Create memories this Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve celebrations can be as fun as the big day itself.

Enjoy the lead up to Christmas with special day-before celebrations and traditions.

Pajama party

Kids can never have enough pajamas and Christmas Eve is the perfect excuse to get them a fresh pair. Whether you decide on matchy-matchy ones or your kids' favorite character ones, let them hang out in their new PJs all night long. Mom and Dad — don't forget to get new pajamas for each other too!

Matching Christmas pajamas for the entire family >>

Take in a flick

One of the toughest parts about Christmas Eve is keeping the kids distracted while they wait for family to arrive and presents to be put under the tree. So get them out of the house for a fun movie day. We're guessing there's a holiday flick out there that's perfect for the whole fam. Don't forget the extra-large tub of popcorn!

You can also have a movie marathon at home by renting one of these 10 classic Christmas movies kids love >>

Open one present from under the tree... just one!

Have your children been staring at the presents under the tree for days now? It's going to be even worse on Christmas Eve when the anticipation seems to come to a head! So go ahead and give in — let them open one present on Christmas Eve to hold them over. Just one! Choose gifts for them to open that they can utilize or play with that night like a special Christmas book or board game.

We love these tips for letting kids shop for Christmas presents >>

Spend the day thinking of others

Create the Christmas Eve tradition of giving back by volunteering as a family. There are so many local charities that need help during the holidays, including soup kitchens serving Christmas Eve dinner, homeless shelters that are out in the community handing out comfort packs or sandwiches and so many more options. Do some research beforehand to find a local organization where your entire family can volunteer. It's a good feeling that's sure to stick with you all through the rest of the holiday season.

The season of giving: 6 ways to teach kids to give at Christmas >>

Create a special Christmas Eve menu

For most families, Christmas Eve is focused on getting together with family and spending some quality time together, which means that there is sure to be food involved. This year, incorporate your kids' input into your family's Christmas Eve menu. Start a tradition to bake cookies together or make homemade pizzas as a family. Whatever the new tradition, let your kids help choose the Christmas Eve yummies!

Make Christmas Eve cooking fun with these edible Christmas crafts >>

More about holiday traditions

Ideas for your own Elf on the Shelf
Creating holiday traditions around food
Small holiday traditions that make a big impact


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Comments on "5 Fun Christmas Eve traditions with kids"

Lisa November 09, 2013 | 4:03 PM

To this day even though I'm married and we are all 31, 30, 28, and 27 my Mom continues to get us matching pj's that we open on Christmas Eve. She's been doing this since we were born! It's a fun and cute tradition!

Linda Loranger January 02, 2013 | 12:11 PM

My daughter actually started this when my grandaughter was about 3 years old. We go to an expensive restaurant (downtown Chicago) for our annual Ladies tea. Just the three of us. No men, just us girls. I can't tell you how I look forward to this every year. It's a chance for all of us to dress up and feel special. All three generations.

JC December 22, 2012 | 11:57 AM


Erin December 21, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Love these! Growing up, we got to unwrap one present on Christmas eve. It was usually matching pajamas and then we'd all drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie. So fun!

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