Starting a new family? Already have traditions of your own? Or maybe you’re in need of something new to spice up your Christmas season? Keep reading because this is for you! I know for me, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without our family traditions. Traditions create amazing memories and special things to look forward during the holiday season! I remember always looking forward to new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve (seems like this one is a favorite among many!) and sprinkling oats on our front lawn to feed Santa’s reindeer! I am definitely inspired by my own mother, who always makes sure the Christmas season is meaningful and fun, regardless of our age. Being a newlywed and no children of our own yet, I often wonder what traditions I will want to have for my children. Every family seems to have traditions passed on from generations to generation but do you ever think about maybe starting some new ones? I’m not saying that old traditions are not great because they are; I just think it’s important to evaluate your traditions as your life changes! Whether you’re single, a recent newlywed, or you just popped out your fourth kid, this list of Christmas traditions is for you!
I’ve compiled a list of 100 Holiday traditions, perfect for you no matter your martial or family status. While no one could do all of these in a Christmas season AND stay sane, I hope they give you an idea of all the many wonderful Christmas traditions out there that can be enjoyable for you and your loved ones! **See anything I missed? I’d love for you to comment below and add any of your own holiday traditions that I left out!
1. As a family, write your holiday letter. Have each member contribute one memorable moment from the year to be recorded to share with friends and family.
2. Attend a Christmas service for your church
3. Be a kid again! Adults -- Go visit the local mall and tell Santa in person what you’d like for Christmas!
4. Bear your testimony to your family about your love of Jesus Christ and his Atonement.
5. Build a fort of blankets in front of your Christmas tree and sleep in it!
6. Buy a nativity scene each year for your children. They will have quite a collection by the time they are grown!
7. Candle-light dinner for Christmas Eve
8. Celebrate some unique traditions from countries throughout the world **See HERE for great ideas
9. Create a Christmas video card with you and your family members/ friends on www.ecard.com or www.dancingsantacard.com
10. Create a memory book by collecting all of your Christmas cards from each year.
11. Create a slideshow of pictures you’ve taken throughout the past year. Pop some popcorn and watch your year in review.
12. Create snow tips on your Christmas tree using glitter and acrylic paint to create a winter wonderland effect.
13. Cut out paper snowflakes and hang them from your ceiling (especially good for those who don’t live in places where it snows!) **See paper snowflake guide HERE.
14. Decorate each child’s room with Christmas lights
15. Decorate your tree with popcorn garlands or a construction paper link
16. Deliver Christmas inspired goodies to your neighbors
17. Deliver treats to the local fire department, police station, etc. to show appreciation
18. Design your own candle-light luminaires
19. Design your own ugly sweaters ** See HERE for some great ideas
20. Display or visit a nativity
21. Do easy Christmas crafts, perfect for adults and children **See HERE
22. Do the 12 dates of Christmas if you are still newlyweds! **See HERE
23. Donate your old gently-used clothing to the homeless shelter each December
24. Dress up as the people in the Christmas story and reenact the Christmas story as found in the Bible.
25. Drive around the town Christmas Eve and look for Rudolph in the sky
26. Drop some change in the Salvation Army’s Santa buckets at your local grocery store
27. Get photos with Santa Clause at your local mall or family party.
28. Get your sleds out and go sledding! (P.S. If you don’t have sleds, use a baby pool. They work GREAT!)
29. Give an ornament to each family member every year that represents something that was special that year (Ex: If you traveled a lot = passport ornament, ornament for your favorite sport, movie, etc.)
30. Give new pajamas as a gift on Christmas Eve ** See HERE for some great deals!
31. Go caroling to your local retirement home and bring happiness to the elderly who may not have family nearby.
32. Go skating at the local ice skating rink.
33. Hand pick and cut down a real Christmas tree
34. Hang mistletoe somewhere in your house and kiss, kiss, and KISS your significant other!
35. Have a candy-making party where everyone brings a recipe & materials of their favorite candy, and once it has all be made, everyone can take home some of everyone’s finished candy
36. Have a movie marathon of all of the “Santa Clause” Movies featuring Tim Allen.
37. Have a shopping day date with your friends or family. Split up and get all your shopping done at once!
38. Have a snowball fight with your neighbors
39. Have a specific breakfast that is a tradition for Christmas morning ** Amazing Christmas burrito recipe HERE.
40. Have a stocking for each family member that represents their personality **See HERE for some great ideas. Hang these on the fireplace for Santa to fill with goodies on Christmas morning
41. Have a white-elephant party and exchange gag gifts.
42. Have children help and make a Christmas wreath for their bedroom door
43. Have children make a paper advent countdown chain for Christmas to hang in their room
44. Have the same entrée for Christmas Eve Dinner (ham, turkey, stew, you name it!) or a specific side dish that becomes a yearly tradition
45. Hide the Christmas Pickle (This is a very old Christmas Eve tradition in Germany. You are to hide a pickle ornament** See HERE to purchase one** deep in the branches of the family Christmas tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning they knew the most observant child would receive an extra gift from Santa Claus. The first adult who finds the pick traditions gets good luck for the whole year. You can award a prize to the first person who can find the pickle Christmas morning.)
