Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
I have always been fascinated by Christmas traditions, especially other families. Growing up, Christmas day was hectic as we hurried from one grandparent’s house to the other. Then I became an adult we did the same with our children until we moved away. I never realized how much that tradition meant to me until it was gone. Of course, I have started a few traditions with my kids as they have grown, some have stayed with us over the years and some we have let go.
Our Christmas traditions are small, but that doesn’t mean that they are not important. Because for so many years it was just the kids and me we didn’t need a big fancy Christmas. What our Christmas day looks like, is make dinner, we watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, either the cartoon or the Jim Carey movie, and then we open the “family” gift which is a new game and we play games for the rest of the night. The Grinch is a carryover from my childhood as my Dad and Brother both love that cartoon and can recite it word for word. Even though we live hours from my family I wanted to share a tradition from them with the kids and hope that they will share it with their kids someday.
Now it is time for new beginnings, the kids are grown and almost out on their own and I am getting married next year. I would love to carry some of our traditions to our new family, but I also think it is important to make some new ones. I am not sure what those will be yet, but I am sure whatever we decide they will be perfect for our blended family.
Because I love Christmas traditions I thought I would reach out to fellow bloggers and see if they would like to share theirs. All 3 of these bloggers have some great traditions that I just may have to adopt with my new family. I hope you enjoy their stories and please check out their amazing blogs when you are done.
Family Christmas Traditions
In our family I can truly say we have awesome Christmas traditions which my twin sister and I decided years ago would be good to create so our kids would have amazing memories. You can too, which is why we have decided to share.
My twin sister and I take turns to host Christmas each year. In our family though, we don’t just go to the other house for Christmas Day, we camp out at the host house from the very last day of school at Christmas break. We have great laughs and there isn’t too much for any one person to do because we share the jobs and our kids get to bond and share happy times.
In our household we have a number of routines associated with Christmas that we look forward to. The adults know and so do the kids. Because of this, the eager anticipation is there and the events are etched in the memory forever. One of our routines is the ceremonial setting up and decorating of the Christmas tree. This is a family affair. Traditionally this is done on the first of December. We enjoy lively jolly music, hot chocolate or other drink of choice and decorate until the tree is stunning. After the tree is decorated, we get the already wrapped gifts and place them under the tree to the delights of both adults and kids.
On Christmas day too there is a routine associated with the opening of gifts. The kids want to just get to the gifts, but as a family we have agreed that breakfast must be had before, the slow roasting part of the dinner must be set on, and then we get to the gifts. We take turns opening our gifts and squeal and cheer when they are revealed. We also know that we should be grateful and so whatever the gift, it is appreciated and thanks are said.
There are some scents that just remind one of Christmas. These include, but are not limited to cinnamon, pine, orange zest and Christmas cake. These are amazing scents which manufacturers have now tried to replicate in candles, scent boosters and air fresheners. At Christmas time, we use only Christmas scents. The most amazing smell in our household at Christmas time is the smell of Jamaican Fruit Cake. This permeates the air for days on end especially since we also make and sell these cakes.
We try to introduce something new that we all look forward to every now and again. Some catch on, some don’t. You won’t know which will and which won’t so the best thing to do is to try. This year one of the traditions we are going to try is a gingerbread house competition. Hopefully this will form one of the special memories that we will cherish forever.
The Christmas meal -that is something even the pickiest of eaters look forward to. We don’t go for tradition just for the sake of it. For example most of our family members don’t like turkey, so, we don’t include it on Christmas day. We do our best to make the meal super special. Go all out. Dress the table beautifully and get others to help. Get out all the fancy tableware and cutlery. Light candles. You only live once! It is hard work but it adds to the memories that will last a lifetime. We sometimes even make fancy personalised placemats for the occasion. Spare nothing. It will be worth it! The memories created will last a lifetime! Enjoy!
joleisa.com run by teachers and bloggers Jo and Leisa who reside in Birmingham, England.
