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Christmas traditions

Christmas Traditions

In this article I am going to share some of the best Christmas traditions! These Christmas traditions are perfect for families, for those with young kids, those with older kids, and for couples.

The Christmas activities included in this list are perfect for making a Christmas bucket list! If you know that there are fun Christmas traditions and activities that you want your family to participate in this year, then use the items listed in this article to create the perfect Christmas bucket list for your family!


Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on the best Christmas traditions and Christmas activities later!


Awesome Christmas Traditions You Will Love!

In so many ways, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

And the wonderful Christmas traditions for families and others are part of what makes the holiday season so magical! From making Christmas cookies and other Christmas treats, singing and listening to Christmas carols, watching favorite Christmas movies, decorating Christmas trees and stringing Christmas lights, and more, there are Christmas traditions that every member of the family can participate in and enjoy.

The holiday season is also a great time to enjoy traditional winter pastimes like building snowmen, making snow angels, going sledding and ice skating, drinking hot cocoa and reading by the fire, and making gingerbread houses.


Family Christmas Traditions (Fun Christmas Activities for the Family!)

These fun and festive activities can bring you closer together as a family and give you a chance to build special memories that you and your children can look on and remember for decades.

The Christmas season is so much more than giving and receiving gifts. Even though kids wait for Christmas morning with incredible anticipation, you can teach them that the gifts of Christmas morning are just one (small) part of the amazing Christmas season.

And one of my favorite things about the Christmas traditions I share below? Most of them you can do for free or very inexpensively. You do not have to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful Christmas season.


Also be sure to check out these related articles for awesome ideas on how to save money on Christmas and ways to make more money for Christmas!

***Pro Saving Tip! Use the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan a frugal but awesome Christmas!***


Why Have Christmas Traditions?

One of the things that holds families together (which in turn help to hold our society together) are family traditions. And Christmas is one of the best times to participate in and nurture those family traditions.

By doing fun Christmas activities together, you help to strengthen your family and build those family bonds that are so important for coming years.

In December, life seems to slow down a little. People focus a little more on others and less on themselves. They think about serving and giving back.

Many people take vacation time during the Christmas season to have more time with family and loved ones. That means they have more time for those traditions that can really help to glue a family together, like cooking together, playing games together, singing together, talking together, laughing together, and doing fun recreational activities together.So read on to learn some of my best ideas for how to save money and still have a great Christmas!


Interested in budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas? Check out these gift guide posts:


And be sure to also check out these related articles! 


The Best Kind of Christmas Traditions and Christmas Activities for Families

I truly feel that most of the time, simpler is better. And especially when you have younger kids like we do, it’s good to keep things fairly simple and not have too high of expectations the first time you do things.

Even though I know this is a huge list of potential Christmas traditions activities, don’t try to cram in too much during your holiday season. Just pick the things that you feel are most important for your family, schedule them on the calendar, and then be flexible about things when some of your plans inevitably change. (I like to use pencil to write things on the calendar. 😊)

Many of these activities are cheap or even free, and I think those are some of the best activities of all. Remember—it’s not how much you spend. It’s the type of bonds you are forming as you spend crucial family time together as you talk and laugh and play and work that matters much more than anything else.


Check out this related articles with awesome ideas for budget-friendly Christmas gifts: 20+ Awesome Ideas for Christmas Gifts for $10 or Less!


***Pro tip: Grab the free Christmas budget printable above ☝️ (and other awesome free Christmas planning printables!) to help you stay on budget and plan an awesome, joyful, and stress-free Christmas this year!***


75+ Best Christmas Traditions (for Families and Everyone!)

Start the holiday festivities on Thanksgiving weekend (or even sooner, if you want! I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween is over! 😊)

Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t feel rushed. Start decorating early, and get done early, so you can have the whole season to enjoy the shining Christmas tree lights at night, the tinsel, the holly, the garland, the mistletoe, the cinnamon-scented pinecones—all of it!



1. Make a Christmas season bucket list to help you choose your favorite Christmas traditions.

As you consider the Christmas traditions to participate in this Christmas season, make a Christmas season bucket list!

You may not have time to do everything that you would like to, so make note of the activities that you would most like to participate in, and schedule those activities first. Remember, too, that you don’t have to try and do everything that you would like to. Your family might have more fun by actually doing fewer planned activities! That leaves more time for being together and relaxing at home and also for more spontaneous fun!

