If there's anything better than Christmas, it's Christmas Eve. The anticipation of reindeer hooves pitter-pattering on the roof, Christmas Eve dinner by the fire, Christmas caroling amidst glowing holiday lights, evening church services, staying up late to prepare the stockings.... These are what make Christmas Eve, for many, the most magical day of the year. While Christmas Eve traditions vary by culture and country, one thing is for sure, no matter who or where you are—on December 24, the fantastical becomes possible, and magic is all around us.
Why We Love Christmas Eve
1. Most Christmas songs are actually about Christmas Eve
Have you ever taken a second to reflect on all the most popular Christmas carols? If so, you’ll notice that most of them are actually about Christmas Eve, not Christmas. From “Silent Night” to “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the magical mystery of Christmas Eve features prominently in most lyrics.
2. It’s all still ahead of you
We’ve all experienced the vast, glum emptiness of the post-Christmas let-down. Another 365 days before Christmas comes around again? Now that’s something to cry about. But on Christmas Eve, it’s all still ahead of us—the Christmas dinner, the unwrapping of gifts, the time spent with family. On Christmas Eve, we can revel in the euphoric feeling of anticipation.
3. Christmas movies are still fun (not painful) to watch
Have you ever watched a Christmas movie on Christmas Day and felt a little twinge of sadness? You’re not alone—it’s your inner child saying, “Please, Christmas, don’t go away!” Christmas Eve is the best day of the year to watch Christmas movies. It feels like Christmas, but it’s not actually Christmas yet—so you can watch Christmas movies without being reminded that the most wonderful time of the year is about to end.
How to Celebrate Christmas Eve
A. Have a Christmas movie marathon
Most people don’t have solid plans on Christmas Eve—it’s all about the pre-Christmas relaxation before the big Christmas rush. Snuggle up on the couch with family, pop in Home Alone or White Christmas, and bask in the Christmas spirit. All. Day. Long.
B. Go on a Christmas lights driving tour
Need to distract the kids while Santa Claus is delivering his gifts? Pop them in the car and take them for a Christmas lights tour around the neighborhood. Is Santa assembling a particularly complex toy in the living room? Take them on a Christmas lights tour in the neighboring town.
C. Get your drink on
Because Christmas is a family-oriented holiday, alcohol does not traditionally play a starring role in the festivities. Not the case for Christmas Eve. So drink up! Whip up a batch of eggnog, spiked hot chocolate, mulled wine, or hot toddy. Pair your concoction with a Christmas movie marathon, and you’ve set yourself up for a foolproof Christmas Eve.