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Since tomorrow marks the 1st day of December, today I’m sharing 20 Family Christmas Traditions to help inspire you to get out and enjoy this wonderful holiday season with your families and friends. The Christmas season is always such a fun time of year and making traditions and creating those life long memories is what it’s all about.
I still remember all of the fun traditions I used to do each year with my mom and dad and brothers, and it’s nice to pass along a few of those traditions now that I’m a mother and wife. But what’s been truly magical is creating those new traditions with my family and making our own unique yearly rituals.
Now that my kiddos are getting past the toddler years, involving them in more and more family activities is so important to me. Having them help decorate the house, put ornaments on the tree, and help wrap gifts for others is so special. Not only do I want my kids to know the real meaning of Christmas, but I also want to instill kindness in their hearts and ensure they always remember it is better to give than to receive
20 Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year
Make Homemade Ornaments– Sure, you can buy a new ornament every year for the tree, but that can get expensive real quick. Instead, why not make special ornaments each year that family members can personalize themselves. With Pinterest, the possibilities are endless. I love these scrabble ornaments, these snowflakes made out of clothespins, and I’m kinda obsessed with these wood slice ornaments made with recycled Christmas cards.
Create a Christmas Playlist– I always like creating a playlist of my favorite Christmas songs and then jamming out to them the whole month of December (and parts of November). Try listening to Frosty the Snowman or Jingle Bells and not being instantly put in a better mood- I dare you!
Sponsor a Child/Family in Need for Christmas- Whether it’s through your workplace, church, or you do it on your own, what better way to spread kindness and love than ensuring another person has a special Christmas. There are all kinds of local organizations who do Christmas programs for those in need each year including Salvation Army, Operation Christmas Child, and White Christmas to name a few. We adopted two families in need at my workplace this year and it has been so much fun shopping for gifts for them. Check around your community and find a way to give back if you can!
Donate Non-Perishable Items to a Local Food Pantry– How many of us have a few extra cans of corn just sitting in our pantry? I know I always have extra items on hand, and as a Mom I know how expensive the grocery bill can get when kids are home for Christmas break. That’s why I always love gathering up extra pantry items or stocking up on items when my local grocery store has a sale, and taking them to our nearby pantry to give to those in need. Trust me, it’s appreciate more than you ever know.
Bake and Eat Holiday Cookies- No Holiday is really a holiday without baking (and eating) some delicious cookies with family. My personal fave are of course my Mom’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies but I also like making these Kiss Cookies, and decorating Sugar Cookies like these.
Make and Drink Hot Cocoa– This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I mean how can you not drink hot cocoa during the cold months? This tradition gives you a good excuse to purchase some cute mugs like this adorable chalkboard countdown one. Extra marshmallows for me, please. 🙂
Send Christmas Cards- Christmas cards are a great way to show people you care. I always like either creating a photo Christmas card using Shutterfly, Minted, or Tinyprints, or buying some store-bought ones and writing in a special handwritten note. It’s a great way to keep in touch with those who live away from you, and it’s nice to get a stack of Christmas cards from family and friends you don’t get to talk to everyday.
Look at Christmas Lights– There’s almost always that one gorgeous neighborhood in every community that has the most beautifully decorated homes, and on a pretty evening our family loves driving around and looking at them. We almost always make a visit to Bristol’s Speedway in Lights, which is about a 45 minute drive from us and it is always a lot of fun.
Watch Christmas Movies Together as a Family- Nothing makes me happier than watching classic Christmas movies with my boys for the first time. It’s always nice to curl up on the couch under a warm blanket and relax watching something light-hearted and funny. My personal favorites include Jack Frost, Santa Clause, Elf, and Home Alone. I’m also a sucker for those cheesy Hallmark movies lol.
Read a Story Each Night Leading up to Christmas Day- Our boys have a huge stack of Christmas themed stories, so we set aside a special basket in their bedroom and each night leading up to Christmas we read one. I like that it makes my boys excited about Christmas the whole month long and especially enjoy reading about Jesus’ birth with them and hearing their questions.
White Stocking– I found this idea on Pinterest the other day and want to add it to our traditions this year. You simply hang a white stocking beside all your other regular stockings. The white stocking is different, though, and instead of putting gifts in it you fill it with notes of thankfulness all December long, then on Christmas night read all the notes aloud. I can see this being really fun with kids and heartfelt for adults.
Take A Family Picture– Whether it’s in front of the decorated tree, on the staircase, or outside in your backyard, I’m a fan of taking a yearly family photo. So much changes in a year time, and it’s important to capture those memories. I always love looking back at years past and seeing how much each person has grown and changed.
Cut Out Paper Snowflakes to Hang on Your Windows- This is a tradition we used to do when I was a child on snow days. Now that my kids are of the age they can safely use scissors, I hope to help them create several designs to hang on our back patio doors. They’re so pretty and always make me wish for a snow day. If you need help with templates, this website has great tutorials.
Write a Letter to Your Significant Other- This is a new tradition I plan to start this year with my husband. I’m such a fan of handwritten notes and letters and I don’t think there’s anything more special than putting your love into words and giving it to the person who means the most to you. Hope you’ll hop on board and write a letter to your love too!
Make Christmas Candy/Fudge and Deliver to Someone Unexpected- A tradition my Mom and I started a few years ago is making yummy Christmas candy and fudge to put into little gift boxes and tins for giving to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. It’s always a lot of fun making the treats and taste-testing them out and then spreading the love by giving them to others. It’s a nice gesture that goes a long way.
Play a Favorite Board Game– I don’t know about you all but I love a good board game, and it seems like amidst all the hustle and bustle throughout the year, playing games always gets put on the back burner. We always try to make it a point to play our favorite games during the holiday months and it’s always nice to make it part of a fun night in. Scrabble and Yahtzee are mine and my husband’s favorites, and my boys are obsessed with Pop the Pig, and Go Fishin’.
Have Breakfast for Dinner on Christmas– This is a new tradition my husband started for us, and what can I say I’m 100% onboard with it. I absolutely love Brinner and his pancakes and bacon are the best. Try it one time and trust me you’ll never go back to traditional Christmas food. 😉
Buy a New Pair of Pajamas to Wear the Night Before– We started this tradition when we first moved into our new home and I love it. There’s something so special about getting a new pair of comfy jammies to sleep in the night before Christmas. We don’t necessarily go as far as getting the matching ones for photos (I haven’t convinced the hubs), but I do think those are totally adorable.
Open One Small Gift on Christmas Night- This is another tradition that my parents started when I was little. I know a lot of people love to open up stocking stuffers or small presents on Christmas Eve, but instead we always waited until Christmas night. It just made the day that much more special and made the fun last longer. We still do that with my boys and they love it!
Laugh and Have Fun– Last but not least, this is my reminder to you that above all this Christmas season remember to have fun. Life goes by so quickly, so savor every second and have a blast with your loved ones! 🙂
So there you have it- 20 amazingly fun traditions to start this Christmas with your family! What other traditions does your family do? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!- Cara