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Christmas Eve crafts to keep the kids (and you) from going crazy

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Pass the time, have some fun

You finally made it to Christmas Eve. That’s an accomplishment! But you still have to get through tonight and into tomorrow -- and so do your overtired, over-stimulated, beyond-excited kids. It may be the most exciting night of the year for them...and it may be the longest night of the year for you! After all the buildup, how do you get them through this last bit of waiting without all of you going out of your minds? Pass the time (and give yourself some breathing room) with some well-timed and fun Christmas Eve crafts.

Girl wrapping gifts

You have enough to do to keep busy on Christmas Eve, whether it's a family gathering, final gift wrapping or doing some meal prep for a big feast, your Christmas work is not over yet. Your kids need to be occupied and the television just won't cut it. They need to do something!

Cookie decorating

A classic and well-loved Christmas Eve activity is decorating the last of the Christmas cookies. Perhaps you save a dozen or so from your final baking spree and set up for the kids to decorate while you go about your final holiday tasks. And perhaps each child gets to declare a favorite to leave out for a certain portly elf. It's an activity that could even become a holiday tradition.

If you want to get more elaborate, gingerbread house construction can be the project to keep the kids busy. You can make the gingerbread yourself -- or buy it premade in a convenient kit. Make sure you have some extra candies for decorating.

Still more decorations?

Sure, all your decorations have been up for a while. The house looks great! But why not have just one more bit of décor? From ornaments to garland, kids love to make decorations. Get out those basic craft supplies and let the kids make a garland from red and green paper stars or from cut-out snowflakes. The kids can put them up in their own room. If you want to add just one more garland to the tree, pop some popcorn and bring out a bowl of fresh cranberries and let the kids string those up. And maybe snack on the popcorn along the way.

Paper Stamping

With some of your stamping supplies, let the kids stamp up some paper items you will need over the next few days: place cards for the family dinner, note cards to be used as thank you notes or craft paper gift bags for some last minute gifts. They can even stamp up a letter to leave for Santa next to the elaborately decorated cookies.

Gift wrapping

Save a couple or three final gifts to be wrapped by your kids exactly how they want to wrap them. Let them do the gifts up with wrapping, stickers, ribbon, whatever. If they are really inspired, they can even stamp some blank wrapping paper and use that to create their vision of a perfectly wrapped gift.

Crayons and paper

Activities and crafts don't have to be holiday themed if you don't want them to be and they don't have to be elaborate. Getting out the crayons and paper and encouraging your child to draw what they are feeling or what they hope is under the tree (and hope it's the same thing they requested weeks ago and is actually under the tree) or something they think their favorite aunt would like could be just enough to calm the frenzy down for a while.

No matter what craft or activity you choose, keeping your kids occupied amid their excitement is a worthy endeavor that will keep all of you from losing it in the crazy anticipation of Christmas Eve. Have some crafts planned and handy and it will be a good night.

More Christmas crafts

 


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