Get the free Christmas planning printables above to help you plan the perfect Christmas season! ☝️



Crafting Fun! (Christmas Traditions Making Awesome Crafts!)


2. Make or decorate Christmas tree ornaments.

Making or decorating your own Christmas tree ornaments can be a lot of fun, and it is something that kids of all ages can enjoy!

We loved to make potpourri-filled ornaments when I was growing up.

Another easy idea for decorating ornaments that I would love to do is to buy solid-colored ornaments, have the kids put their hands in paint, and then make a handprint on the ornament. You could even do this each year as a way to record how they grow.



3. Make a keepsake ornament each year as a fun Christmas tradition.

This is another fun ornament-themed potential Christmas bucket list activity. For example, you could make Christmas tree ornaments out of green construction paper and add your kiddos’ photos to them. We have done that before when the kids were younger, and it’s so fun to look at those pictures now when we pull out the ornaments. We really need to do it again!



4. Make salt dough handprint ornaments.

This is another fun Christmas tradition involving ornaments. For this one, you use a simple salt dough recipe. All you need is salt and flour and some optional food coloring. Find instructions here (the precious image just below is also from mommymoment.ca).

salt dough handprint


5. Cut out snowflakes and hang them on the windows.

I loved to do this as a kid, and now I love to make snowflakes with my kids!


6. Make Christmas crafts for kids.

I love making crafts for kids (because they are easy enough that I can actually do them :)). This article has tons of ideas of easy Christmas crafts for kids to make.


7. Count down the days till Christmas with red and green construction paper chains.

I think this activity is like a rite of passage that every child must do before passing on to adulthood. Right?


8. Decorate Christmas stockings.

For another fun Christmas activity, you can decorate Christmas stockings. One of the fun ways that we liked to decorate stockings when I was a kid was with glue and glitter, but you can also decorate them with fabric paint or use hot glue to adhere fun decorations.

You can even go easier than that and use markers to create fun designs or glue or sew on fun buttons or pieces of fabric.

Google or search Pinterest to find lots of ideas!


9. Make homemade Christmas cards.

This is another fun Christmas tradition that the kids can have fun with! You can do this really simply with construction paper or computer paper and crayons or colored pencils or markers. You can add stickers or stamps and use stencils to add decorations, too. Snowmen out of white buttons is another fun option.

Glitter and glue are also a great addition to make your Christmas card festive and fun.

Or you can get more fancy and use cut out wreaths or Christmas trees or snowmen to make your cards festive.

You can also use yarn to make cards that looks like hats, scarves, or mittens.

Another fun addition is to use Christmas wrapping paper to make DIY envelopes.


10. Make a gratitude chain or box.

 Help your children learn the importance of gratitude by helping them to create a gratitude chain or box. 

For this simple but awesome activity, you can use green and red (or whatever color you want) construction paper to write something you are grateful for each night, and then add them to the chain each night. 

For a gratitude box, each person can write something they are grateful for each night on a piece of paper, and then add it to the box. Then on Christmas (or Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve, or whenever you want), you could sit down and read what everyone said that they were grateful for.


Special Keepsakes


11. Make a record of the year’s highlights.

In a special diary, journal, or notebook, write the highlights for the year for each of your children. Plan to give the journal to the kiddos when they’re grown.

You could also write these highlights as a letter to your children. (You could make photocopies for the kiddos and keep the original in a special binder, for example.)

You might include fun things you did as a family, fun and funny things they have said that you remember, things they love to do, character traits you love about them, and so on.


12. Keep a Christmas diary.

In the same vein as the idea just above, another great Christmas tradition that will bless your family for years to come is to keep a Christmas diary where you write the activities that you enjoyed as a family during the Christmas season so that you can share these fun memories with your children as they get older.



13. Trace your children’s handprints each year on a tree skirt.

This is another great way to catalog the passing years. You could use just black permanent marker, or you could use green and red, or whatever fun colors you want.


14. Write 25 notes to your kids.

For this Christmas tradition, write a note each day leading up to Christmas to each of your children saying something you love and appreciate about them. I love this one!



15. Take a holiday-themed Christmas photo.

Taking a family photo for the holidays is a common Christmas tradition, particularly if you like to send out holiday greeting cards or a family Christmas letter or newsletter with hightlights about your family.


