Christmas is such a magical time of the year! Sometimes having traditions with your family can make it all the more memorable for you, your spouse, and your children. Here are some of the cutest, most fun, and most lovable traditions to add to your events each year!
1. Decorate the house on December 1st (or even Thanksgiving Day if you’re like me and can’t wait!)
I love having the house decorated for the entire month of December, it puts us in a holly jolly mood! I also play Christmas music and watch Christmas movies while we decorate.
2. Special Advent Calendars
There are all sorts of Advent Calendars out there now! Different chocolates, books, socks, and other small gift ideas to last till Christmas Day! There are other ideas, such as having your kids do a small act of kindness every day, leading up to the 25th or reading through the story of Jesus Birth if you wanted to have a teachable approach to the twenty-five days before Christmas.
3. Instead of doing gifts, take a vacation!
According to “Family Holiday Association” in 2015, 49% of those surveyed said their happiest memories came from family vacations. One-third of those that responded said they used their memories from their childhood to get them through tough times.
Family vacations and experiences can last much longer than toys ever will! Maybe this is the year you go to Disneyland!
4. Make a Family Holiday Bucket List!
What fun ideas do you want to complete together? Baking cookies? Watching your favorite Christmas movies? Sledding?
5. Fill Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
I have filled an Operation Christmas Child shoebox every year for about ten years now. It’s been fun to add my husband to making them with me and sending them off with love and prayers for the child that receives it.
6. Make a Gingerbread House. Or Have a Gingerbread House Competition!
Who doesn’t love a friendly competition? Especially around the Holidays! Making Gingerbread houses can be so fun, even if they’re messy! And brings out the creativity in you and your kids.
7. Family Christmas Movie Marathon.
Grab some popcorn, hot cocoa, big snuggly blankets and prepare to watch all of your favorite Christmas films!
8. Family Game Night.
Another great idea for some friendly competition. Settlers of Catan, Uno, Monopoly, Scramble are all great games to play!
9. Garage Sale Gift Exchange.
This idea is best to do with larger groups or families. You play it the same way you do White Elephant. You draw a number. Number one opens a present from the middle where all the presents are placed. The second person can take that gift or open a new one, and so on. If someone steals your gift, you can steal another person’s gift or open another one. A gift can only be stolen three times. These are generally funny gifts because they are gifts you never use anymore, or would place in your own garage sale! Get ready to laugh your butts off with this one.
10. Christmas Eve Candle Light Service.
Don’t forget to keep Jesus as the reason for the season. Going to this service could be just what you need in the middle of all your Christmas Chaos.
11. Christmas Eve Gifts.
After service, you might want to open one gift with your gifts or spouse. This could be a special movie or Christmas pajamas for everyone to wear to bed!
12. Christmas Morning Routine.
Create a routine with your spouse and/or kids for the morning of Christmas. Whether it be to read a story or have breakfast before opening gifts, whatever you choose.
13. Three Wise Men, Three Gifts.
I had a teacher in High School (four years ago for me actually!) who told us she didn’t like over giving to her kids because she wanted them to enjoy the little things and be more appreciative of the gifts they received. So she taught her kids about the three Wise Men who brought baby Jesus three gifts, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh and that was why her kids received three gifts as well, just like baby Jesus.
14. Something You Want, Something You Need, Something Your Wear, Something You Read.
You might have heard this one before as well, but it’s another great gift idea for the kids to be able to enjoy and appreciate their gifts a little bit more. To break it down for you: Four gifts per child. They are something they want, Something they need, something they wear, and something to read. Pretty simple right?!
15. Pick Out An Annual Christmas Tree Ornament.
I cherish the memories of my mom and I visiting the Hallmark store every year to pick out our annual Christmas Tree Ornament. I loved seeing the new addition up on a branch and being proud that I had a hand in picking it out with her.
16. Christmas Caroling.
Spread some Christmas Cheer to your neighbors and friends and sing your favorite Christmas tunes with all your might!
17. Pick Out A Christmas Tree as A Family.
My husbands family always goes to the same tree farm the morning of Thanksgiving!
18. Christmas Lights.
Get everybody into the car with some hot cocoa and drive around the neighborhood to see all of the beautiful lights on houses!
19. Make Some Amazing Hot Cocoa!
Maybe you have a family recipe you adore? I’d love to know what it is!
20. Bake a Gazillion Christmas Cookies!
Icing and baking, baking and icing! It never ends!
21. Have The Kids Set Up The Nativity Scene.
This is another one my mom had me do every year, I loved doing it just the way I liked it!
