50+ December and Holiday Tradition Ideas for Your Family

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Some of my favorite things about Christmas and the holiday season are the traditions that I remember from when I was a kid and the traditions that we do in our family. I love that traditions help make memories and give us something to look forward to. BUT, as the mom of the family, and basically the maker/keeper of traditions at our house, I will be the first to admit that traditions can be overwhelming and even hard to start- much less keep up!

Today I wanted to make traditions a little easier by hopefully giving you some new ideas that you can implement. I've broken them down by category so if you want to add something to your entire month of December or just to Christmas Eve- there's an idea for you.



Some of Our Favorite Nickels' Holiday Traditions
-Christmas Tree Farm. We love to go chop down our own tree, ride the hay ride and more. 
-Advent ornament. We love this one called The 25 Days of Christ.
-The Giving Manger.
-Christmas Countdownn paper chain. This is an easy craft for the kids!
- Decorating gingerbread houses with friends or family. Sometimes we make it a contest!
-Hot chocolate bar with friends. Have everyone bring their favorite toppings. 
-Seeing the lights. Drive through neighborhoods or a park with lights. 
-Christmas Tree Lighting. Find the Christmas Tree lighting in your town and drink hot chocolate while it lights up.

CHRISTMAS MORNING
- Number all gifts rather than tagging with names and draw numbers to see which present will be opened next. The numbers system makes it random as to who opens what when and makes the gift opening last longer. 
-Stocking letters. Each family member writes a letter to the other family members and put them in stockings. Read these letters from each other first on Christmas morning. 
-Before opening gifts put baby Jesus in the manger and sing him Happy Birthday.
-Eat monkey bread or another breakfast tradition by the fire while opening gifts. 

CHRISTMAS EVE
-Host a Christmas Eve brunch with a bagel bar, hot cocoa bar and breakfast casseroles. 
-Everyone opens new pajamas. 
-Watch a traditional Christmas movie like A Christmas Story.
-Order in food for dinner. 
-Play a present game where gifts are wrapped up well and tight and assign everyone in the group a number. Roll the dice to see who gets to try and open the gift(s). If your number gets rolled you have to put on a hat and socks on your hands to try and open it. 
-Bake together with friends or family on Christmas Eve with Christmas music.
-Read the Biblical account of Jesus' birth on Christmas Eve. 
-Bake a cake for Jesus' birthday.
-Go bowling with the entire family on Christmas Eve.
-Gift each child an ornament that represents them that year. 
-Open new Christmas jammies and or a new blanket for everyone.

GIFTS
-Make handmade ornaments for your kiddos or to give as gifts.
- Limit gifts to four: Need, Read, Want, Wear. + a gift from Santa.
-Take a photo of each child each Christmas and put it in a clear ornament every year. These would also be fun grandparents gifts each year. 
-Exchange names with siblings for a gift exchange. For even more fun keep it a secret for who has who.
-Wrap gifts in white paper and assign a bow color to each family member. 

SERVE
-Grab a tag off of a local giving tree and buy gifts for those in need.
-Random acts of kindness all throughout the month.
-Help each kiddo buy a gift for someone in need.
-Pick a night and shop the Amazon wishlists of your local animal shelter or children's hospital. 
-Make it a point to leave a 100% tip at dinner sometime in December.
-Bake treats and deliver them to the fire station and police station on Christmas day.
-Sign up to ring the bells for Salvation Army outside your local store and sing carols.
-Take dinner instead of treats to families you know. 
-Donate to or serve at a local food bank.
-Collect coats, blankets or other needed items for a refugee center or crisis center near you.
-Donate crayons to the local Children's Hospital.
-Find a local family to surprise with the 12 Days of Christmas. Leave something on their doorstep for 12 days that relates to the day of the song. Stay a secret until the last night. 

DECEMBER TRADITIONS
-25 days of Christmas books. Unwrap one each night and read together. 
-Christmas cookie decorating.
-Go see a nativity display or a gingerbread house display. 
-Start a 1000 piece puzzle as a family and work on it all month long.
-Make a trip out to see Christmas lights into a scavenger hunt.
-Make homemade Christmas candles. 
-Create a list for 24 days of togetherness as a family. Everyone contribute ideas for family activities and each day pull an idea from the jar. Ideas could be drinking hot chocolate together, decorating cookies, watching a holiday movie, etc. 
-Host an ornament or other kind of gift exchange with friends.
-Go caroling with family or neighbors.

What traditions does your family love? Leave them in the comments and I'll add them to the list!

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