Holiday Traditions for the Whole Family

It seems like the holidays are a time when every family has a plethora of special traditions. Here are some of our favorite, fun family traditions for the month of December:

  • Marshmallow wars
  • Christmas Mysteries– They keep everyone on their toes.

    Nicholas (2) and Savannah (5)

  •  Santa’ hats – All the children wear them whenever we go out. It brings lots of smiles and gives us more opportunities than usual to express to others God’s blessing of children.
  • We give money to every bell ringer we see. The children collect their change (and often their savings) so they all have something to give.
  • After dark we take the long way home in order to enjoy the Christmas lights and enjoy the little ones joyful reactions to the Christmas lights.
  • Jammie Drill – Christmas lights and hot chocolate
  • A Family Fun Night where we watch Polar Express and serve hot chocolate right at the point in the movie where they sing the song ‘Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate’.
  • Christmas caroling with plates of goodies
  • Handel’s ‘Messiah’  We usually find a church that is doing a free performance.

Isabella (5 months)

What are some of your favorite family traditions?


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12 Responses to Holiday Traditions for the Whole Family
  1. Elizabeth
    December 13, 2011 | 6:42 am

    I loved seeing your kids in Santa hats, because my kids love wearing them this time of year, too! Even my oldest kids! It seems a bit strange, since we don’t include Santa as part of our holiday observance! They just look at him as a fun, pretend character that other people include in their holiday traditions. Anyway, they enjoy the hats! 😀

    I really liked reading about your traditions! We do a lot of the same things — but never thought about having a marshmallow war!!!! LOL!

    Also, I thought I had seen every Christmas movie, as we LOVE to watch Christmas movies! But, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Polar Express. I definitely need to watch that one!

    We enjoy celebrating Advent and we read one of the Jotham books each year. This year we are on Tabitha’s Travels, which is actually my least favorite of the books. This year, my daughter, Hannah, has been making us REAL homemade hot chocolate to drink during Advent! It is So YUMMY — but really depletes our milk supply in a hurry!!! And you know how precious milk is to a large family! 😉

    Thanks for sharing!!!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Great minds think alike. Just last night I wrote a post about making homemade hot cocoa mix. It probably won’t be posted until next week, but keep your eye out for it. I love it because it doesn’t deplete that precious milk supply and it’s scrumptious.


    Serenity Summers Reply:

    Our family reads Jotham’s Journey every year at Advent. However, I did not realize there were more books! My kids BEG to read more every day and we are going to finish Jotham long before Christmas. Now that’s OK because we can start one of the other books! Thank you! You made my day!!!!!!


  2. Mother Goose
    December 13, 2011 | 6:46 am

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    My kids do often wear Santa Hats when we go out, but for some reason those hats get lost fairly quickly, as I only pulled out one from our Christmas bin this year!

    We drive around and look at lights and or when it’s affordable we go to a nearby ZOO to enjoy their holiday festivities.

    We usually have a “Christmas Kick-off” Party and we’ll have a marathon of Christmas movies like A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas, etc.

    Just yesterday I blogged about a tradition that was introduced to me years ago and I plan to incorporate into our family this year…check it out, it’s really cute!


  3. Kristin
    December 13, 2011 | 6:59 am

    My kids have significant developmental delays and are intellectually disabled. They see Santa everywhere they go and so it’s been a battle to get them to understand that Christmas is the birth of our savior.

    I borrowed a cloth manger from a friend and every night we read the Christmas story and move Mary and Joseph closer to the manger. Now instead of hearing about Santa, my 10 year old asks every morning, “Where’s the baby?” He wakes up wondering if it is the day that Jesus was born.

    The boys also give money to the red kettles each time we see one.

    They also pick out toys they would want to give to Jesus and we donate them to a charity.

    Thanks for your awesome blog!


  4. Grateful for Grace
    December 13, 2011 | 9:44 am

    Oh, these are just darling. I especially like the Santa hat in public. Too cute.


  5. Jarnette @ Seasons of Life
    December 13, 2011 | 10:05 am

    We have several family traditions and have added some new ones this year. Each year we try to keep the focus on Christ…from our gift giving to our decorating…having a Christ-centered Christmas. I just wrote a long, detailed post with links sharing a lot of the Christ-centered activities we do each year {see link below}. What a wonderful time of year and it’s always a blessing to read about what other families do…gleaning and applying new ideas along the way.

    Blessings in Him & Merry Christmas!

    Jarnette @ Seasons of Life


  6. Large family small world
    December 13, 2011 | 11:16 am

    I love all of your traditions! What fun! We spend quite a bit of time baking, and love to share our goodies with friends/family near and far (we are military so many are far from us).

    Our kids love drawing names for gift giving among the siblings.

    Being a military family we always have an open door policy for others needing a place to be during the holidays. Many of those that we’ve invited into our home during the holidays have become like family!


  7. Melissa
    December 13, 2011 | 1:55 pm

    Would so love to know your family’s take on Santa. With our little ones only 1 and 2, we’re still figuring out what our family traditions will be-and realizing how very secular our own family’s traditions were despite growing up in Christian homes. It seems all of our friends (with older children) have vastly varying opinions on the topic.


  8. Ruth Adams
    December 13, 2011 | 2:23 pm

    We usually have a day where we will don the santa hats and go out to bless another family. That might be through giving food to a family with a new baby or taking gifts for a family in need, etc. We just find some way of blessing others and put on our hats and go.
    Also, we usually do a drive through nativity which is short and sweet but a fun tradition reminding us all of the real meaning of Christmas.


  9. Nikki
    December 14, 2011 | 8:25 pm

    Kimberly- I love what you said about the Santa hats giving opportunitiesto express to others God’s blessing of children. I’ve been feeling a little sensitive lately to people that count and tsk me.

    You are such a wonderful reminder and example to me!


  10. JoyFilledMom
    December 14, 2011 | 11:35 pm

    Every Christmas morning, we have a birthday cake & sing ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’.


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