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Christmas Eve Traditions: 16 Fun Ways to Celebrate Jesus’ Birth

Christmas Eve traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—time to worship our newborn King, God’s greatest gift. It’s also time to gather with loved ones and continue beloved traditions. Christmas Eve traditions not only lead to treasured memories. They also help children learn and cherish the Christmas story.

For many people, Christmas Eve traditions begin with attending a children’s program or candlelight worship service. Afterward, some families open gifts, while others wait until Christmas morning. Amid all the excitement (and, yes, chaos!), you’ll have plenty of time to include favorite Christmas Eve traditions. And try a new one this year too!

Here’s a gift-bag full of Christmas Eve traditions for the families in your church’s children’s ministry. (If you don’t see your favorite idea below, please add it in the comments!)

16 Christmas Eve Traditions and Ideas for Families

1. Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus

Make (or buy) a cake, and decorate it to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Younger children will especially enjoy singing “Happy Birthday” to Baby Jesus and blowing out his candles.

2. Watch a Christmas movie

Gather together to watch a Bible-themed Christmas movie or TV show. Or use Bible study guides, available online, to draw out important points from classic films.

3. Look for Jesus!

Hide the baby figurine from your family’s nativity scene. Then head out on a mission to find him. Afterward, discuss ways we can “look” for Jesus in our daily lives.

4. Make a Christmas Craft

Find a fun, age-appropriate craft that your entire family can complete together on Christmas Eve.