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We can all get a little excited and anxious on Christmas Eve! Remember being a child just beside yourself waiting for Santa to come overnight? Even as adults, we can obsess about seeing our friends and family open their gifts from us… Or stressed about preparing dinner for Christmas Day… traveling… hosting… last-minute gifts… lots to look forward to and sometimes be worried about!

Well, Christmas Eve *can* be a day of calm, with plenty to keep you and your little elves as busy as needed to ward off stress. If you’re looking to keep somebody—or yourself—distracted for a little while, these things to-do should help!

5 Calming Ideas for You to Do on Christmas Eve

  1. Listen to instrumental holiday music and watch the Yule Log on TV (or on your fireplace).

  2. Make popcorn, prep some cocoa or wassail, and cuddle up for some sappy holiday movies.

  3. Share an easy meal of everyone’s favorite small bites: cheese crackers, ants on a log, pigs in a blanket…

  4. Have each family member envision their hopes for the year to come and write them down.

  5. Refocus and recenter during candlelight Christmas Eve church service or by watching Midnight Mass from Rome on TV.

5 Busy Ideas to do with the Kids on Christmas Eve

  1. Give each kid one note card for each other family member and ask them to write down something they love about that family member. Then share them as a group.

  2. Attend a kid-friendly Christmas Eve church service and visit their living nativity.

  3. Send them to shop the house for things they can use to make a new tree ornament.

  4. Have each kid write a new verse for “Jingle Bells” to be performed before bedtime.

  5. At dusk, head out with the whole family to see the lights in the neighborhood or all over town!

Whether your Christmas Eve is calm and bright or packed with lots of child-like fun, one of these ideas could become a new family or personal tradition. Comment below with your own traditions for the day and don’t forget to leave out a snack for Santa Claus!