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We are a family of 4 and while we have some of our own little Christmas traditions that just sort of happened, I love thinking about unique holiday traditions to start doing! Family traditions are a fun way to make the holidays sweet, sentimental and meaningful. I certainly want my children to have warm Christmas memories of us as a Family to look back on.
Here are 25 Christmas Traditions that are absolutely going to melt your heart! Go ahead and pick your favorites to start doing with your family this year!
For the Kids
Elf on the Shelf
Ok, not very original, I know people have been doing this one for quite a few years now, but seeing how this year is a first for us I feel like it’s still worth talking about! My 3 year old is going to be so skeptical of this one. Is your family already doing Elf on the Shelf? Let me know what crazy scenes you play out! Leave them in the comments. Want to start this tradition? Go ahead and get your Elf on the Shelf from Amazon!
Let your children decorate their own stocking each year, as much as they are capable. Each year’s stocking will become more and more detailed, artistic and show their maturation and creativeness as time goes on!
Hand Print Ornaments
Fuzzy Ball Ornament Filling
For colorful, mess-free ornament crafting, fill clear ornaments with colorful, fuzzy balls to hang on the tree. Add little notes each year that detail a great accomplishment or a fond memory.
Toy Giveaway Day
Inspire and encourage gift-gifting, minimalism and humility by asking your children to choose which of their toys they want to give away to another child. Then bring the kids along when you drop off the gifts at a local shelter. Explain why you’re doing it so they can come to understand how fortunate they are. Giving away something you once valued during the holidays is good for character building!
For the Adults/For Mom & Dad
Kiss-mas Jar of Love Notes
Mom and dad (or just Mom to Dad or vice versa) fills a jar of Hershey Kisses mixed with hand-written love notes and gives the jar or swaps the jars either as a 12 Days of Christmas gift or for Christmas Eve or Day.
Hang it underneath a doorway and no matter what, give a big smooch any time you meet your better half there. Doing this connects couples, especially good for busy parents, and offers sweet moments that will be seen by your children. They’ll remember the special moments between Mom and Dad under the hanging mistletoe for the rest of their lives.
Christmas Cocktails and Gingerbread Houses
To have a little “naughty” fun, perhaps after kids have gone to bed one night, Mom and Dad can enjoy a Christmas inspired cocktail and build Gingerbread Houses together. This can also be done as a family with Christmas Mocktails made virgin. Snap a photo for social media and remember this party forever!
Couple Advent Calendar
You could even use some of the ideas mentioned here to fill up your Christmas Advent calendar! For each day leading up to Christmas, plan one event or activity for that day. These can be as simple as a Hot Cocoa Date Night or as lavish as a Date Night out with a babysitter!
Christmas Eve Karaoke
Whether you have a Bluetooth Karaoke machine (like this one on Amazon) or not, turn on the Christmas tunes (like a Michael Buble soundtrack) and sing your hearts out! Maybe combine this activity with the cocktails and gingerbread house-making!
For the Whole Family
12 Nights of Christmas Lights
Maybe one activity on your advent calendar, or something you do every night for 12 nights, drive around through neighborhoods and let your kids be fascinated by all the colorful, creatively hung lights.
*Bonus Idea! Matching X-Mas Pjs! PatPat has awesome deals for the cutest matching (high-quality material) Christmas pajamas.
Christmas Tree Ornament Making, Sum Up the Year
Buy a box of large ornaments and either let each member of the family stuff it with a small note of a family memory for that year that they loved OR paint or decorate a scenario or quote that sums up your family’s year. Imagine the collection of family memories after just a few years!
Adopt a Family
There are so many social media groups dedicated to finding sponsors for families in time of need. Sponsor a family and help out as much as you can. Doing this as a family will bring you closer and demonstrate humility, plus you’ll be doing a nice deed for a family that maybe needs a Christmas miracle.
Host a Giveaway
Or instead of adopting a family, your family could organize and put together your own group on social media to host your own Christmas Giveaway! You could host a Winter Coat Drive or something similar to Toys for Tots.
Christmas Morning Moment
As soon as everyone wakes up Christmas morning, before coffee, breakfast and presents, take a family snapshot to capture the same moment every year! Fill up a Christmas Morning Moment Photo Album as a keepsake for the family for decades to come.
Schedule a Christmas Family Photoshoot during the holidays. This activity could also be included in the advent calendar or done in advanced for Christmas Cards!
Have you heard of Secret Santa? Put each family members’ name in a cup and let everyone draw a name. Keep your name a secret! Then only buy a present for the name you picked. Presents are given out on Christmas Day. This is a great activity for large families or for those years where money is a bit tight.
Christmas Eve Night: Open One Present
A lot of families do this one already I’m sure! But it had to go on the list! On Christmas Eve, either just the kids or every family member gets to open one present only! A fun way to add a little suspense for tomorrow!
Brownies and Milk
Instead of cookies and milk, leave brownies and milk out for “Santa”. I’m sure he and “Mrs. Santa” will enjoy them just as much! (Or even more)
Day After Christmas, Tree Burning
If you have a large, clear back yard or know someone who does this on their property, take your tree down and burn it the day after Christmas. It will help you bite the bullet and take down the tree and also provides a fun family activity around a bonfire.
In the Kitchen
Bake Christmas Cookies
Bake cookies shaped like Christmas trees, ginger bread men and candy canes and watch Christmas movies together. For Mom and Dad or the older children, these cookie cutters and decorating kits are perfect!
Christmas Eve Brunch
Start this tradition of cooking brunch every Christmas Eve. You could have a signature dish that’s always a part of the meal or mix the cocktails and gingerbread house building with this one!
Christmas Morning Breakfast
Either a big feast or simply coffee with cinnamon rolls near the fire. Take a few moments to chat and enjoy each others company. The special day is here, start it out with love and laughter!
Maybe you cook the same dinner as Thanksgiving or something random like spaghetti! Whatever you decide to do, make sure everyone wants to start having the same Christmas dinner every year!
Day After Christmas Take-Out
After so many activities–although very enjoyable and totally worth it–you’re done cooking, prepping and cleaning! Now order take-out and talk about the fun memories and traditions you made this year!
Check out more holiday family fun in this post of toddler-approved Fall & Halloween activities!