15 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve is a wonderful time to embrace the festive vibes and to start celebrating Christmas properly. In some countries, gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. But here in the UK, we like to have other traditions and activities to do the day before Santa comes

There are many activities you can do as a family to celebrate Christmas Eve. If you have traditions or not, we’ve comprised a list of things you can do, some may already be traditions or new ones or activities you had forgotten all about. 


Make Gingerbread Houses

Photo by: Randalyn Hill

Spend your Christmas Eve with the whole family in decorating and making Gingerbread houses. This is a great bonding experience for the family, or you could even turn it into a friendly competition. You can decorate them to your heart’s content and in any way you want so that come Christmas Day they are admired by all and then eaten by all.

Bake Cookies

If you don’t feel like making Gingerbread Houses, why not make cookies. These cookies can be Christmas themed in the flavours you choose to make your cookies or they could be your favourite flavour of cookies for everyone to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You can even bake the cookies for Santa as his little treat before his visit to drop off all the gifts for the kiddies.

Watch A Film 

Watching a classic Christmas Film is another great activity to do this Christmas Eve. This could be the thing you do to wind down after your day of preparing for Christmas Day. The film could be a film you watch every Christmas as part of your tradition, or you could even watch some Alternative Christmas Films this Christmas Eve, so that come Christmas Day you can watch the classic Christmas Films in the evening after your eventful day. 

Carol Singing 

Why not spend your evening outside the house this Christmas Eve by going Carol Singing. You could join the church service and go around your village carol singing for all to hear. Or you could enjoy the carol singing in the comfortable confines of your own home. Gather around a keyboard, piano or a stereo and sing some classic Christmas tunes until the late evening bringing Christmas spirit into the house. 

Church Service

Lincoln Cathedral at Christmas
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One tradition that a fair few people share is going to their local church and attending the Christmas Eve Church Service. Enjoy the evening by attending a Christmas Service, where you can enjoy some snacks, warm drinks and festive games. Alongside this enjoy the traditional service of hymns, Christmas carols and the story of Christ. There is something always rather magical about being in a church with others experiencing and sharing the excitement of Christmas together as a community. 

Secret Santa

Hold you Secret Santa party this Christmas Eve, if it is held between family and friends, that way they can all spend the night and enjoy the festive holiday together. It’ll be a fun-filled evening when everyone gives and opens one gift each sharing in each other’s love and laughter. It’ll also mean that the kiddies won’t be wanting to choose the large present they may have already under the tree to open on Christmas Eve, so maybe keep that one hidden away until the big day anyway. 

Christmas Jumper Competition

Christmas Jumper
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Hold a Christmas Jumper competition, whether the theme is ugly or extravagant go all out this Christmas Eve in having a mini party before the main party this Christmas Day. Put out mini snacks and mulled wine for the adults and the kiddies’ favourite drinks so that everyone can have fun and a good time this Christmas Eve. Play games and listen to Christmas tunes and enjoy the evening with family and friends as you are all dressed in your best Christmas Jumpers. 

Christmas Crafts

Spend the evening crafting with the little ones. By making Christmas Tree decorations, table decorations like place cards. They can even puppets or kiddies so they can put a show on for the family and friends either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself for all to enjoy. It is also a great way to keep the little ones busy and occupied so you can get on with doing last-minute preparations before the big day. 

Track Santa

Photo by: Norad

Track where Santa is throughout the day and evening to see whereabouts in the world he is before getting to your country and where you live. Giving you time to get everything prepared for Santa and his reindeer, and getting to bed before he arrives so he leaves his presents. This is a fun activity for the kiddies to do as it gets them excited for the big day where they can open all their lovely presents, it is also a great way of getting them to get to bed as if they don’t Santa can’t come to give them their presents.

Treats For Santa and Rudolf

Treats for Santa and Rudolf
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Leave out treats for Santa and Rudolf this Christmas Eve you could even leave a trail of glitter or ‘fairy dust’ for Santa and Rudolf to find your house and guide them to your festive Christmas tree. Leave Santa a nice glass of milk or a cheeky alcoholic beverage, not for the kiddies to taste that’s for sure! A carrot for Rudolf and a bowl of water for him to sip on to catch his breath, you can even leave Santa one of those delicious cookies that you’ve baked during the day for him, or a mince pie to fill him up that little bit more.

Read A Classic Christmas Novel

Cosy up this Christmas Eve around the fire or snuggled up in your bedroom with the kiddies and read them a classic Christmas Novel to get everyone in the spirit of Christmas. Have a read of the classic tale of The Night Before Christmas and watch as the kiddies soon fall asleep, excited and ready for the big day of Christmas ahead of them.

Game Night

Have a fun-filled evening with games to play with everyone. Games that are suitable and something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are a competitive family or a family that enjoy a game night for family and friends to laugh and shout about. Start in the early evening and carry on until the kiddies start to get tired, that will get them tired and worn out so they easily fall asleep, ready for Santa to arrive and leave their gifts behind. 

Open A Gift

We all know that temptation of wanting to open a present before the big day. So why not give in to that temptation, but by only opening one present. Emphasis on ONE, that means the kiddies can open one small present of their choice that way there are no tears or tantrums over wanting to open ‘just one present’ before Santa arrives. 

Take A Nightime Drive

Nighttime Drive at Christmas
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Why not, just before the kiddies have to go to sleep before Santa arrives, take a drive through the neighbourhood looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations people have put up in celebration of Christmas. A fun, warm, and chilled way of spending Christmas Eve as a family admiring all the Christmas lights and decorations with Christmas music playing for all to sing along to.

Matching PJ’s

If it’s not already part of your Christmas tradition, why not make it part of your Christmas Eve tradition. Choose the comfiest, most Christmassy pj’s you can find and buy a pair for all the family members to wear this Christmas Eve. Take photos to remember the magical moment before Santa and Rudolf arrive. Then when you all wake up on Christmas morning not only will you be wearing matching pj’s, you can all share that moment opening the presents Santa has left behind while wearing those matching pj’s and take photos of all the happy smiling faces Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve

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