Christmas is a season of love, giving, and warmth. It’s a time to gather with family and friends. It is a time when traditions are created and passed down through years and generations. Our house is no different. We have many traditions, some great and some small that I look forward to each year.
10 Family Christmas Traditions
1. Cutting Down our Christmas Tree
Growing up I remembered hearing stories about how my parents and brothers used to go and cut down a tree for Christmas. I was always jealous because we didn’t do that. So when we started our family we decided to cut our tree each year, and boy do we have some crazy memories! From sick kids to my mother in a wheel chair (we didn’t cut that year though), tree cutting is a tradition each and every year.
I have also paired this experience with my Christmas Tree Science Unit Study. It is fun for the kids to be able to go into the field and try to identify the different types of trees.
2. New Ornaments
Every year I buy each our kids a new ornament of their own. They have their own ornament boxes and their own tree in our family room to hang them all. We have things like gymnasts, instruments, characters, soccer players, animals and more! Each labeled with a year in which they received them. It has become a neat way to reminisce about the various stages and interests they have passed through each year.
3. Spinning Christmas Tree Top
We have an antique Christmas tree topper. The photos above do not do it justice. It is a glittery gold star with a beveled gold dome behind it. The plastic stained glass manger scene rotates around a pin point from the heat of the light bulb inside. It makes beautiful patterns on the ceiling and is as mesmerizing as a crackling fire.
It was a tree top my parents bought in their first years together. It was always atop the tree in my childhood home. After marrying and moving out theirs finally got destroyed from time and use. That year I scoured Ebay to find one just like it. What had once cost them less tan $5 was replaced by me for closer to $200! I also bought one for myself that was not in as a good a shape because after years of trying there was just no tree top that could compare.
To this day it is still the pinnacle of my parent’s tree and of ours.
4. Advent Calendars
Every year my husband picks up chocolate advent calendars for the kids. One of the highlights for them is that we allow them to each the chocolate piece each day BEFORE breakfast!
5. Christmas Cookie Cut-Outs
Every year growing up my mom always made cut-out cookies for the holiday season. We made sugar cookie one and gingerbread ones. I have many fond memories of cooking making with my mothers and various friends and family throughout the years.
In our house we have continued this tradition in our own way. We have friends that come over each year to share in the cookie and decorating process. It has been so much fun to see our kids grow up and change with each passing year.
6. Christmas Eve Eve
No I didn’t make a mistake and type Eve twice! In our house we do our Christmas gift opening with our kids on Christmas Eve Eve (December 23rd). This came about because Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were so busy running about to other family houses that we didn’t have time to enjoy as just our family. So on Christmas Eve Eve we settle in to our own family Christmas of a finger food spread for dinner and a stretched out evening of opening up presents. We spend time really opening and playing with toys if that is what the kids want. There were years when they were really young that not everything got opened because we spent so much time with each new opened gift!
7. New Pajamas
This is one I started just for our kids. It just sort of happened that I started buying Christmas themed pajamas for them each year. Then I started making it a thing that we opened them on Christmas Eve Eve and change into them before opening our presents. As my teen will tell you, the kicker is that I make everyone get all pj’d up and ready for presents, then we open pjs (which they now know are coming), and change again!
8. Shopping & Giving For Each Other
I grew up going out shopping with my dad for my mother. It was always a special trip with just the two of us. We have taken some of that up with our children. Each of our children have always bought presents for our close family members with their own money. At first it was just a shopping trip to the Dollar Store and as years have gone by we shop sales or buy used, or sometimes we will chip in to help with the cost. It is always a big deal to our kids to be able to pick out and purchase something for each of us.
9. Daddy’s Christmas Present Bow Obsession
My husband has a bow obsession! Each and every year he buys a new set of bows (and often wrapping paper special for my gifts). It has become such a thing that the kids find it strange if their presents are without bows. It makes them hard to stack under the tree, and they often pop off, but it has become a thing in our house!
10. Christmas Day Movie Marathon
When I asked the girls what Christmas traditions stood out in their heads this is one that they listed. Since moving 8 years ago we have had my parents come spend the night at our house on Christmas Eve. Then we have a big breakfast Christmas morning and just hang out. In recent years it has turned into watching Christmas movies and eating the leftover finer food from our Christmas Eve Eve celebration.
What are your Christmas Traditions?
Here is a fun video we made one year that includes some of our Christmas traditions:
Share what your favorite traditions are! If you don’t really have any, try one of ours or create a variation of one of them!