In our family we have a few Christmas Eve traditions that my kids really look forward to. We go to church and then we come home and the kids all get a new pair of matching Christmas pajamas. Since we live pretty far away from our extended family, we tend to have quiet Christmas Eves at home, and truthfully, I like it that way. There are very few things that we all do together, and so getting into our special pjs, turning on the Christmas music, playing some games together and watching a Christmas movie has become a cherished tradition.
So today I’m sharing ideas for what you could include in a Christmas Eve gift basket to set up a perfect evening of family togetherness. Since my kids range in age from 10 to 2 and are mixed genders, it is often hard to come up with gifts that they can all enjoy together, but these ideas are pretty universal.
10 Christmas Eve Gift Ideas for Kids
1. Christmas Story or Picture Books:Obviously this is going to depend on your child’s age, but there are so many fabulous Christmas books out there, from traditional (like the Night Before Christmas or How the Grinch Stole Christmas) to those featuring modern day TV characters or even regional versions. There isn’t anything like snuggling up and reading a good Christmas story together.
2. Christmas Movies and PopcornI know some other member of my family have the tradition of watching the same Christmas movie every Christmas Eve. I love this idea too, even if it just means letting it play in the background while do you other things. Throw some microwave popcorn to round out the treat (or even better, the old fashioned type you cook in the foil pan on the stove!)
3. Christmas PajamasI love this tradition and it is so fun to see all the kids dressed alike when they rip into their gifts on Christmas morning.
You can even go even further than just the kids.. get matching PJs for the entire family.
4. Thank You CardsThese aren’t so much for Christmas Eve, but for the next morning. Giving your kids thank you cards to send out for gifts they will receive from friends and family reminds them to be grateful and that they need to say thank you for whatever they will be receiving in the morning..
5. Hot Cocoa or Hot Cider Mix and Christmas MugsHaving a warm christmas treat of peppermint hot chocolate or warm apple cider on Christmas Eve makes it feel even more festive. Providing each child with their own personalized christmas mug would be a treat too.
6. Slippers or Christmas SocksAnother fun idea to present to the kids on Christmas eve. Keep those toes warm now that winter is here.
7. Board gamesThis is the perfect way to pass the evening as a family. There is something nostalgic about these classic games from, many of which I remember from my own childhood.
Hasbro Gaming offers such a wide variety, spanning different ages as well as number of players that you can find a perfect game to fit your family.
Some, like Connect 4, are great for just the girls to play, while I read a story to the baby.
While others, like Jenga, are fun for everyone. (Even the 2 year old tries his hand at stacking the blocks.)
Once the baby goes to bed, it is time to bring out the more ‘advanced’ games.. in this case, a classic favorite: The Game of Life.
The girls LOVE playing this game and it always makes the squeal when they have to stop and get married.. or have babies. They think it is hilarious to add the little pegs to their cars.
If your family is competitive, like ours, board games are the perfect way to “Get Your Family Game On!”
8. Christmas MusicEvery year artists are putting their modern takes on old classic christmas songs. Make sure to add some to your playlist.
9. Santa Hats or Christmas headbandsThese are a great photo prop and the kids think it is hilarious. In previous years we all had matching red and white Santa hats for photos, but this year I got them silly headbands, which will be a riot on christmas morning as their elf bells and springy Santa faces bounce around.
10. Annual Christmas OrnamentI’ve previously talked about how every year my kids get a new ornament for the tree. I often will pick one out for them as well, and including it in the gifts they recieve on Christmas Eve is a great idea. They can then hang it on the tree and it will be there when they come down on Christmas morning.
BONUS IDEAS:Here are a few other things you could also include if you are a “Santa” family:
Bonus 1. Farewell Note from Elf on the ShelfSince this is his last time hanging around the house, it would be fun to leave a note from the elf along with your other goodies.
Bonus 2. Reindeer FoodPinterest is awash in cute printables and ideas for little packets and pouches of reindeer food your kids are supposed to leave out on Christmas Eve (plus don’t forget the cookies and milk for Santa!) Including a one of those little pouches in your gift basket, all ready to be distributed would be a great idea.
So there you have my 10 (make that 12) ideas for Christmas Eve Gifts.
And even if you already have your own Christmas Eve traditions, many of these ideas would be great as a surprise anytime during winter break. When the days are getting long and you are trapped inside due to the cold weather, you could always pull out a basket of books, movies, board games and slippers and create your own family night.