I’m a sucker for a good family tradition. I love creating new ones, continuing old ones, and learning all about the traditions of others. This Christmas season, I reached out to a few of my friends and other bloggers to learn more about their family Christmas traditions
Some of these traditions are SO good, I can’t wait to put them into action this Christmas with my family.
Of course, we have collected quite a few of our own family Christmas traditions over the years; some new and some passed along from several generations in my family. (Don’t worry I’ll share those too!)
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20 of the Best Family Christmas Traditions
1. Matching Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family
We wear our matching Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning. I know they are just clothes, but for some reason each year, I get all teared up and sappy when I see our little family dressed together. It’s almost like a visual reminder that we are a team; one unit; one happy (and blessed) family. This is always a must family Christmas tradition in my house!
2. Make Reindeer Food to Sprinkle on Your Yard
How cute is this bag and poem created by Sugar and Soul Co!
3. Leave out Milk and Cookies for Santa
These cookies are just perfect to leave out for Santa! Grab the recipe and more over at Delicious Table.
4. Give 25 Days of Books Leading up to Christmas
This is a fun spin to your traditional Advent calendar that one of my friends shared with me. Wrap 25 books for your kids and let them open one new book a day starting on December 1st and ending on Christmas.
You can often find very cheap ($.25 – $1.00) used books at library book sales to keep this more affordable!
5. Create 25 Days of Giving
Another spin on the traditional Advent calendar is to create 25 days of giving leading up to Christmas. Each day, pick out one (or more) items in your house that you will give to someone else in need.
6. Do a Fun Family Activity on Christmas Day
You can grab a football and play a friendly game of football outside. Or if you prefer an indoor activity, print each family member a copy of these Christmas Mad Libs and see who creates the silliest story!
7. Create a Christmas Eve Food Tradition
For generations and generations, my family has made homemade pierogies to eat on Christmas Eve. I can remember making homemade pierogies with my grandmother when I was just a little girl. Now this Christmas tradition has expanded a bit and we have a (rather large) pierogie-making party with family and friends.
8. Do Video Interviews of Everyone in the Family
Make it a family Christmas tradition to interview each family member on Christmas day. Ask them about their year, what their current favorites are, what they are thankful for, and more. Then each Christmas, go back to the prior year(s) and watch them to see how your family has grown over the past year.
9. Buy a New Ornament for Each Family Member
Find a special Christmas ornament that represents each family member. It may be a hobby or sport that they are interested in, or a place they love to visit. On the back of the ornament write the year, and hang it on the tree. When your children are all grown up, and ready to have their own tree, give them their box of ornaments that you have purchased for them over the year so they can start with a tree of memories.
10. Send Gifts to our Troops
Create care packages to send to our troops who are serving our country and won’t be home to celebrate Christmas with their families.
11. Have a Christmas Wreath Decorating Party
Every year, one of my friends hosts a Christmas wreath decorating party. This is such a fun Christmas tradition to look forward to and we have a new custom Christmas wreath to hang on our door.
12. Bake your Favorite Christmas Treats
I love having a Christmas cookie-making party with my daughters and making an assortment of cookies and other treats for the Christmas season. Even better is when you can pair up with another friend (or a few) and do a cookie exchange so you have even more variety.
Related: Homemade Hot Chocolate Sticks
13. Put a Spin on Traditional Gift Giving
Be intentional with your gift giving this year. Rather than purchasing at random, buy something they WANT, something they NEED, something they WEAR, and something they READ.
14. Invite the Kindness Elves into Your Home
Invite the Kindness Elves into your house. Each day, the Kindness Elves come and leaves a suggestion on an act of kindness for your family to help them out with.
15. Let Your Children Decorate Their Own Trees
Give your child(ren) a mini Christmas tree to decorate on their own.
16. “Adopt” a Family in Need for Christmas
Spread holiday cheer to those who may be in need. Purchase presents or everyday necessitates for someone who may not be as fortunate as you and your family.
17. Elf on the Shelf
Elf on the Shelf is a small elf doll that you bring out during the Christmas season to check if your children are being naughty or nice. Every night the elf flies back to the North Pole to tell Santa about his day and when he returns, he finds a new location in the house. (i.e. Parents – you must move the elf every night!)
Sometimes the elf gets up to no good himself and ends up in a funny location to start the new day. (If you do a web search of Elf of the Shelf ideas, you will be amazed as to how elaborate this tradition gets in some households!)
18. Peppermint Pig Tradition
Suburban Wife City Life shared this tradition with me, and I thought it was such a unique idea.
In this tradition, each family member talks about their past years health, happiness, and good fortune that they have had. They then take a hammer and give the pig a tap and pass it to the next family member. Once everyone has had a turn, everyone enjoys a piece of the peppermint pig and celebrates what everyone has accomplished, overcome, and enjoyed in the past year.
19. Purchase a New Board Game Every Christmas
Purchase a new board game to play with the family every Christmas. (And if you are looking for something fun to do with your family on Christmas Eve, you can make this a Christmas Eve tradition.
20. Secret Random Acts of Kindness
This is a new family Christmas tradition shared with me by a friend. You put everyone’s names into a hat (or jar) and every day you pick a name at random. (Don’t share with others who you picked!) That day, you do a secret random act of kindness for that person.
If you are looking at add more variety, you can put the names of others outside of your immediate family into the bucket. You may add a teacher, bus driver, friend, or someone else you want to bless with kindness.