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59 Fun Ideas For Family Christmas Traditions You’ll Love!

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON October 9, 2022

& FILED IN Christmas Planning 

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Grab some brilliant family Christmas tradition ideas here – and make memories that last for years to come. Maybe even start something that can be passed through the generations!

59 Christmas Traditions that every family should try this year!

Free Christmas Tips eBook to Download

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas.

It’s such a special time of the year where the majority of us are happy and wanting to spend time with those we love.

Because of all this joy going around, it makes total sense to make that time as fun and memorable as possible – and that’s where family Christmas traditions come in.

Why Create Christmas Traditions?

You may think that there’s enough going on with planning just the food and presents and socialising around Christmas to even want to try and add in traditions as well.

But I want you to think of the bigger picture here.

Traditions are a very special (and arguably crucial) part of Christmas for most families – for 2 main reasons: –

  • They give us a sense of belonging – of being ‘home’
  • They create a fantastic expectation and excitement each year that you can build on and pass on to your kids.

Christmas is a very unique and magical time of the year, and we have the power to make it even more unique – for our specific family and friends – with the activities and actions we choose to do.

Traditions have the power to create that magic…..

Need I say more!

Christmas Quote

What Traditions Does Your Family Have?

My family has several traditions already – some are from my own upbringing, others from my husbands, and yet more that we have created for our own family.

Some of these are: –

Opening presents in the afternoon of Christmas Day to build excitement / Seeing friends on Christmas morning to share this special time / Pantomine on Christmas eve / PJs from the elves on Christmas eve / Reading ’twas the night before Christmas’ before bed on Christmas eve…

Whether you’ve got a long list of traditions already, or are completely new to creating a special family tradition – there’s a HUGE list here for inspiration.

Not only that – but there’s also a FREE printable that you can download from the Printables Library to go with it. You don’t have to write it all down or remember it – you’re welcome!!

Free printable list for Christmas Traditions

Want a copy?

Click the button below to grab your Free Printable of the 59 Family Christmas Traditions from the Free Printables Library (along with over 50 other fantastic printables!)

59 Family Christmas Traditions To Try

You’ll find all sorts here – whether you’re looking for a unique Christmas tradition to experiment with, a few meaningful Christmas traditions to hand down through the generations, or just a new holiday tradition for everyone – you’re bound to find what you want amongst this collection.

December Traditions

#1 – Going to visit Santa

This could be at a fair, a local market, a specific shop etc… – wherever is the ‘special’ place for you and your family.

#2 – Going to the Christmas Markets

This may well be my favourite Christmas Tradition!. We love visiting the main Christmas Markets in our nearest city – there’s something really magical about them. Our town also does a cracking market so we get double the fun!

#3 – Having your own Christmas Music List

Michael Buble is a favourite in our home – and it’s pretty much on loop between December 1st and Christmas Day.

#4 – Carol Singing

We have an outdoor carol service by candlelight that we love to go to each year. See what’s around your area and maybe something will appeal.

#5 – Watching a Pantomine

A very British tradition – but a fantastic one for all the family. Lots of fun – and you can make a day out of it.

#6 – Making and decorating a Christmas Cake

Get everyone involved!

#7 – Making and decorating a Gingerbread House

This can be a good alternative to a Christmas Cake if you’re not keen on lots of baking, or don’t like the taste. You can get pre-made kits so it’s just a case of putting them together and decorating them.

#8 – Writing to Santa

Always a great way to find out what the kids want, and to firm it up so they don’t change their mind later on!

#9 – Watching a specific CHRISTMAS FILM.

It’s always fun to curl up in front of a Christmas Movie – so why not create a tradition of watching something specific each year, or having a movie night on a specific date?

#10 – Visiting family

Do you visit specific family on specific days? We had traditions of seeing people throughout the holidays, and knowing the routine was really comforting growing up.

#11 – Going on holiday

Maybe you choose to go away for some or all of the holiday period. Skiing for new year, a sunny Christmas rather than a white/cold one – all good ideas around this time.

#12 – Having a specific board game – or choosing a new one each year

Board games are a great way to spend time as a family over the holidays.

#13 – Doing a Christmas jigsaw

This is the one that comes out each and every year for our family… We have it on the table throughout the holidays and then everyone can sit and do a bit when the fancy takes them.