16. Take a family photo in front of the Christmas tree.

Each year, take a family picture in front of the Christmas tree. Then look at the collection of photos over the years to see how the kids are growing.



17. Get a picture with Santa as another fun Christmas activity.

Another fun annual Christmas tradition for many kids is to get pictures with Santa. And one thing great about this tradition is that you can do it for free! Many malls, stores, libraries, church or work family Christmas parties, and similar venues provide opportunties to get a photo with the man in red. 



Do unto Others

The holiday season is a great time to give back to others, and making a plan to help other people is a wonderful Christmas tradition to instill positive values in your children.

Consider including one or more of these Christmas service project ideas on your Christmas bucket list!


18. Find simple ways to serve others.

One of the things that I really love about the Christmas season is the fact that people are more inclined to give and to be kind and to serve one another. For example, you could do one or more of the following:

  • Take someone dinner.
  • Visit someone who is ill or homebound.
  • Take a plate of cookies to a neighbor.
  • Give a family winter hats, scarves, and mittens.
  • Leave a gift card in someone’s mailbox
  • Ring the bell (make sure they’re home first!) and leave cash in an envelope on someone’s door.

The possibilities are endless!


19. Do a service scavenger hunt.

A service scavenger hunt is a fun way to serve those around you.

Some of actvivies you could include in your service scavenger hunt include:

  • Shovel walks
  • Take a meal to an elderly couple
  • Take cookies to your neighbors
  • Take toys or winter clothes to a homeless shelter
  • Donate money to a favorite charity
  • Leave dollar bills around the dollar store
  • Give gift cards to police officers or fire fighters
  • Leave a big tip to your server
  • Pay for the food of the vehicle behind you in the drive-through
  • Pay for the groceries of the person or family behind you


20. Make a list of ideas of random acts of kindness you can do, and then do them.

This idea is similar to the one just above, where you make a list of kind acts you can do for others throughout the holiday season, and then you cross each one off the list as you do them.


21. Participate in Sub for Santa.

 Participating in a Sub for Santa with your work, your church, or as a family can be another great Christmas tradition where you can help those in need.


22. Participate in an annual toy drive.

 Participating in an annual toy drive is another great Christmas activity for kids to help them think of others and serve children in the community.

There are many organizations who participate in annual toy drives, including many local stores. Generally, you purchase toys and deliver them, unwrapped, to the collection place.


23. Take your kids shopping to buy a toy to donate to a local charity.

 Similar to the idea just above, you could take your children shopping to each buy a toy to donate to a local charity.


24. Donate money to causes you care about.

 Another great way to serve those in need that you can do easily (you can even do it online, if you choose, and not even have to leave your house!) is to donate montey to local churches or charitable organizations.


25. Do the 12 Days of Christmas for a family.

Any family would appreciate being a recipient of the 12 Days of Christmas, and this another fun Christmas tradition that your whole family can be involved with.

You could even do the 12 Days for a family in need, where the gift or gifts for each day are something the family could really use, such as warm winter wear, a box of nonperishable food, a gift card with money or to a local grocery store or Walmart, cash, clothes (if you know the members of the family well enough to do that), and the like.


26. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

If you have older children, or just want an activity to do with your spuse or even your friends, then serving a meal in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter is a wonderful way to help out in the community. In some cases they ask the volunteers to provide the meal, too, so you are serving in two important ways.


27. Start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

As a fun twist on the Elf on the Shelf tradition, you could start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

I got this idea from The Imagination Tree, where they share that the Kindness Elves is “an alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf idea, and place the focus instead on positive, character-building activities for kids. [Their goal is] teaching love, kindness and gratitude with a hope to raise kids who move away from the entitlement attitude which is creeping into our modern generation.”

With the Kindness Elves, you could give daily (or however often you want) ideas for simple kind deeds or acts of servce that your chldren could do for others or for each other.

I love that their goal s to help put the focus back on serving others and away from the commecialism that often seems to permeate the Christmas season. 


28. Fill a Christmas sack with toys to give away.

For this fun service-oriented Christmas tradition, you give the kids a Christmas bag to fill with toys and items to give away to children in need. (You’ll probably want to go through them before the delivery day so you make sure they’re not giving away anything that you really would like to keep. :))


29. Give Christmas chocolate coins out as a reward for your kids when they do good deeds.

Though the joy of giving and helping others is reward enough, if you want, you could give an additional small incentive to your children to encourage them to do good deeds during the holiday season, such as chocolate coins.


