All families have their lovely and cosy (yet slightly odd to everyone else) Christmas Eve traditions, right? I have fond memories of peeling a clementine and using the peel to wrap a walnut. My sister and I would leave the clementine-peel-covered-walnut on our front doorstep and wait patiently for our Dad to come home from work. When he returned, he would swap the clementine-peel-covered-walnut for a candy cane wrapped in prickly holly leaves. Oh, how we laughed and laughed as the snow fell around our feet and we roasted the little clementine-walnut…
Only joking. I just made that up. That would all be really weird, wouldn’t it?
But when I was little the Christmas Eve traditions we enjoyed were personal to us and they didn’t cost lots of money. These days, Christmas Eve seems to have the added pressure of buying plates and boxes and stockings on top of all the presents we buy for the BIG day. So below are some lovely things you and your little one can do to get into the festive spirit this Christmas Eve – and every Christmas Eve. And because they’re by 5 Minute Fun, they’re super simple and will save you money too!
1) SUPER STOCKINGS: Make a simple stocking out of wrapping paper
What you’ll need: Wrapping paper, scissors, glue, glitter or cotton wool, ribbon or string
- Fold a piece of wrapping paper. Then help your child to draw a stocking shape on the plain side of the paper. Now they can snip it out (because the paper is folded they can cut out two identical shapes at once).
2. Help them to put sticky tape around the edge to stick the two sides together.
3. Cut a strip of paper to stick along the top of the stocking. And tape a piece of ribbon to it.
4. Now get them to decorate the stocking however they like - a glittery or cotton wool trim would work well!
5. Finally, hang it in their bedroom ready to WOW Santa! You could leave a little gift for him inside it (and see if he swaps it for something new).
1) TREAT PLATE FOR THE BIG MAN: A super easy DIY Christmas treat plate for Santa and Rudolph!
What you’ll need: paper plate, pens, snacks for Santa and his reindeer
What you do:
1. Decide with your little one what you’d like to leave out for Santa, for example, mince pie, small cup of milk/wine/brandy, a carrot for Rudolph!
2. Help your little one draw spaces on the paper plate for each item.
3. Before bedtime, put each item in its place on the plate, ready for Santa to enjoy.
4. Shhh! Have fun eating the treats once your little one is in bed!
3) SANTA’S CINEMA: Is there anything more cosy than watching a Christmas movie?
What you’ll need: your fave Christmas film, popcorn (optional)
What you do:
1. Get cosy with a blanket and low lights.
2. Put on your favourite Christmas film (this is a great way to get your little one to love it too.)
3. Watch and enjoy (while getting all the last minute wrapping done!)
4) CUTE CHRISTMAS EVE BOX: A homemade box to fill with things your little one will love!
What you’ll need: an empty shoebox, some craft supplies (eg. paint, pens, Christmas wrapping ribbon) and things to make a lovely Christmas Eve
What you do:
1. It’s really easy! At some point on Christmas Eve, give your child the box to decorate however they like. They can paint on snowflakes and tie on Xmas ribbon. Now they give it to you…
2. Later, write a note on top, eg: Special Delivery for Alfie.
3. Then fill the empty box with lots of cosy things – warm PJs, fluffy socks, a Christmas book and hot chocolate all work well. They don’t have to be new things either! Your little one will love the surprise of finding out what’s in the box, and using all these cosy items together.
4. Give your child the box at bedtime.
This homemade Christmas Eve box is more special than the ones you can buy in the shops. Bring it out every year!
5) BUBBLE BATH AND BEARD: Bath-time fun before the big day!
What you’ll need: a bath and lots of bubbles!
What you do:
1. Make a warm bubble bath for your little one.
2. Have fun getting nice and clean on Christmas Eve. Use the bubbles to create your own Santa beards!
So, there you go! Lots of lovely free ideas to make your Christmas Eve super cosy and super lovely… and not a clementine-peel-covered walnut in sight! Thank gawd.