Family Christmas Traditions for Young Kids
Building your own holiday family traditions is, for me, one of the best parts of the Christmas and holiday season.
If you’re looking for affordable and fun Christmas tradition ideas to do with toddlers or babies this holiday season, I’m sharing some of my favorites here.
Let me know in the comments any favorites your family does as well!
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1. Drive Around to See Christmas Lights and (Loudly)Sing Carols
What is the Christmas season without the classic holiday songs and lots of christmas lights? This is one of my favorite things to do, and is easy with younger kids.
Pack everyone up into the car and take a tour of your neighborhood or one nearby. Turn up the Christmas tunes, belt them out, and create some fun memories.
2. Bake Cookies Together
Baking is so much fun and an easy way to work together with your kids on something that isn’t going to make a huge mess or be too difficult.
Grab some cute holiday (and beyond) cookie cutters to make it even more fun and interactive.
3. Advent Calendar
Advent calendars are such a fun way to countdown to Christmas day and there are a ton of different kinds out there – from those perfect for little kids, like this Melissa and Doug Calendar, to ones that even have a mini bottle of wine in each day for mom and dad. 😉
4. Write Letters to Santa
I can’t wait to start doing this with my kids, once they start to have a better understanding of Christmas and Santa. If yours are already Santa Claus fans, there’s no need to even wait until they are old enough to write – just have them tell you what they’d like you to write, and then have them sign the letter.
5. Leave Food for Santa and His Reindeer
A fun activity for Christmas Eve. Leave out reindeer food — oats or nuts are a great option — and cookies for Santa. You can always make your own reindeer food, but if you’re short on time, Etsy has some great, pre-packaged, fancy options.
6. Leave One Gift (from Santa) Unwrapped
I love this idea, because it keeps the magic and mystery of Santa Claus going for the kids, and as a bonus, saves you from having to wrap one extra present!
Leave one special present unwrapped for Christmas morning. The rest can be wrapped, or go the opposite way and do only family gifts wrapped, and leave all of the Santa gifts unwrapped.
7. Read a Special “Christmas Eve Only” Book
My husband still remembers his Christmas Eve book from many (many) years ago. They read “Santa Mouse,” together every year, but there are tons of magical options. Try Polar Express, Berenstain Bears’ Night Before Christmas, or How to Catch an Elf.
8. Make an Ornament Together
If you’re not a crafty person (I am totally not!), don’t be scared off by this one. There are easy handprint mold ornament kits that you can buy and that come with everything you need to make a unique ornament.
Other options? Do something as simple as trace holiday shapes (think bells, Christmas trees, stars) onto cardboard paper, have your child color and decorate it, use a hole puncher and add some string so you can hang it, and write their name and the year on the back.
These don’t have to be fancy — and it’s a great opportunity to do a quick project with your child, and have a keepsake at the end.
9. Have a Holiday Movie Night
The original animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is one of my most favorite all time movies, and watching it every year was such a highlight of the holiday season.
So, start a Christmas family tradition and have a movie night every year. Make it a big event to look forward to by picking a date ahead of time (two weeks before Christmas or the night before, for example), mark it on the calendar and countdown the days so the kids know to look forward to it.
Put on some cozy PJs, order in food, make popcorn, and put a blanket and pillows on the floor so you can have a picnic while you watch.
10. Make a DIY Christmas Gift
Each year, make one homemade gift together for a family member, friend, teacher – anyone special to you.
11. Go See the Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is quintessential holiday season entertainment. There’s almost always a local dance studio with a performance, or you can take a trip to the biggest city nearby to catch a matinee showing by a bigger dance company.
If you can’t make it to a live showing, start a Christmas tradition and watch it on TV! I used to search the TV listings every year and highlight when the 1965 version was coming on, but nowadays it’s a little easier: Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is on Disney+ and Netflix.
12. Sponsor a Child or Family
Teaching your kids to give back and care for others is a great lesson to start at an early age, and a perfect meaningful family tradition to start during the holidays.
There are plenty of options and ways to give gifts to kids or families in need. Start with a search for local charities in your area. Toys for Tots and Salvation Army are also great, reliable options.
Other Holiday Related Articles You May Like:
- Baby’s First Christmas Gift Ideas & Keepsakes for an Extra Special Holiday
- Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Men
- Holiday Gift Guide for Every Woman
- Toddler Gift Guide
- Best Gift Ideas for One Year Olds
- The Best Tips for Traveling with Kids