The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. It is the perfect time to gather ‘round with families and enjoy some extra laughs and good times. One of the best ways to make sure you get to spend time together is to start a tradition. As my husband has made a tradition of booking Christmas Eve off work we start our traditions as a family on Christmas Eve and wanted to share some of our favourites with you. So here are some cheerful Christmas Eve traditions to start this year with your family.

Father and daughter decorating a Gingerbread House on Christmas Eve - a fantastic family tradition to start to create meaningful connections

Christmas Eve Traditions that you and Your Kids can Start this year

From giving back to the community to making things for the home these Christmas Eve traditions are great to start with your family. Pick one or more together and set it as a goal this year that you will do it on Christmas Eve with the kids.

The Christmas Eve BoxFamily opening a Christmas Eve Box in front of a Christmas Tree

Since my kids were toddlers our Elves have delivered a box on Christmas Eve with little gifts and things to do. When they were young it arrived in the morning and as they have got older there are more traditions we do (we’ve shared a few below) so our Christmas Eve Box arrives after the Christmas Eve Dinner. If you would like to start this tradition find out more about our Christmas Eve box and what to put in it here.

Visit a Nursing Home

While many folks in nursing homes have family nearby, there are a fair amount of people who do not get visitors very often. Make it a tradition to spend Christmas Eve at a nearby nursing home. Spread cheer and laughter, while sharing stories amongst yourselves, or even playing games. Perhaps even bring small gifts or essentials that the residents can use.

My kids also do this a little earlier in the lead up to Christmas with groups that they are part of. My daughter’s dance school goes and visits the same one every year and performs a few Christmas dances and sings a lot of Carols.

Craft New Christmas Decor

Crafting is a wonderful way to get creative. We have created new Saltdough Decorations on Christmas Eve (as the oven is normally on it’s great to put them in the top oven and they will dry out naturally throughout the day).

Kids Making Christmas Crafts

We’ve also made paper snowflakes and decorated Nutcracker Peg Dolls with the grandparents for the tree. Here on Rainy Day Mum, we have a huge collection of Christmas Crafts and Activities which is perfect for your whole family to enjoy.

The options are endless, so gather around the table and let your imaginations soar.

Gather Used Toys or Clothing

Most people leave a plate of Christmas cookies, and a glass of milk for Santa Claus, but that isn’t all you can leave for him.

Create a new tradition where each person gathers a few toys or gently used articles of clothing and then place them all in the same bag. Leave it under the tree so that Santa can take it with him and deliver to those in need.

Then remember to head out to the Charity Shop after Christmas to deliver your Santa Sack of gifts for others.

Gingerbread House Competition

Father and Daughter building a Gingerbread House Together
Father and Daughter Building Gingerbread Houses together By Aleksandra Suzi via Shutterstock

There is nothing like a little competition to add a little bit of excitement to the night.

Make your own Gingerbread houses and decorate your heart’s desire.

Then post pictures on social media and let friends and family that can’t be with you this year vote on their favourites.

A simplified Gingerbread Cookie recipe that is ideal to make with children of all ages. Perfect for baking some gifts to say Thank You year round.

I like to make the gingerbread house parts in advance so they have time to go a little more solid and then the kids decorate them. Our best recipe is this Kid-Friendly Gingerbread Recipe which is perfect for making the Gingerbread houses as well.

Drop Off Candy Canes and Cards at the Hospital

No one wants to spend the holidays stuck in the hospital, but unfortunately, there are numerous people that have no choice but to spend Christmas trapped in a hospital room.

Bringing joy to someone else’s life is a great way to bring extra joy into your life. Gather the family and drop off joyful cards, and candy canes to those that may not be able to make it home in time for Christmas.

We have in the past donated toys and books to the children’s ward as one of our Advent Activities and the ward has been very grateful as it brings a new set of toys for the kids.

Other options are to get in touch with a charity that supports the women’s shelter and see what they need. It may not be toys but maybe something that you have an excess of that could share.

Get a New Board Game

Sure you have likely had family game nights in the past, but make it a Christmas Eve tradition to purchase a new game to add to your collection.

Family playing Christmas Eve Board Games Together
Girls Playing Christmas Board Games By DGLimages via Shutterstock

Choose a family-friendly game and let the winner be the first person to open a gift on Christmas morning.

There are so many fun board games but you can also play an easy Christmas game with the whole family like our Race to Decorate the Tree Printable Christmas Game.

Hopefully, these tips give you a few new ideas for Christmas Eve traditions for families, including yours.

What’s your favourite Christmas Eve tradition with your family?

More Christmas Traditions to Share with your Family

We started some of our family traditions when our kids were babies. Find out what we did and the traditions we started to Celebrate Baby’s First Christmas.

As we haven’t done Elf on the Shelf before (our Elves are invisible ones) we asked our friend Crystal from Crystal and Co to share all about it. So why not check out these Elf on the Shelf Ideas that are easy for busy mums and perfect for getting started with this fun tradition this year.

Don’t Forget to Pin These Christmas Eve Traditions to Start This Year and Next

Fun and simple Christmas Eve Traditions to start with your family this year

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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