Holiday Confession, I mean tradition!

I have to laugh at myself! I know this will sound sad and far from what you may have ever expected from me but what I am about to tell you is true! For the past three years we have participated in what has now become a Family Tradition! Not a tradition I am proud of or one that I brag about! Holiday traditions are suppose to be sweet and meaningful and worthy of passing on to the generations that will follow you. This one…well I hope it dies soon!
Ok…on with it! For the last three years my family and I have…( gulp, red face, totally embarrassed to admit but ok here I go…) Have eaten at Wendy’s on Christmas Eve for dinner! I KNOW!!!! Totally sad and pathetic!
I grew up thinking Christmas Eve was just was important as Christmas Day! We spent every Christmas Eve at my dear grandmothers and It was dripping with tradition! DRIPPING! It wasn’t until we moved here to Utah, far from the majority of our families that Christmas Eve totally took a nose dive and turned into a day I nearly dread! My little family and I wake up, mill around the house and finally find ourselves at the mall! The first year I gawked at all the shoppers! “Really!?! People are here and not sitting around grandma’s table! This is NUTS!” But there we were! Among the crowds of people with nothing better to do!
Finally we would have wasted enough time and it was time to head home! With limited options we’d start looking for a quick meal. We cursed Del Taco for closing at 3, were happy to see Arby’s was also dark and finally left with no other option, we’d pull into Wendy’s and dine on 5 piece Crispy nuggets and Jr. Bacon Cheese Burgers! Thank heavens for the Frosty. It was the only thing that made it almost not totally pathetic!
I know! Totally lame! But what can I say! With limited family nearby and everyone else surrounded with family plans your forces to make due! So sadly it’s become a family holiday tradition!
SO PLEASE HELP!!!! Help me come up with some new family traditions I can implement in this years Christmas Eve plans! I’m desperate to not fall victim to Dave Thomas and his square patties! What do you guys do on Christmas Eve? What can a small family of 5 with a toddler do to spice up their day and make lasting memories? HELP!!!!!!

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  1. 1

    My very favorite part of Christmas Eve as a kid was shopping with my dad. We waited until Christmas Eve to shop for each other, and Dad was in charge of taking us so Mom could have a break. He would take us one at a time to the dollar store and we were allowed to get one thing for everyone else in the family. Everyone argued over who got to go first because Dad would point out to everyone else what it was that you had liked for you! It was fantastic to get an hour out with Dad uninterrupted and all by ourselves, and we weren't spending tons of money on our presents for each other! We were a family of 6, so it was only $5 each per kid!

  2. 2
    Nancy's Couture says:

    The thing I most look forward to on Christmas Eveis going to the Christmas Eve service at church. I started this tradition when Dakota was 2 and Aiyanna was just a baby. It's a very unique experience and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas!

  3. 3

    Make and freeze some chili ahead so all you have to do is thaw and heat it up for dinner. Do something crazy outdoors. Assuming it's cold, you may not consider a wall to the park or riding bikes. Build a fire outside to roast marshmallows and make s'mores instead of frosties. Get out the musical instruments and add your own percussion to Jingle Bells or whatever else comes on the radio. Have family craft time and everyone makes something special to give someone the next day, or make your own scrapbook page from the year and put it in a special book that you pack away and only pull out with your Christmas stuff each year. Add your handprints, sign and date. Enjoy the time together by just making it different than usual!

  4. 4
    Erin @ Crafts and Sutch says:

    We open gifts every year at my Mom's house. Before gifts, we make Christmas cookies…and I mean we go all out!!! My sister and I bake and bring the plain, sugar cookies and my mom is responsible for making the icing and getting all of the decorations together. We have tons of colors of royal icing for "painting" on the cookies with paint brushes and in tubes for piping. It is fun for EVERYONE! We just pile around the table and bang out some cookies…and eat a few here and there too! After cookies, we order in from a local restaurant and open presents. It is something I look forward to every year!

