Fun Christmas Traditions
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Memorable Christmas Traditions Your Family Will Love!

Christmas is a magical time of year, and it’s never too late to start some new and fun Christmas traditions!

Not only are these traditions a great way to spend more quality time with your family, but it’s also a great time to reflect on the year with your children and do something as a family to help others.

The following list of traditions is budget-friendly and will create incredible memories with your family for years to come.

Why start Christmas traditions with your family?

Christmas traditions are great to start with your family because those memories will be what your kiddos remember most, not the presents they get every year.

As December approaches, your kids will get excited when they remember the fun things that your family always does together to get into the Christmas spirit.

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Memorable and Fun Christmas Traditions

1.  Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar for Christmas

There are a lot of options when it comes to an advent calendar.

Growing up, my family had an advent calendar that was similar to this one. It had a cute little stuffed mouse that you would move each day. My brother and I loved getting to move that mouse every day, and I love those memories!

There are other options out there for advent calendars. Another popular choice is this kind where you can fill each box with a little surprise like candy or other small items.

Also, I have seen where people will count down to Christmas using 12 or 24 Christmas books, or hand-made paper chains.

You can countdown so many different ways; therefore, I’m sure there is something to fit your family’s style!

2.  Decorate The House

Pick a particular day to be your Christmas decorating day! In our home, that day is more of a weekend. We usually choose the weekend right after Thanksgiving.

Decide how far in advance you want your house to be decked out for, and make a fun day out of it! Put on your best Christmas music playlist, get your favorite holiday drinks, and enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit.

3.  Drive To See Christmas Lights

Going on a drive to see Christmas lights has always been one of my favorite Christmas traditions to do.

It’s nice to get everyone in the car later in the evening with festive travel mugs of hot cocoa and go on a relaxing drive to check out the best displays.

In our town, there are trolleys that take you on a specific route with the best light shows. Check and see if your town has anything special like this!

4.  Bake Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookie Pastry Box - Fun Christmas Traditions

Get out all of your favorite cookie recipes and get to baking! If you have kiddos, it’s always fun to bake and then decorate the cookies together.

Once you finish, package them up in nice baggies or holiday treat boxes and give them out. You could give them to your neighbors, your coworkers, or some of your family members; it will surely brighten their day!

And what am I kidding? You have to sneak some to eat too. 😉

If you don’t have any personal favorite cookie recipes, you can’t go wrong with these recipes from Betty Crocker!

5.  Decorate A Gingerbread House

Wilton Ready-to-Decorate Gingerbread House Decorating Kit - Fun Christmas Traditions

If you enjoy baking, bake a gingerbread house to decorate! Let’s say you aren’t too keen on baking; it’s just as fun to buy a prebaked gingerbread house at the store.

Here’s a tip if you want to save some money, you can use graham crackers instead, and it’s just as fun!

You can design the gingerbread house as a family and leave it up all month long. Also, if you don’t plan on eating your gingerbread house once it’s done, snag up a kit during the clearance sales after Christmas and save it for next year.

Fun Christmas Traditions Pin Image

6.  Christmas Eve PJs

Plaid Flannel Matching Family Christmas Pajamas

One thing I love is new pajamas. A fun Christmas tradition that I know many people do is Christmas Eve gift boxes for their kids. 

These boxes usually have things like small gifts and matching family PJs; however, the pajamas certainly don’t have to be matching if that’s not your thing.

If you want to keep it simple, stick with the pajamas and maybe include your kids’ favorite Christmas movie or book and have a relaxing family night before Christmas day.  (Maybe include some ice cream sundaes in there, too!)

7.  Christmas Morning Family Photo In PJs

Matching pajamas or not, take a morning family picture around the Christmas tree in your PJs!

I am all for photos, and I love looking back over the years and seeing how much everything changes.  You will undoubtedly remember the little things you might have forgotten.

If you have kiddos, they will love looking back at those pictures too. You could even make a little Christmas photo album that you pull out every year and add your new photos.

8.  Christmas Morning Breakfast And Cocoa

Speaking of Christmas morning, make a tradition of having a special breakfast or drink while you open presents.

Growing up, my dad always made the best cinnamon rolls, and he would always make hot cocoa to go with them.

It doesn’t have to be a substantial fancy breakfast. For instance, it could be something simple that you put together the night before and bake in the morning. Or, you can even make a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls that you buy at the store.

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9.  Christmas Movie Marathon

The Santa Clause Blu Ray

There are so many Christmas movies out there. If you and your family enjoy Christmas movies, you could make a tradition of having a movie marathon day each year.

However, if you arent the marathoning type, you could watch one movie a weekend together, whatever suits your family!

Need some Christmas movies to get you started? Here are the top five Christmas movies that we watch every year:

10.  Give Back To The Community

Giving back has so many benefits, not only for the community but also for you and your family.

When you help others, it gives you a sense of purpose and gratitude, and it’s a fantastic thing to show your children.

There are so many different ways you can give back to your community. You can volunteer somewhere like your local food bank, or you can give to a charity like Toys for Tots.

11.  Pick Out/Make A Yearly Ornament

Every year as a family, pick out a new ornament for your tree at the store or make one together!

If your ornament doesn’t have the year’s date on it, write it on the bottom. This way, as you are putting your ornaments on the tree, you can look back at all the different ones you have added through the years.

Another fun idea you can try for years with significant milestones/events (for example, weddings, a new baby, big family trips, etc.) is making an ornament with a special picture on it. I know several websites offer this option, but I personally like Shutterfly.

