Christmas Eve 2023 Traditions – When & How To Observe?

Christmas Eve 2023: Christmas Eve is a day of celebration and joy for Christians around the world. It’s also a time when many people spend considerable time with their loved ones, reflecting on the year that has passed and celebrating life in all its glory.

Christians observe Christmas Day as the anniversary of Jesus Christ, a religious leader who founded their religion’s teachings. Christmas traditions include giving and receiving gifts, putting up Christmas trees, going to church, eating with family and friends, and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus. Since 1870, December 25—known as Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States.


Christmas Eve in 2022 is a day of reflection and celebration. It’s the final night before Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25th, and people who observe this holiday are preparing for their festivities. For many Americans, the day begins with Mass or other religious service followed by a family dinner with friends and loved ones. Traditions vary from region to region; some families might go caroling while others would stay home to decorate the tree. Some traditions may be more modern than others: in recent years there has been an increase in online shopping that starts Christmas Eve morning (or even earlier) instead of Black Friday sales at brick-and-mortar stores on November 24th as was once common practice. 


On December 24, Christmas Eve is celebrated to mark the conclusion of the Advent period that began on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve. Midnight church services are a common way to celebrate the end of Advent. It is now widely observed on the night before Christmas Day, although it was formerly celebrated on December 24th.


The evening or the entire day before Christmas Day, is observed as a religious festival in memory of Jesus’ birth. On Christmas Day, people all over the world celebrate, and Christmas Eve is generally recognized as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of it.

Date: December 24

Significance: The day or night before Jesus’ birthday is one of the most popular dates for Christmas.

Observed by: Christians; Many non-Christians.

Also Called: Christmas Evening; Christmas Vigil; Night before Christmas, and Day before Christmas.

Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve is one of the most important dates on the Christmas calendar. Christians around the world celebrate it as a holy festival, while many non-Christians do so as well because it’s still considered to be an important social occasion. Parties are organized to welcome Santa Claus, stockings are hung by chimneys with care, and low tables are set for midnight feasts before everyone falls asleep thinking about tomorrow’s big celebration.

Christmas Eve Dinner

The dinner usually starts with soup or salad to warm up guests after they come home from church. The main dish should not be spicy but rather light enough so people can actually taste all of its flavors. Ham is often served during this meal, along with potatoes (mashed or baked) and vegetables. Desserts should be light and served after the meal.

Open a Gift.

It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve been so good this year—you deserve a present! Of course, if you’re not a kid anymore, it might be hard to find something good for you. So why don’t you take the time to ponder what your true self would really want? That way, when Santa finally arrives with his bag full of gifts, there will be one waiting just for you.

Go Look at Christmas Lights.

Tonight is the perfect night to go out and enjoy some Christmas lights! Once it gets dark, when you’re not too busy with other things, go to the closest neighborhood with pretty lights. It’s a good way to feel closer to Santa, who might be watching you while traveling on his sleigh.

Look at Christmas Tree Lights.

Spend time looking at the beautiful decorations your family set up in their living room before dinner. If your family doesn’t have one, why don’t you get into that spirit by decorating the bare branch of an evergreen tree? You can get paper or fabric garlands at craft stores and string them around the entire tree—it takes very little effort but makes for a pretty effect!

Watch a Special Christmas Movie.

One of the best things about Christmas Eve is that it’s really not complete without watching one or two (or six) holiday-themed movies! If your family doesn’t do this already, why don’t you take this opportunity to start? The classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” always works well. Or if you want something more modern, there are several love stories set during Christmastime that will warm your heart and make you feel like everything is going to be okay.

Read Christmas Stories Together.

Give your family time to sit down together, relax, and read some books made for this special occasion. It can be anything related to Christmas—stories about Santa Claus; retellings of Jesus’ birth; or even non-religious books about kids who are excited for Christmas.

Christmas Carols.

Now that you’ve spent time with loved ones and opened some presents, wouldn’t you like to spend even more time appreciating everything that Christmas means? Start by singing some songs! Decide on a playlist and sing along as loud as possible—not only do you get to enjoy the music, but it also helps you let go of all your worries and embrace the holiday spirit.

