Hundreds of people have submitted their family Christmas traditions and the best are shared here! These meaningful Christmas traditions can help make lasting memories for your family this holiday season! Affiliate links included.
My kids will be 5, 3, and 5 months this Christmas season. We’ve developed some sweet Christmas traditions over the past few years, but I was looking for some fun and unique new ideas this year to see if any of them would fit with our family. I asked my Instagram friends, because they always have the BEST ideas. And of course they did not disappoint!
I’ve separated out the ideas for your family, and then ideas for serving others. I am a huge fan of finding traditions for BOTH. When my son was a few years old, I quickly realized that Christmas could quickly become super consuming, materialistic, and all about US. What an opposite message from the true meaning of Christmas! I am excited to find any opportunity we can to find ways to make Christmas about serving and loving OTHERS this holiday season, so my kids realize that we can love on others because God showed His great love for us by sending his son into the world for us.
Family Christmas tradition ideas:
- We wrap Christmas books and open one every night until Christmas, and then we read it as a family.
- Tip: get the books at Goodwill so you don’t have to spend a ton! OR borrow books from the library!
- Make gingerbread houses
- Many of my readers shared that they made “gingerbread houses” out of graham crackers and candy from the bulk section and it works a lot better!
- Gift Christmas pajamas on December 1st so they can wear them all month long.
- Bake Christmas cookies (invite family/friends over and make it a whole day event!)
- Have a picnic under/next to the Christmas tree after it’s set up
- Act out the Nativity as you read it on Christmas Eve
- Go shopping for a live Christmas tree
- bonus: wear really cheesy outfits (ugly Christmas sweaters?) and take silly photos while doing it!
- Have “a shepherd” (husband/male family or friend) knock on the door and tell his version of the Christmas story
- Have a family sleepover under the Christmas tree
- Find a local Christmas play or concert and go watch it with your family
- Give your child an ornament every year, put it in a separate box, and then gift it to them when they get their own home
- make it more meaningful with an ornament that signifies something of importance that happened that year
- Bake a cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus
- Let your kids go to the dollar store to pick out sibling gifts
- Go see a movie on Christmas Eve
- Drive around and look at Christmas lights!
- Get in your pajamas, put some hot chocolate in a travel mug, and blast the Christmas music in the car.
- For the littles, you can print out a ticket with “(last name) Express” and have them board your “train” (car) with their ticket
- Collect ornaments as you travel (even for a day trip!) and reminisce as you put them on the tree
- Cut up Christmas cards from previous years and use the pretty parts to make gift tags for Christmas gifts
- Hide a pickle ornament (here’s a cute one that’s not expensive) in the tree every year and give a prize to whoever finds it
- Make your kids an ornament every year (they’ll cherish it for years to come!)
- OR get everyone involved and make ornaments together
- Have your kids do a Secret Santa for each other, and then give them to each other at a mini siblings Christmas party
- Buy your kids a classic board game every year and have a family game night
Meaningful Christmas traditions (focusing on others):
- Put all of the Christmas cards you receive into a box. Then pull out a different card every night and pray for that family at the dinner table.
- Fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.
- Make sure your child writes a note/draws a picture and sends pictures with it to make it more meaningful!
- Select an Angel Tree child to give a gift to every Christmas. If you have kids, then have them pick someone their own age and have them help select the present with you at the store.
- Be a “Santa Paws” and gift your local animal shelter with blankets, food, toys, etc.
- Do “The Kindness Elves” with your family
- Gather up gifts for a local Children’s hospital and make a delivery close to Christmas
- You could donate toys, gift cards, PJs, etc.
- “The Giving Manger” helps to put the focus back on Christ and giving.
- Have your kids gather 5 toys each (that are in good condition) and send them with Santa to to donate to other kids.
- Give out poinsettias to a local nursery home on Christmas Eve
- Or something else! Just go to visit or bring them homemade paper snowflakes – use your imagination
- Help a local family in need!
- Donate a hot meal, clothes, gift cards, toys, coats, etc.
- Go caroling at the hospital on Christmas day
And possibly the best advice? Leave some room to breathe this Christmas season. Life can get so crazy in December! Don’t fill your calendar with alllll the activities and allllll the family events and make yourself go crazy.
I hope you have a fun time creating new traditions with your family this year!