A List of Friend and Family Christmas Traditions

by AEA on April 1, 2010

Family Traditions

Xmas TraditionsChristmas traditions are such a fun part of the Holiday season and they help bring a special touch to your to your Christmas. They are fun to look back on, remembering what your parents and the ones around you enjoyed. It is also fun to create new Christmas traditions with family and friends, and add to existing traditions. The importance of Christmas traditions is that you take advantage of what they mean to you and share them with others. Here is a list of other’s Christmas traditions, and what they mean to them. Please add your own thoughts and traditions at the end of the article (in the comment section).

Reindeer Dust – A Great Christmas Tradition for the Kids

     Every year our family makes magic reindeer dust for the kids to spread all over the lawn on Christmas Eve night. Magic reindeer dust is made from oatmeal (to fed the reindeer) and glitter to help guide Santa Clause to our home. The kids have a lot of fun spreading the dust. There is usually a lot of signing and dancing that goes with it. This also helps release some of the bundled up energy!

          -Kristi’s Family Tradition

Recapping the Previous Year – A Family Christmas Tradition

     I think the best part of our Christmas Eve is sharing stories about what has happened over the last year. Everyone in our family tells there favorite, most memorable or even horrible experiences of the year. Sometimes we call it our highs and lows. My kid’s stories usually send everyone laughing (the things that they remember). It is funny to see how differently everyone stories and thoughts are. I take advantage of this moment to jot down everyone’s stories. Then we can read them the next year or years down the road. It is a great way to sum up our family’s year.

        -Tammy’s Favorite Christmas Family Tradition

Party it Forward – A Christmas Party Tradition

     Every year we throw a Christmas party and have everyone bring a small gift ($10 and under) for a needy family that we have found. Sometimes the family we pick isn’t necessarily needy but they are deserving. We put some effort in finding that perfect family or person that needs a little pick me up for Christmas. Last year we picked a family where the dad was over in Iraq and the family had been struggling financially a little. They were the nicest of people and we believed that they would be a great pick.

     On the invitations to our Christmas party, each guest gets a description of the person that they are buying for. We want our guests to know a little about the family (without naming names) they are helping out. A lot of times we don’t even know the family very well. Then after we have collected all the gifts, we make sure all the kids have the same number of gifts and fill in the missing presents and then we drop them off anonymously. This has been such a great Christmas tradition for us and our guests. We have been able to fill up plenty of bags to help out many different families.

        -David’s Christmas Party Tradition

Designing Ornaments – A Fun Christmas Tradition for the Kids

     Our family Christmas tradition is to make ornaments at the beginning of every December. Everyone makes one to put on our tree and then we typically make a few extra for gifts. We usually put a day’s worth of time and effort into making our perfect ornaments. We have made our ornaments using pinecones, bells, glass balls, beads, clay, seashells, wire, corks, wood, almost anything we can think of. 

        -Wendy’s Family Christmas Traditions

Journal Outburst – A Family Christmas Tradition

      Every December everyone in my family writes a journal entry to sum up their thoughts about the current year and their hopes for the following year. They can be silly, wild, heartfelt or whatever they feel like writing about. Then on Christmas Eve everyone takes turns reading theirs out loud and then they are all put together in a notebook.

        -The Olson’s Family Christmas Tradition

A Couples Moment – A Couples Christmas Tradition

     I have carried a tradition with my husband since we first started dating. On Christmas Eve we toast to a new year and all our memories that we hold throughout the current year. We take turns telling each other what we hope for in the future and what we have enjoyed, hated and loved about the current year. We have special glasses that we have always used for this. My husband typically lights a few candles and we cuddle up on the couch. We used to always make our toast at midnight, but now since we have kids it is typically after they go to sleep. Especially now days, we rarely get a quiet moment to ourselves, so it is so nice to have this quiet moment just the two of us.

