Christmas traditions truly make Christmas the best time of the year. Growing up I fondly remember Christmas as a season where we get to spend quality time as a family together. Now as a mother of a 10-year, 3-year, and 1-year old I am trying to create that same sentiment for my children. Here are our current Christmas traditions as a growing family of 5.
Be sure to check out Christmas traditions from my friends below to see what they do during this Christmas season. Be sure to leave a comment below of your favorite Christmas traditons past or present.
Celebrating Advent is one of our favorite “Christmas traditions”. Advent is technically the season leading up to Christmas according to the church calendar. It begins on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas. During this time our family focuses on preparing our hearts for the true meaning of Christmas.
Lighting the Advent Wreath
We use an advent wreath to celebrate each week of advent. Each evening we light the candle or candles while doing our scripture readings for the night. The candles are a beautiful visual of Christmas approaching and each has a meaningful symbol tied to the biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth. The first candle is the candle of hope, the second is faith, the third is joy (the pink one), and the fourth is peace.
The white candle in the middle (not pictured) is lit on Christmas Eve to symbolize Christ and his purity. The wreath is symbolic and fun for the children. If you have older kids they can help light the candles and the littles can blow it out at the end.
This year we have implemented a Jesse Tree to help us make our way through the biblical story during advent. Each night we have a picture and set of verses to read through and learn about. It begins at creation and ends at the birth of Jesus. This is a great way to slowly make our way to the excitement of Christmas.
I found my tree ornaments here, but there are lots of resources online if you want to look around. This tradition helps us point our children to the true meaning of Christmas and intentionally walk through the biblical narrative as a family. We also use The Jesus Story Book Bible to help supplement the readings for the little ones if it aligns well. This Advent tradition is the perfect segway into Christmas.
A less common tradition of ours is waiting till the evening of December 24th to light and fully decorate our Christmas tree. The natural tendency is to get the tree and decorate and light it up as soon as possible. By waiting to light our tree, add the ornaments, and the star we build up the excitement for Christmas to arrive.
This also makes for a fun daily activity of hanging an ornament or two every morning. By decorating our tree this way we are able to appreciate the ornaments we have more and reminisce on the different memories they bring.
We have also started a new tradition of only listening to instrumental Christmas music until Christmas day. It is a little weird to stop yourself from singing the lyrics to Christmas music. However; I have found that this tradition does two things: makes you excited to finally listen to the Christmas songs lyrics and all & makes the songs more enjoyable when you have not been listening to them on repeat for 24 days straight.
Come December 24th on the Eve of Christmas we will light up our tree for the first time, turn on some Christmas jams, and sip hot chocolate snuggled on the couch (just kidding we’re sitting at the table, my rug is white).
Traditions for Christmas
Growing up Christmas was roughly 2 days long: Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Now my family spends a whole 12 days celebrating Christmas and I am never going back. Here’s a snippet of what we do during this wonderful 12-day celebration.
Celebrating 12 Days of Christmas
Traditionally the 12 days of Christmas begin on the 25th of December and end on the 6th of January. Last year our family celebrated with 12 Christmas gifts, one for each day of Christmas. This year I plan to tone it down a little, as that became a little excessive with three kids and a husband to shop for. Instead, we plan to put something small in the kid’s stockings each day of Christmas. By doing this we keep the celebration going without breaking the bank or stressing over not having enough gifts for a certain member of our family. Let’s be honest there is something so thrilling about pulling a gift out of a stocking.
Family Ornament Shopping
The best part of celebrating for 12 days is the “after Christmas” sales (but the jokes on them because it’s still Christmas). Every year after the 25th I take the kids to pick out an ornament while the prices are marked 70-90% off. It’s perfect for us because we are still in celebration mode. Plus I do not have to feel bad about overpriced decorations that stay in a box for most of the year.
Christmas time is the time to feast and celebrate the birth of Jesus. We try to fill our days and home with family and friends even more intentionally during Christmas. One of the most memorable parts of this season is gathering around the table with the ones we love eating, singing, and praying together to celebrate this joyous time. Not to be cheesy but presence is the best present we can give and receive.
Giving to Others
This year I am adding a new Christmas Tradition of giving to others. My children are very blessed to be given ample toys, clothes, and goodies (more than I can even keep track of). So as a way to minimize before Christmas and simultaneously teach my children to bless others. I am having them pick out toys, books, and clothes they do not need or use very often and teaching them to gift it to someone they think will enjoy or use them.
Christmas is when God gave the greatest gift to the world, his son. Tying all of these traditions back to the real meaning of Christmas is my main goal for this season with myself, my big kid, and my little kids.
Other Christmas Traditions You’ll Love
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our Christmas traditions, be sure to check out a few more from my friends Miriam, Alexa, Chey, Lindsay, Megan, & Rainie. Let us know what your favorite traditions were or which ones you do in your home.
Thanks for popping in and whether you’re celebrating the Christmas or Advent season right now, I hope you are finding ways to truly enjoy this time.
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This was a great eye opener to read as my little is just starting to understand Christmas and we’re really getting into those Christmas traditions!
They’re so fun!
I love learning about other people’s traditions and finding ideas for new ones to add to ours. Fun read!
Thanks for stopping by ❤️
Love this! I’m always on the lookout for new traditions, especially as our daughter gets older. Thank you for the ideas!
Us too! It’s fun to figure out what works while the kids are young.
You have some beautiful family traditions. I especially love that you teach giving as part of your Christmas. That is such a great thing to teach children ❤
I love the idea of decorating the tree a couple of ornaments at a time. All of our ornaments have special meaning, and it would help us focus on that and the reason we are celebrating. Thank you for this post.
I love all the meaningful ornaments!
I just love how you’ve expanded the Christmas season past just Christmas morning. Definitely some traditions in here I will work to incorporate with our family too.
Yay glad to hear it. I love learning new traditions to incorporate or alter to fit our family.
Teaching restraint is so amazing. We could all use that lesson in this crazy world we live in. Such an awesome momma!
Thank you, I’m mostly just teaching myself and the kids are along for the ride!
I also love the idea of the 12 days of Christmas! This sounds like so much fun. I always feel like Christmas Day comes and goes so fast! We love to gather and feast with friends and family too.
Yes I definitely reccomend it, makes all the hype worth it!
I love the idea of 12 days of Christmas! Just amazing ideas for kids of all ages:) Happy Holidays!
Yes it’s a lot of fun even for the adults!
I love how you’re teaching your kids to give to others. What a great thing for them to learn!
It makes it so much more fun to focus on the giving aspect too.