Day 7 – 25 Personalized Christmas Gifts Under $25
- Day 8 – Handmade Holidays: Creative DIY Gift Ideas
- Day 9 – How to Make an Icebox Cake In a Jar
- Day 10 – 20 Unique Stocking Stuffers for Under $5
- Day 11 – 14 Creative Ideas for Your Christmas Tree
- Day 12 – 7 Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year
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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!
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!
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!
Please share with me where you got your ribbon holder that is hanging in your craft room. Love it.
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!
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.
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
My mother gifted my (now 31 year old) twin boys The Polar Express and wrote inside to read it every Christmas Eve and we have – this year, my first grandchild will be present. The boys love the tradition – even reading what their grandmother wrote: “I still hear the bell”.
I have 4 kids (24, 26, 28, and 30) and now, 2 daughters-in-love! Ever since the kids were little, they have drawn names on Thanksgiving for a secret sibling gift exchange. When they were young, they were supposed to secretly do nice things for their person all month (like make their bed or do their chore that week). Then those are the one gift they open Christmas Eve. We go to church and come home and as we are making dinner they one by one open their gift.
Christmas Eve day is usually spend finishing up baking, gift wrapping, or stocking filling. That evening we have a delicious but simple dinner using our china and sterling sliver. Then we head to church for a beautiful and special candle lit service. We love wishing our friends a merry Christmas and seeing all the college kids in attendance who have returned home for the holidays. After the service we drive around and enjoy the festive lights and revel in the warmth and love this special night always brings and reminisce of past Christmases when the boys were young. We usually open a gift or two under the tree and watch Christmas specials or a Christmas movie until bedtime. Christmas Day begins with mimosas and opening of the presents around the tree. Afterwards is a delicious breakfast and a festive fancy dinner later on. And sometimes a nap in between.
I love the trees that look layered! Where do you purchase? Plz
Being a Firefighter family means our Christmas Eve “traditions” changed depending on whether my hubs was on duty or not. Holidays at the fire station were always fun, entertaining and of course be exciting sometimes! So we don’t have set plan but that’s okay!
And am I surprised your 3 sons pick Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story over White Christmas?? I did mention we are a firefighter family right?😂 But I LOVE White Christmas too and it would be the Christmas season without watching it a few times!! 🎶🎵Sisters, sisters..🎶there were never such devoted sisters🎵🎶
I loved reading your post and all of the comments. When I was a child our family, aunts, uncles and cousins met at my grandparents’ house for dinner. My grandmother cooked a feast with decorated cakes for dessert. One cake I remember was a train, probably an idea from a 1960s McCall’s magazine. There was an adult table and a children’s table. After dinner my grandmother read the Christmas story from the Bible… with the grandchildren at her feet. Afterwards we would open gifts. An uncle would then step outside and declare he saw Santa flash across the sky. We would hurry home and hang our stockings, leaving milk and cookies for Santa then head straight to bed! My siblings and I were usually awake by 4:00 a.m to see what Santa had brought.
I now have married children and two grandchildren. We go to Christmas Eve service at church and then to my mother-in-laws’ home for dinner. She is 94 and still cooks. We return to her house for Christmas brunch on Christmas morning then open gifts.
My own parents passed away this past year so it will be a hard Christmas. They lived four hours away and we used to jump in the car after brunch and travel to celebrate with them and my huge family. Times change and having grandchildren will help make Christmas merry and bright. (You will see, Leslie!) Thanks for sparking memories. 💕
Hi Kathy, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful memory. I hope this Christmas brings new traditions and memories while still honoring your parents. So sorry for their passing. Can’t wait to see what light grandchildren will bring- again, thank you so much for sharing ❤️
Our family tradition has always been to gather for appetizers, then attend Christmas Eve mass together. On the way home we drive around a few neighborhoods to check out Christmas lights and displays. Once we get back home we enjoy dessert and put all the gifts in separate piles next to where each person will sit on Christmas day. Then we watch the Christmas Eve mass at the Vatican while I stuff all the stockings on the mantel.
Love this Sherry! Driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights is the best- so magical. Thank you for sharing ❤️