Fun Christmas Traditions Pin Image

12.  ‘Santa’ Wrapping Paper

Hallmark Christmas Wrapping Paper with Cut Lines - Fun Christmas Traditions

When you get presents for your children from ‘Santa,’ use special wrapping paper that you keep hidden, and ONLY use for Santa gifts.

I never knew about this tradition, but my husband’s family did this, and I think it makes Santa’s gifts a little bit more magical.

13.  Cookies For Santa

Christmas Cookies for Santa Plate, Milk Jug and Notepad Set

If your kids believe in Santa, have a special Santa plate that you use every year to put his cookies on. For example, it could be a pretty plate that you buy at the store, or your family can decorate a special plate to use every year.

14. The Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle Ornament - Fun Christmas Traditions

Have you heard of the Christmas pickle? The Christmas pickle is a fun Christmas tradition with a couple of different variations, so here is the version that I prefer.

The Christmas pickle is an ornament that you hide in your tree somewhere, and the first child to find it gets to open the first present.

It’s super fun! If you don’t have a pickle ornament (or don’t want one), you can designate any ornament, and it’s still great.

15.  The Want, Need, Wear, Read Christmas Tradition

If you want to have a less stressed Christmas when it comes to buying presents, I recommend implementing the want, need, wear, read gift guide. The idea behind this is that each kid will get four gifts.

  • The first gift is something they want; this could be anything they have wanted for a while.
  • The second gift is something they need; this could be something of theirs that needs replacing.
  • The third gift is something to wear; for instance, this could be new shoes or maybe a new coat, or really anything that they will enjoy wearing.
  • The last gift is something to read; this could be a book they have been wanting, or if your child doesn’t like to read books, it could be a magazine about something they like to do.

Using this system will help your family to have a more simplistic Christmas morning.  Also, it will help prevent accumulating a ton of toys that will probably end up in the closet somewhere.

16.  Christmas Stockings

Pack Of 6 Burgundy, Ivory, and Green Christmas Stockings

Stockings have always been my favorite part of opening presents on Christmas mornings. You can choose to all have matching stockings, or each person can have a personalized stocking. 

Each family member should have their own stocking that hangs as a decoration until Christmas Eve night.

Once the children have gone to bed, that’s when you will fill the stockings with little goodies.  Then, once all the presents are opened in the morning, you can go through your stocking! It’s super fun.

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17. Read Christmas Books

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Children's Book

Reading stories about Christmas is a great way to get into the spirit, especially when your kids are younger.  

Here are our favorite Christmas stories to read with our kiddo:

18. Elf On The Shelf

The Elf On The Shelf

Elf on the Shelf is one of the most popular and fun Christmas traditions do to with little kids. Each night while your kiddos are sleeping, you move the Elf to a different spot in the house to make it seem like he was up to something a little naughty or silly. 

When your kids wake up, they will look for the Elf to see what he’s been up to!

19. Write Letter’s to Santa

Letter To Santa Template

It can be so much fun to write letters to Santa while your kids still believe in him! And what’s even more remarkable is that you can actually send the letters in the mail!

To get more details and four different free printable templates, check out our post here!

20. Build A Snowman

Building a snowman is a great and fun Christmas tradition to do as a family if you live where it snows.

If snowmen aren’t your thing, you can have a snowball fight instead! Anything that gets your family outside together will be extraordinary. For more fun outdoor winter activities, check out this post!

21. Make Christmas Cards

Creating Christmas cards as a family is such a unique Christmas tradition. Plus, there are so many different ideas you can go with!

You can use family photos or create pictures using different craft supplies. Or, you can even make every card different and try out various designs! As long as you are creating together as a family, your Christmas cards will be terrific!

22. Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Women

Whether you make your sweater or buy one, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater certainly sets the mood for a fun day!

If your kids love to make crafts, then making ugly Christmas sweaters might be the right choice for you! You can pick up cheap and straightforward sweatshirts like these ones and then let your imaginations run wild!

23. Pick Out The Christmas Tree

If your family decorates a real tree for Christmas, make it a tradition to pick out the tree as a family! Choose an afternoon to look at different tree lots, or even better, pick out your tree at a tree farm!


Fun Christmas Traditions Pin Image

And there you have it! I hope you found some new fun Christmas traditions to start with your family! You won’t regret making these special memories with your loved ones. 

Before you go, check out these related articles:

What are your favorite Christmas traditions? I would love to know in the comments below!

Rachel Sig 3

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10 Comments

  1. I love this post. We do every single one of these traditions. I am exhausted by the time Christmas comes. This year we recently found Christmas Light Hikes! it was awesome!!

  2. All great ideas! We do yearly Christmas pj’s. I would love to try the advent calendar this year as my daughter is now a little older to understand. As well as picking and decorating an ornament each year!

    1. Thanks, Amanda! Picking out the new ornament every year is one of my favorite traditions. I hope you enjoy it too!

  3. Great ideas. We haven’t been organised enough to create traditions yet but my kids are young enough that there’s still time. This year I plan to combine 1 & 10 to each day add something to a food hamper to donate. I like the idea of a Christmas pickle!

    1. Thanks, Carly! Combining those two traditions is a great idea. I’m sure your family will love doing that every year!

  4. Family traditions are so important. They are great for improving bonding and setting aside some quality time for the family. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. Reading your article gave me some great ideas about making our family Christmas traditions even more memorable. Thank you, Rachel 🙂

  5. Great post. I really liked the advent calendar with the mouse you move, it sounds very similar to one I had as a child and have been wanting to do the same with my son.

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