12 Memorable Christmas Tradition Ideas To Do With Your Family

Growing up, part of what gets me excited about Christmas are the family traditions that I get to do with my parents. I always look forward to doing those year after year. And I still do! I think I always will, even though I don’t get to do it with them anymore. Now that I am a mom of 2 adorable kids, it is my turn to make sure that we get these Christmas traditions going and to look for new memorable Christmas traditions that we can do as a family. Today, I rounded up memorable Christmas tradition ideas that you can do with your family. I’ve already done some of these with my family; and the others, I plan to do with them when the kids are a little bit older.

Christmas bucket list for families as part of their Christmas tradition

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Put Up The Christmas Decors & Decorate The Christmas Tree

Christmas family tradition - decorating of Christmas tree and putting up Christmas decors

This is something that I truly enjoyed doing with my mom every year. When I was little, I loved the idea that I get to help out in decorating our house. But when I was older, I saw it as an opportunity to bond and have fun with my mom. Plus, I just love all the Christmas feels seeing all the decors inside our house gives me.

Do Christmas Shopping Together

As you probably already know, shopping is something I truly enjoy – whether for the house, for my family, or for myself. Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed shopping with my mom. It’s another one of those activities that we get to bond as well. And I can only imagine how much fun my kids and I are going to have when we get to do this in the future.

Read 1 Christmas Book A Day For 25 Days Leading Up To Christmas

Christmas family tradition - reading Christmas book

In November last year, I got 25 Christmas books that I wrapped individually. Starting December 1st, each night leading up to Christmas, I let the kids choose 1 gift they would like to open (they took turn every night) before bedtime. Once they had chosen, I would let them open the gift (an activity they really enjoyed) and we would read the Christmas book together.

Last year wasn’t as successful as I hoped it would be because they quickly lost interest in some of the books that I got. I guess it was because some of them were a bit longer for what they can take. But I am absolutely planning on doing this again this year, and the coming years.

Some of the books that we loved reading are Merry Christmas, Daniel Tiger! A Lift-the-Flap Book, Little Blue Truck’s Christmas, God Gave Us Christmas, The Story of Christmas, and The Itsy Bitsy Snowman.

Make DIY Crafts To Give Out To Your Child’s Teachers

Since my kids started daycare, I’ve always made sure that we give all (past and present) of their teachers a gift every Christmas to say thank you for all the love, care, and time that they have showered my kids all throughout the year. The first year it was a personalized tumbler with a message that says “Thank you for helping me grow”. The past 2 years, we’ve baked festive sweets for all their teachers. I really liked the idea of making our own gifts. And now that my kids are a bit older, I will absolutely be asking them to help out when it’s time to make these gifts to make them more special.

Get The Entire Family Coordinating Outfits

Shopping coordinating outfits for my kids has always been a fun task for me. Seriously, isn’t it adorable when siblings are dressed in coordinating outfits? I’ve been doing this since my son celebrated his first Christmas; and I certainly plan on doing it until they’re old enough to say no to it. If you plan on doing this, you can check out my tips on how to do it properly here.

Since I dress my kids in coordinating outfits every year, it’s only fair that my husband and I wear coordinating outfits with them as well. We’ve dressed up in coordinating outfits as a family before in red and black, purple and grayfuchsia and blue, black and brown, and black and white outfits. This year, we also tried matching Christmas pajamas for the entire family and I honestly loved how it turned out.

Take Your Family Picture

family wearing matching christmas pajamas from Sleepyheads Pajamas

Once we have our coordinating outfits on, we would get our family picture taken in front of our Christmas tree. For the past couple of years, my parents flew all the way from the Philippines to spend the holidays with us (and yes, I got them to wear coordinating outfits as well); but this year, it’s just going to be us.

We’re not really used to hiring a professional photographer to get our family picture taken unless there is a really special occasion (like when the kids got baptized), so we’ve always done it ourselves. If you’re planning to take your own family picture (for the holidays or) any time of the year, I put together a comprehensive guide for you here.

