This month I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas traditions and what the heck I want my little family’s traditions to be! My husband has a couple ideas from his family and I have a couple ideas from mine, but I want some traditions that are OURS. You feel me?? Yet, whether the traditions are ours or somebody else’s, I really want to make the Christmas season a meaningful and special time for my kids. So, after scouring the internet, I’ve found 24 meaningful Christmas traditions that I specifically chose because I think they could fun AND promote family bonding, acts of service, or thoughts of Christ. What are your favorite Christmas traditions??
24 Meaningful Christmas Traditions for Families
Nativity Play Script ~ Or so she says…
I remember participating in my family’s nativity play at my Grandma’s home, every time we spent Christmas there. It was such a neat thing to do with my siblings and we have some fun pictures of us, all dressed up, to help us remember the special evening. This post is amazing, as it has an entire nativity play script available to use. Definitely makes for a meaningful Christ-centered Christmas tradition!
Bed for Baby Jesus Christmas Tradition ~ Or so she says…
The Baby Jesus didn’t have a warm, cozy bed to sleep in when He was born. Have the family help earn more hay for His bed by doing kind deeds for others. Not only will His bed become more comfortable and warm, but the feelings around your home will too! What better gift could we give Him this Christmas, than to try to live more like Him?
The Symbols of Christmas Game ~ Or so she says…
Understanding the story behind the different symbols of Christmas makes them all the meaningful. This printable game is so cute and can be played every year with the family. You could even have some fun little Christmas symbol treats to eat while playing or afterwards… things like: candy canes, star shaped sugar cookies, wreath shaped Rice Krispie treats, etc.
A Stocking for Jesus ~ Or so she says…
If you’re thinking of meaningful Christmas traditions, this is definitely one to consider. Everyone in the family has a stocking… why not have a stocking for Jesus hanging up too? And, there’s something you can put in the stocking that will make this tradition extra special. I also love that this tradition makes a great gift for families or neighbors. Free printable poem included.
Our Christmas Eve Traditions ~ Or so she says…
In this post, I go over my family’s complete Christmas Eve night… filled with traditions. We have the same meal every year, play games, read the Christmas Story… and you have to check out the most special, meaningful thing that new do. It’s my favorite thing of all, a tradition I will never give up!
Shepherd’s Dinner Christmas Tradition ~ Or so she says…
Oh man, this is such an awesome idea! I love Christ-centered Christmas traditions the most and this one hits the nail on the head. Plus, there is food involved… a full on dinner, so that’s always a plus. There is so much that can be learned in this one evening… the history and importance of the the shepherds, the Christmas Story, the customs and traditions during the time of Christ, and the types of food they ate back then. Definitely a value-packed, memorable night!
Christmas Family Night ~ Or so she says…
This is a simple, but impactful, Family Night lesson about the gifts we have received and the GREATEST gift we have received. Christ is definitely the ‘reason for the season’ and this sweet lesson and activity embraces that.
12 Days of Christmas Family Fun ~ Or so she says…
Not only do I like to believe that ‘the family that prays together, stays together,’ but I also like to think that ‘the family that PLAYS together, stays together.’ Playing and having fun as a family is so important! It creates memories, builds bonds, and opens up a space for laughter, joking, and not taking life so seriously. This Christmas tradition idea is awesome because it’s so flexible. Heaven knows, the holiday season is busy enough! Each day has a different theme, such as reindeer, snow, the grinch, etc. and you just find a theme related activity that works for your day… for the 12 days of Christmas! There are entire lists of possible activity ideas for each theme, as well as printable tags.
25 Days of Christ ~ Or so she says…
This is a fun and spiritual Christmas tradition that builds upon itself each day. There is a Latter-day Saint version and non-denominational version available. I love the idea of having a separate little tree for this tradition. Maybe one that you keep on or near the kitchen table. You could read the mini devotional and place the ornament on it, when you’re all gathered for dinner!
Kindness Christmas Stockings ~ Or so she says…
This is such a meaningful Christmas tradition for families because it involves siblings being sweet to each other, lifting spirits, and being thoughtful. Best of all, it’s super simple to implement and affordable too!
33 Popular Christmas Movies for Families ~ Or so she says…
Watching a Christmas movie with the family is one of my most favorite traditions! It’s fun to make up some caramel popcorn, hot chocolate, and other treats, and turn it into a full-on event! This is an awesome list of Christmas movies to keep on hand, in case you want to try something besides one of “the usuals.”
