Creating your own family Christmas traditions

  • December 12, 2016
family Christmas traditions

Christmas, when you have kids, is almost as much fun as Christmas when you are a kid. It’s one of the times of year that you look forward to when you think about starting a family, and all the stress during the build-up is worth it for the look on their little faces.

Creating your own Christmas traditions for your family is great fun. You have the chance to create lasting memories for your kids, as well as introducing them to your favourite traditions from your own childhood.

You don’t have to spend lots of money coming up with traditions, sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones.

Do you have any family Christmas traditions? If not, this list might give you some inspiration to start your own this year... |

It’s also worth remembering that kids don’t forget anything! So only pick things that you’re happy to do every year.

A lot of people have taken to doing Christmas Eve boxes and Elf on the shelf in recent years (both of which I don’t do), but if you want some other suggestions for creating your own family Christmas traditions here are some ideas…

Let kids choose a new Christmas decoration

Little H loves going to our local garden centre to see all of the Christmas lights and over the top lawn decorations. I let her choose a tree ornament each year, they don’t always match the rest of the tree but she’s always very proud to hang them.

Decorate the tree together

Whilst it’s much less stressful to sort the tree yourself when the kids have gone to bed, it’s a nice way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Stick those Christmas tunes on, get the decorations down from the loft and get everyone involved in decorating the tree.

And then maybe do a bit of rearranging when they’ve gone to bed.

Make your own Christmas cards

Getting the kids to make their own Christmas cards is a good way to keep them amused for a bit and saves you spending a small fortune on cards. Get a pack of red and green card, some festive stickers and some glitter pens and you’re all set.

Plus grandparents love them so it’s a win-win.

Go and see a pantomime

We’ve actually never been to see a pantomime before as I thought Little H was too young to sit still, but I’m looking at the best one to see this year. I can remember going with my Nan when we were little and we always had a great time. It definitely gets you into the Christmas spirit!

Get Christmas PJs

New pyjamas are always good, but Christmas PJs are even better. For the kids, it’s like an early Christmas present, and you get to see them looking all cute in new festive pyjamas. You could even treat yourself to matching ones – you can definitely get away with that at Christmas.

Make a gingerbread house

This is one of those traditions that kind of started by accident. When Little H was 2 we bought a gingerbread house from Ikea and made it together a few days before Christmas. The following year she asked “when are we making the gingerbread house?” so we did it again. Now we do it every year, I already have the Ikea package waiting for Little H to break up for the Christmas holidays. It’s great fun, keeps the kids amused for a while, and of course yummy to eat!

Have a Christmas Eve day out

When we were kids we used to go to the dry ski slopes on Christmas Eve with our cousins and aunties. Us kids (& the Dads!) had great fun riding the toboggans down while the mums stayed in the warm with their hot chocolates. For the last 2 Christmas Eves, we’ve been to an outdoor ice-rink which has been great fun, especially as it’s usually mine and the husband’s first day off work before the Christmas holiday so helps us feel all festive.

Watch a Christmas film

In the run-up to Christmas, you’ll probably watch loads of Christmas movies, there are lots of great ones to choose from. Why not pick your family favourite to watch on Christmas Eve in your new PJs. Our Christmas Eve film is Polar Express, which in my opinion is definitely one of the better ones!

Leave out a treat for Father Christmas

All kids love this one, don’t they? We leave milk, cookies and a carrot – though last year Little H demanded that we leave a carrot for each reindeer so they didn’t feel left out! This year I’ve also bought some ‘Reindeer food’ to sprinkle outside next to Santa’s ‘magic key’.

Set a time for opening presents

If you’ve had more than one Christmas as a parent you’ve probably already got this one down. You might open stockings in bed half asleep when the kids get up at the crack of dawn, or all open your presents in the living room before breakfast, or maybe you make everyone wait until after breakfast.

Hope these ideas give you some festive inspiration! Do you have any other family Christmas traditions?



  • Amy

    Since my toddler was born I’ve always done homemade cards for the family. Now I have two children and haven’t made any yet so I best get my but in gear aha!! Also every year as a child we would go to a pantomime on Christmas Eve but for the last few years the toddler has been too small but this year we are starting it again! I’m so excited 🙂 #MarvMondays

  • Sarah Cantwell

    These are some great Christmas traditions. I love making Christmas new traditions that Rosalie will remember xxx

  • Lucy At Home

    Some great ideas here! We actually made a gingerbread house in October this year (I bought it last Christmas and forgot about it, and it was going out of date! Haha) Oops! I think letting the kids choose a new decoration each year is a lovely idea, and we always decorate our tree together with the Christmas music blaring out. Fun times. I hope you have a lovely Christmas #MarvMondays

  • Stephanie Moore

    A great set of traditions, we have a few that we do together, but like you said you have to do them each year! I love it though, and its these traditions that the kids will carry on too.

