Family holiday traditions you can start this year

Family holiday traditions have to start sometime. Whether you're refining traditions from your own childhood or creating them anew, we have some fun ideas for you!

By Kristen Winiarski

Family Fun


family holiday traditions baking cookies

One of the most enjoyable pieces of being a parent is bringing with you some of the traditions you enjoyed in your childhood and/or creating new ones for your kids.

Many of us have family holiday traditions we hold on to and others we may let go of. We’ll also take some of our and some of our partner’s traditions and form our unique family traditions into something new.

This process can be fun, but you may want to add some new traditions you didn’t have as a child. You can choose what you want to do going forward that your kids will remember forever and may even bring into their families in the future. Here are some ideas for things you can do, starting now.

Family holiday tradition ideas

Bake and trade cookies

Take things up a notch with a bake-off with friends and family. You could use a specific ingredient or make it a competition. In place of that, you can also just arrange splitting up and exchanging treats. This way, you can share your baked goods and try something new.

Get matching holiday PJs

This one is popular for holiday cards, but whether you do that or not, you can get your whole family matching PJs. You could sleep in them or just wear them for movie night. No matter what you decide to do with them, your kids can have a lot of fun with this one.

Watch the same holiday film/s

Arrange a movie night or two where you watch certain films together. This repeat viewing makes for fun memories, and your kids may take this one forward and continue to watch these same movies when they have their own families.

Check out the neighborhood lights

If the weather is nice, you could go for a walk together to see the holiday lights. You could also get in the car and take a drive to see them.

Give kids an ornament

Each year you can give your kids each their own special ornament. Pick something they enjoy or that highlights something from that year. Then, they can remember what the ornament represents each year when they hang it up.

Get a tree from a tree farm

While not everyone may be into this idea, going to a tree farm and picking out your own Christmas tree is a fun tradition. It is something the kids will remember forever. A pro tip: If you can get one before there’s snow on the ground, that’s even better because then you can put it up right away instead of needing to wait until the snow melts off it

Catalog the year

Make a video that highlights the exciting or big events of the year. This will act as something you can review to help you remember what was important.

Read The Night Before Christmas

You could also start reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. The original version is the best, even though we have a more modernized one too.

Create/buy your own advent calendar

Advent calendars can be a lot of fun. If you can’t find one that you like, you can always make your own depending on your kids’ interests.

Build a gingerbread house

Depending on your level of commitment, you can either get a gingerbread house from a kit or create your own. If you make your own, you can bake gingerbread pieces or use graham crackers to make it easier.

See a holiday-themed show

Go to a local production of A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker for something different and fun to look forward to.

Make a special Christmas breakfast

Have waffles or pancakes on Christmas morning for something different that the kids can look forward to. While they’re still sugary, they can at least help break up the candy.

Family holiday traditions don’t have to be elaborate to be wonderful.

There are many ways that you can celebrate the holiday through traditions. See what your kids love the most, bring in some of your childhood traditions, and you can find some fun and unique things to create memories with each year.


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