Adam and I have always had a few Christmas traditions, but once we had kids we got way more into Christmas family traditions. If you're looking for Christmas tradition ideas to start, you'll find lots on this list.
Christmas Family Tradition #1 - Elf On The Shelf
This is our first year doing the Elf on the Shelf with our twins and we are so excited to add it to our Christmas family traditions! We got a girl elf and named her Jovie. If you need help naming your elf, checkout our post with cute Elf on the Shelf name ideas.
Also, if you need ideas for how to setup your elf every morning, take a look at our post Elf on the Shelf ideas.
2. Matching Family Christmas Pajamas
Matching Christmas family pajamas is one of our favorite Christmas family traditions! We started this in 2019 since it was our twins' first Christmas.
The pajamas we had aren't available anymore, but these ones here are similar.
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3. Advent Calendars
I always did candy advent calendars as a kid. It's a fun way to countdown to Christmas. We've decided to do non-candy advent calendars with our kids. There are lots of them on this list here. We got #1, the Disney Storybook Collection advent calendar. We're so excited to hear a children's book together each night in December.
4. Christmas Themed Meals
A Christmas themed meal with cute foods is so fun. These stocking pizzas were made by Delish. You could have everyone do their own toppings and decorate their own stocking pizzas. You can make these all throughout the Christmas season.
5. Christmas Treats
Christmas treats are fun to bake and eat! One Little Project made these Christmas tree brownies. Fun Christmas activities like this will be so memorable for your kids.
6. Christmas Puzzle
Puzzles are fun to do by yourself or with a group of people. This Christmas puzzle is so pretty.
7. Make Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread houses aren't the tastiest, but they're sure fun to decorate!
8. Hot Chocolate Bar
A hot chocolate bar is where you set out lots of different flavorings and toppings, then everyone gets to make their own cup of it by adding what they want. Beauty For Ashes Home will teach you how to set one up.
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9. Sing Everyone’s Fave Christmas Song
You can have everyone in your family choose what their favorite Christmas song is, then everyone can sing those songs together.
10. Sing And Act Out 12 Days of Christmas
On Christmas Eve my family gets into pairs of 2 or 3 people and we assign parts of the songs to each pair. Then we all sing the song and each pair acts out a few of the lines. This always makes up laugh super hard!
11. Wear Ugly Sweaters
Have an ugly Christmas sweater night with your family. You can wear them to eat dinner, go look at Christmas lights, or just watch a Christmas movie. It's always fun to see everyone's sweaters. Fun Christmas traditions like this are great!
12. Hide The Pickle In The Tree
My step-mom introduced us to the Christmas pickle, which is a German tradition. You hide the pickle ornament in the tree and it's usually pretty hard to find. The first person to find it gets an extra present. You can learn more about it here.
13. Go See Local Christmas Lights
One of my favorite things to do at Christmastime is go look at Christmas lights. They're so pretty and magical. If you're in Utah, this list of Christmas activities in Utah will give you ideas for which ones to go see.
14. Go To Local Christmas Festivals
A lot of cities have tree lighting ceremonies and Christmas parades. See what events your community has going on and try out going to one.
15. German Christmas Market
Christmas markets are huge in Germany and you can find some similar ones in other countries. There is one in Utah that you can go to.
16. Read Christmas Books
We love reading children's Christmas books to our twins. We've started getting more and more of them. Our favorite one is Little Blue Truck's Christmas. You can find a list of all the ones we recommend here.
17. Build A Snowman
Building a snowman is fun no matter what age you are. This kit will you give you the accessories to decorate your snowman with.
If you live somewhere with snow, find a good hill to go sledding on.
I prefer tubing over sledding. It's so much fun because you can spin around.
20. Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of our favorite winter activities. This is so fun to do with your family and hold hands while doing it.
21. Decorate Sugar Cookies
Make a big batch of sugar cookies with lots of different colors of frosting so everyone can decorate lots of them. You can get Christmas cookie cutters here.
22. Get A New Christmas Ornament
Every year we get a new Hallmark Christmas ornament for our tree. My mom did this every year growing up and I loved it, so we've been carrying on the tradition.
23. Decorate The Tree and House
My absolute favorite thing to decorate is always the Christmas tree. It's also fun to hang the stockings and put up other decorations too. Get your family involved since it can be a lot of work.
24. Elf Yourself
Elf Yourself is so funny! You'll put in your family or friends pictures and it will put their faces on elves. They it plays a video of all of you dancing around together.
25. Cut Paper Snowflakes
It's fun to make paper snowflakes and look at the ones everyone makes. You can wing it or use these tutorials from In My Own Style.
26. Make A Craft
Crafts are fun to make and to put on display and look at. Easy Peasy Creative Ideas made this JOY centerpiece from wine bottles.
27. Christmas Episodes Of Your Favorite Shows
I love rewatching Christmas episodes of TV shows I love. The Friends Christmas episodes are always my favorite! Here's a list of Christmas TV show episodes to get you started.
28. Host A Cookie Exchange
A Christmas cookie exchange is where everyone brings a plate of cookies and everyone gets to try each others and get the recipes. Crazy Little Projects will teach you how to host one.
29. Watch Christmas Movies
30. Send holiday Cards
You can send cute holiday cards like the ones above or you can have them printed with your family's pictures on them. These are always fun to receive!
31. Visit Santa
You can take your family to visit Santa and get a picture with him. This is a great activity to do with little kids.
32. Go Choose Your Own Christmas Tree
If you like to do real trees instead of fake trees, then make a tradition of having the whole family go pick out the tree together. Or you can go to certain places where you can cut it down yourself.
33. Mail Letters To Santa
PJs and Paint has a free printable for letters to Santa. You can have your kids fill it out, then send it off in the mail to Santa Claus.
34. Make Ornaments
Making ornaments is fun for kids and adults. Happy Hooligans has a tutorial for how to make these gnome Christmas ornaments.
35. Local Tree Lighting Ceremony
Check to see if your city or one nearby has a tree lighting ceremony that your family can go to.
36. Make A Countdown To Christmas Chain
Christmas countdown chains make it so fun to see how many days there are left till Christmas. Teaching Mama has an easy tutorial for you to follow.
37. Open A Gift On Christmas Eve
Growing up my family always got to open up one gift on Christmas Eve. We loved this since it can be so hard to wait till Christmas for your presents. A lot of people love to open pajamas on Christmas Eve. These are fun gifts because everyone can sleep in them that night.
38. Track Santa On Christmas Eve
Have your kids track Santa and see where in the world he is on Christmas Eve. You can do it on this website here.
39. Leave Out Cookies For Santa
If you make cookies, don't forget to set some out for Santa to eat when he visits. You can also put out carrots for the reindeer.
40. Leave Santa Footprints Near The Tree
After your kids go to bed, make these Santa Claus footprints near the tree. Your kids will go wild over it when they wake up in the morning!
41. Christmas Stockings
Get stockings for your whole family and have everyone hang them up. On Christmas Eve after your kids go to bed, fill them with toys and candy. Knit stockings are really in right now, especially neutral colors.
42. Donate Toys To Charity
There are a lot of places to donate toys at, including Toys for Tots. Sometimes grocery stores and restaurants will have bins setup for you to put donations in. You can take your kids to the store and have them choose some things to donate and explain to them why you're doing it.
43. Make Christmas Candy
Adam grew up making Christmas candies every year with his grandma. This is something that we haven't done together, but would love to revive. My Darling Vegan made these chocolate truffles.
Which Christmas family traditions are you going to start doing?