Christmas Eve Traditions (WITH activity and recipe!)


The Horrell House loves the Christmas season just as much as you do! We love celebrating every year and we look forward to the spontaneity and fun it brings, but we also look forward to our favorite traditions.

Christmas Eve is particularly special to us, and as such, we have created some pretty spectacular traditions in our family. They are especially meaningful given that we celebrate the holidays as a secular family and we feel it important to not only use Christmas as a time to explore values such as generosity, but also to relish in the delights of wonder and whimsy.

The entire season of the yule is magical-I want my kids to never lose their sense of adventure and delight that surrounds the holidays…even if we are living in a sub-tropical climate 😉

The anticipation of Santa, of seeing reactions of surprise, of sharing new toys, of eating tasty food, and of spending quality time together builds on Christmas Eve.

So without further ado…our top traditions:

1.) We start the day with our awesome breakfast of sweet potato hash while listening to our favorite songs. Mine is Wham’s “Last Christmas” hehe.

2.) Go to the store to get last-minute stuff. Each kiddo gets to choose one item for dinner. Christmas Eve dinner is easy and laissez-faire. It tends to be a hodge-podge of their favorite food!

3.) Track and call Santa Claus!

4.) Take a warm bubble bath, then open their traditional gift of brand-new PJs.

5.) We load up in the car to go scout the best light displays! This year, we are in a new state, so we’ll see what’s in store. Thankfully, it’s also going to be a full moon-extra fun!

6.) When we get back, we drink some hot cocoa, bake some cookies, and watch our favorite Christmas movies which include Home Alone (throwback to MY childhood!), Elf, The Santa Claus, Jingle All the Way, Frozen, Charlie Brown.

7.) One of the more fun activities we do is play a game named after the poem, “Twas the night before Christmas”. Not only is it fun, it’s a ingenious way to develop reading, writing, and theatrical skills!

8.) Lastly, we set out the reindeer and Santa food, as well as our stockings, and call it a night!

While my kids may not believe wholeheartedly that Santa is real, they wholeheartedly believe that the magic of Santa and all that he represents, is real and good. As a mom, their enthusiasm for the holidays is contagious. To me, it confirms all that is good and right in the world, and that is what Christmas means to me.

For an super-duper easy breakfast recipe, click here!  OR:  Sweet Potato Hash.jpg

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” activity:

  • Sit in circle
  • Have children get a notebook and pencil, paper and crayons, their favorite puppet, or Christmas PJs.  Have the youngest child begin by reciting, “Twas the night before Christmas in the ______ house”. The child sitting next to him/her completes the sentence by either writing, singing, acting, etc. what THEY want to happen. Keep rotating in the circle until your story is complete! Make sure your family is the focus.

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