Christmas Traditions for Families

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”
~Albert Einstein

Family traditions for the holidays vary as greatly as the families who keep them.

Whether you celebrate with a fantastic home-cooked feast, or Chinese Take-Out;
spend a quiet day at home, or spend it packed with extended family and friends,
and friends of friends;  whether you are starting a new tradition in your family or keeping a long beloved one…
keeping holiday traditions is part of the fabric that makes up a family.

Traditions become something our families count on.

Another thing we can count on in life is change…

Have you just moved and can’t find your Christmas tree among the chaos ?
Feeling lonely because family is far away?
Maybe financial stress is sucking all the joy out of your usual holiday celebrations?
Spending the holidays in a country where food and customs are quite different?
Maybe, for whatever circumstance, you aren’t able to keep your most treasured traditions?

Don’t despair !

Don’t let circumstances rob you of the joy and roots of the holiday!
Get creative !
Make up some new traditions.
Keep them simple.
You might just be surprised how much you’ll love them!

Our Story…

We’ve spent Christmas in some different places and seasons of life.
But soon after (another) move far away from all our family, and before we had really met anyone in our new town, a very quiet Christmas kind of surprised us.
It was just us.
Our family traditions always included a wonderful Christmas dinner and a house bursting with friends and family.  This year the house was glaringly quiet as we debated what to do.  Sitting in our PJ’s watching TV (honestly in the middle of quite the holiday pity party), we laughingly came up with an idea.

Chinese food !

Yep.  Could have been inspired by the 24-hour  A Christmas Story marathon.  🙂
So we got out of our pjs, off the couch, and to the closest Chinese restaurant.
Truthfully, it felt kind of sad and pathetic at first to be spending Christmas in a restaurant with no friends of family….but we laughed and we told funny family stories that nobody else would’ve gotten, and we ate together, and every single one of us really enjoyed the night.

It was DIFFERENT.   It was SIMPLE.  But it was GOOD.

Five years later, and five Christmas Eve Chinese dinners later, this has become one of my children’s absolute favorite traditions.

So, whether you’re looking for some new traditions to add to your own celebrations,
or you’ve found yourself in need of a few creative ideas for making some new ones, here’s some of my favorite ideas to get you started.

*Start the month of December with some type of Christmas Countdown-

Keep it simple !  Remember if it becomes a tradition you’ll be doing it again
in the years to come  🙂


* Paper Chain Countdown

+with a Bible verse written on each chain to read at breakfast
+your favorite things about each person in your family  (make them together
then mix them up so it is a surprise to see which person is affirmed each day)
+mark each day (chain) by giving one thing away to someone else each day
+a nightly Christmas activity to do together… could be as simple as reading a
Christmas book, having a cup of cocoa with a candy cane, or making a
themed snack and watching a Christmas movie.

*Christmas Lights Drive

I started this one year when my kids were all very young.  Pre-kids, my husband and I had enjoyed taking a drive through a neighboring town that had tons of beautiful victorian homes that were always decorated to the hilt for Christmas.  We kind of neglected that tradition for awhile once we started having kids.  So one year, after the kids were already in pjs and in bed, I surprised them all by sticking them in the car…Christmas music playing, hot cocoa in sippy cups, and christmas cookies too!   And the tradition was revived !  Every year they waited, never knowing which night we would get them out of bed for the Christmas Light Drive!

* Serving Others from Melinda Todd
Reading Stories aloud by candle light from Contented at Home
(read them on a kindle, laptop, etc…all FREE)
* Turkey Ticket Traditions from Lets Get Together
Thanksgiving Games from A Pinch of Joy   
* Fun Family Holiday Traditions from Crazy Little Projects
* Start a New Tradition from A View Along the Way
* Build a Gingerbread House Village from HOUSEography


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