***Pro tip: Grab the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan an awesome, joyful, and stress-free Christmas this year!***


Bake It Up (Best Treats to Make Part of Your Christmas Tradition)

Another of my favorite categories of fun Christmas traditions is to make yummy treats during the holidays! Below are some of our own family favorites.


30. Make homemade hot chocolate.

If you love hot cocoa, why not try making your own for your family to enjoy during the holiday season?

You can find one of my favorite hot chocolate recipes here; it’s fast and easy, and you should have all of the ingredients already on hand.

And if you love white chocolate like me, then check out this awesome recipe for white hot chocolate, too!


31. Make caramel popcorn balls.

Caramel popcorn is another fun traditional holiday treat. You can find a simple and tasty caramel popcorn balls recipe here.


32. Make Christmas pancakes as a fun holiday tradition.

Making Christmas pancakes is another fun Christmas tradition that your family will enjoy. We do this for some of the other fun holidays, too, like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween, too!)

The way we do this is to pick a food color (like green, if you want to do Christmas trees, or green and red, to make it even more Christmasy), then make big round pancakes like you normally would, and after you let them cool a little, use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes. Then serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!


33. Make your favorite varieties of Christmas cookies.

Our kids also love to make cookies as one of their favorite Christmas activities. THey particicularly like making sugar cookies because it’s fun to decorate them with red and green frosting and sprinkles, but we have also made snickerdoodles, and chcolate chip cookies with red and green candies, such as M&Ms, are fun too.

Gingerbread cookies are another fun one for this time of year, and green and red colored peanut butter cookies are fun if your kiddos love that type of cookie.

Shortbread cookies are another of my personal favorites.

Another fun one (if you really like frosting, like me) is to make Christmas tree sugar cookies.

And another one that I love is chocolate peppermint cookies.

You can find lots of other fun ideas for Christmas cookies on Google and PInterest.


34. Make a gingerbread house.

Another of our favorite Christmas traditions to do with the kids is to make gingerbread houses. We have made the gingerbread from scratch before, but generally, we buy a kit.

However, a much less expensive alternative to that that I heard about recently that I want to try is to make the houses out of graham crackers. That would also be easier than making the gingerbread from scratch. (And would work well if your kiddos don’t love the taste of gingerbread, too.)

To make the houses, you can use royal frosting, which we have generally done, or again, a new method that I just learned about that I want to try this year is to use melted white sugar as glue. From what I’ve read, the melted white sugar holds the cookies or crackers together better and is easier to make and use.



35. Make other favorite Christmas treats.

There are so many fun treats that you can make during the holidays. Though it is a little trickier to make, so I don’t make it often, I do love divinity. We also love fudge, which is pretty easy to make, and Christmas crispy rice treats are another favorite. You can find tons of other ideas for Christmas on Pinterest or by Googling.


36. Create a hot chocolate bar for a fun holiday tradition.

If you love hot chocolate, delight your family or guests with a hot chocolate bar. You can use your favorite store-bought hot cocoa, or use one of the recipes above or another favorite to make homemade hot cocoa. Then put out your favorite stir-ins, suc as miniature marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed up cookies, mini candy canes, chocolate or white chocolate chips, peppermint sticks, and other fun treats.


37. Do a chocolate fondue fountain.

The holidays are a great time to do a chocolate fondue fountain with your kiddos, and include their  favorite fruits and treats. Some of our favorites are marshmallows, banana wedges, strawberries, shortbread, pretzels, apple slices, pineapple chunks, wafer cookies, Oreo or other sandwich cookies, cinnamon bears, and Pirouette cookies.

You can find some great chocolate fondue recipes by Googling or searching Pnterest.


 38. Plan a cookie exchange with neighbors.

A great way to enjoy a variety of holiday cookies without doing all of the work is to plan a cookie exchange with neighbors!



Deck the Halls (Decorating Christmas Traditions)


39. Decorate the Christmas tree together as a fun family Christmas tradtion.

In our family, we love to decorate the Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. (If it were up to me, we might decorate it any time after Halloween is over, but my husband is more of a stickler for letting Thanksgiving have its turn and then enjoying the Chrimstas holiday season.) I know of one family who likes to decorate their tree December 1. Those who have live Christmas treees may not get their trees until later in the season.

