Confession: I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. There's just something about the wonderful anticipation, and the excitement, that just doesn't compare to the big day itself. Growing up, Christmas Eve was always a special day filled with family traditions to look forward to. Now that I have my own children, I want to make Christmas Eve special for them too with our own family traditions - and a few great ideas from some of my friends!
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The first year that we had kids, my husband insisted that we start what has become my favorite Christmas Eve tradition - reading The Night Before Christmas before bedtime. I love snuggling together as a family, reading this classic poem, and seeing the boys get excited for Santa's arrival. (Another confession: we've read it almost every night since Thanksgiving. We can't wait!)
This year, we've replaced our old worn out book with a beautiful new version. It's still the classic words of Clement C. Moore, made new with wonderful illustrations by Harriet Muncaster. The book is big and colorful, and the illustrations are an interesting mix of photographs and collage, which gives it a lovely texture and depth. We especially love that the illustrator included pets as part of the family, as our family would not be complete without our dogs and cat.
Reading The Night Before Christmas is just one way we love to celebrate Christmas Eve. Our family also bakes cookies for Santa, heads to Mass, and takes the long way home to look at all the holiday lights. And of course, we listen to all our favorite Christmas music.
I've asked some of my awesome blogger friends to share their family Christmas Eve traditions and they have some really fun ideas - check them out!
Christmas Eve Traditions to Start with Your Family
"Christmas movie, hot chocolate and popcorn before bed over here!" - Nicola, Crafty Kids at Home. Make Nicola's Bubble Wrap Holly Wreath for a fun Christmas Eve craft.
"Another major tradition from my childhood that I have already started with my kids is baking Christmas cookies." - Meghan, Playground Parkbench. See more of Meghan's traditions and her awesome cookie recipes here.
"My dad is French so when I was growing up, Christmas Eve is the Reveillon so lots of food, much of it traditional like buche de Noel (yule log) and tourtiere (meat pie). Gifts are opened beginning at midnight. Now that I have kids of my own, we still have a big meal and gathering on Christmas Eve but don't start gifts at midnight!" - Sharla, The Chaos & The Clutter. Santa would love Sharla's Peppermint Bark Oreos.
"We always have "goodies" (appetizers/finger foods/tapas) on Christmas Eve and watch White Christmas." - Becky, Kid World Citizen. Read more of Becky's winter traditions here.
"There is something really soothing and cozy about getting new pajamas on Christmas Eve." - Jaimi at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide. Read more about her Christmas PJ Scavenger Hunt
"Each year, I take the kiddos out individually to do their Christmas shopping." - Renae, Every Star is Different. Renae has tons more ideas for Christmas Eve traditions here.
"The most important meal of Christmas time – the Christmas Eve dinner – is actually a meal at a time between lunch and dinner." - Olga, Milk, Crafts, & Honesty. Read how Olga celebrates Christmas in Poland.
"This year we're going for a little something more, and trying out the Christmas Eve box tradition." - Niki, Play & Learn Everyday. See Niki's Christmas Eve Boxes here!
"This Christmas Eve, we are branching out and doing something a bit different, we are doing a dinner and a movie, with all the food based on the movie scenes" - Terri, Christmas Tree Lane. See Terri's movie themed Christmas Eve here.
What are some of your family's Christmas Eve traditions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook and let me know!