Christmas, Traditions

25 Family Christmas Traditions

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The whole month of December is always busy for our family.  Between family parties and our usual festivities, the month seems to fly by!  Here are 25 Christmas traditions to help spread a little holiday cheer!
1. Have a cookie exchange party.  Every guest brings their favorite holiday cookie to share with the rest of the party guests.  We love these Andes Mint Cookies!  If you are looking for more inspiration, check out our 20 Christmas cookie exchange ideas.
2. Go Christmas caroling.  Bring along some hot chocolate and spread Christmas cheer to all your neighbors!
 3. Elf on the Shelf.  Each day your kids will look for Santa’s little helper and see what silly antics he has been up to.  You can find an elf for your family, here.
4. Check out a local light display.  Most cities have a light display in the city park or down main street!  You can even stay in your car and drive through them if it is too cold outside.
5. Pick out a new ornament for each child.  My son loves hanging his own special ornament on the tree every year!
6.  Angel Tree.  Many department stores have an angel tree where they give information about a child in need.  Purchase presents for the “angel” you choose from the tree.
7.  Donate food to your local food bank.  Food banks are very busy this time a year and are always in need.  Donate non-perishable items to your local food bank.
8. Make Christmas candy.  Our Crock Pot Nut Clusters are so easy to make and make enough to supply all your neighbors with a special treat!
9.  Write letters to Santa.  Let each child write a letter to Santa and mail it off to the North Pole!
10. Have a gingerbread house making contest.  If you want to make it a little simpler, you can use graham crackers.  Read about our family graham cracker house contest, here.
11. Go to a Christmas concert.  Most cities have special concerts during the holiday season, and many of them are free!  Bring your family to hear the beautiful songs of the Christmas season.
12. Watch a Christmas movie.  We love How the Grinch Stole Christmas and these delicious Andes Mint Grinch Cookies!
13.  Make a countdown to Christmas chain.  Let the kids cut strips of paper and hook them together to create a countdown chain.  Take turns taking a ring off of the chain each day.
14. Make some holiday fudge.  Check out our post of 50 Delicious Fudge Recipes if you need a little inspiration!
15.  Have a Christmas campfire.  Make a fire in the fireplace and share your favorite Christmas memories.
 16. Have an ornament exchange.  Each year all of the girls get together and bring an ornament to exchange.  You will have quite the collection in years to come!  Read more about our family’s ornament exchange, here.
17. Have a “crazy dinner”.  Every year, our family would go to the store and each child got $3-$5 to spend on any food they want.  We would come home and prepare all the food and eat by candlelight.  Read more about our crazy dinner tradition, here.
18. Make some of our Homemade Caramels.  Be sure to share with family and friends (they are very addicting)!
19. Decorate Christmas sugar cookies.  We love this recipe for delicious, moist sugar cookies.  Let the kids decorate the cookies with frosting and candy!
20. Bring dinner to a less fortunate family.  Every Christmas Eve, our family would bring a turkey dinner to a family in need.  Read more about our anonymous dinner tradition, here.
21. Visit Santa Claus.  Kids love being able to visit Santa and tell them what is on their wishlist!
22. Have a Christmas talent show.  Every year, our family gets together and each person shares a talent.  Most of them are funny and we spend the whole year thinking about what we will do at the next talent show!
 23. Christmas book advent calendar.  Unwrap a book each day of the month and read it together as a family each evening.  You can read about Camille’s family book advent calendar, here.
24.  Have a hot chocolate bar.  Make a big batch of hot chocolate and arrange lots of toppings and treats to flavor your drinks!
25.  Read the Christmas Story and remember the real reason we celebrate.  You can invite your children to act out the nativity.
Merry Christmas!
We would love to hear any Christmas traditions you have with your family!

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Comments

  1. says

    For over 25 years, our family gets together for a Christmas tea. They gather at my home, for tea and refreshments, and when we are done we fill gift bags for those in a local nursing home who have no family or visitors. The bags contain a lap robe, powder lotion, socks, a small stuffed animal, and cookies. I get the names in early December, then drop the bags off Christmas Eve day. We can’t imagine Christmas without this tradition, and the residents and staff really appreciate the gifts.

  2. says

    I love these ideas. We have always the Angel Tree/Giving Tree thing as long as I can remember back to childhood. Thank you for sharing. My daughter is 2 and I am always looking for new fun traditions or experiences to share with her.

  3. says

    We do the ornament one as well and it is so fun to see my boys get so excited to pull out all they’re ornaments and talk about how old they were. We also do the book advent, but I attach a mini sized brown paper bag to each book and inside is something fun we’ll do that day – some are bigger, like going to see the lights at Temple Square, or going out to buy our ornaments, but others are small, like have snowman pancakes for breakfast, or watch a specific Christmas movie together. We have lots of different Christmas movies we love to watch, so that’s taking up nice amount of days. :) And I am now for sure going to make your Grinch cookies for the night we watch that. Thanks!!

  4. says

    That is such a fun idea with the book! We’ll have to start that one! It doesn’t matter how big or small the tradition, it’s just fun to have those memories with family and friends!! Thanks for sharing!! -The Sisters

  5. mary Dixon says

    I have a large family.As the family continued to grow it became difficult to buy gifts for everyone.My Mom(recently deceased)came up with the idea a few years ago to buy small gifts or to re-gift and add to a covered box.After Christmas dinner we could pick a gift from the box.It was fun to see what was contributed each year.Everyone went home with a gift of their chose.

  6. mandy says

    I would love to hear some of your ideas on what you do for your family talent show. We also do a family talent show and spend the year thinking of crazy ideas… we’ve done it for over 25 years and any fresh ideas would be appreciated!

  7. Chelle says

    Growing up I always got to open one gift on Christmas eve, I love the idea of Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book for my son to continue this tradition!
    Sn: an idea for big family’s instead of buying gifts for everyone, buy a game for the family to enjoy all year long! My cousin did it one year and my mom still has the game of life that we received! And I have tons of happy memories playing with different family members on different occasions

  8. Robert OBrien says

    I have picked up a tradition for my 3 year old son that my parents used to do for me. During the month of December we would collect the shiniest pennies that we could find. Then on Christmas eve we would pick out the shiniest pennies, one for each reindeer and we would leave them out with Santas milk and cookies. My Parents said that the shiny pennies is what made the reindeer fly.

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