Whenever you decide is right for your family, make it a festive event by turning on the Christmas music, getting out all of the boxes of decorations, and diving in!

You can find inspiration for beautiful and fun Christmas tree ornaments and other decrations here.


40. Buy an ornament or other tree decoration each year for your kids.

Another fun holiday tradition related to decorating Chrismtas trees ins to buy a Christmas tree or other tree decoration each year for your kids. This way, they can have their own set of tree decorations when they’re grown, complete with the fun memories associated with them.

You can also buy an ormanemtn that represents something the kids did or accomplished during the year, and that makes this tradition even more meaningful.


One fun theme for your Christmas ornaments is to have Advent ornaments. Here is one example of a fun Christmas-themed advent ornament set (click the image below for information about this ornament set; these are really budget friendly!).


You can find more ideas for fun overall Christmas-themed advent ornaments here.



41. Hang some mistletoe.

Hanging mistletoe is a fun Christmas tradition for the (relatively) young and old alike, as well. For the young kiddos, you could invite them to give their sibling or you parents a high five or hug or something like that if they get caught under the mistletoe.

I love this particular style of mistletoe (click the image below for information about it):

And find many more fun ideas for mistletoe here.


42. Decorate your home for the holidays, and string lights outside.

Either at the same time as you decorate the tree or whenever it is most convenient for your family, another fun Christmas activity for kids is to decorate a home with Christmas knickknacks and put up lights outside, as well!

We tend to do all of our decorating on the same day, since we are going to the effort of going to the garage and getting out the decorations anyway, but you might choose to decorate the rest of your home or do the lights on a different day, and that works great, too. If you have a whole lot of holiday decorations, breaking up the decorating over a few days makes a lot of sense.


One fun and unique way to decorate your home is to have fun Christmas-themed Advent calendars that you collect over the years. There are some really fun Advent calendars, like these (click the links below for information):

Slime Advent calendar

Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

Lego Harry Potter Advent calendar

Star Wars Advent calendar

LOL Surprise Advent calendar

Hot Wheels Advent calendar

Barbie Dreamptopia Advent calendar

And you can find lots of other fun ideas of Advent calendars here.


43. Hang the stockings.

Hanging Christmas stockings is another great holiday tradition. If you do not have a fireplace, like we don’t, you can hang them on nails or other hooks you have or put on or in the wall. We have hooks in the ceiling in our front room in front of a large window, so that is where we hang ours until Christmas Eve, and then that night we just prop them up in the same area where we put the presents.

These are some of my favorite stocking designs (click the image below to learn about them):


And find some more fun and some fancy stocking ideas here.


Related: 101+ great Christmas stocking stuffer ideas!



At Home Sweet Home (Fun Christmas Traditions and Christmas Activities to Enjoy at Home)


44. Do a candy cane hunt.

This Christmas activity is similar to doing an Easter egg hunt (which my kids love to do, long after and even when it’s nowhere near Easter :)), but you hunt for candy canes instead of Easter eggs.

Hide candy canes around the house for your children to find. (If it’s warm enough or you dress warm enough, this would be a fun activity for outside, too!)

You can find some great ideas for candy canes here.

And these are my personal favorite candy canes. 🙂


45. Do a Christmas tree campout.

Gather up the blankets and pillows and couch cushions, and gather near the Christmas tree for a family slumber party. Leave the Christmas lights on all night for a festive touch.


46. Do Christmas tree caroling.

Make a tent in the living room out of blankets or sheets and furniture, turn out the lights and turn on the flashlights, and sing Christmas carols together.


47. Read a Christmas book each night.

Pick a number of days to do this activity leading up to Christmas, and then read a different Christmas book each night. This can really help to get you in the Christmas spirit!

You could get great Christmas-related books from the library, from Amazon (<< check out ideas here for books to be on the lookout for!), or even collect them over time from your local thrift store.

Some of our personal favorites are Berenstein Bears Christmas books, The Polar Express, Mercer Meyer Christmas books, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

And for some Christ-centered Christmas books, check out The Christmas Story: Drawn Directly from the Bible, Twas the Evening of Christmas, The Jesus Storybook Bible: A Christmas Collection (with fun stories and songs), Jesus Calling: The Storey of Christmas, The First Christmas (beautiful board book),  and The Christmas Story (the Little Golden Book version)

You can also find more Christ-centered Christmas books here.


