Christmas traditions are customs, beliefs, and practices, based on the Christmas holiday, that are passed down from generation to generation. The traditions vary from country to country and even family to family in those countries. Traditions are typically long-established and have been passed on for many years. Traditions may be changed or added, when new families are created.
Christmas Traditions as a Child
When I was growing up, our Christmas traditions included family, food, and fun. Each year we would put up the Christmas tree and decorate it with ornaments that we had made. Christmas music filled our home and our cars. We would take holiday photos with the beautifully decorated tree. On my mom’ side, we had a family baking day, where my aunts and cousins would all come over and we would spend the day baking and frosting cookies. Some years, we would go to Santa’s Workshop at our school and pick out gifts for our parents.
When Christmas morning came, my sister and I would wake up extra early and sneak upstairs to check out the tree. Our parents were typically still asleep at this time (it was like 5 am). We’d wait until 6 am to wake up Mom and Dad and then we’d all open our presents. My mom always liked for us to open them one at a time and watch each other open because she liked to take photos of our facial expressions. We’d eat breakfast after presents were opened and then get ready to go to my maternal grandparents’ house, where we would open more presents.
To end our day, we would head to my paternal grandmother’s house to have dinner and open gifts. There were years that we would go to the Symphony of Lights, which is a wonderful light display in our community. We still go most years. By the end of our time at Grandma’s, my sister and I would be zonked on the couch.
Christmas as a child is so very fun. I think back on it with such joy. I really loved all of the traditions that my family held. When Lee and I started dating, new traditions were added for both of us. We would each attend each other’s Christmas and we would also give our gifts to each other. Now that we have our own child, we’ve changed our traditions again. I think Christmas might be even more fun, now that we get to give gifts to her.
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New Christmas Traditions
Our daughter has only celebrated one Christmas so far and was only 6 months old at the time, but we have already started some family traditions with her. Christmas music is a must for me. We listened to Christmas music in the car and at home. As soon as Thanksgiving has passed, the Christmas music will start again. We wore adorable matching pajamas last year and are on the hunt for new ones. We will be reading Christmas books during the month of December, leading up to the actual day. There is nothing better than comfy Christmas PJs and a snuggling up with some great books. One of my favorites is The Gingerbread Man.
We put up the Christmas tree and open gifts on Christmas morning with my family. And a little while later, we have Christmas with Lee’s mom and dad. I think Christmas may be at our home this year, which is exciting. We typically have a delicious meal of some kind with my parents in the evening. When I say delicious, I mean, prime rib and crab legs. Yummmy! We have continued the family baking day and are planning for that in November. The difference now is that we bake a bunch of goodies and mail them to my aunt, uncle, and maternal grandparents.
Christmas is so fun! What traditions do you have with your family? Feel free to share in the comments below! If you are looking for some new Christmas traditions to include this year, check out the list below!
Christmas Traditions You Can Try
Write a letter to Santa
Make a Christmas card
Build a snowman
Read a Christmas book
Sing a Christmas song
Make your own Christmas decorations
Drink hot chocolate
Wear Christmas pajamas
Watch a Christmas movie
Take a drive to look at Christmas lights
Have a Christmas themed game night
Make reindeer food
Send a Christmas card
Have an ugly sweater contest
Spend a day volunteering
Donate to someone in need
Decorate a gingerbread house
There are so many other traditions that you and your family can start. Having Christmas traditions gives you something extra to look forward to, which makes the holidays a little more fun. It gives your kiddos something to expect each year, too. They don’t have to be anything challenging or labor-intensive because no one needs the extra stress. I hope you enjoy whatever traditions you and your family participate in!
If you need help shopping for the babies in your life, but don’t know where to start, check out THIS post for a great holiday gift guide.