December 4, 2018

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12 Simple Family Christmas Traditions to Do This Year

I absolutely love Christmas for so many reasons. The first reason is that we celebrate Jesus’ birth. He stepped down from heaven so that we could have eternal life. Now that’s the greatest gift of all. I also love Christmas because of traditions. I have so many fond memories of Christmas when I was young.

My husband Jonathan and I have adapted some traditions that we grew up with. And we have started several of our own Christmas traditions. I love traditions because they are a fun way for kids to feel connected to whatever event they are celebrating.

Today, I am going to share 12 Simple Family Christmas Traditions to do this year. Several of these traditions our family currently does. I am excited to incorporate some of the other Christmas traditions into our family.

 

1. St. Nick’s Day

As a child, I loved St. Nick’s Day. On the evening of December 5, we would set out our shoes. In the morning, we would find our shoes filled with treats such as candy, cuties, and a small toy.

This holiday originated from Nicholas of Myra. He was a bishop in the 4th century Greece. During his lifetime, Nicholas was known for his gift giving. He placed coins in other people’s shoes.

Nicholas of Myra is actually who the legendary figure of Santa Claus is derived from. We talk about Santa Claus in our family but we don’t celebrate him. I love celebrating gift giving which is Jesus’ heart so that is why we celebrate St. Nick’s Day.

 

2. Christmas Ornament

Every year, go out together as a family and pick an ornament to represent the year. Another idea would be to get each child a new ornament for the year. Keep these ornaments in a separate box. That way when your child leaves home, they can have eighteen ornaments to take with them.

 

3. Christmas Movie Night

Plan a night to watch a Christmas movie as a family. They are so many great Christmas movies. Make popcorn and have other snacks while watching the movie.  Some of our favorite movies are  Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol.

 

4. Letter to Jesus

Lots of people write letters to Santa every year.  But, the real reason for the season is Jesus. Why not write Jesus a letter of gratitude for all He went through for us? Take some time to talk about this letter with your family and remind them of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for them.

After writing a small and simple letter of gratitude to Jesus, slip inside a balloon and fill it with helium. As a family, send the balloon up to heaven.

 

5. Red and Green Gratitude Paper Chain

Each evening for the month of December, have each family member take a slip of red or green paper. On the sheet of paper, write one thing you are grateful for from that day. Hang this gratitude chain somewhere around the house and watch it grow.

 

6. Christmas Caroling and Pizza Night

Pick a night in December and go Christmas Caroling around your neighborhood or another place. Share the joy of Christmas with people. Afterward, come home and enjoy some pizza and soda pop together.

 

7. New Board Game

Each year for Christmas, purchase a new board game for the family. It is a great way to connect and make time to be together. Some of our favorites include Sorry, Qwirkle and Sequence.

 

8. Christmas Lights Drive and/or Christmas Scavenger Hunt with Hot Cocoa

Pile the family in the van and go look for Christmas lights. Some people put a lot of work into their lights display. Enjoy looking at it together. Pack some hot cocoa and blankets as you travel.

Another idea in addition to the Christmas lights drive is a Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Create a list with things such as a nativity scene or a snowman to find on this hunt. Or use this FREE Printable on your Christmas Scavenger hunt.

 

9. Pajamas or Slippers for Christmas Eve

Each year, buy new pajamas for the family members and let them open on Christmas Eve. Friends of ours pick up matching PJs for their family members. Another option is to get a new pair of slippers for each family member. Do whatever is fun for your family. Feel free to rotate between slippers and pajamas each year.

 

10. Plan a Special Breakfast and Use Special Dishes

On Christmas morning, plan a special breakfast. Maybe it’s an egg casserole or cinnamon rolls. Or could just be scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. If you have Christmas dishes pull those out to use. Or before Christmas, head to Dollar Tree and get some “Christmas” only dishes. They have some fun patterns.

 

11. Read the Bible Together

My favorite Christmas tradition is reading the Bible story of Jesus’ birth. After our Christmas breakfast, we gather together on the couch. My husband Jonathan pulls out his Bible and turns to Luke 2:1-20. We all listen as he reads the story of Jesus’ birth. Even though I have heard the story of Jesus countless times, I still feel the excitement of the night.

 

12. Family Picture in front of the Christmas Tree

Each year on Christmas day, set up the tripod to get a family picture in front of the Christmas tree. As the years go by, you will see how much each family member has grown.

 

Hopefully, this post was fun and encouraging to read. What traditions do you currently do? I would love to hear about it! Which tradition from this list of 12 simple family traditions will you try out this year? Please comment below.

 

Simple Family Christmas Traditions

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