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17 Things To Do On Christmas Eve – Festive AND Essential!

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON July 5, 2023

& FILED IN Christmas Planning 

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Christmas Eve – the best day of Christmas as far as I’m concerned because of all the anticipation and excitement that fills the air.

However – there is usually still a LOT to do today…

Some of it will be still along the Christmas preparations side of things and so just needs to be done and dusted, but the other stuff is the amazing/fun/magical side of the day that I totally love!

Having a mix of these two works so well – and I’d definitely try and get the prep done before the fun stuff if you can.

I usually end up with a long TO DO list on Christmas Eve (kept in my Christmas Planner, of course!) – just so I don’t forget anything – so I thought this year I’d share it with you.

Along with my own TO DO’s I’ve added other things that you could do, just to get ahead of the game!

So why not take a few minutes to write down all those things to do on Christmas Eve – then it will be easy on the day itself….

17 Things To Do on Christmas Eve - Festive & Essential

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Things To Do On Christmas Eve

#1 – Charge Everything

The first of your Christmas Eve ‘TO DO’s” is that – you know that you’ll need the vacuum / camera / phone etc…. over Christmas – so get them all charged now to save having to wait!

#2 – Chill Drinks

Chances are the fridge is now pretty full with Christmas food – but make room for the drinks you need chilled for tomorrow. A chilled glass of fizz on Christmas Day is a must (whatever the fizz may be!).

#3 – Defrost The Turkey

Don’t forget to get the turkey out of the freezer to give it plenty of time to defrost – the last thing you want is to wake up on Christmas Day to frozen meat!

#4 – Last Minute Wrapping

Hopefully you’ve got the wrapping all done, but if not, take some time to get it all finished so you can relax and tick that job off the list.

(I class the last minute wrapping as fun rather than a chore because I save certain presents to wrap now as it makes it really special!).

#5 – Ensure You Have Enough Of The Staples

By staples I don’t mean the stationery kind – I mean the food kind!

Make sure you have a stock of milk, bread, butter etc… that you need. It’s only 2 days really that you need to make sure you have enough for, but you’ll probably go through more than usual during that time!

Christmas Quote

#6 – Prep Christmas Dinner

I’ll assume for this list that you have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day (we used to eat on Christmas Eve which is a great idea too and leaves Christmas Day completely free for leftovers!). As such, you could start your prep on Christmas Eve to get ahead of the game.

Do things like get the saucepans/trays out (I like to label them with what’s going where – such a planner!), peel the veg, and make any puddings etc…

Whatever you can do today means that you get more time tomorrow to spend with the family…

#7 – Ensure The House Is Ready

Do a sweep of the house (and get the family involved) to make sure everything is in it’s place, that the guest bedroom is ready (or any spaces that you will use for guests if you don’t have a specific room), and that everything is as tidy as possible.

It will get messy and fun over the next few days – so this is the calm before the storm!

#8 – Set The Table For Christmas Dinner

This is something my daughter now absolutely loves to do, as she makes it her own with name tags etc… – and it takes her a while to get it just right!

Why not get ahead of the game and get the table set on Christmas Eve – that way you can enjoy it more and it’s one less task to do on the day itself.

#9 – Baking

Another thing that’s a tradition for our family on Christmas Eve is to do a little baking. Having some Christmas music on and just creating cakes/biscuits for Christmas is magical – and the smell is amazing!

Don’t want to bake? I’ve found a fantastic gingerbread house to make from IKEA that’s a winner in our house. You just make some icing, stick the ready made gingerbread pieces together, and decorate with sweets etc… – it looks amazing (and I like to dust a little icing sugar on top to look like snow).

#10 – Pantomime

Christmas Eve is a lovely time to go and see a panto – gets you really in the mood for the festivities!

Christmas Eve scene - with candles and reindeer decoration

#11 – Watch A Christmas Film

If you don’t want to go to a panto – then a Christmas film is another great way to get in the Christmas mood! Some family favourites are: –

#12 – Go To Church

Whether it be a carol service, midnight mass, or just a visit – going to Church is a lovely thing to do. It is a really special part of Christmas.

#13 – Read “The Night Before Christmas”

If you haven’t got this book, and you have kids – then get it now! – Cuddling up on the sofa before bed and reading this means that they are sooo excited!

#14 – Reindeer Food And Items For Santa

This is usually part of a Christmas Eve Box / bag – which is simply a collection of Christmas Eve items that kids can be given on Christmas Eve to keep them occupied and get excited about each year. Apart from the Reindeer food and stuff for Santa – you could have the following inside:

  • Letter template for Father Christmas / Santa
  • Special Christmas Pajamas
  • Hot chocolate mug
  • Puzzles / Jigsaw (any Christmas Activities to try and keep them quiet for a bit lol)
  • Christmas Movie DVD

Letting the children leave reindeer food (usually a mix of oats and glitter!) outside, something nice for Santa (a note, a mince pie and a whiskey are a good mix!) – and a carrot for Rudolf, is a lovely tradition just before bedtime.

Alongside this – of course, comes….

#15 – Stockings

Hanging the stockings up by the fire is my favourite Christmas Eve tradition.

The anticipation is thick in the air, and even though I’m over 40 now (today actually, I’m a Christmas baby – hence Chrissy!), my heart still skips a beat!

I love seeing the stockings hanging up next to the Christmas Tree – with all those twinkly lights, just before bedtime.

#16 – Message From Santa

Just to complete the Christmas Eve magic – I found this PNP site a few years ago and have used it every year since (some options are totally free as well!).

You can get an amazing message from Santa and he will tell your child whether they are on the naughty or nice list….. Definitely one to take a look at!

#17 – Relax!

Yes – there’s so much to do today – but most of it is the magic stuff to get you in the Christmas spirit…

However, if you’ve done all this then you will be tired to say the least by the end of the day – so take some time out before bed, have a glass of Mulled wine to relax, and have some “me-time” if at all possible. This will help prepare you for the crazy and good days to follow…

I really hope you have a fantastic Christmas Eve – and an amazing Christmas this year full of festive fun, and I hope that these TO DO’s get your organised so you don’t miss anything.

Want To Grab All the Stuff For Christmas Eve?

I’ve got you! Here are my favourites to get pre-Christmas Eve so they make the festivities even more special.

Note – Clicking on any item below will take you to the store so you can see details and purchase – for your convenience. The links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission for any purchase you make – at absolutely no cost to you, of course.

17 Things To Do On Christmas Eve - Festive AND Essential! - 350
17 Things To Do on Christmas Eve - Festive & Essential

Above all – have fun and enjoy the time – and I hope Santa comes….

… don’t forget to take a look at the Christmas Planner – an amazing set of 100 printables to get Christmas organised and stress free this year that will get you through it with ease.

This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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