Christmas Traditions

This is a post from one of our Moms Together mommies, Kelly Hancock.  Check out her site at 

Christmas Traditions
I wanted to pass on this list of ideas for family Christmas Traditions you can use with your children in your home. My friend Christina passed it on to me. This is a pretty exhaustive list, so I would just pick a few. These are some great resources though!

How to begin:

1. Decide which tradition you’d like to begin with.

2. Make a “wish list” of what you need to begin.

3. Prioritize your list and give it to family members as suggested gift ideas.

4. Ask for a gift certificate to a Christian bookstore or online discount store (like Amazon).

5. Go to “After Christmas” sales where Christmas items are 50-75% off or more!


Not to schedule yourself too tightly during the holidays. Before making an appointment, ask yourself “can this wait until after Christmas?”

I pray you will receive helpful ideas about how to establish fun and meaningful traditions for your family this Christmas. Perhaps you could use ONE tradition to implement this year and then another tradition next year.

Have a Christ-centered Christmas!

Post your family Christmas Traditions below!!


1. On December 1st, we begin using our Christmas dishes for every meal, as well as our Christmas pillowcases for the entire month of December. You can collect nativity scenes and put one in each room.

2. Nativity Play Sets – There are a few to choose from the Little People Nativity Set is my favorite or Playmobil Navitity Set.

3. My very own Christmas Tree – we put a small prelit Christmas tree in each child’s room. This is thier special tree and can also act as a great night-light during the Christmas season. I usually find these inexpensively at Michael’s or JoAnn’s.

4. Each time you turn on a light during Advent, say “Christ is welcome in our home.” When you turn on your tree lights say, “Jesus is the light of the world!” Children love the repetition and learn from it!

5. Advent Calendar- You can usually pick one up the last week of Thanksgiving. We see them at Starbucks each year right at Thanksgiving. They have candy in them and it reminds my kids to look for the day to eat their treat! It is also great at teaching toddlers their numbers.

6. Advent Wreath – Advent is one of the simplest and most meaning ful ways to restore Jesus to the center of the Christmas celebration because the birth of Jesus is read and talked about daily. The whole family can participate. The memories and training will last a lifetime. Advent involves the 4 Sundays before Christmas. The Advent Wreath has 5 candles, and each Sunday a candle is lit and a brief devotional is read. On Christmas, all five candles are lit. After our Advent reading, we often allow our daughter to walk to her bedroom by candlelight, she LOVES IT!

7. The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Welchel – For each of the 24 days preceding Christmas, this book serves as a  fun and handy guide that describes the significance behind your favorite Christmas Traditions. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree will become opportunities to share how these customs relate to Jesus’ birth.

8. Christmas Book Basket – You can use children’s picture books as an Advent calendar. Every year, I individually wrap 25 Christmas books and place them in a basket near our tree. Beginning on December 1, a child picks a “present” from the basket, unwraps it and then you read it together. Siblings take turns choosing the “present”. Sometimes we read the book at night by flashlight as we lay next to the Christmas tree. If you only have 7 books, you begin 7 days before Christmas. Until you obtain your own book collection, you can check out Christmas books from your local library and wrap them individually. You can do things to track them (so not to be late!) – we put the number of the day we are going to open them and they all occur before the due date, or you can write the due date on the back of the book. Also, books are usually marked down 75% after Christmas, so you can stock up for next year’s basket.

9. Happy Birthday Jesus Party – Send invitations to a birthday party for Jesus. Ask each child to bring a new or gently used baby gift to present to baby Jesus. Each child can present their gift to Baby Jesus at the nativity scene as Christmas music plays softly in background. Let each child unwrap a present for Jesus, then afterwards, the hostess takes the baby gifts to a local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Serve cupcakes or a birthday cake. Give children a candle on their cupcake, light the candles and turn out the lights to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. , and read the story of Jesus in Luke 2: 1-16.

Other options: read a favorite Christmas story, incorporate a cookie decorating party, make a craft, play “pin the star on the manger”, let the children break a “Christmas-themed” pinata.

10. Before your guests leave, give each child a candy cane with the Legend of the Candy Cane attached. Remind them that the “J” shape of the cane reminds us of Jesus. This makes a great stocking stuffer!

