Ho Ho Holy Happiness: 21 Family Christmas Traditions That Bring Everyone Closer

Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

Ho Ho Ho! It’s that time of the year again! The time when our hearts are filled with joy, love, kindness and Christmas cheer. Christmas is perhaps the most magical time of the year as we are surrounded by our friends, family and loved ones. And the best way to create new cherished memories is through family Christmas traditions.

It’s the season of giving and what makes it even more special is how families celebrate this special day with their own traditions. While each family may have their own unique and interesting Christmas traditions, certain classic family traditions on Christmas eve, such as  decorating Christmas trees or exchanging gifts warm our hearts and bring us together. 

So let’s explore some of the best Christmas day traditions from around the world which bring happiness, love and joy to this magical holiday.

Best Family Christmas Traditions

Thinking about doing something new and fun with your family this Yuletide? Here are some fun and engaging Christmas family tradition ideas that you can consider for a merrier Christmas season –

1. The Joy of Advent Calendars

Advent calendars are an age-old German tradition observed by many families. These calendars work by counting down the days to Christmas from 1st December. On each day a door or window is opened to reveal some little treat or surprise waiting behind it. 

This is one of the interesting Christmas traditions that creates excitement and builds anticipation for the festive season especially for children as they look forward to what will be waiting behind every door.

Related: 13 Bizarre Christmas Traditions Around The World That Add A Dash Of Fun

2. Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas tree has become a common practice among many households. Family members come together to put up decorations on the evergreen plant, which include ornaments, lights, and garlands. The tree also stands as their focal point in their joyful celebrations. 

Each ornament carries sentimental value reminding us of different people we love and various special moments shared with them all through a lifetime. This time-honored custom brings families together as they fashion out an exquisite centerpiece for their celebration. This is perhaps the most popular family Christmas traditions.

3. The Magic of Santa Claus

When talking about Christmas day traditions from around the world, we simply cannot miss out on Jolly Old Saint Nick. The legend of Santa Claus is a universal symbol of Christmas, joy and generosity. Children across the globe eagerly await the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve. 

From keeping milk and cookies to hanging stockings near the fireplace, families embrace the magic of Saint Nicholas. 

It is a precious moment for parents when they watch their children’s eyes brighten as they find gifts from Santa, and the anticipation of his visit adds some extra excitement.

4. Candlelight Services and Midnight Mass

Irrespective of one’s religious background, many families attend candlelight services or midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This is among the family traditions on Christmas eve where ceremonies are solemn and beautiful moments to reflect and feel at peace with oneself. 

The soft candlelight eradicates the darkness and illuminates our hearts and loves. With carols and hymns, children and adults experience the true meaning of Christmas. Hence, this is a time for families to pray together and show appreciation for everything they have.

5. Exchanging Gifts and Stockings

The spirit of Christmas lies in exchanging gifts. This is because loved ones gather around Christmas trees to exchange presents wrapped in fancy papers and ribbons. The power of giving and receiving illustrates how families are united through love and care for each other. 

Another popular interesting Christmas traditions is hanging stockings. Christmas stockings are hung on the fireplace ledge which are filled with small surprises that add more fun.

6. Culinary Delights and Feast

Christmas would not be complete without a mouth-watering feast shared among loved ones. While traditional dishes differ from one culture to another, the sense of unity remains unchanged. 

Indeed, these delicacies bring warmth into homes during this festive period including roasted turkey, glazed ham, gingerbread cookies and fruitcakes among others. Consequently, the kitchen becomes a beehive of activity where our relatives come together preparing as well as enjoying these exceptional meals.

7. Singing Carols and Musical Merriment

Christmas is a time when music plays a major role and this includes singing Christmas carols that bring families together. The joyous melodies of carols fill the air and hearts with cheer whether it’s gathering around the piano or joining community choirs. 

Singing songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night” or even “Deck the Halls” with full spirits brings Christmas to life in the whole neighborhood. This is another common family Christmas traditions.

Looking for more Christmas day traditions from around the world? Read on for more exciting Christmas family tradition ideas.

Related: 8 Popular Christmas Traditions Around The World With Terrifying Origins

8. Giving Back to the Community

Christmas is all about the joy of giving. During Christmas, several families focus their attention on being grateful and helping other people. Several people conduct different charitable acts by –

  • Volunteering at local homeless shelters
  • Donating to charities
  • Organizing toy drives for underprivileged children
  • Serving meals in a soup kitchen
  • Having a neighborhood cleanup
  • Visiting an assisted-living home to bring joy to its residents

During this festive season family members join hands in making a positive impact which spreads love and hope. Spending this day together while volunteering as a family unit cultivates socially responsible behavior and strengthens familial ties.

9. Creating Handmade Decorations and Crafts

Handmade decorations and crafts give a personal touch to Christmas celebrations. Families sit down together to make ornaments, wreaths and other festive decorations using paper, clay as well as natural material. 

These craft items are handed down through generations because they become treasured keepsakes. This is one of the interesting Christmas traditions that helps in fostering creativity, strengthening family ties, encouraging pride as well as fulfillment.

10. Advent Wreath Lighting

The Advent wreath is a circular arrangement of evergreen branches with four candles representing four weeks before Christmas. One candle is lit each week during family readings or prayers. 

