What was a special Christmas tradition in your family when you were growing up? Have you continued that tradition as you grew older? Maybe you kept that tradition with your spouse and kids or maybe you created a new holiday tradition.
Growing up, we had a handful of traditions. These were and still are some of my favorite parts of the holidays. Now my husband and son take part in these traditions. My husband and I have also started a few new Christmas traditions with each other.
Are you in need of some ideas for traditions in your home?
Here are some of our holiday traditions and some other ideas you can try this year.
Would you like a list of Christmas activities?
Get a free copy of my Christmas Bucket List now
(This post may contain affiliate links. That means that, if you click on a link, and make a purchase, I might get a commission from the sale, at no added cost to you.)
Christmas Eve PJs
My dad’s parents gave all six of their sons new pajamas on Christmas Eve so they had new pajamas on Christmas morning. My parents continued this Christmas Eve tradition with me.
I love getting new pajamas each Christmas Eve. I have saved many of the pairs so that my mom can create a quilt for me with these pajamas. Instead of a t-shirt quilt it will be a pj quilt.
I still get new pjs on Christmas Eve from my parents. Now, we also buy them for my son.
Since he’s still a baby, my son and I have matching pajamas. I don’t think he will enjoy that so much once he grows up! (My husband isn’t as into it and is particular about his pjs so he just asks for something else. I think he got dress socks last year!).
Visit from the Christmas Elf
This pre-Christmas tradition started decades before The Elf on the Shelf was even a thing.
My cousin is just a few months younger than me, and we grew up next door to each other for years.
He was not a well behaved little boy and my aunt told him if he wasn’t good Santa wasn’t going to come.
But she told him if he was good, Santa’s elf would come visit and leave a little gift in his stocking before Christmas so he knew Santa would visit him.
Since we lived next to each other, my parents started doing this too. So, each year I received a little gift in my stocking before Christmas. Once the stockings were hung, it was possible the elf would arrive any day.
Every morning I would check my stocking to see if anything had been left.
Gifts included: a tree ornament, candy, a roll of film (remember those days?) or something else that was small and fun.
This tradition has continued. The elf still puts a little something in my stocking at my parents’ house and I check every time we visit. The elf also left a gift in my stocking last year at our house and put a little something in my son’s stocking.
Add a New Ornament
When I was growing up, my Godmother gave me a new ornament each Christmas. I always looked forward to what she was sending me. My ornaments filled up much of our tree.
Now, my husband and I started our own ornament tradition. Each year, we buy one another a new ornament. We open them a couple days before Christmas and hang them on the tree. We also started buying an ornament for our son. I want him to have a tree full of ornaments when he grows up and has his own tree.
We also try to find a fun ornament when we travel. This hasn’t always worked out, but we try.
However, we don’t travel too much so it’s not really a tradition, yet. But, if you travel often, it might be a fun way for everyone to remember the trip for years to come.
Raise a Toast to this Tradition
I was watching a Thanksgiving rerun of The Kitchen recently and I believe it was Geoffrey Zakarian who shared his family opens the champagne and makes a toast once the turkey goes in the oven.
I thought that was a fun idea. It’s much deserved after all the hard work the cook has already done to prepare the meal.
You could also make a toast on Christmas morning with mimosas for the adults and OJ in a special glass for the children.
Traditional Christmas Lights Drive
It’s always fun to see how people have decorated their homes. There used to be a street near us nicknamed Candy Cane Lane and almost all of the home owners decorated their homes!
The main house was amazing!!! Not only did the house have the ultimate decor outside, but they had their windows open and the inside was beautiful too AND they had music playing outside so people could walk around and hear the music as they enjoyed the decorations.
There was always a line to drive though and see the lights.
Sadly, families change, people move on and this area no longer decorates the way it used to years ago.
It doesn’t matter if you have a Candy Cane Lane near you or just homes all over your neighborhood that decorate, get into the car, turn on your favorite Christmas music and just take a leisurely drive and enjoy the scenery.
Some park districts around us also offer a bus ride to view homes who have entered a house decorating contest. That’s a fun way to see lights too. Check into your park district or township to see if they offer this type of event.
Dinner & Shopping with Family or Friends
My parents and I used to find one night when we would all go out to dinner, usually Red Lobster because they had shrimp fest around that time of the year. Then, we would head out to the stores and do some Christmas shopping. This was a Christmas tradition of ours for years.
Make a Holiday Tradition with your Girlfriends
A couple years ago, a friend started a new holiday tradition with our girlfriends. She sent out a text and invited a small group of close friends to breakfast.
We really enjoyed this time together during the rush of the season. It was two hours on the Saturday before Christmas that we could just relax and catch up with one another.
We did it again the following year, and I hope we continue with this tradition.
It’s fun to have traditions with friends too.
Other fun Christmas Traditions to Try
Santa Visit – no matter what age
Bake Christmas cookies
Shop for an underprivileged child
Help out at a food kitchen
Make a Christmas or winter bucket list
Host an open house
Read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve
Watch a Christmas movie together every Friday night
Track Santa on a world map on Christmas Eve. There are many apps that tell whee Santa is currently flying over, get a world map and as a family find the country and put a sticker there when Santa is delivering gifts to the children in that country.
Go downtown and enjoy the holiday window displays
Advent calendar –Star Wars Advent Calendar or Classic style
Trim the Tree together – we always watch White Christmas while we decorate the tree. Don’t forget to stop to watch the men sing “Sisters”.
Cut down your own tree
Make your own Christmas cards
Make a gingerbread house
Buy a new Christmas album
Go to a Christmas concert
Need your own printable Christmas Bucket List? Get it now!
Make your Tradition Special and Memorable
Enjoy creating new memories with your family and adding in new Christmas traditions to make the holidays even more special for you and your loved ones.
Sometimes things change and some traditions fade away but they will always carry special for those who were able to share in them for those times together. Maybe there is a Christmas tradition in your family that has faded and this is the year to bring it back!
These traditions carry on for generations and always hold a special place in the annual celebration.
The most important thing to remember when you start a tradition is to make it special for you and your family. Personalize any of these ideas to fit your families personality.
I would LOVE to hear about your transitions. Please feel free to comment below or send me an email at Christie@pieceofcakeentertaining.com
Need some additional help this season? Visit
Hosting Survival Tips for Year End Parties
Need help Planning how much food to serve at your next party? Get your free How Much to Serve Chart here
Leave a Reply