When my daughter was about three, John and I decided that we wanted her to always be in her own bed Christmas morning. We wanted to create our own family traditions and for her to have memories of going to bed Christmas Eve giddy with anticipation for a visit from Santa.
On the surface, this doesn’t sound that difficult, but when you consider three sets of grandparents who live from several hundred to a couple of thousand miles away, along with other siblings and their kids, it gets tricky! This is when the idea of Festivus, my favorite Christmas tradition, was born.
My mom and I thought of just having an early Christmas together but I didn’t want to confuse my little one by calling it Christmas. Remember Festivus for the Rest of Us from Seinfeld? We decided that Festivus was the perfect holiday for us. We celebrate it on a weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas when everyone is available. My mom and brother, along with their spouses, gather at my house in North Carolina.
Festivus is awesome because it’s whatever we want it to be! Some years, we make a big holiday meal, other years we have an oyster roast or go out. We exchange gifts, play games, drink Old Fashioneds and laugh, oh how we laugh! We also tour Enchanted Airlie, a beautiful garden all decked out for Christmas. It’s a walking tour and because we live on the coast, we’ve worn everything from Uggs to flip flops. This year was freezing so we were all bundled up.
I hope that you get to enjoy your favorite traditions this year, or make some new ones. Merry Christmas!
You can find more from Kim at the goodlifewife.com.
Hi! I am Tanya, Mom of the Joyous Family. As a family in recovery from addiction and codependency we know just how fragile the tie that binds can be.The mission of our blog is to share that hope and to stand with you in faith as you make life’s journey. Hey everyone needs a little help from friends.
It started so innocently. My little boy, maybe three at the time, asked me what a gingerbread man was.
With his little mind full of the Gingerbread Man fable, he insisted that we bake gingerbread just like the story. I think he secretly hoped the first ‘gingerbread boy” would hop off the cookie sheet and run down the street yelling “run, run as fast as you can you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread man!”
No such luck I am afraid–instead a family tradition started. For the last seven years, massive amounts of gingerbread pours from our family kitchen starting in mid November.
The Thanksgiving week starts with gingerbread cookies from our favorite swedish recipe. Decorated with enormous amounts of candy, my sugar soaked boys happily pile onto these ginger based cookies.
Each year we build a family gingerbread sculpture. The first year included a mission church and cassita. The following year a dispute arouse. My little gingerbread baking boy now 4 years old wanted a castle, but not a Christmas Castle, a Halloween Castle.
Well, gingerbread creations are 3D offering decoration possibilities on 4 sides. We compromised. My little baker filled one side with ghost, goblins, graves and gummy worms crawling out of the dirt. Turn the castle 180 degrees and what should appear–snow, Christmas trees, a holly wreath and one tiny reindeer.
One crazy year we all built our own vintage campers, staging them on a field of green food colored coconut grass. You can behold “Christmas Campers on Parade!”
My boys and their grandparents start each year around October plotting that years creation. The theme sometimes commemorates the biggest event of the past year. After spending the month of June in Washington D.C., we endeavored to create the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument in all their white marble glory. After three days of work on this project we returned from a movie to find our ginger memorial strewn all over the kitchen by a 4 legged member of the family. We mourned together as we cleared away the wreckage. Vowing to remember next year that the joyous boxer dog loved gingerbread too. (Christmas is a dangerous time for pets read how to keep them safe here.)
These simple spicy shortbread style cookies brought our family together at the table for hours. Creating, laughing, talking and problem solving over something that got tossed in the trash around March.
The creation of gingerbread in The Joyous Family connects us. It gives us something to do with our hands while we create sweet memories. The smells of gingerbread baking is something I hope my boys will connect with the deep love of family for the rest of their lives.
I hope you enjoyed this post of Christmas traditions and I would LOVE to hear about yours in the comments below. What is your family’s favorite Christmas traditions? If you don’t celebrate Christmas but would like to share your holiday traditions I would LOVE to hear them too.
I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year! Enjoy the season and the time spent with your loved ones.