The Traditions of Christmas

22 Dec

The Traditions of Christmas

Our families share their Christmas Traditions

We have a parenting fellowship that meets on Sunday mornings at our church.  We discuss parenting, marriage and family life topics.  Homebuilders, for Glenkirk, is a community that’s smaller than a church service, but bigger than a small group – allowing parents a next-step into community with other believers (and some non-believers) who seek to raise up Christ-following kids.

This year, at our last gathering before Christmas break, some of the families in the group shared their family traditions around Christmastime and I thought I’d share them here.  These might give you some ideas for traditions your family can start, or just give you a picture of what some of the families in our communities do to celebrate Christmas.

Families were asked to submit their Christmas Traditions…
Here’s how they responded:

  • Eat Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve.
  • Have Santa has come to our house every Christmas Eve, they love it and we go to church.
  • The best part is Christmas day when the entire clan gets together (26 and growing).
  • We got an “Elf on the Shelf” a few years ago, and it is one of our favorite traditions.
  • Glendora Christmas Stroll
  • Advent Cards
  • Visit Live Nativity Scenes
  • Neighborhood Cookie Exchange w/ Santa Claus and Snow
  • Give kids $ to buy Christmas presents for everyone at dollar store
  • Read the Christmas story
  • There’s the usual baking, decorating and getting dressed up for church.
  • Play “Christmas Guess Who” (this is for a large group).
  • We also play bingo after dinner!
  • Make Puppy Chow and deliver it to friends and neighbors.
  • Drive together in the Yukon and look at Christmas lights wearing Santa hats.
  • Advent calendars for the boys from Trader Joes.
  • Everyone knows that the one gift they will “surprisingly” open on Christmas Eve will be P.J.’s.
  • After presents Christmas morning, we have “eggie” casserole and bagels, lox and cream cheese.
  • Listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas album while decorating the tree
  • After putting the kids to bed on Christmas Eve, my husband & I enjoy Mimosas, wrapping & watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on TV.
  • Do the “What God Wants For Christmas” story
  • Take turns opening presents one at a time and will even stop and play with a present if one of the kids wants to…
  • Have the kids also give each other and each of us presents
  • We also have Eggplant Parmesan for dinner and Thin-Hotcakes for breakfast
  • We always buy a tied up tree and open it up at home
  • Give the kids new Christmas PJs on Christmas Eve.
  • Read the Bible on Christmas morn before we open presents
  • Have Cinnamon Rolls and hot chocolate on Christmas morning
  • At our dinner parties or when we host Christmas eve, we section the Luke 2 chapter in as many pieces as we have guests (kids included) and we read our parts around the table as our prayer.
  • We make about 10-15 loaves of cinnamon bread starting at the crack of dawn Christmas morning to give to neighbors and friends.
  • On Christmas Eve all the kids perform the Christmas pageant and then we sing “That’s How Christmas Came to Be.”
  • We go to my in-laws and have a white elephant gift exchange after dinner.
  • We celebrate St. Nicholas day on Dec. 6. The night before the kids put their shoes out and they get little goodies (a small gift, Clementine, candy cane, and chocolate gold coins)
  • We read stories about the real St. Nicholas and it is helpful to tie our Christmas traditions to a real person and the kindness he showed for others
  • We buy our kids three gifts each: something they need, something they want, and something that’s a surprise
  • We have a traditional Norwegian meal on Christmas eve
  • Santa brings 3 gifts, just like Jesus received 3 gifts.
  • We choose one Christmas card each night from those we’ve received in the mail and pray for that family/individual before dinner.
  • We bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  Then we sing to him and blow out the candles after Christmas dinner.
  • We spend the night with my brother’s family Christmas Eve and wake up to cook bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls and open gifts.
  • We spend the whole day playing with new toys and playing over-the-line.
  • Strawberry Farms Christmas Tree
  • Christmas Music
  • Opening a present on Christmas Eve (always PJ’s)
  • Church on Christmas Eve,
  • Christmas Lights- drive around
  • Angel on top of tree
  • Cookies and milk for Santa
  • Mrs. Claus lingerie (after the kids go to bed, of course)
  • Our nativity scene
  • Calendar that counts down to Christmas
  • My favorite, second only to baking with the family, would be our family night where we let each person open two gifts:  pajamas and then an ornament
  • We read the Christmas story (from the Bible) and Santa Mouse.
  • Our family always gets our our Christmas tree the first weekend of December.
  • We pop popcorn, drink eggnog and hot chocolate while we decorate and after its all done, the kids “camp out” on the floor in front of the tree and watch a Christmas movie until they fall asleep.
  • On Christmas Eve, we order pizza, go to Christmas Eve Service and then open one present
  • Do Elf on the Shelf which is huge fun and helps with behavior!
  • Get hot chocolate and drive around looking at lights.
  • Sprinkle oats mixed with sparkles on the lawn Christmas Eve for Santa’s reindeer.
  • Always watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation” on Christmas Eve.
  • My wife and I started a tradition because she came from a family that never put a topper on the tree, while mine always did. So here is our compromise — we put the toppers on my science fiction awards…!
  • A family tradition all year long… Our family does finger food Friday: appetizers for dinner and play games or watch movies
  • For years we went the Disneyland when kids were little…. We took a break…. We’re starting it back up this year!
  • The past few years we have had MOM and Son friends night at the Crooks with dinner and games or gift exchange….
  • We always watch Mary Poppins Christmas
  • We read the night before Christmas and still leave milk and cookies for Santa!
  • Make gingerbread houses together
  • Read Christmas books that were put away for the year
  • Watch the Polar Express Making hard cinnamon candy
  • Pull out the Little People nativity set
  • Christmas morning always includes homemade cinnamon rolls
  • We wake up Christmas morning, gather on mom & dad’s bed   for a Bible reading of the Christmas Story, then we pray and thank God for his many gifts to us, and we ask for grateful hearts for the many gifts that we are about to receive this day.
  • Lots of baking
  • The one item we make and keep for Christmas day is our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake!
  • We have an “adult tree” with our breakable ornaments and a “kid tree.”
  • One of our big family traditions: Progressive Dinner.
  • Christmas dishes and advent quilt come out December 1st.
  • Christmas boxers
  • Surprise Night
  • Reading Luke 2 and singing “Happy Birthday Jesus” in the hallway before presents.
  • Monkey Bread Christmas morning
  • The nativity manger is empty until Christmas morning

Do you have a tradition you’d like others to know about?  As always, feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Kidmin, Resources


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One response to “The Traditions of Christmas

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