By Mindy Jones, Crosswalk.com
Are you looking to start some new family-friendly traditions for Christmas this year? But more importantly, traditions that will point your family to Christ and create beautiful family memories?
Here are nine fun family Christmas traditions you can start now!
Fun Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year
It’s that time of year again, the air is getting colder, and the Christmas spirit is in the air! For the world, people can feel the joy and excitement that comes with Christmas, but as Christians, we know where that true joy comes from. Celebrating the birth of our Savior!
It’s the perfect time to start new family traditions that will bring you closer together and be a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. These traditions are perfect for families of any age and size and can be added right in with the current activities you do together! Or, feel free to take inspiration from this list and start this season with any of these fun family Christmas traditions! Let’s get right into them...
1. Participate in Advent
One beautiful thing about Christmas is we get to participate in Advent! Advent is simply the arrival of a bootable person, thing, or event.
And that’s Jesus! We celebrate the four weeks leading up to Christmas by doing a multitude of things. Some examples of Advent activities you can participate in are:
1) Make an Advent calendar - First, you will want to make a calendar with your kids starting on December 1st and leading up to December 25th. You can grab a big piece of construction paper and fill it in yourselves (your kids will love coloring it in) or find a pre-made one online.
2) Fill your calendar with activities - each day, you can participate in a new advent activity! Here is a great list of over 50 advent activities, including crafts, pintables, baked goods, and more!
Many churches also celebrate Advent, with a different theme and lighting of the advent candles each week. You can talk about this at home with your kids, adding it in as a wonderful and important family tradition.
2. Make Christmas Treats
What is Christmas without all the sweet treats? They say that the heart of the home is the kitchen, and it is so true. You can bake cookies and decorate them with your kids, find nativity-themed treats to make and eat together, or other fun options! The point is to create those family memories and let it be something your kids look forward to each year. You can do this on Christmas Eve, the weekend before Christmas, or on a specific date!
My Mom and her grandmother made homemade Christmas cookies every year. Now, my daughter and I do this with my Mom. My 4-year-old has been asking nonstop when we are going to go to Grandma’s and make cookies! When we do, most of the dough and icing end up not being made or on the actual cookie, but I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.
3. Buy a Family Ornament
Buying a family ornament is such a simple yet important thing you can do each year! It’s so awesome to watch how your family has grown throughout the years, with kids and pets. You can make it a special shopping trip to get the ornament - maybe you eat dinner as a family, pick it out together, and then do your tree decorating that night. Anything to make it memorable!
4. Watch a Christmas Movie
This may be something you already do, but if not, it’s a great tradition to start this year! Pick a night; it could be Christmas Eve, the week before, any time, and enjoy a great Christmas movie! Snuggle up as a family on the couch, make some popcorn, hot cocoa, or enjoy the cookies you may have already made and get into the Christmas Spirit with a fun movie.
Here is an excellent list of Christian movies for the whole family you could pick from! The Star is a must-watch for kids during Christmas time.
5. Read the Story of Jesus’ Birth
This is a tradition that I highly recommend starting if you haven’t yet. It’s important not to get caught up in the “magic” and “wonder” of Christmas like presents, Santa, etc.
We want to instill godly things in our kids and remind them that while all those things are fun, it’s not WHY we celebrate. We celebrate the birth of Jesus and that God sent His Son to be born and live a sinless life on this Earth, to ultimately die for our sins. We can share the Gospel with our kids on Christmas. How beautiful!
You can either read a little bit of the story in Luke each day leading up to Christmas or the whole chapter on Christmas Eve before watching your Christmas movie or baking treats.
6. Take a Christmas Family Photo
When you think of a Christmas family photo, you may have the thought of kids crying on Santa’s lap at the mall, right? Well, let’s see if we can take a different approach that is a little more fun, still memorable, and also give you some great family photos.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money and get a professional photographer - instead, find a friend with a nice camera or use your phone! Have everyone get dressed up in Christmas attire or matching Christmas pajamas. Either option would be great for family Christmas cards and less expensive too. Plus, it’s nice to be able to look back at those photos and reminisce.
7. Find Ways to Serve Your Community
What is one thing Jesus did (out of many, of course) when He lived on this Earth?
He came to serve, and not BE served (Matthew 20:28). And we are called to be like Him, so start a new tradition by finding somewhere you can serve as a family each year! You can volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, at your church where help is needed, or encourage your kids to go through their toys to donate them. Something we do as a church every year is pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Our daughter was finally old enough this year to understand what we were doing and why and even offered to put one of her own toys in the box. It’s an excellent way to grow closer together as a family and grow more in godliness with kind hearts.
8. Make Christmas Cards
Something fun you can do as a family is to make Christmas cards! Get out all your crafting supplies and spread them out on the kitchen table. Your kids will love getting to make something, and you will enjoy spending time together!
You can make cards for your family (grandparents especially), neighbors, friends, church leaders, or put them in a scrapbook to keep and look back on.
9. Do a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
This is such a fun tradition that we started just last year! You can Google “Christmas light scavenger hunt” and print off a list. Then, bundle everyone up in the car and drive around your town, looking for each type of festive light on the list.
It is so much fun and definitely a tradition you want to add. Feel free to explore more of your neighborhood or even venture out further. You can even make it a friendly competition and have multiple family members participate in different cars. Then everyone can meet back at a certain time and see who found the most on the list! I hope you found some fun ideas from this list to start some new family traditions for Christmas this year. Most importantly, make sure you point everything back to Jesus, the true reason for the season.
Mindy Jones is a Christ-follower, loving wife, and stay-at-home mom. She is a graduate of Campbellsville University with a Major in Business Administration and a love for writing. Her mission is to guide Christian moms in being more intentional in their faith, family, and homes with practical tips and authenticity! She hopes to inspire moms to be fervent in raising children who love the Lord, offering tons of activities and resources to do so on her website, Mindy Jones Blog.