12 Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Family for a Super Special Christmas

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The holidays have always been a magical time for families, especially with young children around. It’s a time of connection, gratitude, and love. But it can be tough to come up with new ways to make the holidays special, year after year. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 12 Christmas traditions for families for you to try out. From the classic and cozy to the unexpected and adventurous, these activities are sure to add some extra sparkle to your holiday season.

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family christmas traditions

Why You Should Start Family Christmas Traditions

There are so many reasons that you might be thinking of adding in some family traditions that you can do year after year.

Maybe you just added a new baby… or maybe your baby is becoming a toddler and you are ready to start making memories that last. Or perhaps your family dynamic has changed, or you moved to a new state, whatever the reason, I love that you are here looking for a new Christmas tradition idea.

Some of these ideas are simple, but memorable when you make it something you do together year after year.

12 Day of Christmas Tradition Ideas for Families

Decorate the Tree Together

Nothing says “Christmas” quite like the smell of evergreen and the sight of twinkling lights… or even the LOOK of evergreen if you have a fake tree. Make decorating the tree a family affair, with everyone taking turns to choose an ornament or add a special personal touch.

Add in some holiday music and a festive drink or two and you have the makings for a wonderful new family tradition. I gave up on my tree looking perfect a long time ago. I now do the lights and strings of beads but beyond that I let the kids take over and they adore it.

RELATED: Christmas Cookies So Good You’ll Want to Eat Them All

Bake Cookies

Whipping up a batch of holiday cookies is a beloved tradition for many families. Try out a new recipe or stick with an old favorite, and don’t forget to indulge in sampling your creations.

You can make them just for yourselves or make enough to give to neighbors and friends too.

Watch Christmas Movies

Gather together with some blankets, hot cocoa, and your favorite holiday movies. From classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to family favorites like “The Polar Express,” enjoying Christmas movies together is the perfect way to unwind and relax.

You might choose to watch the same movie year after year or try a new one each year… or maybe both! My go-to Christmas movie is Home Alone.

“Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!”

RELATED: Non- Toy Christmas Gifts for Kids

christmas family traditions to start this year

Make a Gingerbread House

You can pick up a gingerbread house kit from the store or even try making your own from scratch with these cookie cutters! I haven’t done the latter yet, if you do will ya let me know how it goes in the comments below?

Yes it’s messy, but it’s fun, and memorable, and it might just look so delicious that you bite the top off it after passing it for the hundreth time while walking in circles around the house going on over 24 hours of labor just for a burst of energy to keep going.

Wait… is that just me?! Tell me you’ve done that too!

Volunteer Together

Take the opportunity of the holiday season to help those in need. Research local volunteering opportunities or organize a food drive in your community and involve your family.

It is a great way to teach the value of giving and to bond together as a family.

If your kids are too little for you to feel comfortable volunteering you can still help by donating presents to children in need. My kids have had a lot of fun picking the age and gender of a child off of a Christmas tree and getting them a whole bunch of things to make their Christmas special.

Go Ice Skating

Once again, this is a Christmas tradition to start once your kids are school age, but it is so memorable. Ice skating is an activity that never goes out of style during the winter season.

Take advantage of nearby indoor or outdoor rinks, brace yourself for some falls and giggles, and make new memories this Christmas with your loved ones.

Read Christmas Stories

Gather your family at night time and read stories together. It’s always fun to read favorite old stories such as “The Night Before Christmas” while discovering new titles and authors that will soon also become family favorites.

There are endless Christmas stories to choose from for any age. You can read the same ones year after year, or get a new one each year. We have a big stack that come out every Christmas.

Sing Christmas Carols

Whether you have the gift of singing or not, get your family and friends together and sing some Christmas carols. Whether it’s by the fireplace or around the piano, this is a sure-fire way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

We have a book of Christmas carols that we sing every year. It’s actually one I got as a child in a Secret Santa gift exchange and as a kid I’d organize all the kids of the neighborhood to go caroling door-to-door each year. That could bea fun tradition too.

Visit a Christmas Market

Around the holidays there are a lot of fun farmer’s market type places that you can attend. Take your family on a magical visit to a Christmas market. Enjoy browsing and the festiveness or stock up on unique crafts, decorations and gifts.

Smell the seasonal scents, and take pictures of the dazzling light displays.

Sipping warm and spicy mulled cider while wandering the stalls is also a must-do.

Host a Secret Santa

Being Santa Claus isn’t just for kids. Get family and friends to participate in the joy of gift-giving and organize a secret Santa. This way everyone gets a surprise present and it adds a lot of excitement and anticipation to the holidays.

Create a Family Christmas Card

Collect everyone’s favorite holiday memories, photos, and traditions, and compile them into your very own family Christmas card. It’s a great way to let family and friends know how wonderful your year has been.

You can design and print your own or order them through a website like Shutterfly or Photobucket for really professional looking ones.

Open One Gift on Christmas Eve

Keep a sense of anticipation and magic on Christmas Eve by letting each family member open just one present. This creates excitement for Christmas day, and can also help prevent younger family members from getting too restless before bedtime.

Wrapping Up 12 Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Family

This holiday season doesn’t have to be just like every other one. Start one or several of these 12 Christmas traditions with your family and make this year and every one after even more memorable.

By starting new traditions now and continuing them every year, you can create memories that will be cherished for many years to come. It really helps make childhood magical and gives your kids extra things to look forward to. It helps them to appreciate the season and all the wonderful things it brings, not JUST the resents. So, invite the family and get cracking on the festivities!

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