8 Christmas Traditions to Start as a Family
It’s that time of the year when every family gets excited about their annual Christmas Traditions that they get to do together. A lot of families have all sorts of different ideas and it was fun to hear what quite a few family friends of mine did. I have rounded up some ideas that you can check out and see if it would be a good fit for your family to start this year or work into making them happen for next year. It’s all about getting your family together and enjoying some much needed family time. I highly recommend that this also be electronic free time too. Yes, I mean no cell phones, tablets or iPads- through the majority of the ideas.
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So let’s get down to business, down to the holiday fun:
24 days of Christmas books
This is quite a simple process and idea. You celebrate the 24 days leading up to Christmas by reading as a family each night. Head to your local store and buy 24 family books. They can be about anything, but, I have seen most of the people I have talked to about this, buy Christmas themed books. This is a new tradition that Dave and I will be participating in as a family. We hope that opening up a present each night will help get our freshly one year old daughter, understanding the concept of presents and what to do with them. Surprisingly, she was quite interested in them at her first birthday party a few weeks ago. Anyway, you get 24 “new” books and wrap them up each individually. Each night a family member gets to open one up and read it aloud to the rest of the group.
We hit our local consignment shop for books on the regular. I highly recommend that you check them out before going out and buy brand new ones. For Small Business Saturday, our favorite consignment shop had all childrens books priced at a QUARTER a piece! Yup, you read that right- only a quarter. I’m not gonna lie, Caroline and I were the first 2 people in the store. I had her strapped to me in our FAVORITE carrier (learn more here) and we went to town. I have also found that you can buy used books on Amazon. In fact, we have a post on books for different age ranges if you need to grab some. Don’t forget about your Prime Membership– Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial and using your Ebates!
Pajama Drive to See the Lights
So this is pretty self explanatory. Everybody hops in their favorite pajamas with a mug of hot cocoa and you go for a ride through your neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods if necessary. You get to see what all of your neighbors have been up to this year and you get to find the house with the most extravagant decorations. Don’t worry, we are working on becoming that house year after year 🙂 Christmas is our favorite time of the year in the Sharp household. If you’re looking for some cool decorations, check these out! I love the outdoor decorations, you can find them all over. See these cute gift boxes from Kohl’s.
Find local Annual festivities
Grab your local paper or newsletter and check out the events going on in your area. Every year our small town has the Centreville Christmas Parade. We are extremely proud to have it as it is the longest Christmas Parade in the state of Maryland! We are so excited to go to it each year. All the stores, schools, event groups and clubs around our area and some throughout the state participate and create floats to show. I know in our “relative” area, we have the ICE show at the National Harbor. It’s a neat event to take the kids to see each year. Another one we love to see is the Lights on the Bay. You can actually see them each time we drive across the Bay Bridge to head to the Western Shore. I have seen a LONG line each year for people waiting to get inside them. They’re really pretty and they’ve put a lot of time and effort into those decorations. Fun ideas like this can be found all over the place- I’m sure of it.
Watch a Christmas Family Movie
Each night of December, leading up to Christmas, as a kid, I remember picking out a movie and heading to my parents bedroom. I’d curl up on their bedroom floor and we would all watch a different movie each night. Most nights ended with mom snoring before the movie credits. But, it was something that we did every year and it is something that I cherish and love to reminisce on about my childhood. Now a days you can just check out Hulu or Netflix and find tons of Christmas movies to watch together.
Volunteer at a local Secret Santa Workshop
I remember a local business turned into a Santa Workshop every year. One year in particular, I remember this clearly because quite a few people I trained with at my marital arts school got together and we went and volunteered and wrapped gifts. It was nice to give back to the community and feel involved as a group. This would be a great activity for a family to do together. If you can’t find a workshop, look for churches or places that are donating gifts to families. You can “adopt” a family and shop for the gifts for that family together. Giving back this time of year brings extra special cheer to your life.
They make these in so many shapes and sizes now. It’s easy to find different ones for whatever will fit your family. Growing up, my mom got the chocolate advent calendars. Each day I got to open up a new little door of the calendar and get my
yummy disgusting piece of chocolate. It was a tradition and I loved it, no matter the chocolate taste. But, I know my mom has done the Lego Advent Calendar with my brother and I know for sure there are other cool ideas out there. This year we have one of the chocolate calendars “for Caroline”… who am I kidding- it’s for Dave and I! They make these in every shape and size. If you have a family full of teenage girls, you can use this 12 days of Christmas make up set from Ulta!
I’ve seen this done throughout the year for various holidays. This is such a cute idea. It has made it’s viral way around Pinterest and surely, you can find it there somewhere for ideas like it. Head to your local store, buy a few small little gifts, simple things like hand lotion, chapstick, fidgit spinners, packages of gum, tic tags, gift cards etc. Then you wrap them all up in a ball of cling wrap basically. You keep the more exciting gifts towards the middle and spread the others out randomly. One person starts unwrapping while the next person is rolling the dice tryign to get doubles. Once they hit doubles, your turn is over and you pass the ball around and get to unwrap it. If you get to a present in that time, you get to keep it. I have heard some families get really into this little game. Sounds like a fun time to me!
Christmas Cards and Newsletter
Sit down as a family and write our your Christmas cards together. I had a couple family members and friends who would include a little personal newsletter with each card every year. I’m going to be completely honest here- those were the cards I was excited to get from the mailbox!!!! I wanted to see what everybody has been up to thorughout the year. Just grab your family, your laptop and get to sharing the exciting events that went on that year. Share where you went on vacation, any awards the kids got, any exciting news like graduation, learning a new skill, sport achievements, life goals, etc. This brings all of your family together to look back on all of the things they accomplished that year. You can also use this time for each person to write their goals for the next year. It’s a great family bonding experience.
These are just a few ideas for you to get your family to do things together this holiday season. I could write for days and share even more fun things to do together, but, I’d love to hear what your holiday family traditions are in the comments below?
Are you ready for the holidays? Do you need gift ideas for the female teens or preteens in your life? No worries, we have you covered. We even have a post on educational and developmental gift ideas for the babies and toddlers on your list! Have any new moms or moms to be to buy for? We have an Amazon only gift post idea and gift ideas in general for them.
Happy Holidays- whatever you celebrate- celebrate as a family.