It’s the most wonderful time of the year….for making lists! A shopping list, meal list, cleaning list, and packing list for our long trip to visit family and more!

One list that I refer too each holiday season is the one that contains ideas I’ve written down over the years for Christmas traditions we can do with our children.

Now that our kids are 6, 4 and 1 1/2, they are really enjoying some of these activities and it really helps us to grow closer as a family as we start our own traditions. We really want to keep the focus on Jesus throughout this whole season!

We all have family holiday traditions from Christmases past (my favorite was having a gift exchange among my 30 cousins!!) and if the time has come for you to start some traditions of your own for your immediate family, use these 15 fun and meaningful Christmas tradition ideas to strengthen your family relationships and grow in faith together!

15 Meaningful Christmas Traditions to Bring Your Family Closer

1) Go to a tree farm and chop down or pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Let your kids help in any way they can! Then bring it back, decorate it and have some hot chocolate to warm up.

2) Drive around looking at Christmas lights. We do this each year and have our favorite neighborhoods picked out now. We also add an ice-cream run to this little adventure and eat it in the van while we look at lights and listen to festive music.

3) Wrap up 12 Advent/Christmas books and open one each day to read with your children. {related: a list of our 10 favorite Christmas books}. Click here for tips on how to start a 12 Books of Christmas tradition with your kids!

4) Set up a nativity set in a reachable spot and let your children play with it throughout December. The Little People Nativity has been an absolute favorite for all four of our kids and this nativity is great for older children!

5) Carol at a nursing home or go door to door with some other friends or family.

6) Make giving a tradition during this season. We always shop through the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog, and contribute to Prison Fellowship, Operation Christmas Child and our local Angel Tree location, food pantry and pregnancy center. There are many, many opportunities and you can get your kids involved by having them use some of their money or just pick something out if they are small.

7) Shop for a family in need. Ask at your church or community intervention center if they know of a family who will struggle to provide a holiday meal or gifts this year and shop for them. Have them delivered by the center or a friend so it’s anonymous! Pray for the family receiving the gifts.

8) Do some Advent activities or a devotional each night with your kids. Help them glory and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas! This year, we’re using the devotional I created called Comfort and Joy: An Advent Study for Families.

9) Have a No-Toy or Low-Toy Christmas! This can be hard to implement with extended family members, but it’s worth a try. We do this with our immediate family, though, and it’s been a successful endeavor for four years. Click here for 20+ non-toy gift ideas that your kids will really love!

10) Turn on only the twinkling lights on display or light candles and sing a traditional song or carol before bed.

11) Here’s an idea I got at a MOPS meeting: Wrap a shoe box and filled it with 3×5 blessing cards and have family members fill them out on Christmas Eve or throughout the holiday season {ex. “This year I was blessed with wonderful new neighbors.”}. Take turns reading the cards on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day. Save the cards and add to them throughout the years.

12) Have your children act out the Christmas story. Or act it out with them in front of your family and friends {come on, I know you can do it!}.

13) Open gifts on another day besides the usual day. One idea is to open them on Epiphany Sunday, the first Sunday following the new year. This is the when the wise men giving gifts to baby Jesus is recognized in the church.

14) Look for one homemade gift idea and then make a few for special people in your life who seem to have everything. I love making this Homemade Hot Cocoa every year! Or what about Homemade Spice Rubs?

15) Choose a traditional recipe or food that you love to eat and make sure to have it each Christmas! {I love Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle dipped in chocolate.}

When my husband was growing up, his dad would always buy several boxes of Hickory Farms goodies: delicious summer sausage, gourmet cheeses and a sweet treat. He’d often buy them on clearance at the Hickory Farms store nearby and they’d eat them during family Christmas over New Year’s weekend. But you don’t have to wait until after Christmas, you can even order them on Amazon! :)

I hope these ideas will give you a chance to start creating fun traditions with your family this year!


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40 Comments on 15 Christmas Tradition Ideas to Start with Your Kids

  1. Thank you so much, your mails have helped me help my children. Many times i felt like I couldn’t keep up but now everything is great. Would love to win the giveaway will be such a blessing for my children’s school needs coming up in January. Right now we are trying to spend as little as possible since we have alot to do for school bills. God is good.