  5. 5

    Where in Utah are you? There is always the lights on Temple square, they are so pretty. Or there might be a light display somewhere else near you. When I was growing up we never had family around and now that my husbands family is always around it drives me a little crazy! It was always special for us. We would have our own special dinner at home, drive around the neighborhood looking at lights, my dad would always read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and we would open one present at night. A lot of times we would decorate sugar cookies during the day or go sledding if there was snow. It is also a fun day to play games. I have really come to love small family Holidays. Good luck!

  6. 6

    the girls (we have 4) and I make Christmas eve ornaments every christmas eve afternoon. I pretty much give them a bunch of stuff to make an ornament and let them go to town. Until they're 4 they're usually ridiculously ugly ornaments but it's great to look back and see what they made each year. As the ornaments are drying I get out the box of previous Christmas eve ornaments and put them on the tree remembering how they were at that age, where we were (we moved alot) etc. And we make cookies for Santa.

    For dinner our family tradition is to order chinese food and watch the Polar express. Not a huge step up from Wendy's!

  7. 7

    I have a friend that doesn't have any family in the area so she throws a Christmas Eve party every year for several other families in the same boat. They have a blast. Christmas afternoon they all go to a movie together.

  8. 8

    DH's family always had Wendy's chili for Christmas Eve dinner growing up. :)

    Last year we started a new tradition I heard of from a friend, a Shepherd's Dinner. You serve dinner on a blanket on the living room floor and eat food that the Shepherds might have eaten–pita bread, hummus, lamb, olives, grapes. Then we read the Christmas story from the Bible and talked about the Shepherds.

    We really loved it, and I'm looking forward to doing it again this year. It's fun for the kids to eat on the floor, it's easy to cook, and it's meaningful.

  9. 9
    Laura aka Lolo says:

    Oh my goodness I have been dis In-n-out for the last year. What my kids and their children do is get into some very cute or new flannel jammies bring hot chocolate, coats scarves etc. and go look at Chrismas Lights and when you find a block that is filled get out & walk. It may sound crazy but it is beautiful and everyone smiles at you because you are all in flannel pj's on purpose! We have had so much fun doing this-altough the first year we laughed a lot & felt like dorks but it was fun. Just load your car with "Christmas" snacks & have fun!

  10. 10
    Andi @ Jane of all crafts says:

    Okay so I wouldn't call this a traditional tradition but we always have homemade tacos on christmas eve…the ingredients are easy to find since they aren't holiday staples and they are one of my favorite meals. I fry the corn tortillas which makes it even yummier! Our other tradition is to have the kids open one present on Christmas Eve which is usually pjs and this year we bought Twas the night before Christmas that we are going to read every Christmas Eve from now on. And btw…I think whatever you do, Wendy's or tacos or some elaborate meal it's a memory and special to your family. Don't be embarrassed…I think it's great!

  11. 11
    Laura aka Lolo says:

    Ohhhh and it was suppose to say I "did" In-n-out baaahaahaa I said I have been "dis"- you have to laugh at that one and I can't even blame spell check :0 Seriously what was I thinking.

  12. 12

    I don't have children so I don't have the traditions but I have a couple of suggestions. You could even do all of them!

    1. Take a drive to see Christmas lights!

    2. Go to the grocery store and send everyone to get there favorite thing to have for dinner. One year at my sister's house, we all go apetizer type foods (mostly from the freezer dept). It was so much fun to have apetizers for dinner. It reminded me of the Cher movie. Can't remember the name.

    3. Give everybody a new pair of pjs/robe and then they can wear them for the rest of the evening. My mother did this!

    4. Watch a Christmas movie! Make some fudge and pop some popcorn and watch a great movie!

    That's my suggestions! Have a great Christmas EVE!!!

  13. 13

    We live away from family too, so we often find ourselves without something to do when everyone else is gathering with family. It's an opportunity to look around and see who else might be without family. What about finding a nursing home or hospital or veteran's home–someplace that there might be people who are lonely and could use a visit. We used to wander the hallways of local nursing homes singing Christmas carols. Then if someone invited us in, we would visit with residents in their rooms and give them a card we had made. Later, when my grandmother was in a nursing home, I used to go at meal time and sit and play the piano while they ate. Is there a soup kitchen where you could go serve meals? One year we "adopted" a shelter for women and children who needed to leave abusive homes. The plan was to buy gifts or stuff stockings for all of the people staying there and then deliver them on Christmas Eve and throw a Christmas party for them.

