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Posted by  ·  December 20, 2007  ·  Last Updated: April 30, 2016

Since our oldest son was a toddler we have had friends come over IN THEIR PAJAMAS to read Christmas stories. Our oldest son is now 15 and this has become one of our most loved holiday traditions.


There are no fancy clothes or fancy food and kids are definitely invited. At first the guests (especially the adults) might be shy about wearing their pajamas—but we insist. We sit around reading Christmas stories, drinking hot chocolate, sometimes we do a craft(decorating gingerbread houses and making gift tags are a favorite), and we eat a few simple snacks. It is such a special way to spend a cozy and relaxing evening with friends. We enjoy listening to our friends favorite Christmas books and as some of the children have gotten older they enjoy reading the stories also. I can’t say enough about how special the evening is for us. It is a moment in this busy time of year to slow down and remember what the Season is about!

When we moved to Germany I met my dear friend Wendy who was also having these parties. Her sister Tara has written some wonderful invitations. I “borrow” these poems and then make a theme around the invite. This is one of my favorite, The Polar Express.

We would like for you to join us for

a Christmas tale

We’ll gather for a story about a

little sleigh bell

We’ll be in our pajamas so that’s

how you should dress

All aboard headed north on the

Polar Express

Your time and date

Please bring your favorite Christmas

story to read!

Invitations can be made by layering holiday papers and adding a jingle bell at the top


The best thing is we can always elaborate on the theme and change it up. Next time I use this I want to make jingle bell wreaths. Family Fun has cute jingle bell bracelets to make. The possibilities are endless. Party favors would be cute sent home in a bag clipped with this jingle bell clip.

So warm up some hot chocolate and invite some friends over and relax and enjoy some special family time. A sweet little 4 year old said it was the best party she had ever been to. Now that is a pretty good endorsement when you have been to a “princess” party before!

Filed Under: Christmas, Party Ideas


  1. Leah
    Monday, December 24th, 2007
    What a great tradition. I couldn't help but see the rendition of "The Night Before Christmas", by Jan Brett. Her other children's book are amazingly beautiful. If you don't already have this, a book to add to your Christmas collection - and excellent for PJ story parties is The Visit by Mark Kimball Moulton. It is the story behind The Night Before Christmas as recounted by the great-great-granddaughter of Clemennt Clarke Moore. It is a reading tradition in my family.

    Happy Christmas to all.....!
  2. Stephanie
    Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
    Fabulous idea... thank you so much for sharing. We are in a state without much family and so I love traditions that include friends!
  3. Friday, December 21st, 2007
    oh cindy that looks like sooooo much fun! you heading over to alicia's in january?
  4. DeerDominique
    Friday, December 21st, 2007
    What a beautiful idea. Thanks so much for sharing!
  5. Friday, December 21st, 2007
    Cindy, you have the best ideas. Thanks as always for sharing them.
  6. Friday, December 21st, 2007
    What a great idea and tradition. Unfortunately my kids are too small to sit and listen. But this is definately something to consider next year. Merry Christmas to you!
  7. Friday, December 21st, 2007
    I just love your wonderful, creative blog! I see so many new things I want to add to my traditions! Just wonderful! Lovely!
  8. Debbie
    Thursday, December 20th, 2007
    what a great tradition. you are so creative! Very inspiring.

    Thank you!