And so the world begins to prepare for the Holidays the moment Halloween ends! I went into Walmart the other day and the aisles we already lined with gifts and decorations. A chill of excitement stirred me as It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas rang in my head. I don’t know about you but I love the spirit of this time of year. I personally had a lot of great childhood memories when Christmas came around and my parents did everything they could to make sure it was special for us. For others, you may not have had the same experience. But we have an opportunity to restore the joy, love and peace of the season to our families with just enough effort.
I want Austin to grow up with warm memories of the Christmas season and most of all I want him to know that Jesus is the reason for the season. So we’re going to start up our own set of Family Christmas Traditions to make this season bright!
Here are a few Christmas and Christmas Eve activities you can include into your holiday experience with your family while keeping the Christ in Christmas!!
1. A pajama ride through the holiday lights in your area. Find out where the brightly lit houses are in your city, hop in the car and turn on some Christmas music! Even invite another couple or family to join in on the fun!
2. Create a Holiday Playlist! And play it everywhere; in the house when you’re cooking and in the car. Whether that’s through Spotify or iTunes, etc. make sure to get in some good holiday classics like “White Christmas” “Jingle Bells” “Oh Holy Night” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and especially those that tell the story of Christ. When we were little my dad always played the Jackson 5 Christmas album which I still listen to this day.
3. Get together one night each week to watch a holiday movie. Make it a family or couple movie night and gather around for a holiday classic. Things like a Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Here are some Christian holiday movies including some VeggieTales fun! Also, ABC Family airs its 25 Days of Christmas beginning December 1st with movies like Elf and The Little Drummer Boy. I’ve already got a few scheduled in my calendar. Check out Netflix, Hulu, stream online or even borrow from your local library!
4. Start an ‘I Am Thankful’ list. Every day of December up until Christmas (or even New Years) have everyone list one thing they’re thankful for each day and share it. Place the list up on the fridge or somewhere where everyone can see it and be reminded of all the things God’s blessed us with to be thankful for.
5. Volunteer as a family. Introduce the your child(ren) to the concept of serving by volunteering for a local nursing home, visiting your local hospital, serving at a soup kitchen or food bank, partner with Angel Tree or simply going as a couple. Jesus gave up his royal throne to serve here on Earth for the good of all people. We can really embrace the true spirit of Christmas by helping those in need.
6. Clean out your closets. This is a great way to give back and take care of some end-of-the-year cleaning by going through your closets and donating gently used clothing to a local shelter. Warm articles of clothing like gloves, hats, scarves and jackets are highly needed this time of year.
7. Deliver goodies to local service workers! Deliver cookies and treats to your local police department, fire station and even the staff at the hospital. Remember they work on the Holidays too.
8. Take the family to a theater/church to see a Christmas play or concert. I’m a big theater buff having performed in numbers of plays and musicals since I was a kid. But if you have the chance, it could be really nice to take the family to a live Christmas play or concert going on in your area. It would be really cool if you can find a live nativity playing in your area.
9. Make gingerbread houses. I’m actually in the midst of organizing a gingerbread house decorating party for my church and families around the community! Mostly for the kids and…okay a lot for me. Its fun, its creative and you get to eat off all the little sweets when you’re done!
10. Have hot chocolate. Like every night. Okay maybe not every night, but definitely on Christmas Eve. Hey, I’ve been drinking Hot Chocolate since November hit but I personally think this is a winter must. Don’t forget to add marshmallows! Here are 25 delicious ways to spice up your hot chocolate. Thank me later.
11. Read Luke 2 or Matthew 1 and share the story of Christ. See if you can memorize it! Jesus is in fact the reason for the season. If we don’t teach our children the truth the world will certainly spin them their version. No matter how young, or even if it’s as a couple, use this season to study and discuss the story of Jesus and how it has impacted our lives.
12. Attend a candlelight church service. These are always so beautiful. Candlelight services are where the church gathers for worship and honor the birth of Christ. It usually takes place on Christmas Eve and everyone lights a candle as Jesus came to be the light of this world. Find out if your church holds a Candlelight service or find a healthy local church you can participate with.
13. Take a family holiday photo. I really want to get in the habit of taking a Christmas photo every year and watch how our family grows throughout the years. No matter how young or how old, why not start now? You’ll treasure them for the years to come or can even create holiday cards to share with distant family and friends.
14. Go ice skating. Think about it. When’s the last time you’ve been ice skating? And if you’ve never been it’s never too late to try new things! Now I’m a little biased because I figure skated competitively as a girl but I believe everyone should at least try it. Find a rink in your city, hold hands and make it a fun day!
15. Choose a family game to play. How about everyone engaging in a family game every Christmas Eve or Christmas morning and making it a tradition. Put away all tech devices and share some joy with one another.
16. Share a scripture each day leading up to Christmas. Some families invest in or create their own advent calendar, all of which are great to have. Sometimes they contain envelopes with scriptures and even little treats like gold coins or chocolate. This is a great way to keep the family grounded in the Word this season.
17. Cook the same family recipe every Christmas eve. Let Christmas Eve be known for that special day we make that special dish and everyone’s been waiting all year long to get a piece! Search for a recipe or find your specialty and make it, well, special! Or you could always make it a fondue night and chocolate cover everything! I’m just sayin’.
18. Give your pastor(s) a thank you Christmas gift. I love this idea because our Pastors sacrifice so much on a weekly basis to shepherd our growth in Christ. Dont forget to thank them for all they’ve done this year with a simple card or gift.
19. Buy “Christmas Eve” PJ’s. Every year gift exchange Christmas Eve PJ’s or take the kids to pick up their very special pajamas to wear the night before Christmas!
20. Have a special Christmas brunch. If your extended family doesn’t get together until the afternoon or maybe its just your family this year, why not get in the tradition of cooking up a grand Christmas brunch and getting everyone involved in the process! Don’t forget to turn up the holiday music.
21. Have a Christmas countdown calendar. This just builds anticipation. Have you and your spouse or one of the kids take turn crossing off the days until that special day!
22. Watch old home videos. I love this idea of reminiscing on how we’ve grown together as a couple, as a family and looking back on all the precious memories that stole our hearts. To me this season is very much about the spirit of family, love and joy, along with the obvious central theme of Christ. But what better way to cherish that than gathering around for some old family videos!
23. Make ornaments together. Make it a fun art & crafts project or even buy a special ornament for each child marking the years. Here are 30 Homemade Ornaments you can makes with your kids!
24. Write a Happy Birthday letter to Jesus. “If you could write anything to Jesus what would you say?” Write it down! As a family, as a couple and with the kids this will foster the habit of being in communication and in relationship with Christ on a personal level letting them know that Jesus is present and can hear every word we say.
25. Decorate a Birthday Cake for Jesus. I’ve heard a few of my family friends doing this and it sound like a worthy idea for sure. Come together, decorate the cake and go around thanking Jesus for all he’s done in our lives.
You can do it! Grab hold of some activities you’d like to assume as your own family or couple holiday traditions and plan for it now! Your child(ren) will look back on these and reminisce about how amazingly special and blessed their holiday season was every year. We’re making memories that will be priceless in the years to come.
Don’t forget to download the free printable > Family Christmas Checklist! <
YOUR TURN: What are some Christmas traditions you and your family celebrate each year? Feel free to add to the list! Comment below!