Have Your Child’s Picture Taken With Santa Clause

This is something that I never got to do as a kid. Growing up, there wasn’t an opportunity for families to go to the mall and tell Santa Clause what the kids wanted for Christmas (but I think families in the Philippines can do that now). I would just tell my parents what I want for Christmas and they would “happily relay the message to him”. So of course, I jumped at the first opportunity I got to take my kids to the mall and have their picture taken with Santa Clause. Since then, we’ve been doing that every year. They still don’t tell him what they want for Christmas, but I’m pretty sure they would once they’re old enough to understand who Santa Clause is.

Let The Kids Help Out In The Kitchen

I haven’t tried doing this with the kids yet but it was so much fun helping out my mom prepare all the dishes that we would be enjoying for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day back when I was younger. I certainly plan on doing this with my kids soon. Maybe this year, I’ll try and see how that would turn out.

Have Christmas Eve Dinner As A Family

Christmas family tradition - large happy family helping serve Christmas dinner

We always have dinner as a family, every single night. I honestly don’t know why, but it just feels so much more special having dinner as a family on Christmas Eve. Back in the Philippines, we would gather around the dining table and have dinner as a family on midnight, we call it Noche Buena. My mom would always make my favorite dishes for Noche Buena and Christmas Day, and I remember being always very excited about it. But we haven’t done that with the kids yet; we would have family dinner during our normal dinner time. When they’re a little bit older and can certainly stay up past their bedtime, we will absolutely do this Filipino tradition.

Have A Christmas Eve Movie Night

I’ve seen a Night Before Christmas Box through Pinterest when I was browsing for fun Christmas activities for the entire family. How it works is that you will put together a Christmas Eve box where you will put your child’s Christmas pajamas, popcorn, hot chocolate, and a Christmas movie; and then you wrap it. Your child will get to open their Christmas Eve box after dinner. And then the entire family will get to enjoy a nice hot chocolate, popcorn, while watching the Christmas movie in their Christmas pajamas (all from the Christmas Eve box). I certainly plan to start doing it this year.

Open Presents On Christmas Morning

Christmas family tradition - opening of Christmas presents

Of course, this was the highlight of all my Christmas mornings when I was a kid. I really loved finding out what “Santa Clause” had given me every Christmas. “Santa Clause” never failed; he would always give me what I wanted. I honestly don’t know how I found out that he wasn’t real, but the mystery of “Santa Clause” was so much fun that I plan to do the whole “Santa Clause” tradition with my kids.

Back in the Philippines, the kids, together with their parents, would go to their relatives and godparents’ house on Christmas day. There, they would catch up, play, and be given gifts (but most of the time, cash). I do remember getting excited when it’s almost my bedtime because I would then have a chance to count how much money I got. LOL! And then I would plan which toy I’m going to get with my Christmas money.

I don’t think we’ll be able to do that here in the U.S.; but hopefully, we can celebrate Christmas in the Philippines soon so the kids can experience that as well.

Spend The Entire Christmas Day With The Family

There’s nothing better than spending an entire day with your family, but more so when it’s Christmas. It really doesn’t matter what you do; you can go out and do something fun somewhere, visit some relatives you haven’t seen in a while, or just stay at home and do nothing. As long as you do these things as a family, then it would be worth looking back on for the years to come.

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kids decorating Christmas tree, and a family opening presents with a text in the middle that says magical Christmas traditions kids will remember for the rest of their lives

image of family reading a Christmas book by the fireplace, and a family having Christmas dinner with a text 12 magical family traditions to start this Christmas

What did you think of this post? Have you done these Christmas activities before? What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.

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Kisses, Belle - blog post signature

  • Style Domination
    Posted at 09:09h, 28 November Reply

    Such fun Christmas ideas! Love baking with my family!

  • Emily Maric
    Posted at 09:10h, 28 November Reply

    Love these traditions. As a kid we also opened our gifts on Christmas morning,instead of the night before, something I will definitely continue one day when I have children. Thanks for sharing. xo, Emily


  • Marta A Rivera Diaz
    Posted at 09:40h, 28 November Reply

    Every Christmas, prior to opening gifts, we read Luke 2 (the story of the birth of Christ); both in English and Spanish. It’s such a cherished tradition.