Tip: Do you want your Christmas gifts and other items delivered fast and free? Have you tried Amazon Prime yet? Get free 2-day shipping when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, and enjoy the many benefits of this awesome service!


48. Wrap up 25 Christmas books, and read one each night.

This idea is similar to the one just above, but with a little twist! Since kids love to open presents, wrap up 25 Christmas-related books, and open one each night to read. (Pro tip: They don’t have to be new!)

In addition to the ones listed above, a few of our other Christmas favorites are:

You can also find lots of other ideas for awesome Christmas books here.


49. Participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

For this Christmas tradition, different scout elves help Santa by letting him know whether children have been naughty or nice. Each night, the elves hide in a different place. Then the next morning, children have fun finding them and the messages they share.

You can find the story of the Elf on the Shelf here.


This is one fun set of Elf on the Shelf dolls (click the image below to learn more):

And you can find more fun Elf on the Shelf dolls here.


50. Listen to Christmas music.

One of the very best things that helps me to get into the Christmas spirit is to listen to Christmas music! And I like to start early—right after Halloween is over. 🙂 Our kiddos, especially our older daughter, love listening to the Christmas music during the holiday season, as well.


51. Make a Christmas playlist of your favorite songs to listen to throughout the season.

Similar to the item just above, if you want to enjoy holiday music during the season as one of your cherished family Christmas traditions, then a great way to do that is to create your own Christmas music playlist.


52. Sing Christmas carols.

And singing Christmas carols yourselves as a family is a great way to take the joy of the music of the holiday season one step farther.

If you have a fireplace, singing in front of the fireplace with the lights turned down or turned off can be a lot of fun.

If you live in an area or a neighborhood where it is safe to do so, going around and singing Christmas carols to the neighbors can be fun, and it s a great way to spread Christmas cheer.


53. Watch your favorite Christmas movies.

For many people, watching some of the many Christmas movies available is a great way to enjoy the holidays. You could choose to watch a favorite Christmas movie each Friday and Saturday evening, for example. Or if you enjoy a lot of shorter animated Christmas films, you could choose to watch one or two several evenings of the week.

You could also choose to watch a Christmas movie each night for the week leading up to Christmas to help you count down the days to that happy event.

Budget-friendly options for accessing Christmas movies include getting them from the library (my favorite) and Netflix, Amazon Prime (very budget friendly), or similar venues.


Tip: Have you tried Amazon Prime yet? Get access to tons of movies that you can watch for free with your subscription, plus unlock unlimited free 2-day shipping when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. Join today to enjoy the many benefits of this awesome service!


For those videos that you really want to have and keep, then building a Christmas movie collection is a great idea.

Here are a few of our own family favorites (or my family favorites :)):


54. Have a Christmas moviethon.

Another fun family Christmas tradition that could really kickstart your family’s Christmas spirit is to have a Christmas movie marathon on one of the days leading up to Christmas.


55. Write Christmas cards to send to family and friends.

Writing Christmas cards to send to family and friends is another fun Christmas tradition to help celebrate the Christmas season.

One of the best things about Christmas for me is when I receive Christmas cards with family photos of loved ones. And when they include a letter with an update on their lives, that is in its own way even better!


Find ideas for fun and meaningful Christmas cards to send here.


56. Learn the story of Saint Nicholas.

Have you ever wondered how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus? Sharing this story can be a fun family Christmas tradition. You can learn all about Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus here.


57. Celebrate St. Nick’s Day.

If you want to take things one step further (and add one more festive day to the hoiiday season; why not?), you can celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th.

Learn smoe fun ideas for celebrating St. Nicholas Day here.


58. Write letters to Santa.

Writing letters to Santa can be another fun holiday tradition for kids. And you can find a simple and fun Santa letter template that you can print off for your kids to use here.

I do want to quickly mention, just to be true to myself, that in our family, we don’t treat Santa Clause like he is real. (You can learn why near the end of this article here.) But we still have fun with him and read books about Santa and watch movies about Santa and all of that good stuff.

To help keep your children’s Christmas expectations realistic, I think it’s a great idea to guide their letter writing a little. For example, if they are writing a letter to Santa to let him know what they would love to have for Christmas, you might suggest that they limit their requests to 3 gifts, for example, that are within a certain price range.

To help with this (and help take a lot of stress out of the holiday season!), if you are happy with your children believing that Santa is real (or if they already do), I think it’s a great idea to let your kids know that just as your family has a budget that they follow because money is finite, Santa also has a Christmas budget that he follows to make sure that all of the children throughout the world can have a few gifts that they will enjoy and love.

