The wait is finally over: you’ve survived weeks of constant festive music, finished the last few tasks at work and now you’re ready to enjoy Christmas with the family. The lead up to Christmas Day is the perfect time to make it as magical as the big day itself.

In this guide we’ve listed some ideas for activities to get stuck into on Christmas Eve to bide some time and spread festive cheer.

  1. Give early presents

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. Make your loved ones smile with a gift before they’d even expect one on Christmas Eve this year!

You could opt for simple stocking fillers or other smaller presents wrapped up in Christmas gift boxes to make your gift even more personal. Receiving a gift starts with the unwrapping experience, holding a box or parcel in hand, so it’s down to you to make it memorable for all the right reasons.

  1. Start a movie marathon

With several channels having already announced Christmas television schedules, it’s the perfect time to plan a cosy night in. Whether you’ll opt for a Pixar classic on Disney Plus or see if any family favourites like Home Alone will be aired on television, you can’t go wrong with a few drinks, some tasty snacks and watching something everyone can agree on.

  1. Make a gingerbread house

If you don’t mind making the kitchen a mess, making a festive gingerbread house could be a great way to spend a few hours – especially for the younger members of the family. Put some tunes on in the background, pop a pinny on and get cracking with a classic gingerbread method or a top-secret family recipe.

  1. Get ready for Santa

Leaving things out for Santa might not usually be part of your Christmas routine, but it’s a great way to get children engaged in the magical atmosphere you can help to create.

Why not bake some biscuits or pour out a small glass of brandy to refresh a weary Santa Claus on his journey? Small pieces of carrot could make a great snack for his reindeer, and they might like a drink of milk, too.

  1. Start your own tradition

If your family doesn’t already have a Christmas tradition, it’s never too late to start one. Why not play a game to see who could wear the ugliest Christmas jumper, or if you enjoy spending time outdoors, why not enjoy some winter sunshine on a family walk on Christmas Eve?

Whatever you choose to do this Christmas Eve, the whole family is bound to have a fantastic time – with some careful planning and a thoughtful approach.