    Other ideas: make homemade pizza, read Christmas stories or watch Christmas movies, ride around and look at Christmas lights…

  14. 14

    growing up, for Christmas eve, we would have an easier dinner (less stress). Then we would read the birth of the Savior in the bible. Then we could pick one present to open.

  15. 15
    Cram Family says:

    We have done a talent show with our family! It is never very big but the kids each sing a christmas song or play a musical instrument some read storine just something very simple. Then we end by letting each one open up a gift which is always PJs. My kids love it and look forward to it every year! GOOD LUCK!

  16. 16
    annie valentine says:

    Babe, I too grew up with the big To Do, and we've had a few small parties of our own over the years with only the kiddies. Here in Utah, my favorite was an early dinner at The Pizza Factory, then making cookies for Santa, followed by watching whatever Christmas special was playing on television (or recorded from earlier in the week). It was easy and fun and surprisingly, one of my favorite Christmas Eve's ever.

  17. 17
    Momma Button says:

    On the morning of Christmas Eve, we go out to breakfast. It gives us a chance to relax a bit before all of the celebrating. We also discuss how we all felt when we secretly delivered our Christmas Jar. Later that evening we load up the van with kids and snacks, and go look at all of the Christmas lights. We started doing this when the boys were small so that they would be good and tired when we finally got them home. Have fun making some new traditions in your new home!

  18. 18

    We would spend Christmas Eve with reading the Nativity, eating everyone's favorite snacks for dinner, and watching a Christmas movie. We used to all open pajamas on Christmas Eve.

  19. 19

    I have to say someone mentioned above of making dinner ahead and freezing it- this is a great idea for the next weekend or so, pick something really yummy!

    I know my mum lets us pick and make our own tea (kinda like a larger version of supper I think you Americans!). I know I love choosing from our presses what to have, my brother always stuffs himself with a ton of cheese and bread and pizza! I usually pick something like noodles or nachos :) Means my mum has a break from the kitchen too!

    As for what we do, well myself and my dad deliver the last few presents to his best friend and some of his siblings. Then in the early evening we pop to the neighbours either side of us for some pudding and chat, then about 9 or so we just chill and watch some TV sitting round the tree and maybe even play an old board game :)

    The most important thing is to do things that fit in with your family. Please don't feel like you have to be doing a million different things like roasting chestnuts or old stuff like that :P Pop on your jammies, have some hot choc and just relax :)

  20. 20
    Always April says:

    We don't have family nearby so we usually do appetizer type things(veggie tray, fruit tray, little smokies, and the like I just pare it down for our little family of 4) for dinner watch movies and the kiddos open 1 present which is always p.j.'s.

  21. 21

    Have fondu! I had a neighbor a few years back who had so many traditions, I couldn't keep up! I really had none. I had just had my babies, so traditions still had to be made. Kati started Fondu night on Christmas eve while we were neighbors and she's still going strong with it. It's perfect for kids (fun!) and great for everyone! I must admit, I have not followed through with it since moving away from Kati, but now I'm inspired to do it this year!

    Also, she'd give her kids a new pair of PJ's to wear that night, so the next morning they'd all be decked out in new (matching) PJ's for pictures. Cute!

  22. 22

    Hi Becca! Love the blog – recently became a follower. One of my daughters is Becca, too…

    When my children were young (I have six) and we were far from family, we spent Christmas Eve driving around looking at Christmas lights, then going back home and opening one gift (the new pajamas so the Christmas morning pictures would look better) and reading Christmas stories while drinking hot chocolate. Nothing big or flashy, but cozy memories, just the same…

  23. 23
    saraiwithani says:

    I'm convinced that Christmas traditions need to be simple and work for your family. To keep the spirit of a simple meal, maybe you could start having a pizza making party with your family. Maybe you could try to have a movie night with new pjs and popcorn or attend a Christmas Eve service or even have a family game night. In the end, make it work for you!

