Are you a traditional person? I mean, are you really big on creating family traditions?
I remember my first holiday season spent with my husband’s family. We drove 6 hours to his mom’s house only to walk in and she had little aprons and chef hats for each of the boys.
Then we saw a big bowl full of apple pie filling, canned biscuits, and a rolling pin sitting out on the table. Everyone was so excited because they knew what was about to happen.
This was my first experience partaking in their family tradition of making fried pies. It was a huge deal in this family.
Now that my mother-in-law is no longer with us, this is still a family tradition that we carry on. This year at our holiday gathering, someone will pull out their apron, their rolling pin, and the ingredients and fry up some pies in her memory.
But what about your family traditions? Do you struggle with creating your own for your family?
Well, struggle no more because I’m going to bring you a list of options that you can choose from and potentially adopt them into your family as your tradition.
Homestead Christmas Traditions
Here are a few traditions to choose from:
1. Watch a Movie While You Deck the Halls
This is one of our family’s Christmas traditions. It started the first year my husband and I were married. It was about the time the movie, “Christmas with the Kranks” came out on DVD.
So when we were decorating our tree, we had purchased the movie to watch. We turned it on while decorating and have done it every year since.
Maybe you don’t like that Christmas movie, but you love another one.
Well, turn that movie on and watch it as a family to help you get in the holiday cheer while you are decorating your home for the holidays.
I’ll be honest with you, I always use a fake Christmas tree. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because we always did growing up.
But in our area, people will travel far and wide to go up the mountain to a Christmas tree farm where they are allowed to cut down their own tree.
So if you have that option, then take advantage of it.
But if not, maybe you have land of your own or a family member does where you can go cut down your own tree. If it is available to you, consider checking out this tutorial first so you don’t hurt yourself, then go chop down your own Christmas tree.
3. Sentimental Ornaments
Another tradition in my family is that we like to purchase an ornament for each year that we spend a Christmas together. It is usually something that represents what we went through that year.
For instance, our first year was a little puppy dog because we adopted our first family pet.
But if you don’t want to purchase an ornament, at least consider making your own DIY ornaments. They can be sentimental as well. Like these handprint ornaments. If you have children, you may want to remember their handprints over the years.
4. A Warm Fire and Your PJ’s
If you have a fireplace, then why not include it in your Christmas family traditions? You could put on a nice new pair of pajamas and curl up next to your woodstove or fireplace.
Well, why not spend your Christmas Eve curled up next to your fireplace enjoying the warmth? Then you can start of your Christmas in a relaxing and enjoyable fashion.
5. Just One Little Present
A tradition we had growing up was we got to open one present on Christmas Eve. I now do this with my kiddos, but I have a specific present in mind.
Usually, the present I allow them to open is the one that includes a new movie and a new set of pajamas. That way they can wake up on Christmas morning wearing brand new pajamas. It is something I always enjoyed and they do too.
6. Toasty Marshmallows
Don’t think the fire pit is only for fall. Oh no! It can be used during the winter months too. If you have marshmallows, then light up the fire pit and toast them.
Then you can make S'mores, or you can enjoy them with a nice hot cup of hot chocolate. If you don’t have a fire pit, then utilize your fireplace.
7. Story Time
Some Christmas stories are a huge part of Christmas. One story is ‘The Night Before Christmas.’ It is very common for people to read this story aloud to their children on Christmas Eve.
So why not make it a part of your Christmas traditions? Then your kids can gather around you and have their little minds jogged with excitement over what magic will happen in their home while they sleep.
8. Snoozing Under the Christmas Tree
My cat partakes in the tradition each year so why shouldn’t we join him? What tradition might that be? Well, the one that you curl up under your newly decorated Christmas tree and take a nap.
Have you ever done that? Well, you will soon find that sleeping under a Christmas tree is very comforting and quite soothing actually.
9. An Extra Plate Please
This is a tradition that we will be starting this year. You set your table for your special meal for the holiday.
Then you make an extra place at the table. You can either let it serve as a reminder of a loved one that isn’t with you this holiday (whether they are in the military or have passed), or you can also use it as a reminder that your table always has room for one more.
10. Snowball Fight!
Do you live where you have lots of snow around Christmas? If so, let me just say in my most childish of tones, lucky duck!
But whether you live in the colder climates or not, you can either have a snowball fight or a flour fight (if you have no snow.) It will be lots of fun and create a ton of precious memories.
11. 1 Scripture for Every Day
Christmas is a spiritual time of year for a lot of people. It is the time of year that they celebrate their Savior’s birth.
So why not use this as an opportunity to read a little bit of scripture every day that leads up to His birth? Here is a reading plan.
12. The Christmas Pickle
This is a fun tradition that we do around our house that was actually started by accident. I was browsing through a dollar store one year, and I saw an ornament that looked like a pickle.
Naturally, it caught my eye. When I got closer I realized you hide the Christmas Pickle in the tree. Whoever finds it first gets to open the first present. You can buy your own Christmas Pickle here.
