9 Fun Family Christmas Traditions To Start Right Now!

Fun Family Christmas Traditions

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When you create Fun family Christmas traditions for your kids, you’ll bring your family closer together and create lasting memories.

The best Christmas traditions are easy and inexpensive. The last thing you’ll want to teach your kids is that happiness requires a lot of time, money, and mom pulling her hair out.

Following are some of the best Christmas traditions you can start with your family right now.

Fun Family Christmas Traditions

1 – Christmas Countdown Candle

Christmas Traditions for kids countdown candle

Kids love counting down to Christmas!

If your kids are anything like mine growing up, they’ll ask every day of December how many days are left until Christmas. And it will drive you crazy! Right?

Christmas countdown candle helps your kids quickly see how many days are left until Santa comes and they will look forward to burning the candle every night as a family.

The candle has every day of December on the side from 1 – 25. Just burn down to the next number every night of December. Use the time that it’s burning to incorporate special family traditions like singing Christmas carols or reading Christmas books.

You can make a Christmas Countdown candle yourself or buy one pre-made from Amazon.

Countdown Candle

2 – Read Christmas Books Together

Christmas Traditions to start

Make a pot of hot chocolate to share and pull out your favorite Christmas stories to read with your children. They’ll love snuggling up to you to hear their favorite Christmas tales!

Add a new Christmas book to your library every year to give your kids something to look forward to. Here are some of best Christmas books you may not have heard of:

  1. The Jolly Christmas Postman
  2. Pete The Cat Saves Christmas
  3. How To Catch An Elf
  4. The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree
  5. Bear Stays Up Late For Christmas (I love the Bear Books!)

Bear Stays Up

3 – Find Santa’s Sack On Christmas Eve

Santa's Sack is a fun family Christmas Tradition for kids

My mother and father-in-law started this fantastic tradition with their grandchildren years ago. It’s become such a favorite, our teenager still enjoys it!

On Christmas Eve, while Santa is making his rounds, a sack “falls out” of his sleigh and lands somewhere in our yard with a gift for everyone to open. As soon as it gets dark, it’s time to start looking for the sack that magically appears.

In our sack, Santa always includes a new family game since our family loves playing games together.

Santa could drop one big sack for the whole family or individual bags for every member.

Santa’s Sack

4 – Put Your Shoes Out On December 5th, the Eve Of St. Nicholas Day

Christmas Treats in Boots christmas traditions for kids

What is St. Nicholas Day?

It’s a feast day to celebrate the generous patron St. Nicholas from the 4th century. He was known to arrive on horseback on his feast day and deliver sweets to good children (or lumps of coal to naughty ones.)

St. Nicholas Day is still celebrated in parts of the world, although, in America, it has evolved into Christmas. In Britain, St. Nicholas has been largely replaced by Father Christmas.

Here’s a great children’s book to teach your kids about the origin of Santa Claus:

Saint Nicholas & the Nine Gold Coins

Have your children put their shoes out on the night of December 5th to see what treats St. Nicholas puts in them. Shoes are typically filled with nuts, oranges, chocolate coins, and a few sweets.

5 – Make Homemade Candy Canes

Fun Christmas Traditions of making candy canes

Making homemade candy canes is my favorite fun family Christmas tradition from childhood.

First, you’ll need a good candy cane recipe with a great video to see how it’s done.

There are only a few candy cane ingredients you’ll need, but the most important one is peppermint oil.  Do not use peppermint extract!  It won’t be strong enough to taste. You’ll need to use 100% pure peppermint oil that is for candy-making.

Don’t mess this one up, people! This is what you’ll need:

Peppermint Oil

Have fun experimenting with different colors and flavors. Butterscotch candy canes and spearmint candy canes are tasty. You could even make these plain white for dye-free candy canes.

The Legend Of The Candy Cane is a fun book to teach your kids about the origins of the candy cane.

6 – Make A Gingerbread House

Decorate Gingerbread House Fun Christmas Traditions

This is a tradition I loved doing with my kids every year when they were younger. You can either use a pre-made kit or purchase the ingredients yourself.

I always had my kids make their gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. They are inexpensive, so you can buy a lot and build a lot. Sometimes we would get a large piece of cardboard and make an entire village filled with gingerbread houses.

You can also make a chocolate gingerbread house with chocolate graham crackers. Or make a gluten-free gingerbread house.

Gingerbread House

Consider having a gingerbread house contest with family members or friends with this contest score sheet.

This would also be a fun time to introduce your kids to the story of Hansel and Gretel.