  24. 24
    Ashley @ Ashley's Craft Corner says:

    We spend the day baking goodies, wrapping presents that have yet to be wrapped, and blasting Christmas music through the house. Then we order dinner from the same restaurant every year: burgers, hot wings, fries, & potato skins (don't feel too bad about your Wendys). We go see Christmas lights, come back and listen to my dad read the story of Christ's birth from Luke, open pjs, put the kiddos to bed and watch a movie called "Mixed Nuts" which if you haven't seen I highly recommend…it's hilarious!
    Maybe instead of eliminating Wendys from your tradition you could find a way to fancy it up a bit (eat it by candlelight or something). :)

  25. 25

    Aww, I think that's a great tradition! Any tradition you have, your children will look back on an feel happy about it.

    One of our Christmas Eve traditions is that we each get to choose a gift from under the tree to open. My 12 yo daughter LOVES it because it's something we do every year.

  26. 26
    The Queen Bee says:

    I think that is a fabulous tradition! We live far from family too and our tradition for Christmas day is to have Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner! The kids love it and it's super easy and NO STRESS!!!

    The best traditions are the ones with NO STRESS!!!

  27. 27

    On Christmas Eve I make gingerbread cutouts with the kids. They take turns cutting them out and then after they are cooled they take turns decorating. That is my way of minimizing the stress and mess. For supper we have a variety of kid-friendly appetizers. We all gather round the TV and eat our appetizers while watching the movie Polar Express.

  28. 28
    Jax @ AlyandAsh says:

    My husband and I created a little tradition when we got married. We wait till Christmas Eve to shop for each others stockings. We go to Target with a set dollar amount and 1-2-3 go! We have to go as quick as possible and try to avoid each other while finding little gifts and treats for each others stockings. It's happened several times when saw each other busted out laughing and took off the other way! The other shoppers much think we're crazy but it's so fun! Now with a toddler and baby on the way I am hoping to find a way to incorporate the kids in the future. Give them cash to buy each other little gifts? Not sure yet, but I have some time! As far as food I honestly can't think of anything that's standard but we usually eat at home, go look at Christmas lights and then curl up to watch a Christmas movie.

  29. 29

    Growing up we'd always go see a movie at the theater on Christmas Eve to help the time pass. It was fun. We haven't really been able to do it with our family b/c we've always had a baby, or a toddler that we knew wouldn't be able to handle it. If you have a dollar theater close, that might be best with little kids. Then if you do have to leave, it's not as big of a deal.

  30. 30

    We make homemade pizzas on Christmas Eve. It's SO fun!

    Make your own dough
    Make dough in your bread maker
    Buy Pillsbury French Bread or Italian Bread loaf tube in refrigerated section (spread out on cookie sheet)
    Use Tortilla Shells (always a favorite for kids!!)

    Depending on how you do it, you can have different family members decide their own toppings! It's simple but a really FUN family activity!

  31. 31

    We have always had family local, so we've never missed a Christmas Eve party with family. But I have heard stories of quiet Christmas Eves at home. My favorite is the tradition of each family member getting a new set of pajamas to sleep in. They open the new pajamas like an early gift and everyone gets bathed and dressed for bed early. Then they have dinner in pajamas like a sleepover, sometimes in the living room floor even! The food doesn't have to be fancy when it's being eaten in a fun way. It's quiet, it gets all the family together, it's fun!

  32. 32

    My family always had a fondue party on Christmas Eve. After that we would read the Nativity and open two present, pajamas from Grandma and a book from Mom and Dad. We would fill our days with Christmas prep … wrapping and buying presents.

    Whatever you do as a family is wonderful … even if it is eating the square burgers. :)

  33. 33

    I laughed when I read this because our tradition was Taco Bell. :) At least we aren't the only ones.

