Every Christmas Eve, I run through a Christmas Eve checklist of things I make a point to accomplish. It’s one of my most favorite days of the year.
Everyone is finally savoring the Christmas holidays. Most all of the hustle and bustle of holiday prep is over. The presents are (almost all) wrapped. The menu is set. The work cram to get everything done before the holidays is over. And everyone finally takes a few breaths on Christmas Eve.
The anticipation of presents is still a tangible feeling in the air, and no one is preoccupied with their presents, yet. It’s just the best day of the entire holiday season (except, maybe, my birthday).
And it’s for all those reasons that I make sure our family sets time aside to spend time together during one of the most special days of the holiday season. I finally feel like we have some traditions built up, and keeping those sacred is important to me.
Here’s how my Christmas Eve goes. I’ll give you a printable form of my the Christmas Eve checklist.
Special Holiday Breakfast
We wake up and have holiday breakfast (usually pancakes). I absolutely adore this recipe for pumpkin pancakes with pecan maple syrup. So much, that I make it just for myself. Yes. It’s a big deal. Everyone else gets to choose their own breakfast. We either all have our own flavor of pancakes (chocolate chip pancakes are a big hit as a special holiday treat), or we have chocolate gravy and biscuits. Yes. And it’s amazing. So, either one or the other.
Tidy Up and Charge Batteries
Then, I clean up the house. Just a quick pickup and cleanup. I also make sure to charge the batteries early in the morning because there are plenty of opportunities for photos during the day.
After the house is feeling fresh and tidy (and the pancakes settle), we all get in the kitchen. Christmas cookies are always on our to do list for Christmas Eve. We bake them and decorate them. It makes a huge mess, but it’s a great activity for memory making. It’s also a fun opportunity to be creative as a family.
We eat a few cookies and leave a few cookies for Santa.
Lunchtime happens somewhere along this timeline, depending on how we’re feeling. We usually have a cookie-related tummy ache.
Christmas Eve Box
The next thing on our list to do for the day is to open our Christmas Eve box. On to the party!
We have one family box. It has our coordinating (not necessarily matching) family Christmas pajamas, a movie, movie theater snacks, cocoa mix, and possibly a small gift for everyone (chapstick, a book, or a toy car).
Christmas Eve Movie
We all put on our pajamas and snuggle in for a fun family time watching our movie. It was only Nathan and I for our very first year of our Christmas Eve box, and we watched White Christmas. It was an absolute treat! The definitely don’t make movies (or actors/actresses) like that anymore!
Read Christmas Story
After our movie, we read the Christmas story from Luke 2.1-20. And we pray together as a family. It’s a great time to reflect on what we’ve already been gifted. We talk about the things we are most thankful to give us a grateful heart and to put the gifts of tomorrow in perspective. We reflect on the year we’ve had.
Christmas Eve Bedtime Routine
After our quiet story time, we crawl into bed. I say “we.” I mean Graham and Nathan. I usually stay up to get things ready for tomorrow. First, I will usually tidy things up again. No one wants to open presents in a messy living room (or take pictures in a messy living room). I switch fresh batteries into my camera. I drop an easy breakfast recipe into the crock pot for Christmas morning. It’s always so busy, we don’t get a chance to think about eating until about 11am. And by then, we’re huuuungray. So, I like to have this taken care of before I even go to sleep on Christmas Eve.
The last thing I do for the night is set out the presents. It’s a really happy time for my mama heart. I like to make sure everything is just right. I try to make sure Graham will get to the right presents in just the right order. And I take photos. It’s quiet. The Christmas lights are glowing and filling the room with soft light. It’s a time that I can savor all the work I’ve put into the last few weeks.
So, there you have it. An easy Christmas Eve full of memory making family time.
You can keep it on your fridge so you don’t forget anything on Christmas Eve.
Easy Christmas Day
Now, breakfast will be ready when you wake up. The house will be extra tidy. Your camera will be all juiced up and ready to go. You will have the chance to be present with your family, instead of being the busy mom taking care of last minute emergencies.
It will be an easy Christmas Day with my must-have Christmas Eve checklist.
Don’t forget to pin this post so you can find the checklist again next year!