5 Fun Family Christmas Tradition Ideas

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Recently, I read a viral parenting article about what children really need from their parents. It was a very short list, thankfully. Of course “unconditional love” was at the top of that list, but you know what else was there? Traditions!

Are you as surprised as I was? Like most families, we incorporate traditions into our lives, but they are something I tend to think of as fun yet optional. But traditions are extremely important for helping your child form an identity and feel secure. This makes sense when you reflect on your own childhood and think of the memories that emerged from those traditions and the feelings they invoke today.

Christmas is the ideal time to incorporate traditions into your family. Listed below are some of the best family Christmas traditions that our family has enjoyed over the years.

Fun Family Christmas Tradition Ideas

1. Pajamas and a book on Christmas Eve – Having a gift to open and use immediately on Christmas Eve both add to my kids’ Christmas excitement and keeps them from begging to open presents a day early. Special memories are made snuggled up in new PJs and reading a new book together

fun family christmas tradition ideas

Christmas Eve 2015. They were so tiny!

2. Elf on the Shelf – This has become my kids’ favorite Christmas tradition by far. Scout Elf Return Week naturally heralds the fun to come and also helps my kids process the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Marshmallow the Scout Elf is to Christmas what tablets are to a road trip. The kids ask “Are we there yet?” much less often since we adopted him. Thanks, Marshmallow!

Elf on the Shelf ideas for kids to help plan your Elf on the Shelf arrival!

3. Personalized ornaments – My mother took this to another level when I was growing up. She cross-stitched an ornament every Christmas with my name and the year on it up until I got married (then she made a joint one to celebrate that.)
I still have them all of course! These are a few of my favorites:

Fun family Christmas tradition ideas

I’m not quite as patient as Mom, but the kids each get an ornament at Christmas that reflects their personality, taste, or just whatever they are into lately. This year, they’ll be getting a very special ornament!

4. Letters to Santa – This is a new tradition for us this year! My kids have written letters to Santa at school, but thanks to Marshmallow, they’ll now be able to get their letters directly to Santa the quickest way possible; overnight delivery via Scout Elf! Check out the video below to see how the magic happens.

Your scout elf will bring the letter back to your home after Santa has had a chance to read it, so you get a keepsake ornament as well! The Letters to Santa Kit allows you to combine two traditions this way. Pretty neat, right? Sweet T and Gus will be using this kit to write their letters to Santa during the first week in December so stay tuned.

Fun family Christmas tradition ideas

5. Kid Christmas Trees – Each of our children has their own pint-sized Christmas tree in their rooms. Sweet T’s is full of sweet treats to match her room theme and Gus’ is filled with forest friends to match his.

Fun family Christmas tradition ideas

Not only do they love decorating their own trees, but the lights act as a peaceful nightlight as they fall asleep. We joke about having a Valentine’s Day tree and an Easter tree as an excuse to have those beautiful lights in their rooms year-round.

What are the best family Christmas traditions you remember from your childhood? Which of these fun family Christmas tradition ideas will you incorporate into the holiday season this year?