    Ideas: Crock-pot meals are easy and a lot nicer than Wendy's. You can always read Christmas Stories, play games. We would open one present on Christmas Eve and then play with them all night. We would also turn off all the lights and light as many candles as we could find and listen to our dad read the nativity story from the Bible. Christmas Pajamas. Take treats to other families. There are a lot of things to do. It just takes a little planning. Not my strong suit. :)

  34. 34

    Here are a few ideas my family has done over the years. We usually spend christmas eve with my family but over the years I've decided I can't deal with the emotional chaos they bring and we have stopped speaking completely. So this a new year for us and we'll likely be on our own as well.

    We used to have a large dinner with family and exchange gifts.

    Since then we have gone to look at christams lights, check craigs list and the news for great displays in your area!

    This year we all get new jammies (well I have always done this) and were getting a christmas movie (new ones come out every year) and an air popper. We will have dinner, home made popcorn and watch a family movie together.

    Lastly my kids always get a new ornament each year. Just one they paint their name with a paint marker and the year. Then they place it on the tree christmas morning.

  35. 35

    Have you asked your kids what they like most about the way your family spends Christmas Eve? If they say, "Eating at Wendy's," then, by all means, don't stop. For several years we have been too financially strapped to take a "real" family vacation. Instead, we starting taking our kids camping/canoeing for two or three days each summer. Now, they can hardly wait each year to "go to the river." Do what works for your family!

  36. 36
    Recovering Craft Hoarder says:
  37. 37

    We have my husband's family nearby… but Christmas Eve is reserved just for our little family of 5 (my oldest is 6). We have our Christmas feast (Ham, some kind of jello salad, potatoes, etc) and after everyone is ready for bed we read from Luke 2 and reenact the Christmas story. My boys love choosing to be the sherpherds or wisemen, etc. Sometime during the day or evening we write a letter to Santa. Right before bed we have the boys fix a plate for Santa and his reindeer and then they're off to bed. We try not to emphasize Santa too much because it gets them way too excited and then they'll never get to bed… plus we try to focus on the real meaning of Christmas on Christmas Eve.

  38. 38

    Once it's dark outside, we read advent readings and the kids take turn lighting the advent wreath. (Which, makes it incredibly fun for them.) We take our readings from Handel's Messiah ( which is all taken from scripture. We also sing Christmas hymns through out the reading.

    The first year we did it, I completely thought it was going to be cheesy, but the kids love lighting the candles and singing the familiar, favorite hymns. I especially love the part where it's all dark and we read, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." and then we light the first candle. It really drives home the true meaning of Christmas and the birth, what what it means for all mankind, of Christ.

    You know, before all hell breaks loose in the morning.

  39. 39
    isaacandruth says:

    We have hardly ever lived near family, but we have made traditions of our own… we always bake and decorate cookies for Santa, drive around town looking at all the cool Christmas lights, come home and drink hot cocoa, and before we put the kids to bed, put a plate with a decorated cookie for santa, carrots for rudolph, and a glass of eggnog, and read, "twas the night before Christmas" by the Christmas tree. We love it!

  40. 40

    My hubby and I always go and see a movie on Christmas eve and we each get one gift. When I was back home with family we would do the candlelight midnight mass service at church, which was nice.

  41. 41

    I like to make breakfast foods for Christmas eve dinner. French toast or pancakes with sausage or bacon. Well truth be told sometimes both sausage AND bacon.

    Mmm, I can just about smell the bacon now.

  42. 42
    Tara @ Tara Being Tara says:

    Our very favorite Christmas Eve tradition is watching home videos. We live far away from family too, and we always eat one of my grandma's meat pies and then settle in for some memories!

  43. 43
    Ronda Levine says:

    Super easy and super cheap – Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with the Sound of Music on. Been a tradition in my family for 33 years. Put the grilled cheese on sourdough, dress it up with some pepper jack or provalone…yum…get the organic tomato red bell pepper stuff…super yum…hmmm…maybe i'll have that for dinner tonight!