And if you want your child to receive a reply from Santa, go here to learn how!


59. Make copies of your letters to Santa.

If you write letters to Santa (and actually send them off), then a great idea is to make copies of the letters and keep them in a book or binder to show the kids when they are a little older.


60. Host a Christmas party.

Another fun holiday tradition for many families is to host a Christmas party.

You can of course make the event and big or small as you like, but if this is your first time hosting, you might want to start small to have less work (and probably less stress :)).

Another thing you can do to have less work and spend less money is to have a potluck dinner as part of the Christmas party, or forego dinner altogether and invite everyone to bring a plate or two of their favorite Christmas cookies, instead.

A white elephant Christmas gift exchange can be a fun party of a holiday party, or you can use this time to exchange Christmas gifts as a family. In my family, we do a Secret Santa, and we exchange the gifts at an annual Christmas party. (This helps ensure we all get together and see each other during the busy holiday season.)


Tip: Find ideas for awesome Christmas party supplies here and Christmas party decorations here!


61. Have a Christmas luau.

For a fun twist on a traditional Christmas party, do a luau theme! We have done this before in my own family, and it has been awesome!


Tp: Get ideas for fun luau party decorations and supplies here!


62. Have family game nights.

Especially with the cold nights of December, having a family game night can be a fun way to pass the time during the holiday season, so that you can stay home (and save money!) in your own cozy house!

One fun option for Christmas games are Christmas minute to win it games!

And here are some other fun Christmas-themed games!

And you can find tons of other Christmas-themed games here!

Focus on Christ This Christmas with Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Another Christmas tradition that I personally love are the Christ-centered Christmas activities that help make the Christmas spirit bright.

In our own family, we try to not let the commercialism that can seem to so easily permeate this holiday overshadow the reason that we celebrate the holiday. We try to help our children remember to think of Jesus Christ and His birth and His life and to follow His example of kindness.

Participate in these fun Christ-focused Christmas traditions and Christmas activities to help your family remember the reason for the season.


63. Read favorite Christmas scripture verses.

Each night for as many night as you want leading up to Christmas, read favorite verses of scripture related to the birth of Christ and the life of Christ. Find ideas for inspirational Christmas Bible verses here.


64. Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

You can also read the Christmas story from the Bible, found in Luke 2. This is something my own young family does every Christmas (that we did in my family growing up, too), and it is one my favorite Christmas traditions.


65. Read cherished Christmas books about the birth of the Savior.

Another wonderful family Christmas tradition that can help your holiday season stay more focused on Christ is to read stories about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of my favorite Christ-centered Christmas books:

You can also find more Christ-centered Christmas books here.


66. Make Nativity sets a focal part of your cherished Christmas decor.

Another great idea for keeping Christ in Christmas and to have a Christ-centered Christmas is to display Nativity sets in your home.

I know many people who have collected lots of Nativity sets, and I think that is wonderful. In fact, I know of one woman who dedicates a room in her home to her various Creche sets. Our Nativity set collection isn’t huge (at least not yet :)). but we probably have a dozen Nativity sets of various sizes and made of various materials.

I think some of the most beautiful Christmas Nativity sets are these:

 Kurt S. Adler Nativity resin set

Holy Birth Nativity set

Holy Family Nativity set


Now that we have young kiddos, I love especially wooden and metal Nativity sets. Here are a few of my favorites:

Wooden Nativity ornament (we have this one or one very similar to it)

 Fun Express wooden Nativity set

Willow Tree Nativity set


You can find more fun and beautiful Christmas Nativity sets here


67. Hang Christ-centered Advent ornaments for a unique and fun family Christmas tradition.

Another fun Christmas tradition for kids is to hang Advent ornaments.

The word advent means “coming,” and it refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day (which always falls between November 27 and December 3), and it ends on Christmas Eve.

More broadly, advent now for many people refers to the coming of Christmas, not just the coming of Christ, so many advent calendars and keepsakes have Christmas-themed objects, not just Christ-themed objects.

Some of my favorite advent or Nativity ornaments that we have are carved from wood (because they are less destructible; I love our glass ones, too, but I have to be a lot more careful with those ones with our young kiddos).
For example, I like this set of wooden Nativity ornaments.