Christmas Activity Advent ~ Or so she says…
Time spent with family is the most important time there is! This is a great printable list filled with ideas of simple Christmas activities you can do as a family, for the entire month of December. If something doesn’t work for your schedule, feel free to substitute it with something that does work. There are endless ideas out there!
The Christmas “Pie” ~ Or so she says…
I love the idea of doing a Christmas tradition that you ancestors used to do. It may take some investigating, but you may come away with some awesome stories and a super cool family tradition that will be passed on in your family. This Christmas Pie tradition is just that. It comes from the author’s great grandfather and is over 70 years old. Her family still does it, to this day!
Random Acts of Kindness ~ Raising Lifelong Learners
It’s always a good time to do a random act of kindness. But at Christmas time, as we try to focus on Christ even more, it’s a great time to amp up our service efforts. This blog has an amazing list of simple service ideas and resources for finding even more.
Polar Express Night ~ Teach Mama
Okay, this gal wins the prize for Best Aunt Ever!! I love the Polar Express Night that she started for her nieces and nephews and has continued for years. The activities vary every year, but tradition is constant, even as the family grows. That’s the very definition of a meaningful Christmas tradition!
Family Keepsake Ornament Album ~ View Along The Way
I think we sometimes don’t realize how much of a role that ornaments can play in our family fun memories. We could have a theme tree where everything is matchy-matchy and pretty, or we could have an eclectic tree, where every ornament has it’s own story. There’s no right way to decorate your tree, and I love checking out beautifully decorated trees, but I tend to gravitate towards the meaningful tree. In this post, you’ll see how the author has taken the specially chosen ornaments and used photos of them to write a book of wonderful memories. It’s so neat!
Christmas Bucket ~ Workman Family
I love advent calendars for my kids and have long thought about creating my own, so I could choose exactly what they were getting each day. That’s exactly what this Christmas Bucket idea is about, and I may just need to c0py this fun holiday tradition!
Kindness Elves ~ The Imagination Tree
I’ve always avoided the Elf on the Shelf… mostly because I’m too tired to deal with it. But, I may have to rethink my aversion now that I read about the Kindness Elves. They are very similar, but focus on kindness, not catching a chid being naughty. “Present giving is because you love someone, not because they deserve it.” I love that. It’s so true. Not that the Elf of the Shelf tradition is bad… I admire the moms that pull it off. I see some of the cutest ideas being shared! But, this kindness-focused elf system seems like something my kids could really learn from.
Nativity Scene Game ~ No Time for Flashcards
This nativity hide-and-seek game is a fun way to teach the family about each of the people in the Christmas Story. You could use any nativity scene you want, but the Little People nativity is especially cute for toddlers.
Night Before Christmas Box ~ They Typical Mom
One of my most favorite traditions is simply STAYING HOME on Christmas Eve. I think it offends plenty of relatives that we don’t show up for their parties, but it’s worth it. The memories that we create on Christmas Eve, and the feeling in our home… I just can’t give it up. It’s too special! This Night Before Christmas Box is a family tradition that would definitely add something to our Christmas Eve at home. I could see all 7 of my children loving this!
Christmas Giving Jar ~ Life With My Littles
I love the idea of giving anonymously and teaching your children the value of doing things anonymously, when you can. This is one of those Christmas family traditions that is worked on all year long, is super simple, but so rewarding and fun, in the end.
Santa’s Secret Service ~ The Dating Divas
What parent doesn’t love seeing their family serve each other? That’s a present we all want, right?! This is such a cute tradition where the family is enlisted to act as Santa’s elves, secretly serving in the home and leaving behind little notes.
Roll the Dice Gift Exchange Games ~ Party Game Ideas
One of the favorite traditions at my house is our annual white elephant game… we come up with the most hilarious gifts and even the young kids have a blast with it! This Roll the Dice game is a fun way to trade the white elephant gifts around the room.
Birthday Cake for Jesus ~ Joy, Food, Sunshine
Because after all… what are we celebrating on Christmas?? I love this idea! You could even make the cake days ahead of time to freeze. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day can get a little overwhelming, with everything going on. So, if you’re dessert is practically ready to go, minus the frosting, that’s one less thing to think about… but, one more thing to make the day extra special.
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If you liked this post, check out:
- 27 Christmas Ornament Crafts for Elementary Students (or anybody!)
- Over 150 Christmas Gift Ideas (for everyone on your list!)
- Christ Centered Christmas Books to Read With the Family This Year (makes great gifts too!)