  • Vikki Holness

    We actually do quite a few of these already. We also like to do a Christmas Eve Basket for the boys full of festive goodies and a book advent calendar so they can open a Christmas/Winter themed book every day in December in the run-up to Christmas. xx

  • Keri-Anne

    I love creating traditions with my girls. We have done one of our favourites this week but this weekend i have two more of our favourites to do and i cannot wait!

  • Janine Dolan

    That’s a lot of nice things to do. I tried to make a ginger bread house 2 years ago but with fail. I think I leave it up to the more crafty people. haha

  • Kerry Norris

    These are lovely ideas. I like the idea of the child picking the tradition themselves. I do a Christmas Eve box every year but may see what tradition my daughter would like to do x

  • Lucy's Locket

    I’m looking forward to starting some Christmas traditions with or daughter next year. We’ll be doing a few of these too ? Merry Christmas! #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Laura - dear bear and beany

    We do most of these and I love them all. In some ways I love the run up to Christmas with all the fun things to do than the actual day. I need to get planning what we are going to do on Christmas Eve, it can be a long excitable day. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I love this list – I think we do nearly all of them! I’m looking forward to our Christmas Eve outing tomorrow – we’re going on a steam train to meet Father Christmas which I know my son will absolutely love! I always loved choosing my one decoration at the garden centre too, and I loved watching Max pick his out this year (you’re spot on, it totally doesn’t go!). We’ve not done a panto yet as I feel he’s still a bit young, but maybe next year. Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Louise - Mummy Miller

    These are lovely ideas, I can’t wait to start traditions with my son next year! #SharingTheBlogLove

  • Collette @ Family life and me

    Ah there’s a lot of great ideas on here. We’ve just started the whole “Christmas eve box” tradition and its been lovely. K was so excited to receive it. I like the idea of the Christmas tree decoration tradition. I may start that next year! #sharingthebloglove

  • Gemma @ Cotswold Mum

    I love christmas traditions, we’ve just started doing our own including the christmas eve box (with xmas pyjama’s & a xmas book) and a trip around the local area to see the towns best xmas lights. I’d love to do a panto but at just 2 (as of Nov) I think he wouldn’t have the patience to sit there for all that time but maybe when he’s a bit older lol. Happy New Year x #Sharingthebloglove

  • Taryn - 3 little ladies and me

    Some lovely ideas here, we do a lot of these, i think next year we will have to add a gingerbread house to the festivities, that and ice skating sounds so much fun and i think my little ladies might be old enough next year. One of my favourite traditions is to put together a Christmas Eve box with little treats and new pjs in x #sharingthebloglove

  • Tooting Mama

    This is so lovely. We’ve created traditions for Christmas with our adopted kids to really help them own Christmas in our (and their!) home, we have set Christmas present opening time – spread throughout the day, the advent calendar and choosing and decorating the Christmas tree. Thanks for sharing. #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Great ideas here. We always make mince pies together on Christmas Eve and open stockings in our bed before heading downstairs and opening everything else. I love the idea of the gingerbread house, maybe next Christmas

  • Carol Cliffe

    I love that you suggest traditions to make as a family, as I’m all about making memories, and you can just see your kids in years to come, talking about what they used to do at home when they were little! I think we probably do most of the things you suggest, with the exception of the pantomime which I’d like to adopt but we never have. Great suggestions. ~SharingTheBlogLove

  • My Petit Canard

    Such a great list of Christmas traditions! I dont do a Christmas eve box or Elf on the Shelf either, but we do lots of the things that are on your list like Christmas PJs, new Christmas tree decorations and this year we added the pantomime to that list. For the last two years I’ve wanted to make a gingerbread house but we just havent managed to squeeze it in. Definitely next year! Thanks for linking up with us last year, look forward to seeing you link up again with us this year. Emily #MarvMondays

  • Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson

    My husband’s family had the tradition of opening Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve, so we decided to give new life to that tradition with our 4-year-old twins this past Christmas. It was wildly popular! I will be excited to do it every year now.

    Also we received a gingerbread house as a Christmas gift this year. What a terrific gift and could easily become a tradition for our family too.

    Thanks for an awesome list!


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