14 Christmas Traditions to Start Doing Every Year

14 Christmas Traditions to Start Doing Every Year

Christmas traditions are fun ways to bring your family together during the holidays. Christmas seems to arrive so quickly every year! It can be difficult with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season to take the time to make the important memories that your family will remember forever.

Christmas traditions are unique for every family. Here are 14 ways my family celebrates the Christmas season year after year!

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1. Wear matching Christmas pajamas

Matching Christmas pajamas brings a feeling of togetherness, as well as sillyness! We have these onsie pajamas and just love them! They are so comfy and we enjoy decorating our tree or watching Christmas movies while wearing them. They are of course a must for Christmas morning!


2. Have family photos taken

Family photos are a great way to have a snap shot keep sake of the whole family. I am the main picture taker in our family and am usually not in the majority of the photos. I’m sure I’m not the only mom with this problem!

Many department stores have photography packages available. You can also find a local photographer who is doing holiday photo mini sessions. A mini session is usually around 20-30 minutes and is truly all the time you need to wrangle your kids for a few quick photos before meltdowns and cranky faces begin!

I promise, it’s worth the money for a few professional photos of your family that you will have forever!

Photo credit: Joni Pontillo, Joni Pontillo Photography


3. Take pictures with Santa

Sitting on Santa’s lap is neither of my kids favorite traditions just yet. Usually, my husband or I have to jump in and get an awkward photo with Santa while at the same time trying to prevent melt downs.

This isn’t an act of torture. My oldest talks about wanting to see Santa and they both try to run up to him while we wait in line. And then, after the long wait and trying to wrangle the kids for 45 minutes, they absolutely refuse to sit on Santa’s lap. As aggravating as it is at the time, they are going to be hilarious pictures to look at for years to come!

Photo credit: Jeff Roffman

4. Pick out and decorate your Christmas tree together

The hunt of picking out the perfect Christmas tree is a tradition we have done as a family for as long as I can remember. Now that I have kids of my own, we meet my dad at our favorite Christmas tree lot and pick two trees out together. Then, we bring the trees home and decorate! We sing along to some of our favorite Christmas music and get into the spirit together.


5. Read Christmas books

There are so many awesome Christmas books for kids! Spend the month of December reading books about the holiday season. My daughters love The Night Before Christmas!


6. Watch Christmas movies together

We love watching Christmas movies at our house! They pretty much play on repeat here, so I am glad we have so many favorites! Check out this list of 15 Christmas movies you should be watching every year!

7. Have breakfast with Santa

We did this twice this year at two different locations. The kids had a blast! They helped to write their Wish List to Santa, sang songs, listened to Christmas stories, and took photos with Santa. Well, not my kids of course, but all the other kids who aren’t afraid of the jolly man from the North Pole!

8. Drive around to see Christmas lights

Some houses really go all out with their Christmas lights, and some neighborhoods are specifically known for their elaborate decorations. Load the whole family up in the car – or, if you’re super cool like me, your mini van – after dinner and drive through neighborhoods in your area. Sing along together to your favorite Christmas tunes and get into the spirit of the holiday!

9. Use your family photos as Christmas cards

Remember those family photos I encouraged you to take? This is the time to share them with your family!

We have done photo Christmas cards ever since our kids were born. Make sure to keep at least one or, better yet, save enough for each of your children to give to them as adults. It’s so sweet to reflect back on your children’s faces each year.

I use PersonalizationMall.com for my Christmas cards. They have so many cards to choose from. They offer creative options, awesome quality, great prices and frequent sales.

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10. Build a gingerbread house

Building a Gingerbread house is a blast! My oldest is almost three and this is the first year we built one. We had so much fun and my daughter loves showing it off to everyone who comes over.

This is the kit we made this year. They also have a this gingerbread train kit for the locomotive enthusiast!

11. Bake Christmas cookies for Santa

Kids love to help in the kitchen! Let your little ones crack eggs, add ingredients, and stir everything together to make the most delicious cookies to fill Santa’s belly while he drops off gifts!

You’ll be happy to have a snack when you’re up until midnight putting together that toy on Christmas Eve that has a million pieces!

12. Make a family ornament every year

This is a tradition I started on my husband and I’s first Christmas as a couple. PersonalizationMall.com is where I’ve gotten them year after year. They have a great selection of etched glass, engraved wood, resin, and my personal favorite, your photos on porcelain.

I’ve made them for our first house, our wedding day, our engagement, photos of our animals, and now, our kids! I love taking them out and reminiscing of years past.

Personalized Baby Photo Ornament - Holly Branch - 19829

I get them for the grandparents and family as gifts, too. This is another way to use your family photo! Make an ornament to hang on your tree to see year after year.

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13. Elf on the Shelf

I’ll be honest. My elf Holly doesn’t move every day, but I think this will be my last year of being able to get away with it. It’s not easy to remember to move it everyday, but it  does work like a charm for bribing my kids to share, avoiding temper tantrums, and getting them to go to sleep at a decent hour! And, if you’re not bribing your kids, are you even a parent?

This Elf on the Shelf comes with the elf along with the book for your children to understand the reason your elf is visiting. The book is definitely one to add to the rotation of Christmas books to read throughout the month!

14. Attend a Christmas parade

A Christmas parade is a fun way to spend time together as a family. Growing up, I was in Christmas parades riding in the back of my best friend’s dads’ truck that we decorated. We threw candy to those who had come to watch and yelled “Merry Christmas!” over and over again. We had a blast. I will cherish those memories forever! That same parade is still going on every year!

We live in south Florida, and Boat Parades are another must do every year! They always draw a huge crowd! The boats are decorated with lights that reflect off the water making for a beautiful ambience!

What family traditions does your family do every year? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!




Need help saving money during the Christmas season? Don’t we all? Check out this post to see how you can have an amazing Christmas on a budget!


Looking for gift ideas for the little ones in your life? Check out this post for 15 non-toy gift ideas for kids!




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