christmas eve tradition: family pajamas


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christmas eve family pjsOne of my favorite nights of the year is Christmas Eve, and one of my favorite Christmas Eve family traditions involves something really simple: pajamas.

I love any sort of family tradition, but for some reason, I always feel like holiday traditions are the best.

We spend the afternoon with one side of the family, opening gifts, sharing time together, enjoying a great Christmas Eve Day lunch.  It’s a whirlwind of kids and wrapping paper, gifts and sweets.

Then we zip over to church to watch our kiddos perform in the Gospel Drama at Christmas Eve afternoon mass.

It’s a super exciting–but busy day.

Finally, we head home for some time together, and Christmas Eve fun continues–just for us.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • Christmas Eve Tradition–Family Pajamas: By Christmas Eve, everything is settled. Everything is ready.

(Or at least that’s our goal. Quite often Santa’s helpers are up really, really, really late doing last-minute Christmasy things, but a girl can dream, right?)

christmas eve family pjs

This favorite family tradition involves giving a little gift to each other before the big day arrives–before Santa takes a trip down our dirty chimney to bring gifts to our littles.

It’s simple, but it’s become a well-anticipated tradition: Family Pajamas.

We are not the family who orders specially-made monogrammed pj’s for our family each year.

We just don’t.

christmas eve family pjs

Cora has the Hope pattern. . .pants and boots

We are not the family who insists on those crazy-cool color-coordinated or matching pajamas for our family.

I just can’t.

But we are a family who enjoys opening–and wearing–a special, new pair of pj’s on Christmas Eve.  They’re usually not that Christmasy, but they’re usually picked especially for each person.  Usually they’re pajamas that mirror something of interest to each person.

This year, it’s sports for Owen, cool rainbow tie-dye for Maddy, and hearts and peace signs for Cora.

So after baths are taken and after teeth are brushed, each of us opens a special gift–and we all know exactly what it will be: pajamas.

christmas eve family pjs

Maddy loves the Rainbow pants and boots.

We cozy up in them before we read The Night Before Christmas and before we put out cookies for the big guy in red, before we put out reindeer food or pour that special glass of milk.

We sit in front of the tree, lights on, and house warm.   And we try to settle anxious bellies and clear the space in front of the hearth.

And then we head to bed.  Most of us, anyway.

christmas eve family pjs

Owen’s Zach pattern is perfect for him.

As grateful as we are for the time we spend with both families, I think we’ve all come to really enjoy the time on Christmas Eve with our little immediate family–nothing special, nothing crazy–just time together.

This year, more than ever I believe, we’ll hug our littles a bit more tightly, we’ll enjoy the chaos of the morning and the days to follow a little bit more genuinely, and we’ll embrace our late, late night a bit more willingly.

christmas eve family pjs Christmas to everyone and wishes for a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year for everyone.

fyi: I wrote this post as part of the Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador program.   I’m thankful for Melissa & Doug for always creating great, smart products for children of all ages, and I’m excited that they have so widely expanded their product line in the last year. Many thanks, guys

Want a few more holiday-inspired gift ideas or activities? Check out:

must have gifts for kids and families |

gifts for sunday school teachers or CCD teachers |


kids and family gift guide from


teachmama gift guide 2012



holiday gift guide |


fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy




  1. says

    I love it, looks really cute :) And exactly as you said – it’s “just” about spending time together looking silly and cute at the same time ;)) I also like that you don’t pick just the “x-mas” theme…I mean, its also nice, but in this case you can enjoy the pyjamas longer. Practical! :)))

  2. says

    Amy – I also super ove family holiday traditions and certainly pajamas are the coziest of all. Growing up, we also had special pajamas on Christmas Eve which were always considered a present from our grandmother who lived in New York and would send my mom pajamas money to buy for us :) The tradition continues…

    • amy says

      LOVE this idea!! It’s kind of like Grandma’s there even when she couldn’t be!! HOW cute–I bet it made your mama feel a tad closer to home, too. Thanks for sharing, my friend!! Happy, happy holidays to you!!

  3. says

    Hi Amy. What a lovely idea. The smell and feel of a set of new cotton pyjamas – it set my senses on fire and it’s the first post that has made me feel ‘Christmassy’. I think my family are about to adopt your tradition :)

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