#14 – Advent calendars

A lovely tradition – whether you’re young or old you can find something that would suit.

#15 – Go ice skating

Most cities have pop up ice rinks outside that you can use – often near their Christmas markets and so this is a brilliant way to spend a bit of time.

#16 – Christmas drinks open house with friends & family

Maybe have this on the Sunday eve before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, or in between Christmas and New Year. A lovely way to see people all in one go.

#17 – Have mulled wine

Yummy. Warming. And VERY Christmassy!

#18 – Have hot chocolate

Great for after a long walk outside. Maybe create a special flavour for Christmas that you can have as a family.

#19 – Elf on the shelf

A relatively new tradition in the UK, but loads of fun (especially for parents if you like that sort of thing!!).

For the whole of December the Elf does something each night when the kids are asleep – and they can catch them out when they wake up. Let your imagination go wild and you’ll have loads of fun with it!

Christmas Gift Traditions

#20 – Christmas Shopping

Maybe on a certain day, or an evening after work. Whatever you pick, this can be a lovely tradition that’s useful as well.

#21 – Wrapping presents together – all in one go

I like to sit one evening with all the presents around me in the living room – put a Christmas film on – and get wrapping all in one go. Doing it this way feels less like a chore and more fun.

#22 – Taking the kids to buy their mum/dad/siblings their gifts

This also doubles up as special one on one time too – bonus!

#23 – A specific type of gift

What about always having a book or a game or a jumper in those presents?

My Husbands Grandfather used to give everyone a little gift of toiletries each year – so sweet!

#24 – Make homemade gifts

A lovely way to spend a day or a weekend in the run up to Christmas.

#25 – Do a Secret Santa with your family or friends

If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s when you put all the names in a hat, and then get everyone to choose one name and keep it a secret. That name is who you buy for – and only that one. That way everyone gets a gift and no-one has to buy too much.

#26 – Have personalised Christmas Cards

Maybe you have cards printed with a family photo on, or you use a piece of the kids’ artwork – you can make a lovely personalised card that makes a great tradition each year.

Black and White Christmas Presents with Greenery. Brown Star Label with red tags as well.

Traditions For Giving Back

#27 – Do a good deed for someone every day of December

What a special way to spend the month! Whether it’s a small or big good deed – you’re spreading that Christmas Joy around, for sure!

Christmas Quote

#28 – Filling a bag for less fortunate kids

With toys and books they’ve grown out of. This is a lovely way to teach kids about sharing their things.

#29 – Helping at a local hospital

We used to help the chaplain at our local hospital on Christmas Day. Bringing patients to and from the service meant a lot to them, and felt really special too. I always look back fondly at this tradition in particular.

#30 – Donate to a food bank

Fill a box up with some festive treats and get it to a food bank. Everyone deserves nice food at this time of year – and if you can afford to donate some, that’s a lovely tradition to start.

#31 – Giving a present to a homeless person

It will put a smile on their face – and can be a really random act of kindness for someone.

#32 – Make a charity donation

A lot of people now have stopped buying Christmas cards and instead donate to charity with the money they’ve saved. Less clutter, more help for those who need it. What could be a better tradition than this?

#33 – Buy a gift for kids in hospital

This could even be decluttered toys from your own kids. They can deliver the gifts, and it will really make those childrens day.

Christmas Decorating Traditions

#34 – Go to the lights switch on in your Town

Very special, and easy to do!

#35 – Putting the decorations up as a family

We put on the same Christmas music each year, and then spend a day dancing around the house decorating it. It’s loads of fun and something we look forward on the first weekend of December.

#36 – Start a decorations collection – get a new addition each year

Imagine how many items you’ll have collected over the years, and all those memories that are attached to them. To make this more manageable why not add a bauble to the tree each year?

#37 – Specific decorations

Do you have a specific Christmas decoration that you always put up? This is a tradition for sure! Maybe it’s how you light up the front of the house, or it’s a wreath you create and hang on the front door each year. Whatever it is – own it!

#38 – Let the kids decorate their bedroom

Even just having a few bits of tinsel in their room will make them happy!

Christmas Eve Traditions

#39 – Watching a Father Christmas Video with the kids

SO magical to see your kids faces when Santa talks to them on the computer on Christmas eve!