7 – Watch Christmas Movies Together

December is the time of year to get out those favorite Christmas classics and make some wassail and caramel popcorn.

The top-ten best Christmas movies to include in your line-up are

  1. The Polar Express
  2. Elf (My personal favorite)
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  4. Home Alone
  5. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  7. Frosty the Snowman
  8. A Christmas Story
  9. It’s A Wonderful Life
  10. Jingle All The Way

If you’ve watched the above movies a million-too-many times, try something different like one of these Sci-Fi Christmas movies or movies set during Christmas.

They may be more appropriate for teens to grown-ups.

  1. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (*MST3K version)
  2. Prometheus
  3. Gremlins
  4. Edward Scissorhands
  5. Batman Returns
  6. Rare Exports
  7. Hogfather
  8. Die Hard
  9. Brazil
  10. Iron Man 3

*MST3K stands for Mystery Science Theater 3000. They take really bad movies and add quirky, humorous comments. If you need a good laugh, this movie will fit the bill.

Turn movie night into a fun trivia night with this Christmas movie trivia printable, or use these 99 Christmas movie trivia questions to make your own fun game.

For the bingo loving family, use this fun bingo card creator to make your very own Christmas movie bingo cards.

8 – Drive around and enjoy the Christmas Lights

Fun Christmas Lights Tradition

Fill your Christmas travel mugs with hot chocolate and pack some munchies. For the best treat to go with hot chocolate, it’s gotta be these Pepperidge Farm cookies.

Be sure to turn on your favorite Christmas tunes while you drive around. I personally wear out my Michael Bublé and Diana Krall Christmas albums every year. I’m a little obsessed with the both of them.

To add to the fun, print out this scavenger hunt for your kids to do while driving around. Nothing like a little family competition to add to the sugar-high.

9 – Christmas Morning Breakfast

Fun Family Christmas Breakfast Tradition

My mom used to make THE BEST Christmas breakfast every year, but she also spent all morning in the kitchen doing it.

I opt for an easy Christmas morning breakfast with this delicious Cinnamon Buns mix.

Cinnamon Buns Mix

I round it out with side dishes like hash browns, eggs, fruit and Candycane Cocoa.

And festive disposable Christmas dinnerware will make clean-up a breeze so you can spend more time playing with your kid’s new toys.

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57 Responses

  1. We love Christmas traditions too. My husband and daughter make a gingerbread house every year and my favorite movie is A Christmas Story but no one will watch it with me. So sad.

    1. That is so funny because A Christmas Story is my husband’s favorite but no one wants to watch it with him because we have seen it soooo many times.

  2. Traditions are so important and I love these 13 Christmas traditions. We always have a Friday night special dinner with our kids that I hope they will carry down to their families.

  3. These are such fun Christmas traditions. We watch our traditional Christmas shows together and also make Christmas treats. Those butterscotch candy canes sound good…may have to try that.

  4. Great ideas for Christmas fun with kids! We always watched Elf and the Grinch every Christmas, when my boys were young. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. These are wonderful traditions! I’ve done most of them with my children when they were young. Although we never made our own candy canes! How fun. My now grown children and I still get together during the holidays to watch A Christmas Carol with George C Scott.

  6. I love, love Christmas traditions, and it’s hard to select which one is my favourite. Baking, watching Christmas movies and driving around to marvel at the christmas lighs is what I look forward to every year.

  7. Such wonderful ideas to create such lasting memories. Many reminded me of our traditions used when my daughter was so little. I love the days to Christmas candle!

  8. I love all this. We make cookie each year. My sister hosts a Gingerbread and Martini party. That is a lot of fun. I never knew about St. Nicholas Day. I may try that this year.

  9. These are awesome. We make gingerbread houses, look for lights and go to a historical local mansion to see santa .

  10. I love the Santa Sack idea!!! That is so cute and I haven’t heard of that before. I will have to give that one a try. I love all of your suggestions. Really gets you into the spirit of the holiday!

  11. This is great! I love family holiday traditions. We always bake cookies and candies together, and I used to read to my littles every year. They still make fun of me because I could never (and still can’t) get through The Little Match Girl without getting all choked up and crying. We love the Christmas breakfast tradition and were just talking about those yummy blueberry muffins yesterday!

    1. I need to add The Little Match Girl to my list of Christmas books! That is a great choice for children!

  12. I make my kids a printable Christmas chain every year. But we had an advent candle as a kid and it was so fun!

  13. What a fun list! I always love baking cookies, watching holiday shows and seeing the Christmas decorations and lights!

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