13. Christmas Eve Service
This is another great tradition for people who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. A lot of churches have a Christmas Eve service or mass.
So if you are near a church, then consider attending a service. If you don’t live near one, then consider holding your own candle light Christmas Eve service.
14. Say Cheese
Do you love taking fun family photos? Then consider taking some for the holidays. You can use them in your gifts, like this awesome DIY present.
Or you can use them on the front of your Christmas cards. Either way, take some photos and make some memories.
15. Popcorn Strands and Paper Chains
We’ve gotten so accustomed to running to the store and buying all of our Christmas décor that I think we’ve often forgotten about some of the most traditional decorations. They are the kind the kids love to help make.
So why not start a tradition of making popcorn strands and paper chains as décor for your mantle or Christmas tree?
16. DIY Gifts
This is another tradition we have started around our home. We have begun buying our children experiences instead of stuff.
But we’ve started making gifts for our extended family. This can be anything from DIY gift baskets to home décor. Here is a great resource for homemade Christmas gifts.
17. Christmas Cards
I’ll be totally honest with you all, I hate sending cards. You spend so much money between the cards and the stamps.
Then some people hang on to them and some people toss them. So I don’t blame people who don’t do Christmas cards, but if you are someone who just enjoys it, then make it a tradition.
18. Sing Along Time
My kids love to sing! We have a good time every time we are in the car riding along with the radio turned up.
So why not make it a tradition to get around a piano and sing at least a few times during Christmas? If you are a musical family, then you may really enjoy it.
19. Sing to Your Neighbors
Caroling is something I only did a few times as a kid. It was really fun, though because I remember how many smiles it brought to people’s faces.
So if you have a group of people you could get together and go out caroling, then why not do it? You get to bring joy to others and make memories simultaneously.
20. Dear Santa
If your kids still get excited over Santa, then you should make it a tradition to sit down and write Santa a letter.
Naturally, kids are going to want to include what they want for Christmas. But it is also a good time to teach them gratitude and let them write him a thank you letter for all of his hard work.
21. Christmas Movie Night
There are some channels that actually show a Christmas movie each night of December. If your family really love movies, then you may want to consider watching a Christmas movie a night.
Or you could combine it into one night of nothing but Christmas movies. Either way, pop some popcorn and pull out the hot chocolate. It could become a fun family tradition.
22. Picnic by the Tree
My kids get so excited when we put up the Christmas tree. There is something magical about it for children.
So why not take that into consideration when creating a family tradition? Pack a picnic lunch or dinner one night and everybody eat on a blanket around the Christmas tree. It sounds really fun!
23. Let the Flour Fly
Baking is a huge part of the holidays around our house. I’m a huge believer in baking something nice for your neighbors and sharing it.
Actually, I learned the importance of this when we moved to our previous home. All of our neighbors pretty well kept to themselves. But I baked them all cookies one Christmas, and we all became a community after that. It really can make a difference.
24. Christmas Pizza
This is a fun idea for a family that loves pizza, like mine does. You can make a homemade pizza crust and cut it into the shape of a Christmas tree.
Then use the toppings to decorate the pizza crust like a tree with ornaments on it. It will be a tasty tradition and fun too.
25. Go Be Neighborly
I mentioned this a little above when discussing baking tasty Christmas treats. When you bake those treats, be sure to find someone to share them with.
Then you can spend the day going around to your neighbors’ homes spreading some joy and cheer. This can be a hard time of year for a lot of people so making it a point to say, “Hey! I see you and you matter.” That can make all the difference in the world to someone.
I’ll never forget my mother-in-law’s final Christmas. She had to spend it in the hospital because of her breathing troubles. It was such a depressing holiday.
But do you know how many people have to spend their holidays there or in a nursing facility? Those are people that need a visit, a smile, a small gift, or anything that will let them know that other people care about them. You can phone the facility or old age home in advance, and make up a special gift basket for a specific person. Make that a tradition each year if you can because it will mean the world to someone.
27. The Christmas Story
I realize not everyone views Christmas as a religious holiday, but there are still quite a few that do. If you recognize Christmas as a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth, then why not tell that story?
So you could gather your family around and read them the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-20 and share what Christmas means to you.
28. Reindeer Food
If you have children that still get excited trying to listen to the pitter pat of reindeer hooves on your roof, then you’ll love this idea.
So you’ll want to follow this recipe to make reindeer food so you can spread it around your yard in hopes of feeding Santa’s reindeer.
29. Don’t Forget Santa
Perhaps one of the oldest traditions is to leave Santa a snack too. If you don’t already do this, and you have children that still get excited looking for Santa, then consider adding it to your family traditions.
All you’ll need to do is bake some cookies that you can share with your children. Then you’ll leave a plate of cookies and milk out for Santa. You can even leave a carrot or two for his reindeer if you like.
So you now have almost 30 different family traditions that you could potentially add to your family’s fun holiday experience. I realize not every tradition will work for everyone, but hopefully you’ll find one or two you can adopt and make your own.
But I’d like to hear from you. What traditions do you have around the holidays?
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