  44. 44

    Our family has a great christmas eve tradition meal… Chinese Sundaes a.k.a. Hawaiian Haystacks. We invite all our family, friends, neighbors, etc to come by {open house style} and create their own meal. Then they can go on and do anything else they had planned that night, but they don't have to worry about dinner. After we are done, we get kids in their new Christmas jammies, get hot cocoa in sippy cups and drive around to see Christmas lights in key neighborhoods. By the time we are done most, if not all, of the kids are fast asleep when we get home. Fun!
    Sundaes include: Rice, shredded chicken, cream of chicken soup, pineapple, coconut, raisins, almond slivers, green onions, olives, diced tomatoes, celery, and any other toppings you can think of. Yummy!

  45. 45
    Ward Family says:

    How about soup in bread bowls? Tasty, easy, and little different. We love going Christmas caroling. Then we come back for cocoa and a good Christmas movie.

  46. 46
    Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says:

    This just made my day! We've done some crazy things for Christmas too! :)

  47. 47

    LOL, too cute. :) We had Burger King for breakfast last Thanksgiving. We can start a hamburger fast food holiday tradition craze…

  48. 48

    I agree with Nancy that the Christmas Eve service is the heart and soul of Christmas for me. I could chuck everything else, but I have to be in church on Christmas eve. Very uplifting. Much of my Christmas now falls far short of my wishes for complicated reasons (doesn't help that DH's family is Jewish). But you have to latch onto to something meaningful. As for food, how about making cookies, eating half and decorating the tree with the other half? Or choose a craft and make ornaments with that craft technique, a different one ech year. Fondue for dinner? Something easy if you buy it ready made, but a fun communal activity.

  49. 49

    There are so many great ideas here, and I have only 1 suggestion, whatever you make and or eat for dinner, that there should be no dishes or pot and pans to wash. The pizza idea works for this as do the appetizers for dinner ideas. in other words if it can go in the oven on aluminum foil it can be on the menu.

  50. 50
    Carrie Penny says:

    When we were kids our Christmas Eve was always at home. My mom made really good shrimp chowder (it takes like 30 minutes to make), we would curl up in the living room and watch some of the Rankin/Bass shows and then it was story time. Each of us would read a Christmas story leaving the Night Before Christmas for my dad to read last. My mom generally got How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was always a lot of fun. Right before bed my mom would grab a present each for us to open (our Christmas PJs or the gift from each other) and then it was time for the kidlets to go to bed and Mommy and Daddy to "talk to Santa" about how good we really were.

  51. 51

    I totally get not wanting to cook. I think watching Christmas movies, especially a Christmas story and take out Chinese in the living room sounds fun, or make it a funny ha ha and serve everyone a frozen Swanson turkey dinner.

  52. 52

    We live close to my husband's family, not mine. They don't do anything special Christmas Eve. When our oldest was a baby we didn't want to just stay home on Christmas Eve, so we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. It was so empty. We didn't have to wait for a table. Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights. We decided that year we would do it every year. We have 3 kids now. They look forward to Macaroni Grill every year. I love big meals and being with family, but I don't want to have to clean up on Christmas Eve.

  53. 53

    Looks like you have lots of ideas to read through! Hopefully you find some good ones. I LOVE our family traditions on Christmas Eve, as cheesy as they might be. I love them more than Christmas morning. So I just had to share too.

    We start in the afternoon. We usually decorate a gingerbread house. Then we deliver our neighbor gifts as a family and sometimes carol while we're at it. :) By the time we're home it's dinner time. I make whatever dinner has been chosen by the family. We eat on the good china with candle light and table cloths and everyone wears their pajamas. Our formally informal meal. :) After dinner is cleaned up we play Christmas bingo while drinking hot chocolate and munching on the Christmas candy we use to mark our Bingo cards. We read "The Polar Express" and sometimes other Christmas classics as well. But the Polar Express is a must. We read the nativity story from the Bible while listening to an instrumental version of Silent Night. The kids each open one gift from Santa. It's always an ornament that represents something they've done or accomplished that year. Then we look outside for Rudolph and the rest of the gang before heading up to bed! Mom and Dad of course then bust out the good Christmas treats and a grown up Christmas and wait until Santa arrives. It's the same thing every year and to someone else it might not seem exciting, but for us it's our favorite family night of the year!! And there's always the anticipation of MORE Christmas traditions to come in the morning. :)

