Whether it’s decorating the tree, making sugar cookies or singing carols, Christmas is a time for family to get together. When I was a child, my mom use to have us kids (me and my siblings) and all our friends over for a big sugar cookie night . My mom was awesome in that she would buy rolls and rolls of sugar cookie dough. We would each get our own tray of cookies to cut, create and decorate. Every Christmas eve, we would have Chinese food take out, open one present and top the evening off by gong to mass at midnight. Then when I grew older, it was hot cocoa and Christmas lights on Christmas eve as well as opening one present. The thing about traditions is that although we always did some of them, we were always added to it as well. I find keeping some of the old and adding some new makes the holidays a whole lot fun.
Now that I have two sons and a husband, the holidays are all about family traditions that we do as well as create each year. We love to drink hot cocoa while we ride around in the car, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Christmas lights. We make Christmas cookies and hit up the closest holiday fairs. We decorate our tree together as well as the house. We drink egg nog or mulled cider while making a colorful frosted sugar cookies. On Christmas eve, my kids get new pajamas and they get to pick one present to open. We also put out reindeer food with the Santa plate.
25 FESTIVE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
It’s no wonder the holidays are so magical and exciting and busy and fun! There is so much to do and enjoy and it’s here before we know it! Here are some more ideas for you to incorporate into your Christmas.
- JESSE TREE – Learn about the ancestors of Jesus. Each day tag up an ornament on a tree and read the scripture passage that goes along with it. Printable ornaments can be found here.
- HOMEMADE ORNAMENTS – some of my favorite ornaments are handmade by my kids. They will always be on our tree. Here is a site with some ideas.
- SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS – Another type of ornament to make with your kids. Think thumbprints or handprints and paint them when dry! Here is a site with the recipe.
- SUGAR COOKIE NIGHT – Roll out some sugar cookie dough, use cookie cutters (or not!), bake, frost and add some sprinkles!
- THE 12 BOOKS OF CHRISTMAS – Open one holiday book each night for 12 nights before Christmas. Think new-to-you books by borrowing books from the library as well as a few new holiday titles.
- CUT DOWN YOUR OWN TREE – Check out this site to find a place near you! As well as where to recycle it when Christmas is over.
- VOLUNTEER – United Way is a good place to start. They usually have a holiday wish list that you can find a way to help out this Christmas season.
- READ TOGETHER ON CHRISTMAS EVE – My mom once read the “The Polar Express” on Christmas Eve and it’s something I will never forget. “Twas the Night Before Christmas’ is a popular read on Christmas eve as well.
- Knit a hat – warmer winters
- MAGIC REINDEER FOOD – A bag of magic reindeer food is fun and makes it helps Santa and his reindeer can easily spot your house on Christmas eve.
- KEEPSAKE ORNAMENT EACH YEAR – Give an ornament to each child every year. We usually pick something that is relevant to the events of the past year.
- ONE GIFT ON CHRISTMAS EVE – Oh it’s so hard to wait until the morning. Opening one gift is a good way to get my kids to bed.
- FAMILY PAJAMAS – I love to give my husband and kids pajamas on Christmas eve, this way I know they will be wearing matching pajamas on Christmas morning when I take pictures. Besides, who doesn’t love new pajamas?
- CHAIN LINK COUNTDOWN – we love-making a chain link out of strips of construction paper and rip off one as every day passes. This helps with smaller children to know when Christmas day will be here!
- WATCH CHRISTMAS SPECIALS – From Frosty to Santa Claus is Coming to Town, there are many classics as well as some new specials to look forward to this season. We love Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas and on their Facebook page, they have a whole month of the specials to look forward to watching.
- GINGERBREAD HOUSE – Of course you can make one from scratch or you can buy a kit. Either way, it’s sure to be a delightful way to spend some time together.
- BAKE COOKIES TO GIVE AWAY – With our local MOMS club, one of the events we look forward to every year is making different varieties of cookies, package them up in tins and we deliver them to the community service workers who work during the Christmas holiday. (i.e. Fire & police departments as well as the Emergency room workers, local EMT, etc)
- DRIVE AROUND AND FIND CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – We love getting in the car, with the kids in their warm pajamas, a thermos of hot cocoa and drive up and down neighboring areas seeking out the best houses with Christmas lights.
- MAKE BREAKFAST AHEAD OF TIME – On Christmas morning, the last thing on my mind is usually breakfast. We’re opening gifts, pulling toys out of packaging and enjoying the fun of Christmas morning. Then it hits us, we’re hungry and now we need to pull ourselves away to make breakfast. Check out my Pinterest board of Christmas Morning Breakfasts easy to have everything prepared the night before Christmas morning.
- VOLUNTEER TO BE A SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGER – You know those folks that stand out in the cold with the red Salvation Army bucket ringing a bell? They volunteer their time to do that! Here’s how you can too!
- ADVENT CALENDAR – Counting down Christmas is so much fun when you can open a door on a house or other advent calendar and it reveals LEGOs or a piece of candy. My kids take turns opening a wooden house we have each year and it reveals a fun treat!
- TOYS FOR TOTS – In existence since 1991, the U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is looking for a new unwrapped toys.
- ATTEND A CHURCH SERVICE – We don’t go to church as much as I sometimes wish we would, however, I love attending a chair service during Christmas. Honoring Jesus, singing the holiday hymns and just worshipping with everyone is a great family tradition to add this year.
- THE CHRISTMAS PICKLE – An ornament in the shape of a pickle is hidden and the first person to find it is said to get a special present from Santa. Here is more information on this Christmas tradition.
- TAKE A RIDE ON THE POLAR EXPRESS – Since the movie came out, trains have been inviting families to come take a ride on their train to the North Pole to visit Santa. We rode on the Polar Express in New Hampshire and my 8 year old son at the time absolutely loved it. It was pure magical for kids and adults. A search on Bing or Google for ‘Ride the Polar Express’ will help you find a train near you.
So there we have it! 25 Christmas traditions you and your family can choose from to help make the season more festive. If you already do one or more of these traditions, perhaps this list will help you to think of more fun traditions do to together.
Are there any other Christmas traditions your family has that I do not have listed? Please share in the comments below!
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