  • Danielle Gervino
    Posted at 10:07h, 28 November Reply

    Such fun traditions to start with your kids!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  • Heather @FrenchPress
    Posted at 10:12h, 28 November Reply

    we try to do as many of these as possible each year!! of course the baking and movies are the kids favorites

  • Bay Area Fashionista
    Posted at 10:26h, 28 November Reply

    Love all these fun family activity ideas!!


  • Jen Pilchak
    Posted at 11:07h, 28 November Reply

    Christmas is my favorite season! We always drive around to look at lights, and we do 12 days of Christmas but in a book format (a different book every night leading up to Christmas day). We also do matching jammies because that’s too fun!
    xo Jen from http://www.styleinshape.com

  • Christine
    Posted at 11:47h, 28 November Reply

    We decorate the tree and house together as a family and bake Christmas cookies. We also like to drive around and look at the lights in the neighborhood while drinking hot cocoa. I live the idea of reading a book each night until Christmas. You have a lot of great ideas.

  • Stacey Peters
    Posted at 12:12h, 28 November Reply

    We have two. I pick out an ornament that represents the year and we go see an action movie after after a late afternoon dinner.

    • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
      Posted at 10:38h, 12 December Reply

      Picking out an ornament that represents the year is such a great idea!

  • Holly
    Posted at 12:17h, 28 November Reply

    I love all of these ideas! I just got engaged in October, so I’m starting to think of all the traditions I want to start as we grow our family 🙂 xx


  • Susannah Fields O'Brien
    Posted at 12:19h, 28 November Reply

    My mom was never into cooking or homemaking, but she went all out with cookies over the holidays! I have so many great memories of her in the kitchen with piles of different types of cookies. That’s the tradition I want my son to remember now, too!

  • Jana Meister
    Posted at 12:32h, 28 November Reply

    I LOVE this! Christmas traditions are so amazing and such good memories! xo Jana | http://www.janastyleblog.com

  • Riva Treasure
    Posted at 13:42h, 28 November Reply

    I don’t have kids yet, but these even look like fun for a good date night! Great ideas!

  • dancingtweety l
    Posted at 13:51h, 28 November Reply

    Love these Christmas ideas, so cozy.. thank you for sharing.

  • Meredith
    Posted at 14:51h, 28 November Reply

    Omgggggg I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!!! Your graphic is killer!!!!!!!!!

    Posted at 15:24h, 28 November Reply

    I’m loving all of these ideas! They’re all so perfect!


  • My Veteran Woman Life
    Posted at 15:57h, 28 November Reply

    We’ve always watched the Christmas specials like Charlie Brown, etc and going to look at all the lit up homes!

  • Kristen Jones
    Posted at 17:20h, 28 November Reply

    I love these ideas! My hubby and I already put up the tree and we’ve been watching Christmas movies! I can’t wait to have kiddos to share these memories with!

  • Ruthie Ridley
    Posted at 18:49h, 28 November Reply

    This is awesome! Your family is the cutest!

  • Hava of Onlygirl4boyz
    Posted at 18:55h, 28 November Reply

    I love this post and all of these great ideas! Happy Holidays!

  • Lesley Crouse Roos
    Posted at 20:10h, 28 November Reply

    All such fun traditions! Thanks for the great suggestions. Happy Holidays!

  • TheKeeleDeal
    Posted at 20:16h, 28 November Reply

    Love all the fun ideas. I think we are going to try the book one this year. My little man has recently started helping in the kitchen and it’s so fun.

  • Remaining Meg
    Posted at 20:28h, 28 November Reply

    I love these ideas! I was actually thinking about putting together a holiday bucket list. I always struggle to find the time to do all of the fun things I want to during the season.

  • Roshunda Russell
    Posted at 21:27h, 28 November Reply

    I will definitely be implementing at least 5 ideas

  • Makayla McAfee
    Posted at 21:32h, 28 November Reply

    Aw I love this!! Christmas traditions are my favorite!!

  • Jalisa Marie
    Posted at 21:51h, 28 November Reply

    Love all of these. Baking different types of cookies are usually our faves.

  • Maggie
    Posted at 21:54h, 28 November Reply

    These ideas are so so sweet! I can’t wait to do them with my son!

