20 Christmas Traditions to Start with your Family

We often spend time with our families during the holidays and during these times without realising we create traditions. Whether it be collecting a real tree with your Dad, playing chess with your Nan or going to church. These are all family traditions but perhaps you don’t even have any or realise that it is in fact a tradition. Here are 20 Christmas traditions to start with your family this year.

Christmas cookies and milk
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

20 Christmas Traditions to Start with your Family

  1. Elf on the shelf – love or hate him, he’s a big success with the little ones. Each morning kids will wake up to find what Santa’s naughty elf has been up to. It’s not a tradition to get into lightly.
  2. Christmas Caroling – it’s not so popular in recent years but often schools have carol concerts of some kind. Maybe you could make it a full family affair.
  3. Christmas Eve Boxes – always been controversial. Only started using them in recent years. There are various incarnations. Keep it simple – pj’s, treat, movie and activity. I have seen some seriously extravagant ones!
  4. Light Walk – in recent years, a new trend has emerged where neighbours get together and use outside decorations to entertain the younger ones. Some areas, ask for charity donations but it’s not compulsory and often you can just walk around the streets marvelling at all the lights.
  5. Write a letter to Santa – you may or may not already do this. We used to write a letter to Santa for the NSPCC and they wrote a beautiful letter back. it was part of the donation package. You can get video messages now and even phone calls.
  6. Attend a Christmas production or pantomime – it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without shouting ‘he’s behind you’ at a man dressed up as a panto dame. It really is a family occasion and well worth looking into school productions or local societies to see what they are offering.
  7. Make a gingerbread house – you can get kits in supermarkets now to make cute gingerbread houses, you could even make it a competition to see who does the best decorating.
  8. Watch a Christmas movie – within most families, this is a family tradition.
  9. A friendly Christmas lunch – one of our traditions that started a few years ago was a ‘friends’ Christmas lunch. It started with the kids but after a couple of years, it’s just a group of us having a pre-Christmas lunch at a restaurant or hotel. You could even do it at home. If you have enough kids, you could do a mini one for the kids.
  10. Visit Santa in his Grotto – Most kids have sat on Santa’s knee at one time or another. They often take photos now as to keepsakes which is cute. My daughter has a snowglobe of her time meeting Santa.
  11. Advent calenders – Chocolate is breakfast food in December! We have a chocolate advent calendar but there are various versions now including candles, teabags and makeup.
  12. Hot Chocolate station – I think this began as a Pinterest pin and it has blown up to a whole trolley in some households but it’s a super cute idea and the kids will love adding bits and pieces to their hot chocolates.
  13. Christmas Eve games night – who hasn’t spent a Christmas playing a new board game or a console version. If you have older children and teenagers you could make it a contest.
  14. Late-night Church service – I miss this family tradition, it was my Nan’s thing. Church service, sing some carols, greet the vicar and have a mince pie and a glass of sherry. (We all know she went for the sherry). There was something different about Church on Christmas eve.
  15. Place the star on the top of the tree – tradition goes it should be the eldest child but it could be the youngest or you could take it in turns.
  16. Attend a Christmas fair – If your local primary school hosts a Christmas fair or your local community centre they are often worth a look. They have independent stalls with little bits and pieces and if outdoors they have food, drink and my daughters’ school had some old skool fair rides.
  17. Christmas baking – I use to love putting the 5p’s into the Christmas puddings. Such a dying tradition as we buy them these days for convenience but maybe it’s a tradition you can continue or start
  18. Read a Christmas story – I used to love reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to my kids, there was something magical about it.
  19. Leaving a mince pie, drink and a carrot out for Santa and his reindeer – such an innocent tradition. I used to love seeing my daughters face when he left her a note saying ‘thanks’ for the treats.
  20. Stockings/sacks – I love waking up to find a sack at the end of the bed! I didn’t grow up with this but we’ve created the tradition of sack presents and then tree presents. A sack from Santa and lots of stocking presents and tree presents from us.

Did I miss any? Is there a family tradtion that you do, please share with us?

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  1. These are some lovely ideas. We love elf on the shelf in our household.

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you, Kelly. My two are too old for elf on the shelf but my nephews love it! Cute idea to count down the days until Christmas

  2. Sounds as if you’ve got some fun family traditions! We also like to take a Christmas morning walk with Louie, our boxer. Thanks for giving me some great ideas.

  3. Love these traditions! I know that Naughty Elf is a bit of a love or hate thing but personally I actually really like Naughty Elf – it’s a lot of fun! 🙂


    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you, Faye. Naughty Elf is cute, my kids are too old for him now. Kind of thankful about that but he looks fun watching all of the trouble he gets into.

  4. These are great ideas for Christmas traditions to start this year! Thanks for sharing.

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      You are welcome, Jodie. Thank you for reading 🙂

  5. Great post. You have listed some of the amazing traditions. I love the hot chocolate one.

    Mini | https://bookandcorner.com

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      The hot chocolate one is my one of my faves too, I made the room this year, in our kitchen. It’s sadly not finished yet but it will be before Christmas the winter months! 🙂

  6. These are lovely traditions to start within your family Gemma! Walks in December are amazing, they feel so magical! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      Thank you Lucy, walks are amazing this time of year just before it’s dark. So you can catch all the lights.

  7. Aw I loved this! My favourite Christmas tradition is Christmas Eve mass xx


    1. alittlebitsocial2 says:

      I do miss that family tradition of Christmas eve mass. It was such a joyous and community occasion.

  8. We love light walks and holiday baking! There is so much joy in congregating in the kitchen all together and telling stories and making a mess while baking good things. Christmas movies are a must for us too. 🙂

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