All of the anticipation for Christmas Day is still alive and well on Christmas Eve, especially in families with children who are expecting a visit from Father Christmas. There are many ways for families to enjoy this last celebration before the big day by sticking to tradition or forming new ones.
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One fun way to spend Christmas Eve with loved ones is to prepare a holiday meal. Get together and plan out who will cook which portion of the feast in advance and have everyone help so that the entire gathering feels they are part of the activity.
In today's busy world, many families only sit down together for this type of meal once in awhile. If Christmas Eve is one of those times, make everyone involved take part in order to make it memorable and special. The conversations and the mere taste of the foods will make this a fun part of the holiday.
Add finishing touches
Although many people begin putting up Christmas trees a month or more in advance, the traditional trimming of the tree was originally a Christmas Eve mainstay. In order to return to those traditional roots, leave something off the tree such as the keepsake ornaments collected over the years since the children were born.
Put these or other finishing touches on the tree or home decor and talk about holidays past with the family. Kids will enjoy hearing stories about what Christmas was like when you were a child too.
Some families do all of their gift giving on Christmas Eve and reserve Christmas morning only for what Santa brings. Other families open all of the gifts on Christmas morning. If gifts are usually opened on Christmas Eve, then this will be a highlight of the evening. However, if presents are strictly a Christmas Day tradition in your home, try making a new tradition by allowing the kids to open one small present before they go to bed. The build-up to this moment will be a lot of fun for the kids and it may satisfy their need to rip some paper and allow them to settle into a good night's sleep.
Book or movie tradition
End the day's events together in the same way each year, whether it is reading the Clement C. Moore classic poem, "The Night Before Christmas" or watching a favourite holiday movie. As the children grow, it will become a tradition that they look forward to. Some suggestions for movies include "A Christmas Story," "Christmas Vacation" or "Home Alone." In any event, it is a great excuse to share some down time with the family.
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