Amazing Christmas Traditions to Start With Your Family
The smell of pine trees and sugar cookies, the endorphin boosting Christmas lights, the special memories with family, the friendly people and extra generosity, THE FOOD… really how can Christmas be beat? It is without a doubt our favourite holiday of the year!
To be honest, sometimes it feels like the holidays fly by because there are 500 things on our list and a million things to buy for presents. BUT when we think back to when we were little and what we remember most… Do we remember all of the presents that we got? That’s a big nope! We can count on one hand the gifts that we remember from our childhood (obviously those were the super duper special ones). What we DO remember is all of the special traditions that we got to do with our families. I remember my mom sitting down and hand writing Christmas cards. I remember decorating the tree on stools with my brother. I remember homemade Christmas presents for the teachers at school and skating on Christmas eve at the town pond. Now…THOSE are the types of things that your kids are going to remember forever!
If you are looking for some new tradition ideas for next year, look no further! We have made a list of most of the special things that we like to do with our families and special gift ideas. Don’t be shy! We want you to share all of the amazing things that you do with your family too!
I grew up with the cheapie chocolate advent calendar and while it was delicious, I wanted to switch it up a bit for my kiddos. I decided to do a 3 part advent: part Giving, part Treats, part Special Activities. It is the best! See below for how I display the advent in my Pallet Calendar Tree!
An example of the things that we included this year and some extras as well!
Cutting our own Christmas tree
We just started this one this year and it was awesome! We took the day and headed out to forest to get our own tree with a bunch of family friends. It was much much much more fun then getting a tree at the store and wayyyy cheaper! Just remember, depending on where you live, you should need a permit to cut down trees!
This one really just takes a whole lot of time and wrapping paper! We both re-use old books from previous years with 1 or 2 new ones thrown in. We are thinking of sewing up little Christmas baggies for the books instead of just using wrapping paper but that is a next year project! The kiddos love choosing their book every night and it just makes the Christmas book reading a little bit more magical!
Christmas Eve Box
I know a lot of people that do this special box nowadays. I grew up with the tradition that we were allowed to open two presents on Christmas Eve. One being pajamas and the next being a board game to play as a family. I couldn’t fathom not continuing this tradition so we do something very similar but I also include the last of the book advent, kiddo’s yearly ornament, his snow globe and usually a special Christmas cup/waterbottle or something along those lines. I have heard about people including Christmas movies too but I have opted out of that one as there is just so much technology to begin with! This picture is of my Advent Calendar Tree & my Book Advent Box that becomes my Christmas Eve box on the 24th. I made it out of pallet wood and it is one of my favourite and most used decoration.
Adopting a Family
I have always donated to several different worthy causes at Christmas time but this year we actually adopted a family! We went shopping and bought them all of their gifts and stocking stuffers alongside a grocery gift card. We opted to do this instead of exchanging presents with our parents and it felt so good! We are already so blessed to not have to worry about money and I would much rather those kids have special presents under the tree than myself.
Retirement Home Santa
We half started this new tradition this year. The grand plan is to bring little presents, cookies and homemade Easton decorations to the retirement home in our town. The focus is to give the special gifts to those that don’t have much family around and might need a little extra Christmas loving! I have a ton of lady gifts stocked up (scarves, fluffy socks, lotion) but just cannot, for the life of me, think of what an older gentleman might want. We are donating our Christmas puzzles as well. Hit me up with some ideas friends! We were away before Christmas this year and we thought of this idea a bit too late so we are actually doing an after Christmas visit but I can see this idea turning into a great tradition for our family for years to come!
We really love having a challenging puzzle on the go during the holidays. This year, I found one that is multi-aged. It has a corner that is all large pieces for the littles and then the other side of the puzzle is mini mini for grown-ups. GENIUS!
I started this with Easton when he was just a little nugget in my belly. All of the close family members received a special glass ultrasound picture of him that year. But, once he was born, he was in charge of the creating part. Each year, I find some new ornament and he crafts them up in multiples. Everyone LOVES getting these super adorable ornaments to hang on the tree. However small and light we try to make the ornaments, every year I get charged an arm and a leg to send them to family cross-country. But you know what? I’ll sacrifice somewhere else in our budget to make sure those precious things get to all of those important people over there. I know some of my family members actually keep them hung in their homes all year since they don’t get to see Easton very often. Oh my heart!
Homemade Bath Gift
I don’t really remember when I started this one but I really love it. Every year, I come up with a different recipe to make up for girlfriends and girl family members. I’ve made Whipped Coconut Cream, Bath Exfoliant and this year I decided to make Peppermint Bath Salts. They never come out perfect but they are always made with love!
Family Year Book
Every year I create a family year book on Shutterfly as a gift for our family and the grandparents. It is a great way to cherish memories and share all of the special moments with loved ones. Shutterfly has discounts throughout the year, so you never pay full price for your book.
When I order my family year book, I also create calendars for all of my family members. I try to make each one special with photos, anniversaries, and birthdays included in each month. My brother really appreciates this added detail… he no longer forgets any of our birthdays! I chose this theme for our calendars and I LOVE how it turned out.
Snow Globe & Ornament
Last year, I found the PERFECT snow globe for Easton and at that very moment, I decided to make it into a tradition. This kid is going to have the most awesome snow globe collection to haul around with him as an adult. #snowglobehoarder I actually couldn’t find a nice one this year, SO I made him one with a mason jar, glitter and little hot wheels cars. We also find or make a special ornament for him every year. At least those will be a bit easier to pack when he is all grown up!
We’re sure we will be adding to this list for years to come and we’re also sure that we have forgotten to include many of our little traditions but hopefully this list gives someone a neat idea on how to incorporate a new tradition in their household or gives us some inspiration for next Christmas!
Much love and we hope your Christmas & New Year was beautiful!
Cyn & Amy