We asked our momstown fans on Facebook to share their Christmas Eve traditions with us....here is what they suggested as well as some new ones from our momstown team that you might want to try with YOUR family this year!
1. Give each child a Christmas Eve Box. Each box contains new Christmas pajamas, hot chocolate, a book and a treat.
2. Get baking! Some of the best holiday memories are spent rolling dough and decorating your families favourite cookie recipes! We love these shortbread cookies cut in Christmas shapes and decorated in red and green! They taste just like Grandma’s!
3. Get crafting! Make a new topper for the tree or a special ornament for this year (add the date). There's still time to let the kids make decorations this year and next!
4. Let each child (and maybe grown ups) open ONE present on Christmas Eve! (Did you get them one of our picks in our momstown Gift Guide?)
5. Donate your time or make an online donation from home, to help those less fortunate. Christmas Eve can be lonely for seniors away from family or for kids in the hospital. Take some family time to show you children how to give back this holiday.
6. French tradition says to eat 13 desserts on Christmas Eve (yum!) and to leave your shoes under the tree so that Papa Noel knows who lives there!
7. Regular meals and snack can get festive too! Make Christmas tree pizzas or cut hotdogs to look like Reindeer antlers! Edible and fun food for the day before Christmas (or all through December).
8. Get outdoors for a fun Candy Cane Hunt or sprinking some Reindeer Dust for Santa and his helpers to find your house. Start these fun traditions with your little ones!
9. Get your kids to help with last minute wrapping! They love to help and even more, they love to be in on the secret of what Daddy or Mommy are getting from each other!
10. There are lots of traditions around what to eat for dinner on Christmas Eve. Some have their big family dinner on this night, while others choose Chinese Food, tourtieres, easy crockpot meal, fondue or a buffet of their favourite appetizers! Take a break from cooking if you can, so you can focus on some family time!
11. Host a marathon movie night with all of your favourite Christmas movies! Have you kids ever seen The Year Without Santa Claus or Miracle on 34th Street? This is a great year for those classics!
12. Don't forget to get your stockings ready! Do you hang them at the chimney or leave them outside your room? Santa only brings stockings to kids in our house, so our boys help fill Daddy and Mommy's stockings and LOVE to get in on the fun!
13. Attend your own church service or try a new local church! Even if you aren't regulars to any particular churce, the kids will love the decorations, lights, candles, carols and Christmas kids programs that are at many churches on Christmas Eve!
14. Take some family shots or a video before the craziness of Christmas morning. Remember this night for years to come by listening to your children tell you what they want from Santa, on video. You may even want to create a special Christmas photo book in January (momstown picks Blurb.ca for the easiest and best value on photo books!)
15. Spend some family time getting Santa's treats ready; some cookies, artwork and a letter! Younger kids can draw Santa a picture while preschoolers might want to practise their letters and writing by working on a letter with mom and dad. Can you child spell S-A-N-T-A? What a great goal to have throughout December- having your child practice the word, leading up to Christmas Eve!
16. There is truly nothing more special than bringing out the Christmas books and reading these stories with your child. Light the fire, make some hot chocolate and read about the magic and wonder of this amazing holiday!
17. Playing dress up is something kids love to do all year. What about grabbing towels, sheets, stuffed animals and even a baby doll and acting out the Christmas story or Santa's journey? Tonight is the night to remind kids about the very First Christmas so that they can use their imagination as if they were there in that stable!
18. Make a gingerbread house or decorate one so that you can enjoy it for dessert after Christmas dinner. It's a great gift to take to the hostess, if you are having dinner at someone else's house.
19. Go Christmas Carolling around the neighbourhood to special friends! Ask the families to join you so that your group gets bigger and bigger! We all know that the "Best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to sing loud for all to hear!"
20. Focus on family. No electronics or gaming devices. Take the time to unplug, recharge your family and gear up for a special day. Pull the games out and have some fun one on one time with the kids. Isn't this what Christmas is all about?
Merry Christmas! We hope that you and your family feel the magic that the season brings!