15 Christmas Traditions For Any Family

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Christmas is one of my very most favorite times of the year! If we are talking about seasons, I was born for summer, but I love everything about Christmas… including Christmas traditions.

Until I had kids, I didn’t realize that starting traditions can actually be kind of difficult. You may do something one year with the intentions of starting a tradition and then never do it again.

Why didn’t you continue your tradition?

  • It just didn’t stick.
  • It was too time consuming and schedules became busier.
  • The kids outgrew it.
  • It was better as a one-time thing.

Whatever the reason, it’s not a big deal. But, Christmas traditions are pretty awesome and finding one, or a few, that work for your family is totally possible.

Mom of WAR- Christmas Traditions

15 Memory Making Christmas Traditions For Any Family

1. Christmas PJs. This is one of our Christmas traditions! Every Christmas Eve we unwrap new Christmas pjs for the whole family. Sometimes they match, but they don’t always. In our new Christmas pajamas, we get ready for Santa before going to bed. Then we wake up and open presents. In our Christmas Eve and Christmas morning pictures, we are all wearing our new pjs.

2. Wrap 24 books. Beginning December 1, let your kiddo unwrap one book. This would end on Christmas Eve, before the multitude of toys arrive. Not only is it fun for the kids to open a present every day for 24 days, but it also encourages reading. I know every mama loves that!

3. Look at Christmas lights. Take a walk around the neighborhood or hop in the car! Some neighborhoods really get into decorating, and it is so much fun to check out the lights with your fam. Turn on some Christmas music (check out Kidz Bop Christmas!) or take some hot chocolate with you!

4. Decorate the tree together. This one seems so simple, but if any of you mamas are like me, your OCD kicks in when you see your kids putting all of the ornaments in one spot, so you try to take over. Take a breath… you can always move them around a bit when they go to bed! Enjoy spending that time with your family and decorate the tree together.

5. Hide a pickle. We use a pickle ornament to hide on (or before) Christmas Day, and whichever kid finds it first gets an extra little prize.

6. Watch Christmas movies. You can pick one particular movie to make sure you watch every year, or your tradition can simply be to watch Christmas movies together as a family. Here are some great ideas for Christmas movies (click on the title to purchase):

The Grinch, The Original Christmas Specials Collection, The Polar Express, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Parents, if you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation, you should totally jump on that wagon!

7. Give to others. There are several ways to do this each year. You can pick one and do it every year, or pick a different way to give each year. Here are some ideas, but there are plenty other ways also:

Donate gently used items– Christmas is a great time to clean out closets and toy boxes and donate the items to those that need them.

Operation Christmas Child– These guys send shoe boxes filled with necessities and toys to children across the world.

Angel Tree– Check out your local mall for an Angel Tree.

Soup Kitchen– This may not work for really young kids, but if your children are a little older, this is a great way for your family to give their time to others.

Santas for Seniors– This is something we have locally. Individuals are able to select a senior citizen who is in need. As a family you can shop for items on their wish list. If you don’t have this in your area, but like the idea, do a quick Google search. There may be something similar.

8. Elf on a shelf. You guys knew this was coming! If you don’t have one, I’m sure you know all about it. It’s a lot of fun for kids. Some moms really get into the high jinks of it, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to. It’s fun for kids no matter what.

Figgy should be making his appearance at our house sometime the week of Thanksgiving. Once we get our tree up, he always leaves an empty box and note in front of the tree asking the boys to put in all of the toys they don’t play with so he can give them to kids that don’t get to experience Christmas like they do.

9. Countdown. Do it the old fashioned way if you want. You know, like when we were kids and attached all of the paper circles together to make a chain.

You could also make or buy something festive to use!

10. Bake Santa’s cookies. Even if you’re making pre-cut cookies, let the kids help. They can also help put the cookies on a plate! Get everyone in on it, and let Dad pour the milk. Sometimes it’s the simple things.

11. Pick out a tree. If you have a live Christmas tree every year, pick it out as a family! We do a live tree, and the boys love going to pick out a tree. You can find a tree farm or mosey over to Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or even Sam’s.

12. Christmas dish. Pick or find a recipe that you only use during Christmas. If you know me at all, you know I’m thinking of something sweet, but it doesn’t have to be!

13. Family ornaments. Every year I purchase a new family Christmas ornament. They are personalized with our names and the year on them. Sometimes I get separate ornaments personalized for our dogs! There are so many cute options! <Click here to see some.>

14. Christmas Day dinner. Christmas can mean a lot of running around. There are grandparents and other family members to visit with on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We like to end Christmas Day with dinner at our home. We invite our family and our friends. Even if we saw them all separately over the past few days, this is a way for us to bring everyone together.

We love to play with the dinner menu and think outside of the box. For two months we have eaten ham, turkey, stuffing, and deviled eggs. So, last year, we did a taco bar! The year before… brisket!

15. Read on Christmas Eve. The obvious choice is The Night Before Christmas. Another great choice is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We do things slightly different. Several years ago, my husband wrote a Christmas story that I helped him with. I had it printed on a scroll and wrapped with red ribbon. Every Christmas Eve, we read that to the boys.

There are so many ideas for Christmas traditions. These are just a few that are easy for any family to begin. If you have a tradition that is different than the ones I’ve listed, tell me all about it in the comments below!

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16 thoughts

  1. We usually do christmas jammies, and decorate the tree together. It takes a lot of patience for this type A mama but the kids have so much fun.

  2. These are wonderful ideas! We try to always pick a cold night (those are few and far between in south Alabama, as you know) to go look at Christmas lights with our hot chocolate. We do Elf on the shelf, but we aren’t very good at it… I’m hoping to start some new traditions and these are great suggestions!

  3. I love the Christmas tradition of Christmas jammies! We always make sure to watch movies, and last year we started making homemade cookies with homemade frosting! These are so great! πŸ™‚

  4. These are amazing ideas. I love the idea of wrapping 24 books as a countdown. I might just have to do that this year. Books are big in our family!

  5. We have always unwrapped pajamas on Christmas Eve. We are going to be starting some traditions as we have two little ones now and they would just all of the fun traditions.

  6. I love the idea of getting a new book each day….although I am not sure where I would end up putting them all as the kids get older.

  7. These are great traditions! We never have done the Elf on the Shelf with our kids. They’ve never asked so I never felt the need to, haha!

  8. What a great list! We always got Christmas eve pj’s growing up, as our gift from our grandparents. Now my MIL is doing that for our kids – she sends a Christmas Eve box for each boy that includes jammies, hot cocoa, a couple small chocolates, and something fun like a Christmas book or movie.

    We also do the book advent, but I don’t bother wrapping them. I put out a basket and simply add a “new” book to it each night. The kids still get the thrill of seeing which book “appears,” but I decided the wrapping was one thing I didn’t need to add to my Christmas prep. πŸ™‚

  9. Looking at Christmas lights, watching a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve, and new PJs are traditions for us. Still looking to add some and I love the ones you shared!

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