T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house… you know how it goes, but often houses on Christmas Eve are filled with overexcited children and exhausted parents. Here are some tips for Christmas Eve activities to keep the kids entertained and even help them get to sleep.

Many families do a lot of fun and fabulous things on Christmas Eve. If you want to join in the fun, check out our list of suggestions and get ready to smile.

1. Go and see the Christmas lights

This is a great one to use up some of the kids nervous energy, take them to see the Christmas lights at one of the Christmas lights hot spots around Brisbane. It will get everyone in the Christmas spirit and it is an easy adventure.

2. Watch a Christmas movie

While Christmas can be enjoyed in the weeks leading up to Christmas but make Christmas Eve special and save you favourite Christmas movies for pre-Santa viewing and curl up with some delicious Christmas treats.

3. Make a treat for Santa

Whether its beer, biscuits, a sandwich, tea, water, milk, meat pies or any other type of food, leave some treats for Santa and place them on a pretty Christmas plate. (Make sure you take a few bites and finish the drink so the kids think he has paid them a visit.)

4. Wear Christmas pajamas

Wearing Christmas pajamas is a perfect way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit and imagine the photos, not only on Christmas Eve but Christmas morning as well. Plus if you put the kids in pajamas early it helps them get in the right mindset to sleep.

5. Have a sing-a-long

Everyone knows the words of a few Christmas carols, so go carolling or, if you have stage fright just belt the tunes out at home with close friends and family. You can even make this into a game – have a karaoke or remember the lyrics contest.

6. Open one present from under the tree

This one can be risky but sometimes the kids need to open just one present to ensure they don’t go stir crazy before the morning. Make sure the present they open is small but fun and isn’t going to keep them up all night.

7. Get everyone in the kitchen and cook!

Make some delicious Christmas food in the kitchen with the whole family. Have a a decorating competition or make Santa Claus gingerbread and a Gingerbread house if you are feeling creative.

8. Play board games

Drag out the board games and have a board game tournament. If the kids become interested in the games they might forget about Santa for a few minutes, plus it is fun and an easy way to pass the time.

9. Volunteer

Find a local charity or community group that works on Christmas Eve and get the whole family involved in volunteering, giving back will make you and the kids feel good.

10. Leave out Santa’s key

In Australia only a few homes have a chimney, so why not leave out a special decorative key for Santa so he can make it through the door. The kids will love the idea.

11. Hang the stockings

Make the hanging of your stocking an event by playing Christmas carols and having each child hang their own stocking. Then you can fill them up with stocking stuffers after they have gone to bed.

12. Go star-gazing

Go online and find out where the constellations or any special stars are located in the night sky then head outdoors and lie on a blanket and star-gaze. This is a quiet, contemplative activity and if the kids see a shooting star they might think its Santa on his way.

13. Leave a treat for the reindeer

Don’t forget Santa’s reindeer when you are leaving out some food. Leave out carrots, oat, lettuce, milk or water so Santa’s sleigh can keep on the move.

14. Deliver Christmas treats

If you have made some delicious Christmas goodies share them with your neighbours, go door knocking and deliver Christmas cookies or cakes to your friends.

15.Lay down powder or glitter

Sprinkle talcum powder or glitter either in the house near the tree or leading to the front door and make large boot footprints in it so the kids can see Santa has paid them a visit.

16. Write Santa a thank-you note

Get out the glittery pens and colouring pencils, sit the kids down and write Thank-you notes for Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves and reindeer.

17. Read Christmas books and poems

Christmas books and poems are great later in the evening, just before the kids go to bed. It’s a good way to make sure everyone relaxes. You can find traditional Christmas stories and poems online for free or even just make up stories of you own.

18. See City Hall come to life.

Head into the City and watch City Hall come to life, with a full on lights display. Beware of the crowds!

19.Track Santa’s progress

Track Santa’s journey around the globe by heading to the NORAD site.

20. Look through old Christmas photos

Looking through old photos is a little sentimental but is sure to get some laughs. You can even make a mural so everyone can enjoy them on Christmas day.   What do you like to do on Christmas Eve?