Things to do on Christmas Eve

Fun, new festive activities often run dry on Christmas Eve, but it should be the opposite. The holiday period should be about family time, fun, reflection and relaxation.

We’ve listed some of our favourite activities that you could try on Christmas Eve with family and friends to make the most of the day. Keeping the kids entertained brings its challenges every year, so incorporating baking or other kitchen tasks will make it even more special. The act of giving is also a big part of Christmas Eve, and while presents are exciting, it’s also important to give back to those in need or even treat your nearest and dearest to something special.

Play Family Games

Whether it be hide and seek, your favourite board game, a puzzle or some general festive trivia, put on some light entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. If it’s a big gathering, choose games with the biggest number of players possible so everyone can get involved in the fun. Puzzles and simple board games are also a great way to wind down in the evening after a busy day.

Go for a festive walk outdoors

Going out for a Christmas Eve walk can be a great way of de-stressing following all the big day dinner prep, and it allows restless kids some time to stretch their legs (and hopefully tire them out before Santa comes!).

Christmas Movie Marathon

From the classics to new blockbusters, get cosy on the sofa with the family and watch your favourite Christmas movies. This is a great way to enjoy the festive season and makes room for that all-important family time. This activity applies to families with young children and adults alike.

Bake cookies for Santa and the elves

There’s nothing more enjoyable than festive baking. Encourage the kids to get stuck in with mixing dough and stamping out biscuits, then getting creative with the decorations – the whole process is a great winter afternoon activity. On the eve of the big day, help the kids lay out the cookies and mince pies for Santa and his helpers to add a touch of magic to proceedings.

Open one family gift

This heart-warming tradition can teach children the importance of family time and being grateful for the gifts they’ll receive at Christmas. By opening a collective family gift (such as a new board game) on Christmas Eve, you can engage them in a fun new activity with everyone.

Host a family sleepover

Invite your family round for the ultimate Christmas Eve sleepover. The kids will be occupied with festive movies while the adults crack open the bubbly.

Give out secret Santa gifts

Perhaps more suited to older kids, secret Santa gifts can be extended to wider family members or even friends. A small portion of your Christmas Eve could involve delivering your secret Santa gifts to friends’ doorsteps. Or, share in the Christmas giving spirit by giving the exchange a fun ‘guess who?’ twist.

Christmas tree ornament tradition

Start a tradition this year. It’s a sweet idea for each family member to buy an ornament for the tree to signify what Christmas means to them. This is a tradition to continue each year, to remind you of previous celebrations. Plus, it’s simple way of encouraging kids to be creative and interact with family life.

Collect unused toys

Have a rummage through the toy box and encourage the kids to collect a few toys that they no longer play with. This is a useful way of helping children understand that other kids may not be as fortunate, and that by bagging them up their old toys, Santa can deliver them to other kids in need. Donate the toys to a charity shop or donation centre to make someone else’s Christmas special.

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