Inside: This is the year you can start meaningful Christmas traditions for kids! Want to create memories, connect with your family, and make a little magic? Try these 51 simple ideas for fun Christmas traditions this holiday season. Which one is perfect for your family?
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There’s something about the Christmas season.
Something that makes you want to slow down even when your schedule is speeding up.
Something that makes you crave the “best” things in life, even if it means the “good” things have to wait.
Something that makes you thankful for your family, even amid the chaos of life with little ones.
Christmas is the perfect time to begin a new family tradition, or even dust off an old one to start again!
Why are Fun Christmas Traditions Important?
When I was little, I remember visiting our Grandma’s house for Christmas. It was a long drive to Grandma’s, but my sisters and I enjoyed the trip in that giant green station wagon. We sang, we read books, and my mom passed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the way.
As we drove from Central to North Florida, I watched the trees through the window. Palm trees and giant oaks gave way to towering pine trees. The air became more crisp, and even the sound of the tires on the road sounded different.
But the best part was pulling into grandma’s yard. She lived with my aunt in a tiny little house nestled among pine trees in the rural countryside of the Florida Panhandle. The smell of pine needles greeted us as we piled out of the car. Then the smell of pies. Sweet potato, pumpkin, blueberry. And always red velvet cake.
My grandma has since passed away, and my aunt now lives in that little house. But every time I drive into that yard, those memories come flooding back.
These are my people. I belong here.
That’s what family traditions do, right?
They give us that sense of belonging. They root us in who we are and whose we are.
Christmas traditions root our children, too! Christmas is the perfect time to be present and purposeful as a parent.
Christmas traditions for kids and families are such an easy way to weave more purposeful living into the season! It really doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if it’s stressful, let it go!
Keep it simple and fun!
Are you ready to make memories and show your kids the magic of Christmas this year? Give them roots and a sense of belonging! Choose a few of these fun Christmas traditions to start with your family.
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Want to teach your toddler or preschooler the Nativity Christmas story? You’ll love my hands-on Christmas curriculum pack for little ones! Journey to meet baby Jesus, engage all five senses, develop essential early learning skills, and learn the real heart of Christmas! Download your copy to use all December long!
51 Memorable Christmas Traditions for Kids
- Wrap the doors and walls in wrapping paper. My parents did this when I was a girl. It was so much fun to see the whole house wrapped up like a present!
- Decorate a cardboard box as a gingerbread house and let the kids play!
- Sing Christmas carols for the neighbors.
- Have your children set out their shoes the eve of December 5th, then fill them with little candies or treats to celebrate Saint Nicholas day.
- Make an ice sculpture with bright red berries and pine needles frozen inside. So pretty!
- Decorate a gingerbread house and display it for the holidays.
- Visit an ice skating rink. Not one nearby? Dress in your goofiest red and green clothes and go roller skating!
- Choose a family favorite like cinnamon rolls or snowman pancakes for Christmas morning breakfast.
- Make chocolate bark and let each child choose their own candy to drop in. Eat some and then give some away!
- Make yarn ornaments: Dip colorful yarn into a mixture of school glue and water. Wrap the yarn around small balloons. Wait for the yarn to dry, pop the balloons, then hang your ornaments!
- Make nut ornaments: Cut a walnut or other large nut in half. In the shell, glue a small picture of each child. Hang and enjoy!
- Make snowflake popsicle stick ornaments.
- Go on a Christmas light scavenger hunt. Search for different colors or styles of lights, a reindeer decoration, candy canes, and more.
- Bring a hot meal to an elderly neighbor on Christmas Eve.
- Read the Christmas story from Luke.
- Make a paper chain garland for the tree.
- Pick out the perfect addition to a Christmas village. Add one new house or item each year!
- Read the story of the real Saint Nicholas. This book is beautiful!
- Make a list of things you’re thankful for.
- Roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Bundle up!
- Make a homemade gift for a teacher or pastor.
- Make an amazing Christmas music playlist, and play it all. December. long!
- Make hand print wrapping paper. Use it for gifts for grandparents!
- Use an advent calendar to count down for Christmas.
- Have a Christmas-themed Minute to Win it night!
- Hide candy canes around the house and let the kids find them.
- Attend a special service at your church.
- Wear matching pajamas and take an annual family PJ picture on Christmas eve.
- Visit the nativity scene in your town or church.
- Wrap 25 books per child. Let them open one a day! I get books for 25 cents each (cheap!) at my local thrift store.
- Visit the same place year after year: This can be as big as a cross country trip, or as simple as visiting grandma’s house Christmas night for dinner every year.
- Spend the day after Thanksgiving decorating, not shopping!
- Watch the Polar Express and make homemade hot chocolate.
- Host an epic game night. Invite cousins and friends over to play and sip on hot chocolate.
- Hang up Christmas stockings. Decorate with puffy paint if you’ve got new ones this year!
- Watch a classic Christmas movie together.
- Read parts of Ben Hur aloud. This is a great bedtime read aloud book for older kids during the holidays!
- Give each child $1, assign secret Santas, and set them loose in Dollar Tree.
- Make a felt tree for kids to play with. We made this felt Christmas tree and my kids love it year after year!
- Make a popcorn garland for the tree.
- Help your child pick out a gift for an Angel Tree child. Giving is the best part of Christmas!
- Put the nativity scene out early in December, but don’t put baby Jesus out until Christmas Eve. Little ones will love seeing baby Jesus on Chrismas morning!
- Buy ready-to-bake cookie dough, red and green icing, and let the kids to to town!
- Hang tinsel or crepe paper over the kid’s doors Christmas Eve night. When they wake up and run to the tree they’ll have a nice surprise!
- Sleep under the tree the night before Christmas Eve.
- If you live where it snows, go outside and catch snowflakes on your tongue!
- Beofre bed on Christmas Eve, go outside and look for the Christmas star. They can imagine they are wise men seeking Jesus!
- Have the kids ask grandparents or older relative about their favorite Christmas memories.
- Load up a box of items for your local food pantry.
- Make cinnamon salt dough ornaments.
- Pray together before gifts are opened Christmas morning. Thank God for His blessings!
In our home, we already do a few of these Christmas traditions for kids. I’m looking forward to adding new traditions this year and many more years to come!
What about your family this Christmas? Want to root your kids and help them feel a sense of belonging? Want to give them something to connect to for years to come?
Make this the year that you begin family Christmas traditions for kids. Your children will remember this for years and years!