You can find more ideas for Christ-themed advent ornaments here.



68. Count down the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar.

Another fun family Christmas tradition related to Advent is to count downt he days till Christmas with an Advent calendar.

My personal favorite type of Advent calendar is one that counts down the days till Christmas with an idea for a different service project each day. I really like this colorful and bright advent service calendar geared fror kids from Nourishing Joy.


A couple of my favorite Christ-centered Advent calendars for kids and families are these:

Count Down to Christmas with Simplified Bible Verses Coloring Book

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas


69. Practice gratitude.

Another wonderful way to have a more Christ-focused Christmas is to focus on gratitude during the holiday season. Help your children to remember how blesses they are and how everything that we have on this earth is a blessing from our loving Heavenly Father.

The month of December is a great time to practice gratitude. Some fun ways to practice gratitude are to do an Christmas activity like the gratitude chain or gratitude box mentioned above,

You could invite your children or even extended famly like aunts and uncles and cousins over to be part of a gratitude activity where you all write down and share 5 or 10 things (or as many things as you can think of) that you are grateful for.


70. Serve others.

I mention this in an earlier section of this article, but it is worth repeating.

Christmas is a wonderful time to serve others and help those in need! You can visit a senior living center, visit someone you know is ill or homebound, take dinner to a family in need, serve at a soup kitchen, write letters to lift the spirits of those going through difficult times, buy Christmas gifts for a family in need—the possibilities are endless!


71. Make Jesus a birthday cake.

This can be a particularly fun way for the kids to celebrate Christ at Christmas. Make Jesus a fun birthday cake to help you to remember Christ at Christmas.


72. Go to church.

If you already have a church that you regularly attend, be sure to go sometime during the Christmas season (at least once :)).

If you do not have a church that you regularly attend, Christmas is a wonderful time to go (or to begin going regularly! :)). You can Google Christian churches in your area to look for one that will be a great fit for your family.


73. Listen to Christian music.

You don’t have to listen to just Christmas music during the holiday season; you can listen to your favorite traditional Christmas music, as well!


74. Attend a Christmas musical performance.

Another fun family Christmas tradition to help keep the focus on Christ is to go to a Christmas musical performance about the Savior.

I know that many people love to go to Christmas musical programs every year, like Handel’s Messiah program, for example.


75. Pray with your family.

It is wonderful if you as a family say prayers over your meals or at the beginning or end of each day.

If you have fallen out of the habit of praying as a family, or have not started this tradition yet, then this is a wonderful family tradition not just during the Christmas season but during the rest of the year, as well!


76. Invite a friend or family to attend church with you or a church Christmas party.

Another great way to celebrate the Christmas season is to invite a friend or family to attend church with your family or to attend a Christmas party hosted by your church.


77. Commit to a cash-only Christmas.

One of the ways to have a more Christ-centered Christmas is to have a cash-only Christmas! (This is one of my personal favorite ideas of all of those shared in this article. :))

For a cash-only Christmas, you commit to not go into debt for Christmas. So that means no credit card debt, no personal loans, and no other debt used to pay for Christmas presents and Christmas meals and parties and activities.

Having a cash-only Christmas, a no-debt Christmas, is a wonderful Christmas tradition and legacy to pass on to your children, as well.

And to help you plan for a wonderful debt-free Christmas, grab one of these awesome Christmas savings trackers!


3 Month Christmas Savings Tracker (Save $500 or $1,000 in 3 months!)

free Christmas Savings Tracker printables











Or grab this fun Christmas savings tracker printable!





Final Thoughts on Christmas Traditions

I hope that this article has given you tons of ideas for Christmas traditions and Christmas activities that you can start with your own family! Whether you want to keep things pretty simple and low key or love to go all out during the holiday season, you can find the right balance of perfect holiday traditions that will work well for you!

As you consider fun Christmas traditions to enjoy with your family this year, consider creating a Christmas bucket list! This is a fun way to make plans for the fun holiday activities that you and your family take part in this Christmas season!

Christmas traditions and Christmas activities can help to build stronger family connections, so take a little time this year to plan the activities and events you want to participate in. This can help you to not only have a less stressful and more joyful holiday season, but these Christmas traditions can bring your famly closer together and give you fun memories for decades to come!

What are your favorite family Christmas traditions and Christmas activities? What holiday traditions would you love to add to your yearly list of fun activities and events? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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