22. Donate Old Toys.
Out with the old and in with the new! Have your kids pick out ten or more toys they never play with anymore to donate to a local charity.
23. Make A List of Special People From The Year.
Send them an encouraging note, card, or gift to show how much you appreciate them.
24. Christmas Trivia.
My dad is the Trivia King, or so he thinks. He loves doing trivia at every family get together, especially Christmas, and having prizes such as gift cards or scratch offs! It’s so much fun.
25. Go see “The Nutcracker”.
When I lived at home, my mom and I went to see some variation of the Nutcracker for several years. We went to dinner, got dressed up, and enjoyed the show. I loved doing it!
26. Christmas Village.
Create a Christmas Village with your spouse and/or kids, and add a new piece each year!
27. Have a Holiday Party.
Be the party house! Whether it be for family, friends, or for a charitable cause!
28. Help One Family Each Year.
Everybody needs a helping hand from their Brother or Sister once in a while, why not adopt a whole family for Christmas? Share your home, dinner, and gifts with them and “make the season bright” for those in need!
29. Have a Christmas Craft Party!
My Mother In Law and Sis In Law have done this for years now and it’s always such a blast! Find new crafts on Pinterest every year to do with your fave gal pals! Create your own decorations while eating appetizers and having fellowship with other ladies!
30. Have a Wrapping Party!
Have all your gifts ready? Why not wrap all of them with your friends? It makes it much less aggravating when you’ve had your third paper cut of the night!
31. Pay – It – Forward.
Several years ago, in Springfield, Illinois, someone started a “Pay-It-Forward” chain at a Starbucks drive-through window by paying for the coffee for the car behind them. The chain continued for hours. It started at 7:30 a.m. and continued until 2:30 p.m., with a total of 172 drivers paying for the car behind them. Get the ball rolling on a “Pay-It-Forward” chain to help spread some holiday cheer!
32. Add An Extra Plate To The Table.
When you have Christmas dinner, add an extra plate to the table to show your kids you always have room at “Your Inn”.
33. Flour Fight.
If you live in warmer weather, you might not be able to have a snowball fight. So have a flour fight instead! So much fun!
34. Write A Letter To Jesus.
Instead of writing a letter to Santa, write a letter to Jesus as a gift for His birth.
35. Light of The World.
On Christmas Eve, before the kids go to bed, turn off all the lights. Place a candle in each room and then start telling the Christmas Story in your own words. As you walk through each room, telling the story, light a candle. By the time Jesus is born, all the candles should be lit, symbolizing Christ is The Light of The World.
36. Secret Service.
Put everybody’s names into a jar and everyone picks a persons name. Then everybody does one thing to serve that person (secretly) for the day.
Have a Picnic under your Christmas Tree!
38. Christmas Recipes.
Try a new Christmas Recipe every year to add to your favorites for years to come!
39. Christmas Pickle!
A true classic; hide a pickle ornament on the tree and the child to find it gets a special gift!
40. Christmas Tree Pizza Night.
Make pizzas with your family in the shape of Christmas Trees and use the condiments as ornaments!
41. Christmas Video.
Videotape every Christmas to watch how you and your family grow every year. Bring a Kleenex or two though!
42. Scavenger Hunt.
Hide the last gifts for your kids to find. Give them clues to follow to make it even more exciting!
43. Christmas Parade.
Attend or participate in the local Christmas Parade every year!
44. Christmas Diary.
Write down your memories of Christmas every year, or give one to your kids to write down their favorite parts of Christmas each year and see how they change.
45. Christmas Tree Skirt.
Every year have your kids trace their hands on the tree skirt with their name to show them how big they get every year!
46. Finishing Touch.
Put out the Nativity Scene, but don’t place Baby Jesus in until Christmas Eve.
47. Christmas Camping.
The first night after your tree is decorated, have a slumber party under your tree. The kids will love falling asleep under the magic of the lights.
48. Lost Loved Ones.
Light a candle for lost family members in Heaven and each person shares a favorite memory of that person.
49. Christmas Star.
On Christmas Eve, go outside with your kiddos to find the star that the Wise Men followed (it’s usually the biggest and brightest one!).
50. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Though Jesus wasn’t actually born on the day we specifically celebrate, it’s still good to teach these lessons to our children. Why not make it fun, bake a cake, and sing “Happy Birthday” to Our Lord and Savior?!
Hope you find joy and peace this Christmas with or without traditions!
What are some of your favorite traditions or memories of traditions from your childhood?
Share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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