Inside:50+ Family Christmas Traditions
The sweet, rich aroma was always the first clue the holidays were here.
The tree might be trimmed, the lights hung from the rooftop, the wreath on the door, but it was the smell of my Mom’s Holiday Friendship Bread that signaled the Christmas Season was in full swing.
Around the first of December, the bread baking would commence. For the next four weeks, it was a steady part of our diet. The melty, warm chocolate chips, the cherries bursting with sweetness and the banana bread base were the flavors of home, family and goodness to me.
Holiday traditions have always been important to me. Something I cherish. So, I have been purposeful about them when it comes to raising my own family.
In today’s busy world, family’s seem to always be on the go. Mom is taking one kid in one direction, while Dad is head off in another with a different kid. Family meals and other occasions, that used to be the daily touch points for bringing everyone together to talk and share time, are becoming less and less common.
This is part of the reason we need to create and preserve those sacred family traditions now more than ever. They help to establish a family identity and are crucial when it comes to shaping a child’s sense of self and the family bond.
Plus, we know from countless studies and parenting articles, that kids who feel connected to their families have a greater sense of security. They are also more confident and less likely to look for constant affirmation from others.
So how do you go about creating family traditions?
It’s easier than you think!
Traditions are simply actions that you repeat over and over in a particular context. It can be something like eating pizza and watching a movie together every Friday night. Or it might be each person wearing the crazy Birthday Hat when their special day rolls around.
Christmas traditions are one of those things that can be as complex or simple as you want them to be.
Think back to when you were a child.
Were their traditions you loved that you could now pass on to your own children?
It could be many little things that just made the holidays truly special for you. Watching the same Christmas movies year after year. Using the same familiar cookie cutters to make your mom’s famous cut-out cookies. Taking treats to the neighbors as a warm holiday gesture.
Or maybe you want to start fresh, with new Christmas traditions. Think about what matters to your family. What are some of your family’s favorite activities and how can you give them a holiday spin?
We live in Florida and lots of families we know love to go to the beach. Many of them have turned this into a family Christmas tradition, by having everyone get up, open gifts and then pile in the car to go make sand angels and look for sea shells by the shore.
Crazy, I know!
But really, there is no right way to do a tradition, it’s simply what makes sense and is meaningful to your family.
Just in case you need a little inspiration, I’m sharing some of my most favorite ChristmasTraditions. Maybe you’ll find a few new ones to add to your family’s list!
50+ Family Christmas Traditions
- Volunteer to Serve A Meal at a Homeless Shelter SEE:Raising Kids Who Serve Others
- Bake a family recipe – 20 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes to Help Keep the Season Simple
- Advent Calendar
- Polar Express Night: Everyone puts on PJs to drive around and look at lights
- Attend a holiday special event: Nutcracker, Rockettes, Church Play, Live Nativity
- Cuddle up to watchHoliday Movies
- Deliver treats to neighbors/Friends(my kids like to leave on doorstep and Ding Dong Ditch)
- Candlelight Church on Christmas Eve
- New ornament for each child(we buy one each year & keep them in a box for the kids to keep)
- Gingerbread Houses
- Read Aloud Holiday Books
- Wrap the kids in their rooms & then on Christmas morning, they bust through gift wrap
- Make Reindeer Food(mix equal parts glitter and uncooked oats, spread on lawn Xmas Eve)
- Make a homemade ornament: Tons of Ideas
- Write a letter to a soldier
- Family Holiday Scavenger Hunt
- Make a Holiday Playlist with everyone’s suggestions
- String cranberries and popcorn, old fashioned FUN!
- Choose 12 Random Acts of Kindness and do them as a family
- Family Slumber Party, sleep under the tree
- Family Christmas Games: How To Have A Holiday Game Night
- Family Shopping Night
- Visit Santa
- Everyone gets silly holiday themed socks
- Christmas Morning Breakfast(same foods every year)
- New pajamas, open ChristmasEve
- Decorate the outside of your home
- Read the Biblical account of Christmas before opening gifts Christmas morning
- Take a family pic in front of tree Christmas morn(This will help!)
- Decorate cookies(store bought counts, it’s all about the decorating!)
- Caroling with neighbors or at nursing home
- Adopt A Family In Need
- Eat Holiday Dinner by candlelight
- Make S’mores by the fire
- Elf On The Shelf
- Kids get a tree for their room
- Have a Scavenger Hunt for kids to find gift(s)
- Play Family Style Minute To Win It Games
- Make a Xmas countdown chain
- Make a gratitude chain, each link can be something to be grateful for in that year
- Build a family fort near the Xmas tree
- Make our Xmas Candy and deliver to fire station
- Act out the nativity story at home
- Family gift wrap night(kids add bows, tags, etc)
- Kindness Elves- a new spin on elf shenanigans
- Fondue Dinner on Christmas Eve
- Go to a fun family flick at the theater on Christmas Day, perfect for teens
- Visit a tree farm, cut down your family tree
- Make snow cream from newly fallen snow
- Declare Xmas day a no technology day, no one allowed on phones……
- Visit a reindeer farm