        -Jim & Kate’s Couple Tradition

The Hunt – A Grandparents Christmas Tradition

      Every year we have a Christmas Hunt for our grandkids. We start out by handing them all a Christmas card; the Christmas card will have a clue leading them to their first destination. There they will find a treat or present of some sort and a clue. Then they take it back to our Christmas tree and read there next clue. We typically have 10 clues for each of the kids. The hunt usually starts after dinner. This keeps them busy while we pick up the kitchen. Then when everyone has collected all their gifts, they each take turns opening them. I love this tradition. It has been something that the kids always look forward too and I love to see the excitement on their faces.

        -Helen’s Christmas Tradition

Golden Pickle – A Unique Christmas Tradition for the Kids

     The golden pickle has become one of our favorite family Christmas traditions. We found these golden pickle ornaments one year and my daughter just had to have them. It turned out to be one of our best purchases. The pickles open up, so we stuff them with money, rocks, candy or whatever we feel like. There are enough pickles for each of our kids, so every Christmas Eve night we fill and hid the pickles in the tree. Then they wake up on Christmas morning and search for the golden pickles in our tree. Typically they are all filled with the same thing, with one containing a small star. Whoever finds the one with the star gets the winning gift. The gift is usually something small.

        -Keith’s Family Christmas Tradition

Cooking for Santa – Fun Family Tradition

Every year my girls and I bake Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa. It is just nice to have something that is our thing. They are now 11 and 15, and the tradition is still going strong. Obviously it is not all about leaving Santa a snack now days, but it is just something we love to do together.

       -The Woodson Girl’s Family Tradition

Christmas Party Gift Swap – A Christmas Party Tradition

     Every year we have a Christmas party and have our guests each bring a gift, with $15 limit (or how much you think is appropriate) on the gift. The gifts could be a movie, lottery tickets, candy, or whatever. All the gifts are gathered in a certain area and counted after everyone has arrived. For every present we write down a number on a small piece of paper and put them individually into a bowl. Everyone that brought a gift gets to pick out a number. The person with number 1 gets to go first. They pick out a gift and open it in front of everyone. Then number 2 goes, they can either take the present that was opened or open a new one. This continues until all the presents have been opened. A present can only be taken three times, so as it gets stolen a sticker needs to be put on it in order to keep track of how many times it was taken. If someone takes your gift you can open another one or take someone else’s gift.

     -Kathy and Bob’s Christmas Party Traditions

Mystery Gifts – A Family Christmas Tradition

     One of our Christmas traditions is to eliminate all the names on our Christmas presents, so our kids have to wonder what is theirs. We wrap each of their gifts in a certain color or theme of wrapping paper and keep it a secret what gifts belong to who until Christmas morning.

       -Katie’s Christmas Tradition

Wish Trees – A Kid Christmas Tradition

     Each one of our kids has their own mini tree to decorate. Each year they add an ornament with one of their wishes or goals for that coming up year on the back. It is fun to look back at what they have written over the years. My son’s wish (for when he was 2), was to meet Superman, sadly that dream never came true. They all love to get out their own trees and ornaments each year.

        -Susan’s Family Tradition

Girl Talk – A Friends Christmas Tradition

     Every year I get together with a few friends for a small Christmas gathering. We draw names for gifts and all bring a favorite snack or desert. Most of our time is spent talking and just relaxing. We usually get together a week or so before Christmas, so it is nice to take a break from all the craziness and just have a quiet girl’s night!

        -Kara’s Favorite Christmas Tradition

The Gift of Giving – A Christmas Tradition for Anyone

     One year my sister received a bag full of gifts left on her porch. There was a note inside, thanking her for making a difference in so many lives. She worked at a children’s home, so we figured it had to do something with that, but had no idea who it was from. Now, every year we pass that on and pick one person or family to leave a bag of gifts for or sometimes just a simple gift basket. The people that we have picked have been both people we knew and people that we didn’t.

        -Kim and Jackie’s Christmas Tradition

Christmas Dinner (Simple but Nice) – A Family Christmas Tradition

     This may seem simple, but it has been a tradition for my whole family to help plan and cook Christmas dinner. It is SO nice not being the only one in the kitchen and responsible for dinner. Everyone picks their favorite dish and prepares it themselves. Everyone has enjoyed preparing their own specialty and the best part is that we are all there together having fun with it.

       -Debbie’s Holiday Tradition

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