40+ Christmas Traditions

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

I LOVE this time of year – and I mean LOVE!! It makes me so happy to think about all the traditions that happen these next few months. My memory is filled with so many great family traditions that I enjoyed as a child, and I want to make sure my own children have those same happy memories as well. Unfortunately, so many of our traditions took place in Arizona with family and friends, and are hard to do without all the cousins and extended family. Fortunately, my kids and I spent some time a few weeks ago and made a list of all the things WE wanted to do this year as our own little family to create memories and make some traditions here in Texas.

I’ve realized that there are SO many things that can be done to invite the Christmas Spirit. I know each person and family is different and enjoys different interests, but I’ve compiled a list of 40+ Christmas traditions for you to start as a family. Some are done before the 25th, others are done on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but all are enjoyable and all should help provide some Christmas Cheer for you to enjoy this season. 😉

(Thanks to my Facebook Followers for some of the following suggestions!) 😉

BEFORE CHRISTMAS

1. Drive around to see all the lights and decorated houses, while listening to Christmas music. We also have made a Christmas CD with all our favorite songs to enjoy on such a night. 😉

2. Buy a new ornament for each child to open up the day you put up your Christmas tree.

3. Watch the Polar Express as a family while enjoying cups of hot cocoa.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

You can even make a whole night of it like Teach Mama has. OR you can hand out bells and use these free tags from The Crafted Sparrow as part of the night. 😉

4. When kids/grandkids get a little older, buy them one piece of the Nativity each year so they have the complete set collected for when they move out

5. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon as a family and enjoy some homemade treats at the same time.

6. Have an Ornament exchange with extended family with ornaments that were handmade.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

{You can even make cute invites by adding them to an ornament!}

7. Have grandma teach the grandkids how to make a specific holiday recipes one day (or you can do this with your own kids!)

8. Buy ornaments to represent your family vacations so you can walk down memory lane as you decorate the Christmas tree.

9. Start a “Gratitude Tree”. Have the kids write down one thing they are thankful for each day to  get them in the true Spirit of Christmas.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

We actually started ours in November and made our own tree using some spray painted Branches. Go HERE for the tutorial. 😉

10. Invite friends over for a Gingerbread House Making Party.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

If you’re looking for inspiration on some cool houses, check out this ROUND-UP for 10+ Gingerbread Houses.

11. Organize a Secret Santa exchange between the cousins (or family members)

12. Have a Cookie Exchange and then deliver the cookies to friends or family.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

You can even use these FREE Cookie Exchange Party Printables from How to Nest for Less.

13. Organize a Canned Food Drive and donate to your local Salvation Army.

14. Write letters to Santa and take note of what the kids want for early Christmas shopping deals.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

Free Christmas Party Printables from Catch My Party, including these Letter to Santa print.

15. Sleep out by the Christmas tree one night and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

{You can even catch some fun pics by using this tutorial on how to take Bokeh Photos}

16. Make cookies and deliver them to your local Fire and Police Stations.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

At times like this I turn to our all-time favorite Cookie Recipe. These Chocolate Chip Cookies are amazing – go HERE for the recipe.

17. Read a Christmas Story each night leading up to Christmas.

18. Organize a White Elephant Exchange with family or friends (We always make it a PJ party too and have breakfast foods for dinner).

19. Gather family and friends and go caroling in the neighborhood.

20. Check out listings for a local Christmas play being performed in your area and attend it as a family.

21. Go visit Santa at your local store (we like to go to Bass Pro) at an off-peak time to make it more enjoyable.

22. Start the Elf on a Shelf Tradition. It’s a good reminder for the kiddos to stay well behaved. 😉

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

Use this Elf on the Shelf poem print when you’re breaking out your elf. 😉

23. As a church group locate a Nursing Home and go caroling.

24. Cut down on spending and exchange names among siblings and buy a family gift instead of gifts for each family member.

25. Buy an advent calendar and mark the days off until Christmas with the kids.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

You can even add numbers to your own tree using these FREE TAGS to make it a real life-size Christmas Advent Tree.

26. Visit a Tree Farm to pick out the “perfect” Christmas Tree.

27. Take family pictures and send out Christmas Cards.

28. If your local zoo does it, attend the Holiday Zoo Lights. We also like to buy a few gift cards and leave them in random spots for people to pick up and be surprised that it says, “FOR YOU!” as well as encouragement to spread Christmas cheer.

29. As a family find a Giving Tree at a mall or church and collect tags for the kids to buy presents for. Give them opportunities to earn the money so they can be the ones buying the gifts.

CHRISTMAS EVE

30. Give a new board game to your kids on Christmas Eve and play it as a family.

31. Sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s Christmas Eve Night.

32. Make and decorate Cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve Night, as well as leaving our carrots for the reindeer.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

You can try these Candy Cane Kiss Sugar Cookies – they’re delicious, and we all know Santa loves peppermint. 😉

33. Gather around the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve Night and read, “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”.

34. Make the same meal for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner using family recipes to make it more of a tradition.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

We always do Mexican food and definitely have Spanish Rice and Red Cheese Enchiladas. YUM!!

35. Track Santa’s location on Christmas Eve through NORAD.

ON CHRISTMAS DAY

36. Read the Nativity Story in Luke 2 before opening present to remind the family what Christmas is for.

37. Talk about the symbols of Christmas during a family night early in December so the kids can be reminded of their true meanings throughout the month.

38. Skype Family and Friends on Christmas Day to wish them a Merry Christmas.

39. Make a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

40. Take turns opening gifts that day.

41. Gather the kids in the kitchen to make Christmas Day dessert.

40+ Christmas Traditions to start with your own family this holiday season! { lilluna.com }

One of our favorites is this Pistachio Shortbread Dessert. YUMMY!

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SO – which traditions do you already do?!

We have so many we are excited to try this year, and I can’t wait for them to become holiday traditions the whole family looks forward to each year. 🙂

If you are looking for more treats to make this season, be sure to check out:

40+ Christmas Desserts - tons of delicious desserts filled with chocolate, peppermint, and Christmas cheer! { lilluna.com }

40+ Christmas Desserts

50+ Christmas Desserts - a roundup of MUST SEE desserts - cookies, bars, bark, and more, perfect for Christmas parties, and neighborhood gifts!! { lilluna.com }

50+ Christmas Desserts

A delicious Round-Up of 20 Christmas Treats - so festive, cute, AND tasty!! { lilluna.com } A collection of bark, cake pops, muffins, and more!

20 Christmas Treats

For all Christmas ideas here on the site go HERE.

For All Roundups go HERE.

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ENJOY!

Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments

  1. One tradition our family has is that we give “mood gifts” on December 1st. These are small, inexpensive gifts to put us in the Christmas “mood!” Our grandma buys them for all the grandkids. This is my husband and I’s first Christmas as a married couple, so we’re exchanging them with each other, too.