32 Holiday Traditions For Families to Start

Get ready for some fun holiday traditions for your family!

Starting new holiday traditions is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas!

I know you probably have some holiday traditions you’ve been doing for years, even ones that your parents did for you.

But there’s nothing wrong with adding some new ones into the mix!

Holiday traditions are then perfect way to bring families together over the holiday season, and here are some exciting ones you can start this year.

All of these are exciting for families and even if you are pregnant you can start these family traditions for sure! 

1. Wear Matching Christmas Pajamas

Who doesn’t love wearing new pajamas for Christmas?

You can start a new holiday tradition by getting everyone matching pajamas for the holidays!

Plus, having matching jammies makes for the perfect photo op!

Here are some more matching sets you will like!

2. Visit Your Local Library

Take the family to your local library and check out some Christmas books to enjoy.

Some popular Christmas books include:

  • How the Grinch Stole Christas
  • Angelina’s Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
  • The Night Before Christmas

3. Listen to Christmas Audiobooks

To create a relaxing holiday tradition, start listening to Christmas audiobooks.

You can get cozy in your pajamas, grab some hot chocolate, and gather around the tree as you sit back and listen to some holiday stories.

4 Play “I Spy” With Your Christmas Tree/Ornament

This is such as great family tradition for those with little kids. Although, I’m sure big kids will love it too!

Get yourselves comfortable around the Christmas tree and play a good old fashioned game of eye spy.

Want to make it challenging? Turn off the lights and leave only the tree lights on!

5. Give Your Child a New Ornament Every Year

Giving your child a new ornament every year not only is a great holiday tradition to decorate your tree, but they can take these precious keepsakes with them when they flee the nest.

You can stick to a theme for the ornaments or choose an ornament that commemorates something special they did during the year.

6. Hold a Silly Contest

Have a fun family night by holding a silly Christmas contest!

You can have a Santa’s beard contest and see who can make the craziest beard using shaving cream (no mirrors allowed!). Take pictures and hold a secret-ballot vote.

Or you can go with the traditional Ugly Christmas Sweater contest.

7. Give Your Children Gifts From Your Pets

If you have a furry friend in your home, why not wrap up a small gift from them to your children?

You can make this a silly holiday tradition by choosing an odd gift (and claim that the pets don’t know how to Christmas shop!).

8. Go For a Christmas Light Drive

Bundle up the family, grab some hot chocolate, and go for a Christmas light drive!

Radio stations will often provide maps of the most festively decorated houses or you can ask around on Facebook.

Look for homes that combine lights with music – these are super cool!

9. Make Santa a Gift

Santa needs some love too at Christmastime!

Have your child make a small gift to leave for Santa alongside his cookies and milk. Hide them away and surprise your children when they are older by showing them the gifts they made.

10. Make Your Own Advent Calendar

Instead of buying a grocery store advent calendar with questionable chocolates inside, you can easily make your own!

You can hang numbered envelopes for each day of December and stuff them with a note or small toy or treat.

Or you can create a punchhole advent calendar by covering the ends of toilet paper rolls with tissue paper.

There are so many different advent calendars you can make and creating one is a fabulous holiday tradition!

11. Do Christmas Crafts

Starting a fun holiday tradition for your family doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive – making Christmas crafts is a great way to get your little ones excited for the holidays!

For easy Christmas crafts for kids, check out my post here.

12. Make Your Own Christmas Potpourri

With things like room sprays and wax melts, not many people use potpourri anymore – but it gives off such an amazing and comforting smell!

You can make your own Christmas potpourri to spice up the air by combining cranberries, cinnamon sticks, orange peels, whole cloves, and nutmeg in a small pot with a few inches of water.

Simply simmer on low on your stove to enjoy the magical scent!

13. Sponsor a Family for Christmas

Check around your area for local nonprofit programs that can get you in touch with a family who needs some help over the holiday season.

You can also get in touch with local churches for families in need of gifts, food, clothing, and more.

14. Create Your Own Holiday Cards

There’s something special about handmade gifts, and holiday cards are no exception!

You can find some charming ideas for smaller children, such as painting their hand white and pressing it on the card. Once dry, you can draw snowman features on each finger.

Start early and have your family create some memorable holiday cards.

15. Have a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Have your guests bring a dozen or more of their favorite homemade cookies for everyone to taste and swap!