  54. 54

    Growing up my family lived away from family and I loved Christmas Eve. We would have a nice dinner with lots of leftovers for Christmas Day so my mom didn't have to cook on Christmas and now I refuse to cook myself on Christmas day. On the Eve we would read and act out the nativity story, it is so corny but I loved it as a kid. We would also come up with a gift that we could give to Jesus (a lot like a new years resolution, like not fight with my brother or something like that) write it on paper and wrap it up to open the next year and see how we did. My favorite was that all the kids would sleep in the same bedroom in sleeping bags and blankets. It took us forever to go to sleep but we had some great sibling bonding time that we will always remember.

  55. 55
    Rafahi Family says:

    I am fortunate to have a job in this dire economy, but unfortunate in that I do work until about 5 or 6 pm Christmas Eve. The traditions that my family enjoys are: making Christmas cookies (not just sugar), playing games together, watching Christmas movies with the kids (we have 3), and lastly reading the classic The Night Before Christmas and putting out the cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. I hope this helps you and Happy Holidays!

  56. 56

    My family, at least when we were kids, always saw a movie on Christmas Eve. My mom and dad loved it because it took at least two and one half hours out of the day in which us kids were just dying with suspense for what santa would bring us the next day. We always had a rueben loaf for dinner and spread the counter with all the christmas treats we had collected from the season. We all got to open one present and we were also all given a new pair of pajamas to sleep in that night. Good times.

  57. 57
    Berry Family says:

    We too no longer live close to family. Although we miss them it has been fun to start our own little family's traditions instead of trying to participate in everyone else's. We have been to the zoo on Christmas Eve although it is warmer here in Texas than Utah. We have gone to the park and fed the ducks. We have gone to movies (there is usually nobody else there on Christmas Eve night which is fun and it is a great way to pass time for anxious kids awaiting Santa). We have also made fancy dinners (for example, one year my kids picked crab legs, another it was all things fondue). Whatever you do just enjoy the opportunity to make it your own, even if that is Wendy's!

  58. 58
    Patricia L says:

    The kids and I usually do a low-mess Christmas craft early in the day. In the evening, the kids exchange their presents (I let them each pick out one thing for others). They also open 2 small gifts from us– Christmas pjs and an ornament. They hang their ornament and don their new pjs.

  59. 59
    Amy Snell says:

    Our Christmas eve's are very simple, yet thee most magical :) We stay in pjs most of the day, hang out watch movies, decorate cookies, usually a quick trip to "the Taco Shop" to pick up a breakfast burrito for Santa…the usual :) Then we then head over to our inlaws house and eat homemade pizza, thats right, PIZZA :) We love love it!! Complete with sparkling cider of course!! Then when bellies are full we pile into the card and do what we call "drops", we fill baskets with oranges, apples, nuts {in the shell}, sparkling cider, cocoa, popcorn and so on…and then "drop" them {ding dong ditch style} at a few peoples homes {usual in our ward} that may be having a tough year, or we feel just need a little more christmas cheer :) I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to not only get away {hopefully without being caught!} but to see the smiles on my families faces…they are priceless, its one of my favorite things we do…seriously!! Even more fun when we all get back into the car, and the recepient shouts "THANK YOU" into the crisp dark sky!! Pulls on the heart strings I tell you :) So thats what we do :)

  60. 60
    SmallTownLife says:

    Make the day a family day. Ignore the laundry, the dishes, whatever. Plan games to play, holiday movies to watch, drink hot cocoa, do some crafts with the kids. Plan a special meal that isn't traditional. When I was a kid we always ordered pizza and watched movies Christmas Eve. It wasn't spectacular, but we were always together and enjoyed each others company. After the hubbub of Christmas prep, it's nice to take a breather and simply enjoy each other. Another fun tradition is the opening on one or two gifts. I had a friend as a kid that always got new pajamas on Christmas eve, I personally would choose a special book to give to my boys that we could enjoy together. I hope your day is blessed whatever you decide to do!


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