I love Christmas. I love spending time with family, giving gifts and remembering Jesus’ birthday. But one of the things I really love about Christmas is Christmas traditions. They are just special things and times that you share with your family. They are things you remember as an adult and something your kids will remember when they grow up. So if you are looking for some special traditions to start with your family, here are some of my favorite ideas. These are some fun things that my family has done or that my friends have done with their family.
1. Christmas Eve Appetizers
This is a special tradition in my family. Every Christmas Eve we make every yummy appetizer we want and indulge until we are content. Diets are not thought of during this time so please do not suggest them. Every family member gets to pick at least one food item so everyone will be happy. Plus appetizers are relatively easy to make so kids of all ages can help!
2. Christmas Eve Cookies
When I think of Christmas cookies I always think of sugar cookies. There is just something so fun about making the dough, rolling it out, cutting out cookies, decorating them and leaving some for Santa. I love doing this with my daughter and messes do not matter while making Christmas cookies!
3. Christmas Eve Jammies
What’s another great way to get into the Christmas spirit? Wearing matching Christmas PJs! While your teenagers might be hard pressed to get into this tradition, your littles will love getting new PJs the night before Christmas.
4. Christmas Book Report
This is one of our friend’s family traditions and I love it. Every year they get together and everyone, including little kids, give a report about one book they read that year. It can be anything and normally encompasses all genres. What a great way to get everyone reading and listening to what interests other people!
5. Christmas Ornaments
One of my favorite traditions my mom started is that every year you get a Christmas ornament that represents something you did that year. If you were into basketball you got a basketball ornament, if you graduated high school you got something that represented that, etc. She continues this until you have your own kids and you start giving your kids ornaments. Mom thought that when you were out on your own and had to decorate your first tree you would have plenty of ornaments to decorate with and would have sweet memories from your life. I have started doing this with my kids and it’s one of my favorite traditions!
6. Sponsoring a family for Christmas
Christmas can be hard for some families. Especially if they have kids that they would like to bless with gifts but can’t afford to financially. That’s where your family can come in. As a family I love the idea of sponsoring a couple of children and buying gifts for those kids. Bring your kids in on this and let them help pick out gifts for your sponsored kids or even buy some of the gifts themselves. You can find kids and families to sponsor through local churches and even at local malls or shopping centers.
7. Secret Santa
If you are trying not to spend a lot of money and don’t want to buy a gift for every family member, Secret Santa might work for you. This is where family members secretly pick out another family member to buy gifts for. No one knows who has them so on Christmas Day everyone is surprised. This is a great for large families so everyone still has a special present, but you don’t have to buy a gift for everyone.
8. Christmas Advent with Books
Advent calendars that count down days until Christmas are always so much fun! Another way to do a Christmas advent calendar is instead of getting candy every day kids get a book! It can either be a Christmas book or a regular book, either way it’s a great way to encourage reading!
9. Family Christmas Movies
If you choose the Polar Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, or Elf, picking a Christmas movie and watching it every year together is a great family tradition. It’s something that the kids will love doing and will look forward to every year. Make some cocoa, have some snacks and cuddle up on the couch for some great time together!
10. 12 Days of Giving
As much fun as it is to receive presents, it is truly better to give them to receive. So for 12 days leading up to Christmas or the 12 days after Christmas start doing to the 12 Days of Giving. This doesn’t have to be something huge. Whether it’s bringing soup to neighbors or visiting a nursing home with your kids, try to do some small act of kindness for 12 days. This is something every member of the family can help with and come up with ideas for.
Whatever you decide to do this year your family will love the memories you make all together! Does your family have any specific traditions that you want to share? I would love to hear them!
Originally published December 7, 2017