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Fun Christmas Traditions for Families

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Looking for a fun tradition to do with your family this Christmas? Making memories doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. As you’re planning for the holidays, try one of these ideas to create lasting holiday memories with your kids.

Fun Christmas traditions to start with your kids

Bake Cookies

Kids love to help in the kitchen. Even if you don’t trust them to be near the hot oven, you can still use their help as you’re baking Christmas cookies.

Find an easy recipe and have the kids help measure the ingredients. You could also make no-bake cookies.

After you’re done baking, have the kids decorate the cookies.

If you doubled the batch or made a variety of cookies, have the kids put the cookies on plates and take them to neighbors or elderly family members.

Another way to make baking fun is to have a cookie exchange. You could either invite some friends to bake all the cookies together or bake them separately and bring them to an exchange.

Watch Christmas Movies

Make peppermint popcorn and have a family movie night. We love the Peanuts movies and Rudolf, but there are so many great Christmas movies.

Here are some great Christmas movies to watch every year.

Read Christmas Books

Every day, read a new Christmas book to your kids. Visit the library and check out some new titles.

These are some of my favorites:

Decorate the House for Christmas

Involve the whole family as you decorate for Christmas. If you have special decorations, tell your kids about when you made it or received it.

Talk about the birth of Christ as you set up the nativity scene or get the kids their own special kids’ nativity scene.

Take the kids shopping and let them choose new decorations or even their own ornament to hang on the tree.

You could also have the kids help make garland, Christmas chains, or clay ornaments.

Write a Letter to Santa

Help your kids write their Christmas lists for Santa. Take a picture of the lists and then mail them to the North Pole.

Receive a Letter From Santa

Write your kids a letter from Santa. Your Elf on the Shelf could bring it before Christmas or you could leave it next to Santa’s special plate (remember to leave a few crumbs!) on Christmas Eve.

Get Santa stationary (and templates to use from the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) here:

Make a Gingerbread House

DIY a gingerbread house with grahahm crackers and frosting. If you want to get fancy, try one of these kits:

Go for a Christmas Drive to See the Lights

Since the days are shorter in December, take the kids for an after dinner drive through some neighborhoods to look at lights. Check in your area to see if there are any drive-through light spectaculars.

Sing Christmas Carols

Listen to Christmas carols on Amazon Music or let the kids put on their own Christmas concert.

Send Christmas Cards

Whether you get family photos taken as you chop your own Christmas tree or just send a card, sending Christmas cards is a fun way to stay in touch with family and friends.

Save time and money on Christmas cards with these tips!

Make an Advent Calendar

Make your own Advent calendar (or just get one of these cute pre-made calendars):

Visit Santa

Whether your town has its own Christmas Wonderland with daily visits from Santa or you just head to the nearest mall, make an event of seeing Santa.

Plan ahead and dress your kids in coordinating outfits for a great photo op (perfect to include in your Christmas cards!) and make sure your kids bring their Christmas lists!

Drink Hot Cocoa

Have a family hot chocolate night! Put on your favorite Christmas movie and snuggle on the couch with your favorite cozy drink.

Search for Your Elf on the Shelf

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Make a game out of who can find it first.

You can also write your kids notes from your Elf on the Shelf or even do a “12 Days of Christmas” theme and have your elf bring small gifts. For more Elf on the Shelf ideas, check out this list of 200+ Elf on the Shelf ideas.

Sign up here to get Elf on the Shelf printable templates:


Help kids learn the true spirit of Christmas (and that giving is better than receiving) by volunteering.


Before the holiday, spend time with your kids decluttering. This is the perfect way to start cleaning your house, especially if you’re going to be hosting out of town guests.

But cleaning and decluttering is also a great way to get ready for the inevitable influx of new stuff that the holidays bring.

Make decluttering a family activity. Have your kids go through their toys and clothes and figure out what they no longer use or need. Discard anything broken or worn, but make a family activity out of donating gently used toys and clothes.

This Christmas season, do something fun with your family. This time of year can be stressful, but spend an evening doing a family activity, even if it’s just 30 minutes looking at lights as you drive home.

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