Of course you could go all out on an elaborate Christmas Eve box brimming with goodies. But if you’ve already splashed the cash on the main event or want to keep costs down, then there are still plenty of great ways to make Christmas Eve magical.
A combination of festive activities, quality family time and preparations for Santa will help create memories that will be remembered in years to come. Why not try some of these budget friendly Christmas Eve ideas with your family and start some family traditions to repeat every year.
Here are 10 ideas for your Christmas Eve
If you’re in the U.K. you can start tracking Santa from about lunchtime. He’ll start around New Zealand and then head to Australia. This is a great chance to talk about time zones and how it’s different times in different parts of the world. Check out Norad for lots of Christmas games, music and of course the countdown and actual tracker.
Deliver Reverse Advent / Make a Christmas Donation
If you’ve put together a reverse advent calendar, (You can see my video explaining ours below.) Christmas Eve would be the perfect day to go deliver your box of goodies and essentials to help make Christmas a little easier for those in need. Alternatively, there are many places you can make a Christmas donation either in person or online.
A lovely afternoon activity is to ice some biscuits either as a little treat or to leave for Santa. This doesn’t have to be big event. Some shop bought digestives and icing pens and you are good to good.
You are bound to have a few Christmas stories and what a lovely time to cuddle up together and read them. If you don’t have actual Christmas books, take turns to make up festive stories about Santa, reindeers, snowmen and elves.
If you’re not sick of the same songs on repeat, pop on your favourite festive playlist and have a family sing along. If little ones are willing, short videos of them singing by the tree will make magical keepsakes to rewatch each year.
As night draws in, why not wrap up and head out to take a look at some of your neighbours Christmas lights. A 15 minute stroll may even help them sleep so it’s win win.
Sprinkle Reindeer Food
You can buy packets at most Christmas markets and fayres. I paid 50p but you could easily make your own. Just mix oats and glitter. For a more animal safe version, replace the glitter with festive sprinkles or coloured sugar. A handful of reindeer food outside your front door is certain to guide the reindeers to your house.
Back inside, it’s about time to get ready for bed. Christmas pjs or new bed wear is a lovely treat to ensure your Christmas morning photos look great. Once everyone is snuggly it’s time for a ….
There are lots of great Christmas films being shown on TV which could be recorded for Christmas Eve. We’ve opted Olaf’s Frozen Adventure as the girls are huge Frozen fans and it’s only about half an hour. To make the Christmas screening special, serve popcorn and hot chocolate. These hot chocolate reindeer cones are super simple to make.
Just before bed, it’s time to set out a glass of milk, a (possibly decorated) biscuit and of course a carrot for Rudolph. It’s also a perfect time to hang stockings. Then it’s bedtime and sleep or Santa won’t come.
What Christmas Eve traditions do you have?