Social Moms

Sweet Gifts and Traditions for Christmas Eve

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December 19, 2012

Does your family practice that fun, not-so-patient tradition of opening a single gift on Christmas Eve? On the night before the big day, the kids are excited about the coming festivities, the work of buying and wrapping gifts is (hopefully) over, and it’s the perfect time to give your children a sneak peek of all the good things they have in store come Christmas morning.

Here are some great gift ideas for that present-before-the-presents so you and your family can extend the Christmas celebrations a bit longer. They’re inexpensive and fun, but most importantly, they bring your family together on that special night:

Christmas Movies

From the classics like A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life to more recent holiday gems like Elf and The Polar Express, giving your kids a holiday movie on Christmas Eve is a great way to create traditions and to spend the evening enjoying one of the classics you grew up with. Movies like these are enjoyable for children and adults alike, and you can begin your Christmas collection this year with a cinematic holiday favorite.


What better way to put your kids to bed on Christmas Eve than by leading them to their rooms donned in new plaid or cartoon-print pajamas? Here’s the best part: your kids will look adorable in the much-loved Christmas morning pictures, holding up the presents family and friends have sent from across the country, wearing matching pajamas or robes.

After a long month and week of Christmas preparation, you look forward to getting the kids to bed. And pajamas are a great way to get them to settle down and anxious to get to sleep.

Cookie Decorating Kits

Santa is coming — he’s hungry — and Christmas Eve is a good time to make his snack a bit sweeter with a cookie decorating kit. Complete with stencils, decorating tips, Christmas-themed cookie cutters and colored sanding sugars, these kits are a fantastic way to make Christmas-cookie decorating easy and fun. Add in some choice sprinkles and candy of your own, and your kitchen can turn into a creative factory of cookie-decorating goodness.


Because opening a single gift on Christmas Eve is such a good tradition, it can be fun to give gifts that teach your children about the traditions you had as a child. For instance, giving an orange or mandarin was a common Christmas gift during tougher years when fruit was less accessible, though this tradition has earlier origins, as the orange represented the three gold coins St. Nicholas was said to put in stockings. Research common Christmas traditions from across the world so you have a story to tell when your kids open that first Christmas Eve present.

Have fun. Get creative, and come up with your own Christmas Eve present ideas. This is an annual tradition your kids will look forward to and will want to continue when they have kids of their own.

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