Play a Family Game.

More and more people these days, like to play games on Christmas Eve. It has become almost a tradition among families! Make this year’s celebration extra special by playing one of our favorite family-friendly board games together with loved ones at your place or theirs beforehand – and don’t forget about some festive drinks too (we know we will).

Christmas Eve Card Ideas

  • Make your own Christmas card by hand. Handmade cards are often more personal and meaningful, but they may require a lot of time to make. However, you can’t beat the price! If this is your year for homemade cards, here are some ideas: draw pictures using plain white paper or blue construction paper; use watercolors on a colorful background; bake cookies with Christmas-themed shapes, and write a message on each one.
  • Use stickers to decorate greeting cards. This is another easy way to make cute cards without spending too much time – there are plenty of stickers that feature Christmas-related designs such as angels, snowmen, candy canes, reindeer, Santa Claus, or Christmas trees.
  • Use family photos to make personalized Christmas cards. If you have a new photo of your kids or grandkids, for example, this would be a great opportunity to showcase their smiles on a card that will surely put everyone in a good mood! If you don’t have a photo, they make it easy to look like you do with photo editing software. Just print the picture on stickers and then tape them onto your card.
  • Send an electronic holiday card this year! If you want cards that are easier to create but will be just as appreciated by family and friends, send out electronic Christmas cards instead of making one by hand. Electronic photo greeting cards can be sent via email or blog posts and even allow for more complicated designs than traditional paper versions. You can also add video and audio greetings so recipients always get a personal touch from their loved ones!

Christmas Eve FAQS

What to wear on Christmas Eve?

The tradition in the Catholic Church is to dress more formally than you would on an ordinary Sunday. Young girls can wear dresses or skirts with blouses, while older women may choose long-sleeved blouses and dresses. Young boys should wear suits or slacks with a tie. Men who aren’t wearing a suit jacket can usually get away with a collared shirt and tie with pants, although some men do tend to prefer a jacket style of vest for this occasion. You don’t have to break out your best clothes, but it’s nice to look good when attending Mass with family members and friends!

Is it okay to wear red on Christmas Eve?

The tradition in the Catholic Church is to dress more formally than you would on an ordinary Sunday. As such, colors are usually muted. However, it’s also not unusual to see people wearing bright colors at Christmastime, especially if they’re attending midnight Mass or just spending time with friends or family that evening. This isn’t so much a matter of being “allowed” to wear red as it is about wanting to do so!

What color should I dye my hair for Christmas Eve?

It will depend on your skin tone and the temperament you want the color to have. Reds tend to look best on fair skin tones while blacks can look nice on any complexion. It’s adventurous, try doing teal. It’s a color that doesn’t have many uses, so it can be used to accentuate your lips or hair while still standing out in the crowd.

Can you get me an invite for Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve is almost always spent with friends and family rather than “at home” alone. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s unlikely that your grandmother would choose to throw a party just for the sake of partying itself – she probably already feels like she sees her extended family regularly enough at other gatherings throughout the year. If you ask her why not though, just remember that if she says no reasons behind it other than wanting to spend time with you there are probably some very good reasons she’s not telling. Even if it’s not an outright no, just take her at her word!

What’s the purpose of Christmas Eve?

The world celebrates Christmas Eve, also known as Christmas evening, on December 25th just a day before Jesus Christ’s birthday. It is thought that Jesus Christ was born at the stroke of midnight on December 25th, and the significance of celebrating Christmas Eve stems from this story.


Christmas is a time for family, friends, and laughter. It’s also the perfect opportunity to tell stories of Christmases past. This year, why not find your favorite story or tradition from years gone by and share it with those you love? Whether it’s baking cookies together in anticipation of Santa’s visit or getting lost in an animated movie marathon on Christmas Eve night, there are plenty of ways to make this holiday season one that will be remembered fondly long after the last present has been opened.

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