December 24th, the day before Christmas, is known as Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve celebrations happen all over the world in different ways. See below for a list of some of the most common Christmas Eve Traditions. Each family may celebrate Christmas Eve in a different way, here some of  Christmas Eve Traditions that happen in  households in different cultures and countries.


One common Christmas Eve Tradition is to go Carolling, with a group or just family members. Some may sing door-to-door or simply gather in a home to sing traditional Christmas Carols.

Christmas Eve Traditions - Carolling

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Christmas Eve Meal

Sometimes a special meal is prepared for Christmas Eve, such as Italy’s Feast of Seven Fishes. Sometimes, this may replace the more traditional Christmas Day dinner, but not always. Christmas Eve is a fantastic day to spend Baking or preparing food for the next day with family.

Opening Gifts

In many parts of Europe, such as Germany and Serbia, Christmas Eve is the day on which you exchange and open your Christmas presents. Santa arrives earlier for children who are lucky enough to live in these countries.

Family & Friends Party

It is quite common to celebrate Christmas Eve among friends and family in a neighbourhood Christmas Party. While these parties tend to wrap up earlier than normal (on account of the festivities the next day) often times this will include party food, music,Christmas stories and maybe even a performance, like a skit or dance. For some, a Christmas Eve Party is the most important tradition, and it is planned weeks (maybe even months) in advance. See more on our Christmas Party ideas with Party Games and Snacks & Party Food.

Christmas Movies

A much more modern, but no less important addition to Christmas Eve Traditions is a Marathon of Christmas Movies. It’s become very popular to stay in your PJs all day long and enjoy the company of friends or family as you watch lots of Holiday shows. (I would wear these all month long if I could).

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Decorating the Christmas Tree

For fanatics like you and me, we couldn’t possibly imagine wiating until December 24th – but it’s still a popular custom to wait until Christmas Eve to decorate your Christmas Tree in some places.

Going to Church

For religious people, midnight mass celebration is conducted on Christmas Eve, This service marks the beginning of the Christmas day. Sometimes, Christmas vigil services are celebrated in the afternoons or the evenings on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Traditions - Church

Did we miss one of  your favourite Christmas Eve Traditions? Share on our Forum or in the Comments below!