Christmas is the biggest holiday celebrated in many countries around the world. Many families have certain traditions they do each year that have been passed down from generation to generation. A tradition for some families might be to start a new tradition each year. Whether you already have family traditions or looking to start a new one, here are 15 Christmas Traditions you can start with your family this year.
1. Plan a Get-in-the-Spirit Activity – Plan a day where you and the family go on a outing to help get into the Christmas Spirit. This could be going to a local Christmas festival, a program, a play, a party, or volunteering.
2. Volunteering – Christmas is not only a time for family, but also a time of giving. Have your family volunteer at a local community organization that needs extra help during the Christmas season. Organizations like soup kitchens, the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, or a local hospital are all great places to volunteer at. Call around your community to find out where you and your family can help out.
3. Angel Tree – Many families rely on help during the Christmas season, especially for Christmas presents for their children. Take your family and go to a local store with an Angel Tree and pick a family or a few kids off the tree to buy Christmas for. Then go shopping for those you have chosen off the tree, go home and wrap the gifts, and then go delivery the presents to the designated drop off place. Make sure everyone in your family is a part of the process.
4. Build a Gingerbread House – Either purchase a pre-made gingerbread kit or make a homemade gingerbread house. Get the family together and decorate the house while listening to Christmas music. If you want to take it to the next level, have a Gingerbread House Contest with your friends and family. Select teams, create strategies, build and decorate your houses, and then have everyone vote for their favorite. Make sure to have a prize for the winners. For tips on building a Gingerbread House, read our “Gingerbread House Tips – Construction to Decoration” post.
5. Draw Names for a Christmas Gift Exchange – Whether you have a large family (immediate or extended) or just a gathering of friends, drawing names for a gift exchange is a great tradition to start. If it is a large family, let the adults draw adults, and the kids draw for kids or you can draw by families. There are many different ways to draw names. Make sure to draw names either on Christmas after the presents have been open for the next Christmas, or on or before Thanksgiving day.
6. Going Christmas Shopping – If you draw names in your family or with your friends, take a day to go Christmas shopping. Have each of your family members pick a present for the person they drew. Make sure to conceal the present from the person who you drew (this might mean taking each person up to the register and purchasing the gift when the person they drew isn’t nearby). No matter how you decide to go Christmas shopping, the kids will have fun picking out Christmas presents and it is great family time.
7. Christmas Tree Ornaments – Let each person in your family either make or purchase a new ornament to add to the tree every year. Each year your tree ornament collection will grow and each ornament will have a special or interesting story to go with it.
8. Bake Christmas Cookies – Set aside a day to make Christmas cookies or candy together. Make a recipe that has been in the family for years or choose a new recipe every year. You can either make enough for your family or make enough to share with extended family members and friends.
9. Christmas Caroling – Choose a night to go Christmas Caroling at your friends’ and family members’ houses. Pick a few Christmas songs to sing and make sure to practice before going. You only need to sing one song at each stop. If you have made Christmas cookies and candy, you can drop off the goodies while you are singing.
10. Christmas Lights – Take the family out the night or week before Christmas to look at Christmas lights. Turn on the Christmas music, bring hot chocolate, and look at the bright and colorful lights of the season (you could also wear your PJ’s while doing this).
11. Telling Christmas Stories – On the night or week before Christmas read your family Christmas stories. These can be classics or religious stories. Here are a few examples: “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Gift of the Magi,” or a story from the Bible.
12. Open a Present on Christmas Eve Night – This present can already be pre-chosen or each family member can pick one from under the tree. PJ’s are a great gift to open on Christmas Eve, giving everyone new PJ’s to wear for Christmas morning while opening presents.
13. Decorating a Christmas Tree – Many families put up their Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. You can start a new tradition by choosing a day or a weekend to put up your Christmas tree. Here are 3 different ways to get a Christmas tree.
1- You can make a day trip and go cut one down in the forest. Make sure to get a permit and a map of the designated areas where you can do this. Call your local Chambers of Commerce for more information.
2- Go select a fresh tree from a local store. Before purchasing a tree from a store, make sure the tree looks fresh – no pine needles should be falling or breaking off. Also, see if the store offers to cut the bottom of the tree trunk off and any branches that might be in the way of the tree stand.
3- Buy an artificial tree. Many families have artificial trees, which is less hassle and easier to clean up. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the tree drying out. This also save you money by not having to purchasing a tree every year.
To find the perfect Christmas Tree for your family, read our post, “Tips on Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree.”
14. Christmas Trivia – Play a game of Christmas Trivia. Go online and put together trivia questions that revolve around Christmas. These questions can be about traditions, songs, history, movies, etc. Just make it fun!
15. A Family Vacation – Take a vacation with your family during the holiday season. This could be a weekend trip skiing/snowboarding or a Caribbean Cruise. You can also choose to leave before or after Christmas Day.
Of course there are many more Christmas traditions that families do every year. Especially depending on which religion you practice. Every religion has different traditions and celebrations they have during the Christmas Season.
For more ideas for new Christmas Traditions, please visit the websites below.
Family Traditions: Start a New Christmas Tradition! (essortment.com)
10 Holiday Traditions to Start This Year – A Sweeter St. Nick’s (familyfun.go.com)