30 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

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Looking for fun things to do on Christmas Eve? Cute things to do on Christmas Eve to make the day memorable? Whether it’s your first Christmas with your new partner, or you want to mix up Christmas Eve with your loved one(s), here’s here’s the best way to spend Christmas Eve 2021.

Have a read, see what takes your fancy, and have a go at creating a new Christmas Eve Tradition. See, Christmas Day is pretty much a given – but Christmas Eve, you can make it whatever you like! #ItsTheMostWonderfulTimeOfTheYear

Disclaimer: Please note, there may be affiliate links within the post. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I do not recommend anything I haven’t personally used or “approved.”

30 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

Ah the night before Christmas! What to do? How to spend it?

Well first off – that depends on where you are and who you’re with.

  • Have you got the whole family together yet?
  • Are you just with your partner right now?
  • Or maybe you’re single but still with loved ones?

Well, when it comes to Christmas Eve, you want to do things that build the excitement and anticipation for the “big day.” You also have more flexibility over how you spend it.

So here’s 30 ideas of things to do on Christmas Eve, to get the ideas flowing!

Fun Things To Do On Christmas Eve

Let’s start of with some fun things to do on Christmas Eve – different activities to spread yet more Christmas cheer.

1) Go On a Christmas Eve Walk

First off, we’ve got the classic Christmas Eve walk. Wrap up, head out, maybe stop at a cosy pub half way for a hot drink or some food.

Going early is always good – when the air is fresh, the ground is crisp and the frost is out. Just be careful not to slip. (Although there’s plenty of ice puns to throw in there if you do!)

The afternoon can also work well, to break up the day and kick off the real quality time together. Because that’s the thing…

The most important thing is that you are altogether (or together if it’s just the two of you.)

A walk is therefore always a great way to kick off the festive break and get you appreciating – not only – what’s right on your doorstep, but also who you’re with.

2) Go For Festive Brunch / Lunch

Christmas Eve Brunch or Lunch is another great shout when it comes to things to do on Christmas Eve.

See, we all know there’s a lot of cooking in store for the next day (unless you have the luxury of eating out or going away.)

So give yourself a break on Christmas Eve by going out for final festive meal.

By going earlier, it means there’s still plenty of time to make the most of afterwards. But it’s just an extra little treat.

You’ll also find that most cafes and restaurant have a lovely Christmas atmosphere – getting you even more into the spirit of things.

festive things to do

Christmas Eve Traditions

3) Have a Christmas Cook-Off

On the flip side, if you enjoy cooking, a fun thing to do on Christmas Eve is to go all-out with a Christmas cook off!

You don’t need to make anything major like a Christmas dinner, but a Christmas recipe to feed your friends / family, always goes down a treat.

Battle it out with your partner. See who can come up with what… and get creative with it! Points marked not just for taste but also presentation.

From a Christmas Cheese Cake (the savoury type… and be prepared – it looks super impressive!), to a tasty Hummus Wreath…

A Caprese Candy Cane Board (again, savoury – who’d have thought!?) to Roasted Butternut Squash French Breads – click here for some Christmas-themed recipes to start you off!

4) Make Christmas Cocktails

One of our favourite things to do on Christmas Eve now then – making Christmas Cocktails or Christmas Punch.

Again, there’s heaps of fun, themed recipes on the internet. Just be sure to grab your own Cocktail Making Kit before…

You’ll feel like a real pro then and be able to make cocktails that taste far better!

Cocktail making is fun at any time of the year, but as a Christmas Eve activity – it’s pretty faultless. Have an evening / afternoon tipple, toasting to another fabulous day to come!

Cocktails not your thing? Then why not treat yourselves to Champagne? In fact, make cracking open a bottle of PROPER BUBBLY your new Christmas Eve tradition.

Get the best stuff… Only the best for you! And eat and drink like a QUEEN for a couple of days!

Recommended Read: 20 Fun, Festive Things To Do This Christmas

5) Make Some Christmas Crafts

Who says that crafts are just for kids?! In fact, if you haven’t done this before – and want to do something different on Christmas Eve – I challenge you to make this year, the year you give craft-making a go!

Here, check out these 20 DIY Crafts For Adults, there’s plenty to choose from and they actually look pretty neat!

