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20 Simple Christmas Traditions to Start
Traditions are defined as the “transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way”. But it adds to your Christmas fun to start your own traditions or adopt others for your own. You can see some I’ve done through the years here and here.
When I started gathering information for this post I went first, to my siblings. I couldn’t really remember any traditional things, except having Christmas Crackers (those tube-like things you pull the ends on and they snap and are filled with some goodies) and having cranberry juice and ginger ale mixed together for a fancy drink with our Turkey Dinner.
We did have stockings (doesn’t everybody?) but as my sister Janelle reminded me, we hunted through the house to find the biggest sock we could, ’cause they were just socks. Later we did get matching stockings when my mom’s friend made some out of the old seat covers from the car. We always had a “Japanese”orange in the toe. It’s not politically correct to say that these days, BUT they were called Japanese oranges. They came in a wooden crate, wrapped in green tissue paper and were from Japan. We now know them as Mandarine oranges. My Mom also put a handful of hard candy (sometimes ribbon candy) in the sock…. it wasn’t wrapped in plastic or put in a baggie, and we spent the next few days when we would have some, picking the fuzz and lint off of them. I will say I never put hard candies in any of my kids stockings.
Our tree was always covered with lead tinsel and our cat would always end up eating a piece or two, and well you know, what goes in must come out and he would have a piece of tinsel sticking out his butt and we would have to pull it out. Yeah, he made a mournful sound. Are you grossed out or laughing as you read this?
We always used a sheet from the linen closet for a tablecloth. Somehow it usually had big orange, yellow and white flowers and this is where the turkey would sit on the carving board, complete with handles and spikes to hold it in place. Once the turkey was out of the oven it was placed on the board and there it would sit, without refrigeration, for days afterward, as we carved off pieces of leftovers. Our cat also would take his turn gnawing on it as well. Okay, now you’re either throwing up or rolling on the floor laughing.
When I got married and started my own family I loved to observe, to see how normal people did Christmas. (Can you really think we were normal after reading about us?) Over the years I have added traditions and taken some away as well. Below are a few pictures of some of the ones that we do…..cookie decorating, crackers, photos and matching stockings.
Here’s a simple list of some to start. Don’t do it all at once, add one or two to your family each year. It might be a fun discussion with them to see what they would like!
20 Christmas Traditions That are Tried and True
- A new tree ornament in your stocking (see idea here)
- Christmas Crackers….It’s a British Tradition (see post here)
- New PJ’s opened on Christmas Eve
- Decorate Gingerbread Houses
- Decorate Cookies and give to neighbors and/or friends
- Slumber Party Christmas Eve
- Watch Christmas Movies
- Advent Calendars (Countdown to Christmas)
- Read Christmas Stories (collect a new one each year)
- Write Letters to Santa
- Driving to Look at Christmas Lights
- Picking out the tree together …. Chopping down a tree together
- Give Christmas to a family (child) in need
- New Christmas Pillowcase each year that they open December 1st.
- Go Caroling (my boys did not like this one)
- Read the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve
- Decorate the House
- Take a New Family Photo
- Elf on a Shelf
- Dress up and go to a Christmas Event….Party or a Play, Concert or a Dinner
Remember, Christmas isn’t about all the commercialism and money that people throw at it. It’s about celebrating the greatest gift that we’ve been given, Jesus Christ, our Savior. It can be full of JOY, being together with our families and friends, however big or small that is. Having fun and above all, MAKING MEMORIES!
What traditions do you do that I would should try with my family? Let me know!