It seems like every year, my family shies away from past traditions in favor of creating new ones. When my husband and I got married, we had to quickly navigate our way through this process anyway. Once we added a few kids, it became clear that our family had to have some Christmas traditions of our own. Here’s a list of some Christmas traditions that your family can start this year to make the holidays even more special and unique!
9 Christmas Traditions to Start THIS Year
Thank you to Oriental Trading for sponsoring this post. They are Christmas Headquarters this year for so many of the things I mention in this post.
Go Look at Christmas Lights
Okay, this one isn’t a super unique tradition, but think about things you can couple with it. Last year, we began a tradition of looking at lights and then coming home to make ice cream sundaes! My kids are already looking forward to seeing the house near us that is synced up to their own radio station with music and always has light shows based on popular cartoon characters. The ice cream afterward is just a bonus!
Have Special Meals
I know that everyone seems to go for some sort of traditional holiday meal for Christmas lunch or dinner, but what about a special meal for other times? For example, for the past 10 years, I’ve made Paula Deen’s Gorilla Bread for our Christmas breakfast. It’s gooey, it’s packed with cinnamon, and it’s utterly delicious. We all look forward to it all year because I only make it on Christmas morning. Give the family something to look forward to!
Make Movie Night a Tradition
Pick your favorite movie, or maybe type of movie (cough – Hallmark, anyone?) and show it to your whole family! Maybe provide everyone with a warm beverage of choice, snuggle up with some blankets, and watch Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Jingle All the Way, or whatever strikes your fancy! You’ll know it’s a true tradition when everyone knows all of the words.
Get Matching Christmas Jammies
Matching pajamas is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. First, you’re providing your family with new PJs, which is often something you want to get them anyway with the cooling temperatures. Next, these make the perfect family picture and holiday memory for everyone involved.
I ordered the pictured pajamas from Oriental Trading for this blog post, and also so I could see how adorable my 5 kids would be in matching outfits. Luckily, they have them in baby, toddler, kid, and men’s sizes. My daughter is wearing the women’s size. (Tell her to STOP growing already!)
When you give these is up to you. Most everyone I know who does this gives them out on Christmas Eve so everyone is matching Christmas morning.
Build Something Together
If it’s snowing, build a snow man. Make a gingerbread house (be sure to buy lots of extra candy so everyone can customize it just right). Make a fort out of blankets and pillows in the living room. Put together large family gift items like furniture or exercise equipment. Use the holiday family time to work together to make something everyone can be proud of.
Make Ornaments or Decorations
It may seem a little cliche, but making ornaments can be a really sweet experience. If they’re something that will actually last longer than one Christmas season, be sure to sign and date them! You can totally make paper chain, popcorn, or cranberry garland, or paper snowflakes for decoration, too. There are so many Christmas crafts to make that are inexpensive. Homemade is always a lot of fun and it doesn’t have to be complicated to be special.
Declare an OFFICIAL Family Christmas Song
Most couples have “their song”, so why not come up with your own family Christmas song? You know, a song that you’ll recognize right away as your song at Christmas-time when it comes on the radio! This one is a great tradition because it helps people who have moved away or are away from each other for whatever reason to think of everyone else each and every time that song plays. Make sure you play it often when the whole family is together.
Do Something Special on Christmas that DOESN’T Include Presents
I’ve heard a lot of families go to the movies on Christmas. IHOP was another one someone brought up going to – in their matching Christmas pajamas! Family board game challenges are a nice way to stay home and do something that doesn’t have anything to do with acquiring new STUFF. How about starting a tradition of working at a soup kitchen or visiting a nursing home? Taking your local fire fighters or policemen some home-baked treats would be a lovely gesture and much appreciated. Think about cool things your family could do to keep those holiday feels flowing longer.
Play the Saran Wrap Ball Game
We started this tradition several years ago. Basically, you create a huge ball with plastic wrap and hide gifts and goodies within it. Each person gets a set amount of time to try and unwrap or rip through it to try and get a prize before passing it to the next person. I usually put a fun character cup from the dollar store in the middle with some cash inside to start our ball so it’s pretty good sized, and then I add in other inexpensive goodies. These stocking stuffers and toys would be perfect.
A few things I’ve wrapped in the ball are jerky, fruit gummies, loose change, lip balm, tiny hand sanitizers, those little washcloths that you are supposed to add water to for them to open up, hand warmers, socks, gum, cool Band-Aids, free coupons, gift cards, Tic Tacs, cool pens, yoyos, leftover candy and trinkets from Halloween, notepads, and erasers.
I try to keep is unisex so that anyone that gets the gift will be happy, but my kids end up doing a lot of trading anyway. I give younger players more time than my older kids. It’s always a lot of fun.
What are some of YOUR family’s Christmas traditions?
Will you be adding any new ones from this list? 🙂 Enjoy your holiday!