Christmas Eve Ideas for the Family

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Christmas Eve is a day that many families spend together, celebrating the holiday with their own traditions. Some families open gifts on Christmas Eve, while others spend the evening enjoying a home-cooked meal together, reflecting on past Christmases and enjoying each other's company. Whatever your family traditions on Christmas Eve, you can make the night even more memorable and entertaining with some family activities.

Games

  • Enjoy the Christmas decorations by setting up a board game by the tree. If you have an active and gregarious family, play a Christmas-themed charades game. Have each member of the family come up with five Christmas characters, movies, books or songs. Put all the clues in a hat and divide the family into teams. Be sure to make the teams as even as possible. If you have small children who want to play, make a separate pile of easier clues for them to act out on their turn.

Opening One Present

  • If your family is one that saves the present opening for Christmas morning, give everyone a little taste of what's in store by allowing each person to open one present on Christmas Eve. If you'd rather not let each person choose which one to open, get a collection of small stocking-stuffer-sized presents specifically for the Christmas Eve opening. For small children, opening a single present will help to tide over their excitement for the big day.

Family Screening

  • If you have all day with the family on Christmas Eve, spend a couple of hours in the afternoon drinking eggnog and watching a classic Christmas movie. Many classic Christmas specials play on television when the holiday gets close, so flip through the channels to find one or rent one ahead of time. Consider such classics as, "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street," and the modern classic, "The Polar Express."

"The Night Before Christmas"

  • Start a family tradition of reading the famous Clement Moore poem "The Night Before Christmas" before bedtime. This classic poem celebrates the legend of Santa Claus and includes many famous lines that echo throughout American culture at Christmas time. Reading this classic on Christmas Eve will get everyone in the holiday mood while educating them about literature.

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  • Photo Credit christmas presents under christmas tree image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com
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