This is one of the Christmas family tradition ideas that builds a reflective and peaceful atmosphere as families gather to light the candles, indicating the progression towards Christmas.

Baking and decorating cookies during Christmas is an enjoyable tradition that binds families together in the kitchen. This activity involves kneading dough into desired shapes then applying different colored icing sugar plus sprinkles making it an interesting event for all ages. 

These homemade treats can be shared with loved ones and can even be kept for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

12. Christmas Movie Marathon

One of the Christmas day traditions from around the world that brings joy and laughter is cuddling up on the sofa with loved ones and watching old Christmas movies. 

Movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf , The Santa Clause, The Nightmare Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Polar Express, among others, create memories that are cherished forever as these films perfectly represent the spirit of the season.

Related: 19+ Christmas Movies On Netflix To Watch This Holiday Season

13. Writing Letters to Santa

Children love writing letters to Santa in which they share their Christmas wishes and dreams. It is an exciting experience for children that makes them believe that their letters are being read by Santa so that he can grant their wishes. 

It is a way for kids to discover the magic of Christmas and also maintain their faith in the spirit of giving. This is one of the family Christmas traditions that is widely popular among kids.

14. Christmas Eve Pajamas

To mark Christmas Eve many families exchange new Christmas-themed pajamas. This does not only make the celebration more cozy and comfortable but also adds some warmth into it. 

Wearing matching or themed pajamas creates a sense of unity and makes the holiday morning even more special as families gather around the tree in their festive sleepwear.

15. Christmas Card Exchange

Families send each other Christmas cards during this season, no matter how far apart they may be located from each other. It is a way of expressing love, good wishes as well as gratefulness during this period. 

Personal messages can be written on such cards by family members who then decorate them uniquely making them precious items.

Want more magical Christmas family tradition ideas? Keep reading for more fun family traditions on Christmas eve.

16. Special Ornaments

Every year, families may give each other an ornament to remember the year or significant events. This could be a handmade one or something that relates to a shared interest or milestone. 

The moment it’s put up on the tree it becomes a symbol of cherished memories and joy shared among the family members.

17. Family Photos

During Christmas time when families unite, taking family photos is a custom observed with great treasure. 

Whether these are done professionally or through a DIY setup with tripod and timer, such photos become invaluable souvenirs of the holiday season that can easily be shared with loved ones.

18. Candlelit Dinner

Some families have a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The warm glow of candles creates an enchanting ambiance while the meal is eaten with thankfulness and gratitude for blessings of being together. 

It’s a time for heartfelt conversations, laughter, and creating lasting memories around the dinner table. While it may not be as common, but it surely one of the warmest family Christmas traditions.

Related: What To Do Alone On Christmas: 17 Merry Tips For A Warm Solo Christmas 

19. Outdoor Activities

Depending on climate and location, families may choose outdoor activities as a way of enjoying this season’s beauty. They might involve building a snowman, sledding into snow banks, ice skating, or even taking short walks to enjoy the winter scenery. 

These activities enable families to bond together, stay fit and appreciate nature’s wonders during Christmas holidays.

20. Christmas Craft Exchange

Instead of traditional gift exchanges, some families prefer participating in a Christmas craft exchange event. Each member makes something by hand such as painting, knitting a scarf or making ornaments out materials like clay, which they then swap with somebody else in the family. 

This is among the family traditions on Christmas eve that not only promotes creativity but also personalizes the experience of giving.

21. Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Another popular Christmas family tradition is having a scavenger hunt with hints throughout the entire house and even outside for everybody to participate in. These clues might lead you to small gifts or surprises hidden around your house. 

The final clue could lead them to some special family time or even have shared treats together. This tradition adds excitement and adventure into the festivity, promoting teamwork and problem solving skills.

These family Christmas traditions offer unique ways to celebrate the season and create lasting memories. From spreading kindness to engaging in creative exchanges and adventurous activities, these traditions foster a sense of unity and joy, making Christmas truly special for the whole family.


Family Christmas traditions are the threads that weave the tapestry of joy, love, and togetherness during this magical season. From the excitement of Advent calendars to the warmth of candlelight services, each tradition carries a unique significance. 

These customs transcend borders and cultures, reminding us that at its core Christmas is about family and what binds us together as one. As we create and cherish these traditions; they become building blocks of precious memories which will stay with us for all time. 

So let’s enjoy our family Christmas traditions with our future generations carrying them forward as we all enjoy this festive season. Remember that no matter where you are in the world, it is always true that the real magic of Christmas lies not only in love but also laughter and being together as a family. 

May your holiday season be filled with warmth, happiness, and the beauty of cherished traditions.

Merry Christmas!

Related: Mental Health and Holidays: How to Safeguard Your Mental Health Amidst Holiday Hustle And Bustle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What family traditions do you have for Christmas?

Traditions like decorating, feasting, gift-giving and attending religious services are often observed by families.

What are some cool Christmas traditions?

Some cool Christmas traditions include ugly sweater parties, Advent calendar surprises, Christmas movie marathons, cookie decorating contests and secret Santa gift exchanges.

How do you celebrate Christmas as a family?

Families do this by decorating their houses or trees with lights and ornaments, cooking foods together to share meals with each other, exchanging presents with each other while at the same time opening them as well.

Christmas day traditions from around the world

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