Make something special, add it to your Christmas decor, and turn it into a Christmas Eve Tradition by making one new decoration each year.

When you make it yourself – not only are you making memories in the moment, but you’ll also be able to look back, years to come and think, “ah, remember that year…”

It’s cute, and therefore a top idea for things to do on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve activities

Christmas Eve Activities

6) Play Christmas Themed Games

From Christmas Bingo to the Reindeer Ring Toss Game, Pin The Nose on Rudolph to good old Classic Christmas Trivia – there’s plenty to choose from.

You can also get a little creative with some DIY Christmas games. Like the stocking guessing game for example.

  • Fill a stocking with random things.
  • Once it’s stuffed, tie a ribbon or some string around the top so that no-one can see inside.
  • Sit in a circle and pass the stocking around so that everyone can try to guess what’s inside.
  • Each person writes down their guesses and the person with the most correct answers wins all the goodies!

It’s simple yet fun! Have a go or see what else you can come up with! Whilst we’re on the topic of games…

7) Have a Games Night

Now we all know that games are a bit of a tradition on Christmas, but with so many to choose from – why not make it one of the things to do on Christmas Eve?!

Some of the best-selling Christmas games for 2021 include:Who In The Room, Herd Mentality and I Should Have Known That.

There’s also Throw Throw Burrito (the dodgeball card game – pure brilliance!), Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza (this ones a little like Snap!) and – my personal favourite – Beat That. This ones just full of fun, wacky challenge tasks!

So there’s some really great new games on the market now – so many to keep you busy!

8) Have a Murder Mystery Night

Another fun tradition for Christmas Eve could be to turn it into a Murder Mystery Night!

It’s still a game – but a themed one, and one in which everyone can get dressed up and get into their character!

Now typically you think of Murder Mystery Nights as quite expensive, but if you host it at home, it certainly doesn’t have to be.

Simply grab this Murder Mystery Box, get some food & drinks in for before / during / after, and do it yourself!

Another alternative – that still gets you thinking – is an Escape Room, and again, you can also host these at home with one of these Escape Room Games.

They’re very clever and fun for everyone involved. So be brave – take on the challenge!

9) Make a Christmas Dessert

What other suggestions have we got when it comes to things to do on Christmas Eve? Well you can all chip in to make some tasty Christmas desserts.

Instead of buying in – have fun making a masterpiece yourselves! It saves time on Christmas Day and – more often than not – tastes far better than anything you can get from a shop.

Whether it’s a traditional Christmas pudding, some little mince pies, or something completely different – you’ll find heaps of classic to creative Christmas dessert recipes online.

The hardest will be deciding which one to try!

things to do on christmas eve

Things To Do On Christmas Eve

10) Have Some Festive Evening Nibbles

Another must-mention idea when it comes to things to do on Christmas Eve, is to get some festive nibbles in – Christmas canapés.

Ones you can get out the fridge, or pop in the oven and that’s it – you’re done!

Sharing food is always great over Christmas and this is another thing I think you just can’t get enough of. So certainly try to incorporate this one into your Christmas Eve plan!

11) Make Takeaway a Tradition

Do you notice a theme with these fun things to do on Christmas Eve? There’s lots of foodie suggestions! But isn’t that what the festive period is all about? Good food and good company?

A Christmas Eve takeaway is therefore a great tradition to put in place – and a popular one too! Like we said, Christmas Day creates lots of cooking so treat yourselves to a night off the night before!

Don’t have takeaways often? Then it only makes it EVEN MORE of a treat! Talking of treats…

12) Have a Christmas Song Karaoke Night

What next? What next? Well of course we HAVE to throw a Christmas song karaoke night into the mix. Grab yourself a karaoke machine.

(This is the one I have – super affordable but works a treat!)

Go for some Christmas classics, blast the music, maybe do a few fun little recordings (always nice to look back on!) and take it in turns to give it your best shot!

Worried about the noise for the Neighbours? Well, ultimately – you control the sound. But if you’re concerned – why not invite them over?

Again, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Bringing people together!

WARNING: If you start this as a Christmas Eve Tradition, I’m telling you now, it’s one that’s difficult to stop!

13) Make Different Flavoured Hot Chocolates

What’s a better thing to do on Christmas Eve than cosying up in front of the fire with a nice hot drink?

