Whether you want to keep time-honored family rituals or start a new one, Christmas traditions help your family focus on the most valuable aspects of Christmas. Here are some of our favorite family holiday traditions.
Decorating the Christmas Tree
Decorating the Christmas tree is a memory-filled tradition and a great way for families to spend quality time together. No matter what holiday design or color theme you choose, working together to decorate the Christmas tree helps make it extra special and more meaningful.
Decorate your tree with the entire family
Buying a real tree for the holidays is often a tradition of many families. For those who are opting for an artificial Christmas tree, once the tree has been fully assembled and properly fluffed, let each family member take turns hanging their chosen ornament. Reserve some soft, non-breakable ornaments for younger children so they can hang them on the lowest branches.
My kids love to unearth their own personalized and handmade ornaments each year. In fact, with four kids, we’ve collected so many homemade ornaments that we now put them on two trees – “the kid tree” and “mommy’s tree!” These ornaments really help make your Christmas tree come alive!
Watching Holiday Movies
One night each week, have everyone wear their jammies and huddle around the TV to view a light-hearted holiday film. It’s a great chance for the family to relax, drink hot cocoa, and enjoy favorite movies that inspire Christmas cheer. At our house, we give each family member a chance to pick their favorite!
Old animated TV specials such as Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and A Charlie Brown Christmas are timeless treats and some of our kids’ favorites! If you prefer more modern popcorn fare, there’s Elf, Arthur Christmas, and The Santa Clause.
Counting Down to Christmas
Counting or celebrating the days leading to Christmas with an Advent calendar is a beloved tradition for many families. Most store-bought Advent calendars have neatly arranged little windows or compartments that open to reveal a small gift, but you can easily craft your own unique Advent calendar using items around the house.
Advent calendars can be as simple as numbered and decorated paper bags strung up with some clothespins, such as this adorable one from The Land of Nod. To make your Advent Calendar more heartfelt, insert little cards noting an activity you and the kids can do together, such as decorating Christmas cookies, taking gifts to teachers, or making Christmas puppets.
Reading Christmas Books
Dust off your favorite holiday books and read with your children each night before bedtime. One new Lutz family tradition that we are starting this year is to wrap 25 holiday books for our Advent countdown. The kids will take turns unwrapping a book each night, and we’ll read the book together.
Read the classics together
If you have young children, The Little Fir Tree, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Home for Christmas are good choices. As they grow older, they’re sure to enjoy The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol.
Try out these simple ideas for holiday traditions with your family and help create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.
Photo by Ann via flickr. CC BY 2.0