Family Christmas Traditions

November 29, 2019 3 Comments

There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas, and everyone does it slightly differently. Family’s will celebrate age old traditions alongside newer emerging ones, and often have their own unique Family Christmas Traditions as well.

We have adopted some of the newer traditions such as Elf on the shelf, the Christmas Eve box, and this year introduced the North Pole Breakfast, but i’m always interested to hear what others do.  So I thought I’d ask some fellow bloggers what newer or unusual family Christmas traditions they have.

In the Run up to Christmas

As a child our family traditions were influenced by my mum’s German heritage.  We always had chocolate advent calenders. That may not seem so unusual these days, but nearly 40 years ago the common advent calenders in the shops were paper ones, and chocolate ones were hard to come by.

A more recent popular tradition is the Elf on the Shelf. We started this last year. It’s lots of fun and my kids love it! However it is yet another thing to squeeze into an already very busy time of the year.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

One modern tradition that I have only just started, is the North Pole breakfast like this one from All Things Christmas. The kids absolutely loved it, so this is one that looks like it’s set to stay.

Book advents are also proving popular of recent years. If you need some inspiration take a look at this one from Big Family, Big Fun.

Here are some other great ideas of traditions to adopt in the run up to Christmas

We have a giant advent calendar lady that we take our daughters picture against each year, it’s lovely to see how much she’s grown. We have a newborn this year so we get to start the tradition all over again. 

by Momma Mack

We celebrate Sinterklaas (Dutch) in our house as well as Christmas but have adapted it a little and so the children leave their shoe by the fireplace on the evening of the 5th and on the morning of the 6th there is a little present in there. We also eat papernoten (little spiced biscuits) and everyone gets their initial made out of chocolate. 

by Pink Pear Bear

This year I made advent bags, and every day instead of chocolate I am putting either a clue to where the elf has hidden, or a clue as to what activity we are doing that day. I think the advent bags may become our new family tradition! 

by A Rose Tinted World

About half way through December we go out for a drive and stop at a few different streets that have lots of houses with Christmas lights. 

by Me Them and the Others

We always go on a road trip the day the children finish school … we’ve been to Germany in search of a Black Forest gateaux, to the Alps in search of snow, and to Austria in search of small, festive Christmas markets. We always arrive home on Christmas Eve, in time for Christmas Eve boxes (bath bomb, new PJs, choccies and a DVD) and once they are washed and smell nice, we all sit and watch The Polar Express 🙂 

by Pack the PJs

We buy a real tree on our kids first christmas and then use the tree to make a decoration for them to keep. 

by Arepops

My husband and I have had a Christmas Eve Eve Gingerbread House Decorating Competition for the past 4 years. It started almost 5 years ago when we were going to 2 houses for Christmas Dinners (never happening again) and we wanted to take something with us to each of them. It turned into an annual contest which is judged by our family and close friends (via whatsapp). We just buy 2 gingerbread house sets from ikea and then we buy all our own sweets for it (no sharesies). We tend to do the decorating on the 23rd December whilst watching Christmas movies and drinking mulled wine. The kids always want to join in but it’s way too competitive for that. They can decorate their own entry when they’re a bit bigger…

by Glasgow with Kids

We make a decoration every year to hang on the tree. I pop her name & date on the back of the decoration. 

We also make extras and she gives them to family members for Christmas presents. I hope this will help teach her that Christmas is about more than just spending loads of money buying presents, a homemade gift can be more thoughtful.

by The Merralls Home

Christmas Eve

When you get to Christmas Eve, the excitement is really start to build for the kiddies. There are the obvious age old traditions of hanging up your stocking and leaving out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rodolph, but can it be more magical?

We introduced the Christmas Eve box a few years ago when the kids were really little, and it has become part of our family’s Christmas traditions. Previously we have filled a cardboard box, but last year I crafted my own Christmas Eve box.  Hopefully we will be able to use it year after year and it becomes a family keepsake.

Christmas Eve Box

Lots of other familys have differents ways of making Christmas Eve special too.

We were always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve from under the tree (the ones that were there already from friends etc) and we do the same now with our children. That one present gets them so excited and gets far more attention than it would do the next day when they have so many bigger ones to open! 

by Ever After With Kids

We always go out for a walk on Christmas Eve, just before sunset, dressed in our christmas jumpers and hats, we take a flask of tea and some chocolates, then when we return all the children have a tree present, its usually a dvd or a game that they can all play together, and we take a photograph on the stairs every Christmas morning. 

by Big Family Organised Chaos

We always get new pyjamas on Christmas Eve (brought by our trusty elf of course)! I feel like it sets the tone for the start of Christmas and hopefully new soft sleepwear means we all get some decent sleep before the crazy early start with over-excited kiddos!

by Wanderlust and Wet Wipes

A tradition we started with our son years ago was he gets a new, dated decoration for the tree every year. On Christmas Eve it’s in his Christmas Eve Box ready to be added to the tree with last year’s ones. My mum also gets him a Newbridge silver decoration every year which he adds on Christmas Eve. 

by Passports and Adventures

The Big Day Itself

I’m sure everyone’ perfect Christmas day is a little different.  As children growing up, my parents used to put up the tree whilst we slept on Christmas Eve. Christmas day morning we were greeted by a fully decorated Christmas tree with the presents underneath, which made it truly magical.  It’s a tradition I would have liked to carry on with my children, however I love Christmas trees and want mine up for as long as possible.  I also love getting the kids involved with the decorating now that they’re older, so this is a trdaion from my childhood i’ve had to let go.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

We don’t open our presents until after Xmas dinner. Friends (and other family) have always thought it was a bit odd. But it keeps the festive spirit alive a little longer and you haven’t got to worry about making small talk after all the food

by Sinead Latham

Pin Family Christmas Traditions For Later!

Pin Family Christmas Traditions!

All these have given me loads of ideas, and this year I am came up with our family’s Christmas bucket list so that I can introduce some new things into the holiday season, who knows some of them may become part of our Family Christmas Traditions.

Kerry x


  • Naomi Oikonomou December 15, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Oh I loved reading this; so many lovely traditions! #kidsandkreativity

  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) December 22, 2019 at 5:19 am

    It’s so interesting to read about other people’s Christmas traditions. We’ve never done elf on the shelf or Christmas Eve boxes but we do have a book advent and read a Christmas book together each day which I love and the children have a beautiful quilted Advent calendar which I fill with chocolate. I now make a wreath for Jessica and we go to the carol service at the woodland burial ground and light a candle for her. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for hosting #KidsandKreativity. I have enjoyed joining in this year.

    • Kerry January 3, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      Thank you Louise, thanks for being part of it! We had a lovely Christmas thank you, hope you did too x

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi I'm Kerry, Wife to James, Step Mum to one, Mum to two and more fur, feather and winged babies than I can count. I have a passion for crafts, encouraging creativity and inspiring imagination especially in children. So if you are looking for some inspiration, ideas and resources to inject a little creativity into your family life, then you've come to the right place. Read More


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