Our Favorite Holiday Traditions


I live for traditions. To me, traditions are like visiting with an old friend – they are predictable, you can count on them, they bring a smile to your face, and they always give you something to look forward to {hopefully}. The other great thing about traditions is that you can start them anytime you want! An ideal time to start them is when your kids are little, but there is no saying that you can’t start traditions when they are older. They have to start sometime and no time is better than the present. Last year I shared my Be Merry Bucket List, which included some of my favorite traditions. I’ve rounded up our contributors’ favorite holiday traditions to share with all of you, in case you are looking for some inspiration to start your own:


  • Holiday Pajamas :: Everyone seems to put their own twist on this one. Some give their kids pajamas on Thanksgiving night, others on Christmas Eve, or maybe  your own Elf on the Shelf may bring them! Some years I’ve gone all out and got matching family pajamas…nobody will judge, just do it! This year, we got customized holiday shirts with our names on them.
  • Family Advent Calendar :: A family advent calendar helps keep the season focused on family time and learning about what the season is really about. 
  • Elf on the Shelf :: Kids have fun every morning searching for their elf! If the elf seems overwhelming, here are some easy ideas.
  • Tree Cutting :: Bringing the whole family to search out and cut down the perfect Christmas tree at your local tree farm. One contributor goes with other families and brings donuts to make a whole morning out of it!
  • Christmas Eve Box :: Allowing kids to open up one gift on Christmas Eve, which is a box that includes special goodies for Christmas Eve, such as pajamas, a new book or movie, hot cocoa, and a fun snack to enjoy while watching a movie.
  • Polar Express Train :: Taking a train ride to the North Pole in pajamas.
  • Caroling :: Going caroling at your local church.
  • Christmas Light Drive :: Driving around to see Christmas lights with hot cocoa.
  • Books & Movies :: Reading holiday books and watching the classic holiday movies.
  • Crafting :: Making a new ornament each year out of your holiday card picture and homemade holiday gifts.
  • Gift to Commemorate Each Year :: Getting a new ornament, snow globe, etc. each year to remember that holiday season.
  • Pictures with Santa :: Taking pictures with Santa is a classic, but there are lots of different options that are outside of the traditional mall picture!
  • Gingerbread House Decorating :: Whether it’s simple or intricate, combining art with candy is always a winner with kids.
  • Donating Time or Toys :: Teaching kids the reason for the season. Here and here are some great ideas to get started on this.
  • Baking :: Even if it’s just cutting out pre-made dough, this one is fun and yummy! Here are some tips for holiday baking with kids.
  • Appetizers on Christmas Eve: Save the big dinner for Christmas Day and do an appetizer dinner {and of course hot cocoa, cocktails + dessert} on Christmas Eve.
  • Gift Swap: Getting sitters and planning a gift swap with friends.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? We would love to hear about them!


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