Family traditions are a wonderful, special part of Christmas that your kids will remember for years to come. Need some ideas? Here are 25 memory-making family Christmas traditions to make your holiday bright.
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No matter how old we are, where we grew up, or how we were raised, I bet most of us can recall at least a couple of our childhood Christmas traditions (hopefully with fondness).
There’s just something about the holidays that lends itself so well to making them, especially with our families.
Why do we love family traditions so much?
Traditions bring us together. They provide a sense of comfort, security, and belonging. And they help reinforce our family values.
And what better time to do all those things than at Christmas?
If you need ideas of family Christmas traditions, here are some fun and meaningful ones to get you started.
(Side note: in my initial brainstorming for this post, I briefly considered creating a “holiday bucket list.” I quickly decided against it because I did not want this to become a source of stress, guilt, or obligation. I didn’t want it to be about checking items off a list.
This isn’t about what you “should” do to create the perfect Christmas. It’s about finding something that fits your family’s particular style to make it special.
So let this list inspire you, but do not buy into the belief that you have to do it all. Find a couple of Christmas traditions that work for you, and make them your own.)
After you’ve read over the list, PLEASE head to the very bottom of the post and share some of your favorite family Christmas traditions!
25 Family Christmas Traditions
- Bake Christmas cookies — We love to do this and take some to our neighbors! (Here are 15 simple Christmas cookies & treats that are festive without the fuss!)
- Have a cookie exchange with other families
- Make a prayer chain countdown — Make a paper chain countdown to Christmas with names of family members and/or friends on each link. Each day, as you remove one of the links, pray for that person together.
- Participate in a Giving Tree/Angel Tree/Toys for Tots/etc. — Not only will you bring joy to another family’s Christmas, but you’ll teach your kids that it’s not all about what they can get.
- Make or buy an Advent calendar — Here’s more about Advent and how you can celebrate as a family!
- Pick out a Christmas tree from a Christmas tree farm
- Have a “25 Days of Christmas Books” countdown — Wrap 25 Christmas books (here are some favorites!). Each night of the 25 days leading up to Christmas, let your kids unwrap a book and then read it together.
- Make a Jesse Tree
- Go Christmas caroling — Nursing homes are an excellent place to go!
- Get your kids (and yourself!) new PJs and wear them on Christmas Eve — You can find cute family sets on Amazon, Jane, or several other retailers!
- Open one present on Christmas eve
- Check out a local light display or drive around the town — I love to make hot chocolate and yummy treats. It helps make it even more special.
- Read the Christmas Story together — Luke 2:1-20
- Make a Christmas music playlist
- Pick out a new ornament for your kids each year — Try to find ones with special meanings, and write the year on them somewhere
- Get a family gift — Get one gift or put together a gift basket that’s for the whole family to enjoy together (Here are some fun ideas!)
- Make a gingerbread house
- Get a kid-friendly nativity set — I HIGHLY recommend the Fisher Price Little People set if you have little ones!
- Do a $1 challenge — Give each child $1 for each of his/her siblings, go to the dollar store, and let them pick out gifts for each other.
- Watch your favorite Christmas movie(s)
- Attend a candlelight service — Take the time to focus on Jesus and His gift to us
- Enjoy a special Christmas morning breakfast — Don’t get stuck in the kitchen all Christmas morning! Do the prep ahead of time with these delicious make-ahead Christmas morning breakfasts.
- Buy want, need, wear, & read presents — I’ve started doing this the last couple of years, and not only does it keep me from going crazy with the gifts, but it keeps our Christmas from getting too materialistic.
- Have a “Happy Birthday, Jesus” party — make a birthday cake and sing to Jesus
- Make Christmas crafts — Christmas cards, ornaments, wrapping paper, wreaths, decor, and gifts!
Now it’s your turn! If you have any favorite family Christmas traditions that aren’t on this list, share them in the comments at the bottom of the page!
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