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18 Family Christmas Traditions to Start this Year

The holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re in charge of making sure that your kids have a great time this year then it’s important to start building Christmas traditions now. Family traditions are an important part of any holiday season, but they can be especially meaningful when done with children.

I’ve been thinking about some fun family Christmas traditions to start. It’s nice to have something you can look forward to doing together once a year. I found that there are many family Christmas traditions people enjoy during the holiday season. From volunteering to baking holiday treats, and spending quality time together, there are many family traditions you can start this year.

Family Christmas Traditions

This time of year is all about family activities and traditions. Family Christmas Traditions are a great way to bond with your kids over the holidays, but it can be hard coming up with new ideas for Family Christmas Traditions to start that will interest them. So I have compiled a fun list of traditions that are sure to be a hit.

Why are Family Traditions Important for Kids?

One of the best things about family traditions is that they bring everyone together. Family holidays are a time when kids can learn about their family’s culture and history. Family traditions also help children feel secure and loved. They know that no matter what, their family will always be there for them.

Kids love to have rituals and routines in their lives, and family traditions provide that stability. When kids know what to expect during the holiday season, it makes everything less stressful for them. Family traditions give kids something to look forward to every year!

There are countless family traditions, but here are my favorites! From creating a Christmas blanket fort to making your own ornaments – these ideas will make the holidays more fun for everyone. Family traditions also help you bond with your kids and create special memories together. Family traditions promote all kinds of positive relationships that can last a lifetime!

Ideas for Family Traditions to Start this Christmas

I could go on and on about the importance of family traditions but I truly want to feature some favorite traditions to start this year, so that you can pick an option that suits your family best.

Decorate the Christmas Tree

One of my favorite family traditions is decorating the Christmas tree together. Everyone gets to put on their own ornaments and decorations, and it’s always so much fun to see the final product. Plus, it smells amazing when you turn on the lights! When we start decorating the Christmas tree, we usually decorate the whole house inside and out. This is because outdoor decorations are as entertaining as decorating the Christmas tree inside. The most popular outdoor decorations include lighting outdoors, decorating doors with wreaths, and putting inflatables of various shapes like blow-up Santa Claus, an inflatable Christmas tree, Raindeer, and other Christmas inflatables. All these outdoor decoration items make the outdoors look more attractive and full of joy. People also put up nativity scenes in their yards which act as a reminder of Jesus Christ’s birth. 

Have Holiday Movie Nights

Watching your favorite Christmas movies together is a tradition that my family does every year. We gather up all of our favorite holiday films, make popcorn and hot chocolate, and then snuggle up in our warmest blankets to watch the festivities unfold. It’s such a cozy way to spend an evening and it always puts us in the Christmas spirit!

Make a Christmas Playlist

Gather up the family and make a list of your favorite Christmas music. Play nothing but this Christmas playlist for the entire month of December. You’ll enjoy hearing your selected Christmas playlist during holiday travel, errand running, and even decorating the tree together.

Cut Down a Christmas Tree

Cutting down a real Christmas tree from a local tree farm is a fabulous new family Christmas tradition to start. This family tradition will help the local farmers, and in turn, keep more fake Christmas trees out of landfills.

Go Caroling

Going caroling is a great way to get everyone in the holiday spirit – and it’s also really fun! You can go with friends, your extended family, or even just your nuclear family. It’s a tradition that I fondly remember from my childhood, and I know that my kids will love doing it too.

Have an Advent Calendar

Kids will love having a fun little surprise to open up each day as they countdown to Christmas Day, and there are countless Advent Calendar themes that you can pick up at most stores during the months leading up to December. Or you can get a reusable felt or wooden Advent Calendar and fill it with trinkets and candy yourself.

Get Matching Pajamas for Christmas Morning

I love finding cute Christmas pajamas for the entire family, and the selection has grown over the years to even include matching pet pajamas. If you want to start this tradition and you have a large family I would start looking for matching family Christmas pajamas before Thanksgiving, this is when selections still have most sizes available.

Open a Gift on Christmas Eve

This is a tradition that I had as a child and I continued it with my kids. Santa’s gifts aren’t under the tree until Christmas morning, but I give them a special gift from us to open on Christmas Eve night.

Make Reindeer Food

When I was a kid we left a carrot out for the reindeer on Christmas eve night, but now there are all sorts of cute magical reindeer food recipes to choose from which are very easy to make with some oats and sparkles.

Make Personalized Christmas Cards

One of our favorite ways that families can come together this holiday season is by making personalized Christmas cards. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, making Christmas cards together can be a super fun family activity.  Gather up your favorite DIY Christmas card tutorials and sit down to make Christmas cards to send out via USPS to family and friends this year.

Volunteer at a Shelter

Many shelters need serving help for their holiday meals. Call your local shelters and ask what they need for help or donations this time of year. Then go to the local store as a family and purchase some non-perishables for the shelter. If you can volunteer time, they’ll be more than happy for your support, too.

Make a Holiday Bucket List

Sit down with your family and create a holiday bucket list. You’ll use this holiday bucket list to fit in everything your family wants to do during the month of December. This is a fun way to celebrate the season together and have a new family tradition that encourages new experiences.  Need some Holiday Bucket List inspiration?  Download the free Christmas Bucket List Printable below.


Bake Christmas Cookies

The smell of fresh-baked cookies is one of the best smells during the holiday season! Get your kids in the kitchen with you to help make some delicious Christmas cookies. Not only will they love spending time with you, but they’ll also get to eat all of their hard work when it’s done. You could also make Christmas cookies or other holiday treats to send to your local fire and rescue departments as a thank you.

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Try

Make Gingerbread Houses

Making gingerbread houses is a classic holiday activity that everyone loves. Gather your kids and have them help you create these fun treats! Give your candy decorating skills a try when creating these cute villages. You can buy a premade gingerbread house kit or make a gingerbread house from scratch with your family.

Read Your Favorite Christmas Stories Together

Gather your favorite Christmas books and start reading them together each night before bed or one afternoon paired with some hot chocolate and the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree. You can find holiday books at most used book stores for a dollar or two, and you could even wrap them up with numbers and use them as an advent calendar so the kids have a different surprise Christmas story to read each night.

Look at Christmas Lights

Look up some local Christmas light shows in your area. Most places have a community or two that feature amazing Christmas light displays. Make a road trip itinerary and hit the road while you stop along the way to view Christmas lights together as a family.  Print out the fun Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt below and make your Christmas Lights stroll extra festive and a little competitive.


Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments

Most kids love to get creative and craft together so why not start making a new ornament every year. This is an excellent way to start a new family Christmas tradition a great way to do this is by making homemade ornaments as gifts for one another every year. Try to place the year of the ornament on each one so that you can look back and chat about the memorable experiences of making Christmas ornaments together every year.

Christmas Ornament Craft Ideas

Adopt a Family

There are many programs around during the holiday season that allow you to adopt a family. Call around to find a place or look for the Facebook Groups for Angels for Children. This will allow you to buy gifts for a family that’s less fortunate this Christmas season.

Trying to find the best family Christmas traditions to start may sound like a difficult task. We tend to get so used to our daily routine that creating a new family tradition is hard. That’s why I wanted to make sure I featured some simple and more extensive family Christmas traditions to start. Each of my ideas featured today will surely help you start a new Christmas tradition with your family this year.

I always enjoy reading about other people’s family traditions and getting ideas for new ones of my own. What are some of your favorite family traditions? Let us know in the comments below!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

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