Hot chocolates are great at all times of the year, but come Christmas – there’s some especially good festive flavours you can add into the mix!

Here – click here for inspiration. You could go for Gingerbread Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Spicy Maple Cinnamon Hot Chocolate or even add in some Toasted Marshmallow Cream.

Nom, nom, nom. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Get together, pick your flavours, make different ones and sample each others.

Christmas Eve 2021

Christmas Eve Traditions

14) Exchange One Small Gift

Another nice Christmas Eve Tradition, is to each exchange one small gift. Now, this should be something that should be chosen before.

It should be either something especially special (that you don’t want to merge in with all of the masses of presents the next day) or something that can be used that night – like a fun game.

This leads me onto my next suggestion…

15) Give a Christmas Eve Box

If you’re big on presents and there’s usually quite a lot, one of the things to do on Christmas Eve can be to give a Christmas Eve Box.

This is a popular idea for families with kids, but can also be used with couples.

Inside a Christmas Eve Box – pack it with the kind of presents you’d typically put in stockings.

You can also fill it with other fun festive challenges or surprises. Get creative with it! Make it your own! The joys of Christmas Day doesn’t just have to be a 24 hour thing.

Cute Things To Do On Christmas Eve

We’re storming through the ideas for things to do on Christmas Eve now, so let’s move across to some of the cuter things to do on Christmas Eve. What have we got? What have we got? Well…

16) Have a Pyjama Party

Whilst on the topic of Christmas clothing essentials – why not:

  1. Take the idea of exchanging one small gift on Christmas Eve.
  2. Make that present be Christmas Pyjamas for each person.
  3. Have a Christmas Eve Pyjama Party!

What a “Pyjama Party” involves? Well, nothing fancy. Basically just all wearing your festive pjs and hanging out together.

But it’s cute – especially if you capture the moment. This leads me onto my next suggestion…

17) Rock Those Christmas Sweaters

Could I really write this list without a mention of the classic Christmas sweaters?! No way! Christmas sweaters just HAVE to come out on Christmas Eve – not to mention before.

To help you find the ones that are best for you, click here: Top 10 Matching Couples Christmas Sweaters.

There’s even two-person ones that join you together. This is my favourite. Imagine accidentally walking in different directions in one of those! They always add a touch more hilarity to the day!

things to do on christmas eve

Things To Do On Christmas Eve

18) Have a Festive Photoshoot

Got those Christmas sweaters or festive PJ’s on? Then why not go one step further and take some fun Christmas Eve photos together?!

Yes, you’ll probably take heaps tomorrow, but Christmas Day is already packed full of other stuff, which is why Christmas Eve is the perfect time for a festive photoshoot.

Grab a Selfie Tripod with a Button (honestly these are an absolute game-changer!), or a Selfie Stand with Lights (another good one!), then it’s THREE… TWO… ONE… SAY CHEESE!

Click here for some different set ideas – this suggestion is also listed in more depth on that blog post. Want a snow scene? A Santa set? We’ve got you covered!

You may also like to grab some Christmas Selfie props or use these cute Christmas letter board quotes in the background.

Go all out – because it will make the photoshoot far more of a photoshoot then. And have fun with it! That’s always the most important thing.

19) Watch a Christmas Movie

One of the best things to do on Christmas Eve to get you into the Christmas spirit is to snuggle up and watch a Christmas movie. There will be plenty showing on TV that you can watch.

Keep in those Christmas PJ’s like we suggested above, grab lots of blankets and make Christmas-movie-night a Christmas Eve tradition!

20) Sing Some Carols

Another wonderful Christmas Eve activity is also…. Carol singing! And yes, don’t rule it out.

Whether you get a big group of you together and walk around the neighbourhood, or even just sing some Christmas carols at home, there’s very little more festive than this one!

21) Make a Gingerbread House

 Love a bit of gingerbread? Want a fun activity? Then why not have a go at making (and decorating) your very own Gingerbread House.

Now it sounds tricky, but when you grab a Gingerbread Making Kit it makes it a lot easier.

The kit provides everything you need in terms of shapes, equipment, instructions, etc, to ensure it actually comes together how you envision! 