  • Ashley Hargrove
    Posted at 22:11h, 28 November Reply

    These are all such great traditions!! I always love making new traditions with my small little family! Makes me happy!

  • Bryant Wade
    Posted at 22:39h, 28 November Reply

    I love all of these. Christmas is truly my favorite time of the year and has been since I was a kid and I can’t wait to have kids to be able to start some of these traditions with.


  • The How-to Guru
    Posted at 23:06h, 28 November Reply

    Such a lovely post. You are a wonderful mom with lots of great ideas for your kiddos. Have fun making memories!

  • Jasmine A
    Posted at 00:37h, 29 November Reply

    I love these ideas, I implement many of them!

  • laurakim123
    Posted at 00:51h, 29 November Reply

    These are some lovely suggestions. I love the idea of matching pjs 🙂

  • Lyndsey Piccolino
    Posted at 06:22h, 29 November Reply

    there are so many cute ideas here! I love that its all organized in one place!

  • Lauren Falardeau Pariseau
    Posted at 07:36h, 29 November Reply

    A great list of recommendations! We love to have a big family dinner on Christmas Eve and open one present a piece.

  • Melanie Walsh
    Posted at 08:05h, 29 November Reply

    I’m a little crazy for the holidays, and always on the lookout for new ways to make them special. Love that this list is all about experiences & not so much about spending.

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 09:06h, 29 November Reply

    There aren’t any children in our household anymore, but my family still loves to do a lot of these together. So many fun memories made!

  • Justine Y
    Posted at 10:55h, 29 November Reply

    Such a great list of Christmas activities and traditions to do together! We love pulling our Christmas books out and reading them together.

  • Cecilia Boateng
    Posted at 13:08h, 29 November Reply

    Most of the things on your list are so cute and I can’t wait to start some of these Christmas traditions with my own family. Thank you for sharing.

  • Raising Twincesses
    Posted at 13:42h, 29 November Reply

    Such a great list of fun holiday activities! I love getting my girls matching Christmas dresses and taking them for pictures with Santa! There are quite a few on your list I want to do this year, like drive around to see Christmas lights!

  • Elizabeth Hurt
    Posted at 16:19h, 29 November Reply

    These are so fun! Love the coordinating outfit idea! I do it for my girls each year but maybe my hubby and I should join in the fun!!!

  • Kelly Bandas
    Posted at 07:47h, 30 November Reply

    Such great ideas! And the matching jammie idea is so fun! I need to try that with my kiddos.

  • Kelly
    Posted at 10:24h, 30 November Reply

    Growing up I loved reading holiday stories, such a fun way to get into the spirit!

    Birdie Shoots

  • Cara Owens-Kindly Unspoken
    Posted at 10:39h, 30 November Reply

    Love all these ideas! Fun traditions during the holidays with my family is always my favorite!!

  • Beth Wilson Eaton
    Posted at 11:15h, 30 November Reply

    I love coming up with new traditions and learning about ones I never thought about!!!

  • Michelle Morton
    Posted at 16:38h, 30 November Reply

    LOVE THIS 😀 Pinned

  • Jenny Lee
    Posted at 19:39h, 01 December Reply

    I love dressing up together as a family, I think as my kids get older these traditions are more important.

  • Molly
    Posted at 20:38h, 03 December Reply

    This is a great list! I have 3 boys and we love making new traditions with them!

  • Sara
    Posted at 10:53h, 06 December Reply

    We used to read a different Christmas book at night and it was/is one of my favorite traditions!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
    Posted at 10:40h, 12 December Reply

    I hope you get to visit somewhere where it snows so you can do those things you miss!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
    Posted at 10:42h, 12 December Reply

    Thank you, Cristina!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
    Posted at 10:43h, 12 December Reply

    Thank you, Anna!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
    Posted at 10:44h, 12 December Reply

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel
    Posted at 10:47h, 12 December Reply

    That is so true!

  • Kari Chalene
    Posted at 11:39h, 12 December Reply

    I really love these ideas Belle.. Christmas is my favourite time for family time ❤️

  • Jonson
    Posted at 01:51h, 25 January Reply

    Thanks for sharing and i love Christmas because This is my favorite time.

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