#40 – Christmas Eve Box

Opening this box on Christmas Eve is a wonderful tradition. Fill with whatever makes this evening special to you as a family specifically. Some items could be Christmas PJs, reindeer food, and the ‘t’was the night before Christmas” book.

#41 – NEW Christmas Pajamas On Christmas Eve

Have new ones for the entire family (matching one are optional!). This can be a lovely tradition but also is pretty useful – you’ll probably be needing a new pair each year ready for the colder nights – so why not use the purchase as a Christmas treat at the same time…

#42 – Reading ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ to the kids before bed on Christmas Eve.

For me, this is the perfect Christmas story for bedtime.

#43 – Watch the Santa tracker on Christmas Eve

This is a really fun Christmas Tradition to try, especially with little children, as it will fill the evening with even more magic for them.

#44 – Hanging the Christmas stockings

Wherever you hang them – this can be part of the goodnight routine of Christmas Eve. I love watching the little ones hang theirs!

#45 – Tray of Food for Santa on Christmas Eve

Probably the ultimate Christmas Eve tradition! Maybe you could have specific food that you leave out (we always leave some whiskey and shortbread!).

#46 – Open a present on Christmas Eve

If you feel like Christmas Day present opening can get rushed, why not spread the love a little and open one the day before?

#47 – Reindeer Food

Sprinkle this outside for them to eat when they stop by… Usually it’s simply oatmeal and maybe some berries for colour – but it feels really special!

#48 – Midnight Mass

Even if you’re not particularly a church go-er you may find that this service is one you love to attend each year. There’s something magical about a late night Christmas service that can’t be matched at any other time of year.

Christmas Day Traditions

#49 – Open stockings together on Christmas Morning

Our daughter always brings her stocking into our bedroom on Christmas morning when she wakes up. Each gift inside is wrapped up so it’s lovely to cuddle up and watch her open the small things that Santa has left her.

#50 – Special Christmas morning breakfast

My daughter has some Christmas chocolate stirred through porridge and thinks it’s amazing!

We tend to have some Bucks Fizz and a warm croissant. Delish!

#51 – Having Christmas Dinner at a specific time / on a specific day

We grew up having it on Christmas Eve which meant Christmas Day was actually a lot less rushed. Make it work for you – and you may just create a new tradition in the process!

#52 – A non-traditional Christmas dinner

Why have turkey if you don’t particularly like it? Let your imagination go crazy and find what works for you.

#53 – Going to Church

We’ve talked about midnight mass – but you could equally have another service that you attend traditionally. A nativity, carol service, Christmas morning service – whatever works for the family.

#54 – Wear a Christmas Jumper

You can make it ugly, funny, classy, a specific colour, or any other number of options. Whatever you do – it can be fun to wear something for each Christmas season.

#55 – Dress up nice for Christmas Day

Even if you’re not going anywhere! Always worth making the most of this special day.

#56 – Waiting to open Christmas presents

As a family growing up we went to church on Christmas morning, and then had lunch – only after these were done and we were relaxed in the lounge did we start opening our presents. It was actually brilliant because often the best part is the expectation – and this meant that we elongated that as much as possible. Perfect!

#57 – Watching the Queens Speech

As of 2022 this will be the Kings Speech, of course.

#58 – A specific pudding for Christmas dinner

Whatever works for you and who is eating with you – go for it!

Traditions For After Christmas Day

#59 – Boxing Day walk

We used to meet up with extended family each and every Boxing Day and walk together which I used to love. It even got to the point where we had a little boat race across the lake at the park as well (best homemade boat competition lol).

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59 Fun Ideas For Family Christmas Traditions You'll Love! - 350
Black and white christmas presents with post title words overlaid

And there you have it – 59 Fun Family Christmas Traditions that you can try this year!

Whether you have a Christmas tradition (or many!) already, or are just getting started – there’s so much inspiration in this list that you’ll have found something new to try this holiday season.

And maybe – just maybe – you’ll find your grandkids doing them in years to come with their kids…. how nice to be a part of creating memories for them as well!

P.S. If you’re ready to get festive with all this traditions talk, then CLICK HERE to head over to the Christmas page(s) – where you’ll find EVERYTHING you could possible need for a fantastic holidays….

P.P.S Don’t forget your FREE printable download of these traditions – you can grab it HERE

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