Be sure to have them include the recipe – and don’t forget to whip up your favorite holiday cookies too!

16. Donate to a Food Bank

Some of the best holiday traditions are the ones in which you give back to your community!

Have your family gather non-perishable food donations early in December and drop them off at your local food bank a week before Christmas.

17. Make Some Reindeer Food

One of the oldest holiday traditions is leaving a carrot out for Rudolph, but you can start a new one by getting your kids to make reindeer food.

Here’s a super simple recipe you can try:

  • 3-4 tbsps raw uncooked oats
  • 1-2 tbsps sugar cookie sprinkles

Place the ingredients in a baggie and shake to mix. You can thread a piece of ribbon through the corner and add a decorative tag.

18. Decorate Christmas Cookies

Decorating Christmas cookies is a great holiday tradition for kids – and grown-ups too!

You can host a Christmas cookie decorating party and make your cookies ahead of time.

Check out my make-ahead Christmas cookie recipes for ideas.

19. Host a Christmas Potluck

If you like to host Christmas parties but stress out over the thought of making tons of food, you can always host a Christmas potluck!

Have your guests bring their favorite holiday gift and enjoy tasting the different flavors.

20. Make a Gingerbread House

Whether you buy a gingerbread house kit or make your own, this is such a fun holiday tradition for the family!

And if you mess up the gingerbread house? No worries! Just add a dinosaur!

21. Go Caroling

Some holiday traditions are as old as time but seem to have fallen by the wayside in recent years.

You can always resurrect the classic tradition of going caroling in your neighborhood.

Practice some Christmas songs (why not include some contemporary classics like “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”?) and wander your neighborhood sharing the Christmas cheer.

22. Go Ice Skating on Christmas Day

Once the excitement of opening gifts is over, why not take the family out to enjoy some fresh air?

Partake in winter activities, such as ice skating, to let your kids burn off some of their energy!

23. Create a Holiday Playlist

Whether you are dancing around while you decorate the Christmas tree or going for a holiday drive, you can start a holiday tradition of creating a playlist of everyone’s favorite Christmas songs.

Music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music allow you to create online playlists that you can access from different devices.

24. Have a Christmas Movie Night

I love watching Christmas movies with my family – mostly because I only get to watch my favorites once a year!

Pop some popcorn or make some delicious Christmas snacks and enjoy your favorite holiday films!

25. Write a Holiday Letter

As a family, you can write a holiday letter where everyone contributes one memorable moment from the year. This is a great way to record and share memories with your family and friends!

26. Start a Holiday Village Display

Holiday villages are super cute Christmas decorations!

You can start a holiday village display and then add a piece to it every year. Let your kids help you pick out the next piece, or have them make something you can add to the display.

27. Camp Out by the Christmas Tree

During the month of December, start a holiday tradition where the whole family camps out in front of the Christmas tree.

You can include other special activities like drinking hot chocolate and watching everyone’s favorite holiday movie.

28. Video Chat With Far-Away Relatives

If you have family or loved ones who live away that you won’t see for Christmas, start a holiday tradition of calling them through a video chat.

You can even call them on Christmas day and let them watch your children unwrap the gifts they sent.

29. Track Santa on NORAD

Did you know that NORAD Santa tracking began in 1955?

It all started when a young child accidentally dialed NORAD instead of the phone number for a department looking for Santa.

From then on, NORAD added a special mission where they display Santa’s location around the world on their radar!

You can tune in on Christmas Eve and let your kids watch his route as he works his way from country to country.

(PS: It’s a great way to get excited kiddos to bed – they have to be asleep before Santa arrives in their area!)

30. Leave a Trail of Gifts

When the kiddos are sleeping, leave a trail of small gifts leading from the chimney to the Christmas tree.

This is one of those holiday traditions little ones are sure to remember because they can see Santa’s route across the living room!

32. Cook a Special Christmas Day Breakfast

Make Christmas day memorable by cooking a special breakfast. Deviate from your family’s usual morning meal by preparing pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, and more!

You can even pre-cook some items the night before, such as the bacon and waffles, and heat them up in the morning.

Or go out for breakfast and let someone else do the cooking!

New Holiday Traditions for Your Family

Make the holiday season memorable for your family by starting some new and exciting traditions!

If you have some holiday traditions you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them! Drop them in the comments below.

And don’t forget to pin!

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