Christmas is the season to be merry and to be giving! Christmas cheer and Christmas magic are everywhere, especially for children. It is a special time of year when the family home seems extra cozy and families have their own special Christmas traditions for kids. These traditions are something that family members do together and that is what makes them so special and memorable. Here are a few of the Christmas Traditions we honor in our home during the holiday season.
Christmas Traditions To Cherish
When I think back to the things I remember most about the Christmas season from my childhood, they are the same Christmas Traditions that I enjoy doing with my own children today. I hope this list of ideas for Christmas celebrations helps you to find some new traditions. They are sure to help make it the most wonderful time of the year!
1. Decorating For Christmas
Decorating for Christmas was a family enterprise at my house. It was fun craft time with my mother. We were creative and we tried new things every year but what I loved was doing it together and feeling like essential to the process. The first time I remember making decorations was buying styrofoam balls to cover with sequins using pins. That was a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun. I loved it! Another year, we dipped things we collected on a hike, like pinecones and sweetgum tree balls, into shiny paints to make natural ornaments. We also loved making popcorn and cranberry garland. All of these crafts took planning and time and we enjoyed each other’s company in a special way that I will always remember. I often get nostalgic as I unpack my Christmas boxes! My kids, my husband, and I still love making ornaments and decorating the house each year and I am pretty sure we always will. Each year my kids take a turn putting the Christmas hat on top of the tree!
2. Holiday Giving
We like to do some family service projects to help spread the holiday cheer. My kids always do a toy room cleanup and fill a box with toys to bring to Good Will. We also usually participate in a Toys For Tots through my children’s school. A newer tradition that we have adopted through my son’s Boy Scout Troop is where we serve dinner to a group of homeless and give them care packages. We want the kids to learn that Christmas isn’t just about getting, it is also about giving and how much that can fill your own heart too. My son takes extra pride in these activities as he knows they increase the North Pole magic. It is not just about receiving gifts on Christmas day but also about giving during the lead up to the big day.
A special Christmas eve tradition that we did as children was to open one small gift before bedtime. I loved that tradition but we don’t do it now because Santa doesn’t deliver the presents under the tree early like he did when I was young.
3. Writing Letters To Santa
Each year, my kids write letters to Santa. They take time to thank St. Nicholas and to make any special requests for Christmas presents. I know some folks mail them to the North Pole. For us, it is always a big deal as we all wait to see if the letters disappeared up the chimney while we were sleeping.
While I was a brand ambassador for The Elf on the Shelf® a few years ago, I received a Scout Elf Express Delivers Letters to Santa Kit. It is another twist on this fun Christmas tradition for kids. It is a very clever kit that shrinks my children’s letters to Santa into smaller letters that our Elf on The Shelf, Stewart, can carry to Santa easily. You just bake them in the oven with Mrs. Claus’ magic press and they shrink down to a super cute size. Then after Santa read our letters, Stewart hung the now ornament sized letters on the tree. It is a fun way to save their letters as keepsakes for years to come! You can see that pictured above.
4. Baking For Christmas
You can bet we bake cookies for Santa Claus every year and it is one of our favorite Christmas activities! But we also love baking the whole season leading up to Christmas. We make treats like biscotti for gifts, a yule log, or seasonal muffins for special Christmas morning breakfasts. We love making something together and then getting to enjoy the fruit of labor together.
Christmas Traditions Food Recipes:
White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti
5. Christmas Shows
We love to see Christmas Shows together whether it is the Nutcracker, a holiday movie, or the children’s orchestra and band performance. Sometimes, we even get to enjoy a school holiday performance of songs and that is always a wonderful treat.
List Of 25 More Family Christmas Traditions
- Singing Christmas Carols
- Hang Christmas Stockings
- A Cookie Exchange
- Secret Santa
- Opening One Gift Each on Christmas Eve
- Spreading Christmas cheer through good deeds
- Take A Family Holiday Photo
- A Family Walk or Hike
- Homemade Christmas Decorations
- Contributing to a Local Food Bank
- An Evening Drive To See Christmas Lights
- Enjoying a Christmas story and/or Christmas Books
- Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- DIY crafts and or DIY gifts
- Advent Calendar
- Make Gingerbread Houses
- Family Prayer Time
- Placing The Tree Topper (our children take turns each year)
- Sending out Christmas cards
- Setting up a Nativity scene for baby Jesus
- Christmas Eve Service or Midnight Mass
- Christmas dinner
- Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas
- Take a photo in matching Christmas pajamas
- Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, this tradition is more in European countries
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Young children love the comfort of repetition that traditions bring. What are the Christmas traditions for kids that you cherish in your household?
10 Christmas Gift Giving Traditions
Elf on the shelf made me cringe while reading it to my 3 year old. This elf is going to spy on you and assume you are naughty. You can’t talk to the else? The book mentions prayer, a big assumption and seems to reflect counterproductive lessons for parent’s to give kids.
We don’t think of it as spying. The elf isn’t hidden and his mission is known. He observes their behavior and my kids love finding his new location each day. They think of our Elf On The Shelf as a friend and they do talk to him. We enjoy this tradition and my kids look forward to our elf’s arrival each year:)
I loved reading about your family’s Christmas traditions. They’re all so fun! Every year on the day after Thanksgiving we decorate our Christmas tree while watching Christmas shows.
What a great way to get into the holiday spirit!