25 traditions to start with your family this Christmas season
Every year is a chance to do something amazing and start new Christmas traditions that will transcend time. We have compiled a list of 25 that you can start now and do every year, building memories and holiday cheer along the way!
- Go to a farm and pick out a tree. Kids love picking out the perfect tree and helping to cut it down. Many places have cocoa and sleigh rides, so you can make a day of it
- Purchase a special ornament. Is your child ‘into’ something this year? Why not find an ornament to document it. Make sure you write the year. Better yet, make a special ornament with them and hang it on the tree every year.
- Start a Christmas Village. We chose a Lego one for our family, and add a new house every year.
- Read about traditions from other countries and incorporate it into your holiday. Is there a special food or tradition that your grandparents or great grandparents did in their home countries? Bring it back for your family.
- Get a new Christmas movie or book every year. Have fun watching or reading them throughout December.
- Have a gingerbread extravaganza. Buy some kits and invite some friends over to decorate. At the end, you’ll have a gingerbread town of your very own.
- Take a ride on the Polar Express. It makes many stops, so hopefully you can catch a ride to the North Pole.
- Donate some toys or books to those less fortunate. Let your kids pick out their favorites to buy and pass on to others. Getting involved will make them feel good, and help them realize the meaning of the season.
- Buy a small tree for your child for their room. Growing up, my husband loved setting up HIS tree every year.
- Put out old Christmas album. You’ll be surprised how much kids love to look back at Christmases past.
- Make an advent calendar. There are so many different kinds to choose from. Each day, you fill the calendar with a trinket, candy or activity just for that day. It’s a fun way to count down to Christmas.
- Have a cookie exchange. Everyone makes a different cookie, and brings copies of the recipe. Good friends and sweet treats. It’s nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle.
- Take a ride around your town looking for Christmas lights. Let your kids be the light scouts.
- Make homemade gifts for your friends and family. I love homemade gifts and people appreciate the time and thought put into the gift.
- Check around to see when your local town or city does their tree lighting or winter festivals. This is often a great time to meet Santa!
- Have a gift wrapping party Everyone has to wrap, may as well enjoy some wine and good company while you do.
- Take a trip to a senior citizen home. Bring some of the cookies from the cookie exchange. They’ll enjoy the company.
- Change the way you give gifts. Focus on quality instead of quantity with your kids. One friend gives 3 gifts on Christmas per child, the same as Jesus received. Another gives 4 gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
- Track Santa on Christmas Eve. NORAD has a great site for this.
- Put out milk and cookies for Santa, and sprinkle reindeer food on your lawn.
- Go to a candlelight service or midnight mass.
- Get new Christmas pajamas. Santa drops them off to us while we are out on Christmas Eve. The kids love coming home from our activities to find new jammies in front of the fireplace.
- Open gifts after midnight on Christmas Eve. We did this when I was little. I was woken up at 1am on Christmas morning and we all opened our gifts then. Bonus for my parents, they could sleep in the next morning while we played with our new toys.
- Go out for Chinese food and a movie Christmas afternoon. Christmas morning is like a whirlwind. We run around and open gifts, have breakfast and play with new toys. By the afternoon, things have become quiet, and we’re usually ready to leave the house for a little bit. Take a tradition from my friend, who is Jewish, and go out to eat and catch a flick.
- Have a game night. Santa brings us new games every Christmas. Christmas evening is our chance to break them in and have a family game night!
- Bonus Tradition. Take pictures. Lots of pictures. You’ll never regret it. Get out from behind the camera and make sure you’re in them too. Your kids will thank you for it.
I hope you can incorporate these traditions into YOUR holiday. I’d love to hear what Christmas Traditions you have.