10 Fun Family Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Kids this Year

Happy 1st of December!

Now we are officially in the countdown to Christmas, it's time to start planning some fun family activities and maybe even creating some new family traditions.

Creating Christmas Traditions

Traditions are things we do every year, small or big, and they are the fabric that holds our year and our family life together.

And those traditions are what our children will remember and treasure when they look back on their childhood.

Traditions make us feel warm, cosy and part of something bigger than ourselves.

They put smiles on faces and help us to remember family and Christmasses past.

Christmas time is the perfect opportunity to create new traditions and rituals to make such a special time together even more special.

Why Traditions Matter

You may be wondering why we bother with traditions, isn't it yet mroe pressure on parents, another thing on the endless to do list?

Here are 5 reasons why your children love traditions and why you should  bother:
  • They provide a sense of continuity. 
  • They create family bonds and unity.
  • They give them something to look forward to.
  • They provide certainty in what can be an overwhelming time of year.
  • They help to make shared memories.

When families create and uphold Christmas traditions, they're creating something unique to their family.

This creates a powerful bond that will live on fondly in your children's memories.

When your children grow up, they may hold onto these family traditions and share them with their own children.

How to Create Christmas Traditions

The first step to creating new Christmas traditions is to think about what activities and events your family have enjoyed in the past.

What did you do last Christmas that they loved?

Perhaps a family trip to see The Nutcracker, a special hot chocolate bar night, listening to particular tunes as you decorate the tree, special recipes you bake together.

Take a look at the opportunities you’ve already had and what you've done in the past.

Is there a potential family tradition there?

Next, take a look at activities your family might enjoy together.

What do they enjoy or want to do more often?

What do you enjoy most about the Christmas season?

Think about what you and your family love and plan new traditions from that.

Traditions don’t have to be elaborate, they can be quite simple.

For example, you might love to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas together on Christmas Eve.

Keep It Simple 

Once you’ve pinpointed a tradition or two to adopt this year, relax.

Don’t go overboard with adding too many new traditions at once.

Then make sure that everyone gets on board with the new traditions, get everyone involved.

You could even give your children tasks to do within the tradition.

For example, if your family tradition is to decorate the tree to Christmas music, assign one child to choose the music, one child to retrieve the ornaments and the adults can put up the tree.

Then everyone decorates together.

When everyone has a role to play, it brings the entire family together. 

Enjoy a Fun Old-Fashioned Christmas 

One reason traditions matter is to help us all slow down and see what really matters.

Sometimes all the things to do and expectations can get away from us.

So, instead of being too busy to enjoy the simple aspects of Christmas, add them to your traditions and enjoy them.

This Christmas ignore all the marketing messages flying at you from every corner.

Christmas isn't about buying the latest and greatest toy or device, so create some new traditions and get back to basics for a fun, old-fashioned Christmas this year.

Here are 10 fun traditions you could adopt this Christmas:

1. Put up your Christmas decorations

Instead of thinking of decorating as yet another thing on your list of jobs to do, be intentional and make it a fun activity, even an event, for the whole family.

You can even make getting the tree a family event and start from there. Get some hot chocolate and embrace the cold!

Play some Christmas music (Bing Crosby, anyone?) and get everyone in on the fun as you decorate the house and your tree.

Add delicious drinks and snacks for everyone to enjoy as you go!

2. Choose a new ornament for the tree

Whether you all choose one together or each child chooses one, finding a special new ornament for the tree each year is a fun tradition.

Got to a store with beautiful decorations (we love Liberty's Christmas shop in London) and choose something gorgeous.

3. Make decorations

Add to your stash of Christmas decorations each year by making some fun Christmas crafts with your children.

They will love crafting but, more importantly, they'll love spending the time with you having fun together.

4. Go out to see the Christmas lights

Isn't it wonderful to see your neighbourhood transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland?

While some seem to have enough lights for their home to be seen from space, others set out a beautiful display.

Take your family for an evening walk or drive around your community to enjoy the holiday lights. 

You can make a game of it to find the most beautiful display or the craziest display, or even grab this Christmas lights scavenger hunt printable.


5. Bake up a storm

Whether you whip up a traditional Christmas cake on Stir Up Sunday, take part in a cookie exchange  or just want to eat some delicious Christmas fare, baking is a fun activity for all the family.

Even if you don't have time the rest of the year, Christmas is the perfect time for baking with kids.

Bake some Christmas cookies or holiday cupcakes and enjoy both the making and the eating!

And don't forget to build a gingerbread house too, the perfect Christmas movie night treat!

6. Go carol singing

Whether you call it carol singing or caroling, there really is nothing more old-fashioned than singing traditional Christmas carols.

Join a group or organisation and go door to door, or head to your local church for a Christmas carols service.

Dress warmly, brush up on your carol lyrics, and make it a special night.

Make sure you have hot chocolate and treats planned for afterwards!

7. Stuff some stockings

Encourage your children to embrace the joy of giving as well as receiving.

Head to your local pound shop or dollar store and split into groups to buy imaginative stocking fillers for each person in the other team.

Set a budget of £10 / $10 per stocking and let loose.

Kids will learn about budgeting as well as getting that warm glow that comes form choosing gifts for someone else.

8. Play outside

Don’t forget the joys to be had outside during the holiday season: ice skating, sledding, making snow angels, building forts and, of course, making snowmen.

Whether it snows or not, bundle the family up and head outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

Let your children decide what they would like to do and then add those to your list of Christmas traditions.

Hint: Ice skating on Christmas Eve is magical!

9. Christmas tree campout

Put on your cosiest Christmas pyjamas, add another log to the fire and grab some Christmas books.

It's time for a Christmas campout!

Settle down under duvets or in sleeping bags in front of the twinkling Christmas tree for a fun new Christmas tradition.

Who says camping is just for the summer months?!

10. Make a Christmas movie schedule

Sit down together and make a list of all of your favourite Christmas movies.

Then take a blank calendar page and plan them out one a day in the run up to Christmas.

Be sure to plan out your snacks and drinks for those movie nights too!

Christmas doesn’t have to be all about the hustle and bustle.

It doesn’t have to be about the gifts and material things.

Instead, it can be about spending that special holiday time with family.

Christmas traditions are one way parents can show kids that what you do and who you are with is more important than all the things in the world!

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