46. Host a birthday party for Jesus!
47. Host a gingerbread house-making party (Give prizes to whoever makes the best house, whoever includes the most candy, least amount of candy, most detail, etc.)
48. Host an Ugly Sweater party
49. If you have children, have them make a gift for their school teacher or church leader
50. Learn about different Christmas traditions and why we have them ** See HERE for a great list
51. Leave cookies out for Santa **See cute Santa plates HERE
52. Leave one present to open on December 26th, which is Boxing Day in England, Canada & Australia! ** See more on Boxing Day HERE
53. Leave your Christmas tree up until January 7th, the day after Epiphany. This is considered the day that the Three Wise men came to pay homage to the Child Jesus. This is a traditional catholic tradition.
54. Let Children stay up and watch the local news on Christmas Eve night to see Santa’s current location across the globe
55. Make a fire in your fireplace and snuggle up!
56. Make a snowman
57. Make an igloo **See HERE for ideas
58. Make bird treats by rolling pine cones in peanut butter and birdseed and hanging them from your trees outside!
60. Make homemade holiday ornaments
61. Participate in a Christmas service with members of another faith
62. Participate in a Santa 5k run
63. Participate in an Angel Tree or Sub for Santa Program **See HERE
64. Participate in feeding the homeless or local veterans in your community **See HERE for links
65. Participate in the “Elf on a Shelf” tradition **See HERE for more
66. Place a Christmas tree in each child’s room where children can hang their ornaments from the previous years
67. Place a poinsettia flower and Christmas decorations on the graves of your loved ones.
68. Place a video camera in the front room to capture the children’s excitement as they see their Christmas presents for the first time
69. Play Christmas music while you decorate the Christmas tree
70. Purchase a bouquet of poinsettia flowers ( the official flower of Christmas) to place in your home
71. Purchase/ build a small wooden manger, and a little toy baby. When someone does something good throughout the month of December, you put a piece of hay in the manager. By Christmas Eve, there should be enough hay to lay the Baby Jesus in the manager
72. Read a Holiday Christmas book each night before going to bed
73. Read children the classic Christmas books such as The Polar Express, Santa Mouse, The Christmas Cat, and The Night before Christmas.
74. Read the Christmas story found in the Bible in Luke 1, and Matthew 1 & 2.
75. Read/watch messages from your church leaders regarding the life of the Savior (see here for some great videos and messages!)
76. Record a fun “Christmas-themed” message on your voicemail
77. Reflect on your life the past year and make a list of attainable New Year’s Resolutions. ** See HERE for ideas
78. Relieve your holiday stress by having a peppermint bath using these bath bombs! ** See HERE for more.
79. See a local production of the Nutcracker, Christmas carol or other holiday-themed show
80. Send a gift package to family members living out of state
81. Shovel the snow for the elderly in your neighborhood
82. Sit around the Christmas Tree and talk about all of the fun memories you have had throughout the year together as a family
83. Sit down with your grandparents and hear their childhood Christmas stories. These will be stories you can pass down through the generations and can bring your family together during Christmas time.
84. Spend Christmas morning feeding the homeless
85. Sprinkle a combination of oatmeal and cereal on the grass as food for Santa’s reindeer to eat
86. Start a holiday village display on your mantel
87. Surprise neighbors by putting treats & gifts on their porch and door-bell ditching them!
88. Switch years of who gets to put the tree topper on the Christmas tree
89. Take a drive through the surrounding neighborhoods to see the bright light displays of all your neighbors!
90. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown with your significant other.
91. Take individual photos of each family member in front of the Christmas tree
92. Take part in caroling through your neighborhood
93. Use an advent calendar to countdown to Christmas as a family **See THESE or buy a chocolate one from the store!
94. Visit a holiday lights display downtown
95. Visit the lights at your local zoo
96. Visit the window displays at your local Macy’s
97. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas
98. Watch the 25 days of Christmas on ABC Family
99. Watch the original cartoon versions of Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Clause. ** Purchase the entire collection HERE.
100. Write letters to Santa and mail them HERE to receive a letter back!