Legend of the Candy Cane

Look at the candy cane, what do you see?

Stripes that are red like the blood shed for me.

White for my Savior who is sinless and pure!

“J” is for Jesus, my Lord, that’s for sure!

Turn it around and a staff you will see

Jesus my shepherd was born for me!
11. Operation Christmas Child – Sends a message of hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoeboxes and the Good News of God’s love. This is a great way to get your kids involved in helping you find deals throughout the year to add to your child’s shoebox. National Collection week is usually the 2nd or 3rd week of November. Go to the Samaritan’s Purse website to find out more.

12. A Wise Man’s Christmas – If your budget is tight or you want to simplify the number of gifts your children receive, you might consider having a Wise Man’s Christmas. Explain that it is not their birthday, but Jesus’ birthday. He received 3 gifts from the wise men. If 3 gifts is good enought for Jesus, then theya re good enought for our kids too.

A possible guide:

1. A gift that focuses on GOD (Bible, book CD, etc).

2. A gift that focuses on OTHERS (a board game, tickets to a concert, movie, museum, zoo, a gift card for two to a restaurant or favorite ice cream shop).

3. A gift that focuses on each CHILD (a desired toy, something they need, etc).

:: Something they WANT, something they NEED, something to PLAY WITH and something to READ.

:: Something to PLAY WITH, something they NEED, something to WEAR, and something to READ.

:: Include a dated Christmas ornament that depicts something special from the year such as a memorable vacation or a personal milestone. Your children will have their own ornament collection when they leave home to decorate their own tree.
13. Holiday Family Photo – Take the photo in the same spot each year, such as by a favorite tree in your yard. In years to come, you’ll have a wonderful record of the growth of your family, as well as the growth of the tree.

14. Christmas Cards as Prayer Cards – Place Christmas cards you receive in a basket near your dining table. After the holidays, read one card at dinner each night and pray for that family.

15. Advent Paper Chain – This is like the typical chain you would make using red & green construction paper for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. It’s fun to watch the chain shrink, as you get closer to Christmas! There are no to-do items, just the joy of knowing you’re getting closer to celebrating the birthday of our King! Option: Fill each strip with an activity to help you celebrate the season ie.) write the name of someone you will pray for that day OR write an activity to do together. Then each day between December 1 and Christmas, tear off one of the rings and do whatever is written on the strip of paper.

16. The Advent Coloring Book – Print out these 24 coloring pages with quotations from Luke & Matthew to reinforce the Christmas story. Color and read one page per day from December 1st through the 24th. Put them all together to make a booklet you can read as a family on Christmas Day.

17. The Advent Book by Jack & Kathy Stockman – This is a gorgeous keepsake book with 25 pages that each feature a unique door that actually opens. behind each door is a beautifully illustrated scene from the Christmas story with simple text that even the youngest can understand (ages 3-7). You begin on Dec 1st and end on Christmas Day.

18. Christ-Centered Stocking Stuffers – Put the candy inside a bag and decorate as desired. Attach this story to the bag and place in child’s Christmas stocking.

“God sent His Son to us. He came in the form of a baby (Baby Ruth). His name was Jesus. The angels told of the great joy (Almond Joy) He would bring to all the people. The shepherds left their flocks, took their staffs (candy canes), and hurried to worship the One who is the Good Shepherd who would lay down His life for His sheep. The Wise Men (3 Musketeers) followed the star (Starburst) to Bethelehem. The brought gold (Kisses) because He is the King of Kings, frankincense because He is our High Priest, and myrrh because He would die for our sins. Because God gave us the Greatest Gift, His Son, we can never forget the reason (Riesen chocolates) for the Season. Thank you God, for the gift of Jesus!”
19. The Gingerbread Gospel – This is a fun gingerbread house project to do with your children to teach them about how Jesus is preparing us a “perfect place to live”, called Heaven, and how we can all live forever with Him one day. Go here to learn about telling the story to make the Gingerbread Gospel houses. I usually just pick one up at a craft store like Joann’s or Michael’s, but I saw them at Publix the other day too!


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