25 Festive Christmas Eve Ideas

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These adorable and fun Christmas Eve ideas are perfect for families looking to make sweet memories with their kids.

A young girl decorates a gingerbread house, the other photos show the fun ideas to do with families for Christmas Eve.

What do Christmas traditions look like in your family? Growing up, our family did the big celebrating on Christmas Eve and our traditions were rock-solid and did not change for as many years as I can remember. 

When we had our kids, everything about our holiday celebrations suddenly seemed up in the air from year-to-year.

A couple of years ago, the dust finally settled and a new pattern of holiday tradition seems to have surfaced.

While what we do to celebrate the night is a little different than how Christmas Eve looked for me as a kid, one thing is very much the same: our focus is on family time and fun.

Maybe you're in a place in life where you just need a whole new approach to Christmas or perhaps you're looking for just one or two things to spice up the fun, in either case you're in the right spot!

25 Awesome Christmas Eve Ideas

Make this holiday season one to remember with these fun and festive ideas for your family.

While we choose to celebrate on Christmas Eve in our family, these ideas would be fun for any family celebration all holiday season long!

Maybe you'll want to save them for a fun night in for New Year's Eve! They'd be a fun way to ring in the new year, too.

1: Serve a simple treat

Make this easy gingerbread dip or Little Debbie Christmas Tree dip earlier in the day so it has time to chill.

Your kids will have fun with the no-bake gingerbread boys, too. Fix a tray and enjoy dunking grahams into that delicious dip while you do the other fun activities on this list!

2: Host a hot cocoa tasting contest

Buy a few different brands of hot cocoa and do a blind taste-test contest with the whole family weighing in on their favorites. Get the full instructions and a FREE printable scoring card and instructions are available here on my site.

3: Play Christmas movie bingo

Turn on your favorite Christmas movie and play BINGO with the family.

These printable Christmas movie bingo cards are perfect, use chocolate candies as place holders!

4: Have a Minute-To-Win-It Game Bonanza

These hysterical party games are perfect for family members of most ages. From little ones on up to Grandma & Grandpa, everyone will be roaring with a few of these party games on the schedule. 

25 fun and festive Christmas Eve ideas for families

5: Decorate gingerbread houses

If you follow my easy timeline for baking the gingerbread house pieces and gathering the supplies, this could be a super-fun Christmas Eve idea to do with your family.

You could host your own gingerbread house contest and have family working on teams for 2 or 3 houses.

The best part? The entire recipe is 100% edible so they could easily be your dessert for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

6: Finish a Christmas Puzzle

St. Nicholas always brings our family a Christmas puzzle when he visits on Dec. 6.

We save it for a fun weekend in December, but you could save it for Christmas Eve. You can find some of my favorite Christmas puzzle designs here.

7 - 25: More Family Fun!

  1. Read aloud all your Christmas picture books, take turns!
  2. Have a Christmas tunes dance party
  3. Drive around and look at neighborhood lights while playing music
  4. Take selfies in matching holiday jammies
  5. Video call with loved ones you can't see in person
  6. Bring Christmas treats to the local fire station or police station
  7. Go caroling in the neighborhood
  8. Leave cookies and milk for Santa
  9. Track Santa on NORAD
  10. Light a fire in the fireplace
  11. Play a virtual fireplace on your tv if you don't have a real one
  12. Dress up your pet in something festive and take a holiday portrait
  13. Play a family board or card game, the winner has to recite a Christmas poem
  14. Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens out loud
  15. Have a lip-sync contest to your favorite holiday tunes
  16. Play Christmas-themed charades
  17. Light luminaries with battery-powered tea lights down your driveway
  18. Turn off all the lights and enjoy treats by the tree all aglow
  19. Write a thank you letter to Santa from the whole family 
  20. Most importantly: turn off the Wi-Fi, turn on Do Not Disturb, and only use your phone for the camera function

P.S. Don't miss the other wonderful Catholic feast days for families to celebrate with kids.

Christmas eve ideas for making sweet memories with the kids all night long.

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