25 Memorable Family Christmas Traditions
to Start This Year

Are you in the market for some new Christmas traditions? Perhaps your family has lost interest in the old ones, or maybe you never really started any traditions. Whatever the case may be, take a look at these 25 Christmas traditions to start this year. These traditions are all fun ways to bring your family together, make new memories, and truly get into the holiday spirit. Take a look at how you can get started.

1. Create handmade gifts. Make a handmade item to give to a grandparent or special friend. Ideas such as pictures, handprints, or homemade ornaments are perfect for this.

2. Attend a Christmas concert. Find a free local—or very low cost—Christmas concert and go together. If your local area isn’t holding one, look into those offered by local high school or college Christmas Carolers. 

3. Camp out under the Christmas lights. Pick a non-school night in December and set up sleeping bags, pillow and stuffed animals and let your kids sleep in the living room with the Christmas tree lights on. Before everyone goes to sleep, you can watch a favorite Christmas movie, eat popcorn and have hot chocolate.

4. Write letters to Santa. As parents, we may think we know what’s on our children’s wish list, but the best way to know for sure is to have your kids write letters to Santa. Make sure to make copies of these as special mementos.

5. Volunteer together as a family. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, food pantry or other place in need of helping hands.

6. Annual Christmas photo. Take pictures of your family in the same place every Christmas.

7. Go to a Christmas tree lighting. Go together as a family to the lighting of a Christmas tree in your hometown every year.

8. Play Christmas pickle. Buy a pickle ornament and play the Christmas pickle game. On Christmas Eve, after your kids have gone to bed, place the pickle somewhere on your tree. The first child to find the pickle on Christmas morning gets an present.

9. Make a family holiday bucket list. During the first week of December, have everyone sit down and have each person pick one thing that they’d like to do as a family in December. It can be ice skating, driving around to see the lights, build a snowman, bake cookies—whatever they want. Then pick dates and schedule the activities so that everything on the list gets checked off.

10. Attend Christmas Eve candlelight service. This is something that I do with my kids every year. This is a wonderful way to take some time during the busy season to focus on Jesus and thank Him.

11. Go for a drive to see all the lights. For the last couple of years, we’ve gone for a drive to look at Christmas lights at night. Bring popcorn and hot chocolate in travel mugs. It’s basically free entertainment for the kids and it’s nice and quiet family time.

12. Have a present scavenger hunt. Hide the last presents on Christmas day and make clues a to where your kids can find them.

13. Special Christmas breakfast. Make a simple breakfast on Christmas morning. It can be a casserole, packaged cinnamon rolls, anything that’s easy to assemble.

14. Make Christmas crafts. Making Christmas themed crafts with my kids is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Each year, I fill our walls with the crafts that they’ve made over the years and it fills my mind with beautiful memories. Here are some of my favorite Christmas crafts:

Frosty the Snowman

The Grinch

Fingerprint Snowy Tree

15. Have a Christmas cookie exchange. Bake a few batches of Christmas cookies and gather with friends to exchange them. This is a fun way to get together while trying new recipes at the same time.

16. Go Christmas caroling. Gather a group of friends and go through the neighborhood caroling. Gather family and friends and go through your neighborhood caroling. 

17. Have a snowman contest. Gather friends or neighbors and enjoy a snowman contest. Use props and your imagination to build the coolest snowman. Enjoy some snacks and hot chocolate afterwards and don’t forget to recruit some judges and make sure to have prizes.

18. Make reindeer food. Make reindeer food out of dried oat and glitter and have your kids sprinkle it in the backyard on Christmas Eve.

19. Play Christmas games. Here are 20 games that will bring loads of fun this holiday season.

20. What do you want for Christmas. Record each family member as they tell you what they are asking for this year. Make a short video of everyone’s wishes and watch the old videos at the beginning of each new Christmas season.

21. Family movie night. Choose a favorite holiday movie (or a few), make some popcorn and cuddle up for a Christmas classic. Better yet, have a holiday movie marathon day or weekend.

22. Take your kids shopping to buy presents for each other. Or better yet, have them make gifts.

23. Make Christmas cards. Gather crafting supplies and make Christmas cards for nursing homes, family and friends.

24. Make a gingerbread house. You can either use a kit or make your own with any candy and decorations that you already have.

25. Read Christmas books. Have family story time on Christmas Eve-Read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” or any classic Christmas story on Christmas Eve. Or you can read a Christmas book every night in December leading up to Christmas.

What is your favorite family Christmas tradition?

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