  2. This giveaway will be such a blessing for whoever wins it! I would use it to finish my Christmas shopping, get extra groceries, and pay a bill :)

  3. I’m humbled, counting my blessings, proclaiming Truth that the Lord’s Grace is sufficient right where I am, all the time, with what He has graciously provided. We are a military (USMC) Family with six kids (12 years through 6 months old), and we are right in the middle of a move and will move again in the summer. All I truly need, I have in Jesus. May God be glorified and enjoyed in this generous PayPal gift giveaway.

  4. I would like to get my beautiful daughter a house for Christmas for her and I as currently live with my Mom.

  5. We would like to bless our grandchild with a big girl bed for Christmas. She is 5 and has been sleeping in crib turned into a daybed.

  6. We moved into a “fixer-upper,” of sorts, three years ago. I would put it toward some home improvement projects (doors, windows, paint, etc.) that have been on hold. 5 young kids = little time and little extra money. :) (Though we are SO blessed!) Thank you for your encouraging blog, and the chance to win!

  7. I would buy a washer. We had trouble with our fridge and had repairs done and our washer went right after. I have been going to the laundromat, it would be a real blessing to not lug our laundry.

  8. My husband has been out of work for 4 months so winning this would mean I could catch up on some overdue bills.

  9. What an awesome giveaway! And your blog has so many great ideas to implement during the Holiday season! Thank you!

    • To answer your questions .. we are in full-time ministry. This time of year is always hardest for us financially. Many give and participate in the community work we do (we give away groceries to over 200 needy families in Mexico every Christmas), which is awesome, but they do not necessarily help us personally. We have 3 wonderful kids and this money would help pay bills and buy them Christmas.

      • Thanks for your comment, Lisa! Being a pastor’s wife, I understand the hardship when you are in ministry for sure! Blessings to you this Christmas–may you see God provide for all of your needs.

  10. I love all of these great ideas for slowing down during Christmas. I would take my FL kids on a trip to see & play in the snow.

  11. I would use the money to pay for presents for my daughter and husband! We read books all year long,…but I love traditions, especially ones involving food! We eat Hollandaise sauce with Welsh rarebit every year,…it’s a tradition my mom started when I was a little girl, many moons ago!

  12. This money would bless me in a way where I can get my daughter something for Christmas. I would use the money to get her gifts as well as buy groceries.

  13. My children are teeneagers now, but I loved this list for additional ideas to do with my great neices and nephews. We did the wrap a book tradition but I had forgot about it. Ii am going to use your book list to buy books this holiday. Thank you!

  14. Thank you for the suggestions! We just received the Little People’s Children Nativity Set for my son’s 1 year birthday last week! I’m already starting to decorate for Christmas :)

  15. It would be great to have my family over for Christmas lunch around the table and not have to worry about the cost. My siblings do not live in the same city and I have not seen my sister or niece in 4 years. I cannot imagine giving my mother a better gift than all her kids together in the same room.

  16. We’re expecting surprise baby girl #5 on December 26. We were “done” having kids so we gave away everything and are starting all over again with this little one. Friends have helped us with getting some of the necessities, but this would be such a blessing to get the things we need.

  17. Thank you for your encouraging blog! Even though I don’t have any living children of my own, I love reading your blog so that I can apply the learnings to my relationship with my niece and nephew and be the best aunt (their “other” mom) I can be, and to support my sister, it takes a village to raise a child.

  18. Wonderful reminders. Traditions are important. As my children get older it is anchor but also beware of business as they can crowd out the traditions as they reach adolescence. But starting young it becomes something they look forward to :-) Thanks for sharing ideas as one can always add to traditions as well. Sometime we do a “try a new thing” tradition finding a fun new way to celebrate.

  19. I remember it was always a special treat when my dad would bring home hickory farms. I am so glad to know about free shipping to apo/fpo addresses as well.

  20. One of the favorite things about Christmas is the chance to fellowship with family. The best part is to celebrate the gift God gave us in JESUS. We are blessed.

  21. We do #15 for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I only make Paula Deen’s french toast casserole for Thanksgiving breakfast and my mom’s lasagna recipe for Christmas dinner instead of the traditional turkey or ham. Everyone looks forward to both to finish off the year.

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