Work as a team, or make one each and battle it out to see who can create the best masterpiece. Either way, it’s a great Christmas Eve activity… The hardest part is then destroying it to eat it!

22) Bake Cookies for “Santa”

So my next suggestion for things to do on Christmas Eve comes in two parts. First up, you’ve got to bake some cookies for “Santa”. It’s kind of a tradition right?

So whether you have kids there or not – it can be pretty fun to keep going, especially as you – of course – have to do some “sampling” to make sure they taste good. It’s only fair, right?!

23) Surprise Your Neighbours With Christmas Cookies

Part 2 then, is to take those cookies over to some neighbours. Spread some festive cheer. Share your happy Christmas wishes! Focus on really giving!

It’s only a small gesture, but it will mean a lot, so it’s well worth doing.

Festive activities

Christmas Eve Activities For 2021

24) Play a Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Another Christmas Eve activity that’s not just for kids is doing a Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

This works by having clues and hints, and having to find things around the home.

Make your life easier by buying a ready-made Christmas Scavenger Hunt Kit, or the full Christmas Scavenger Hunt Game and get ready for hours of festive fun!

25) Write a Letter To…

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking – is she ACTUALLY going to suggest writing a letter to Santa?! Well no, not unless you have kids who want to do it!

Yup, I know I love all things Christmasey – but even that is one step too far for me!

However… You can keep with the theme by writing a letter, but instead of to “Santa” to your partner.

In your letter, include what you’re thankful for getting this year (focusing on experiences and what the relationship has brung), and what you’d like to get next year!

Write the letters together on Christmas Eve, then exchange them before you go to bed.

It’s a really cute thing to do on Christmas Eve, can again – become your little tradition, and gives you a keepsake from each year that you can look back on and treasure.

Recommended Read: 100 Different Ways To Say I Love You
Recommended Read: 100 Cute Love Notes To Leave Your Partner

26) Take a NightTime Drive

Another cute thing to do on Christmas Eve is to take a nighttime drive.

Pile up in the car, hunt out the best and brightest lights in your neighbourhood, and even consider taking a flask of your favourite hot chocolate you made earlier (uh huh, all of these ideas can tie together!)

You should too, of course, blast out those Christmas tunes, and could even stop for a little star gazing – away from the lights of the houses.

Make it as magical and memorable as you can! Talking of magical…

Recommended Read: Top 20 Romantic Surprises

27) Listen To Christmas Music

Whilst we’re on the topic of chilled things to do on Christmas Eve, why not simply spend some time, listening to music?

It doesn’t have to be Christmas songs necessarily. After all, we often hear a lot of these during the build-up to Christmas.

Instead, cuddle up, play some of the best songs that have hit the charts this year – or go even further back, play some of the classics.

So often, it’s the simple things that can be the best. But how often do we find or make the time to do and appreciate the little things? Well now’s the time my friends, now’s the time!

28) Attend a Church Service

Likewise, attending a church service is another lovely thing to do on Christmas Eve.

Midnight mass is actually a popular late-night service starts on Christmas Eve and ends just after midnight, so that you’re among the first to celebrate Christmas!

However, there’s often other services that run earlier. See what’s going on in your area.

29) Volunteer at a Shelter

We’re coming towards the end of our list for the best things to do on Christmas Eve now, but not before throwing in the suggestion of volunteering.

Christmas is about giving – but this comes in so many ways than just gifts. Take on the full spirit of Christmas by gathering up your troops and getting over to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

See what you can do to get involved – whether it’s prepping for the next days Christmas Dinners, or helping in other ways.

By volunteering on Christmas Eve, you can then leave feeling truly proud and accomplished. You’ve made a difference in other peoples lives – even if just a small one.

It will certainly help you sleep easy, and hopefully, go to bed with a smile!

30) Cuddle Up In Front Of The Fire

At the end of it all, whatever you decide to do on Christmas Eve, however you decide to spend the day – finish it off by cosying up in front of the fire.

Don’t have one? Then grab an Indoor Mini Fire Pit and make S’Mores. Christmas Day will be a big one! But you can still make Christmas Eve just as special the day before.

That’s All For This One

So there we have it! 30 fun things to do on Christmas Eve. Wishing you all a very happy festive season, and all the best for the New Year.

Take care.


Things To Do On Christmas Eve
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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