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Christmas tradition ideas to start with your family

I thought it was about time we started some Christmas traditions as a family this year. 

Up until now we’ve not bothered too much seeing as our twins are only two, and basically all they were concerned about last year was how many decorations they could pull off the Christmas tree. I’m not sure they’re quite in tune with the whole Christmas traditions thing just yet.

But the oldest is now 4.5 and obviously ‘gets’ a lot more of what’s going on, so this year is the year, I reckon. I want to start some stuff we then do every year and it becomes ‘our’ thing, like making a book advent calendar for them, or doing a certain activity every Chrristmas Eve. Even though it’ll no doubt be the same as thousands of other people’s ‘thing’. But you know what I mean.

Getting ready

So I’ve ordered some *Christmas Eve boxes, and some *personalised hessian sacks to go with the beautiful stockings a friend made them. Spent ages choosing the designs but ended up playing safe and going for three all the same to avoid fights. As my boys definitely like to fight. 

Three boys in front of the Christmas mantelpiece photo as a Christmas tradition

Now I have to decide what to put in the boxes. Pyjamas, I know. But I can’t be arsed with Christmas pjs. I know that’s kind of the whole point, but I don’t want to dress them in Christmassy things in March, and I’m not buying five sets of pjs for them only to be worn once! I’m also thinking a Christmas *book each and maybe a *festive film to watch?

I’ve ordered a *personalised plate ready to put out for Father Christmas. And he’s going to love us this year – he’s also going to be getting the Twins’ dummies too. Lucky chap. Let’s hope it actually works and that leaving them out every year doesn’t become one of our Christmas traditions!

We’re also going on a Santa train with my parents, that we’ve done for the past few years and have booked to see Father Christmas at a Grotto. And of course we’ve already done an AMAZING weekend at Bluestone’s Christmasland that you can read all about here. That is definitely going to become one of our new Christmas traditions – we’ve already booked next year’s! 

Toddler taking decorations off the Christmas tree

But I feel like I want to add a few more things and needed some ideas. Although am firmly steering clear of Elf on the Shelf until I absolutely HAVE to do it. So I asked my fellow bloggers. Here’s what they do:

Christmas Traditions ideas

  • We have breakfast with Santa at our local carvery every Christmas Eve. It’s my favourite day of the year. Jennifer from  www.mightymamabear.com
  • Make a bauble or a decoration for the house. My son loves it and it brings back fab memories year after year. Rebecca from www.thegreyhome.co.uk
  • We do matching pyjamas, hanging Santa’s magic key on the door, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa (plus carrot for Rudolph, obvs) and then we watch a Christmas film with a mug of hot chocolate. I also have a photo taken of me and the twins in front of our Christmas tree. I’ve done this since the year I was heavily pregnant with them! Rebecca from www.beccablogsitout.com
  • We go out for a drive around the middle of December to look at all the Christmas lights (obviously poor Daddy doesn’t get to look because he’s our chauffeur) then we go home and warm up with hot chocolate. Josie from www.businessformums.co.uk
  • This is a new tradition for us this year. Making a Christmas shoe box for an underprivileged child. We fill the shoe box with goodies as well as some essential items like toothbrush and flannel. It’s a nice way to start Christmas off and think of others before all the Christmas madness commences and will hopefully help teach my little man about charity and compassion too. Rowena from www.mybalancingact.co.uk
  • Our family Christmas tradition is to buy presents and food for our local hospital and foodbank. Raimonda from www.cosmomum.co.uk
  • We have a Christmas Eve box which is delivered whilst we are out for Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We also go on a walk around the neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights. Becka from www.mummyest2014.wordpress.com
  • We adapt the four gift rule for Christmas to giving our child something he wants, something he needs, something to experience and something to read. The big presents always come from family members and the small presents from Santa. Speaking of Santa, we make sure he knows that Santa = St Nick and we watch videos about St Nicholas so he knows the difference. And we never use Santa as a means to manipulate his behaviour. Jade from www.liveablissfullife.com 
  • We go to a friend’s house. We have a lovely meal, get the children to sing songs and play games, and we sprinkle some reindeer food on their lawn. One of our friends surreptitiously opens the top window and jingles bells so the children think Santa is on the way. The children run riot actually, but it means that they are tired enough to go to sleep! Jo from www.arosetintedworld.co.uk
  • We do a reverse advent box for our local food bank so each day add in something to donate. Hollie from www.thriftymum.com
  • We have activities that we add to our advent calendar to spend some time together as a family doing – like baking cookies, watch a Christmas film etc. Louise from www.thimbleandtwig.com
  • We watch the Polar Express every Christmas Eve evening while we wait for the local Father Christmas sleigh to come around and deliver some early presents. Such a magical evening. Ami from www.amielizabeth.com
  • I do an elf breakfast on December 1 to introduce the elves’ arrival and the elf brings them advent calendars and they have breakfast on Christmas paper plates, cups etc, and a special breakfast like pancakes and bacon. They absolutely love it. Lianne from www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
  • We don’t send Christmas cards anymore but instead me and the kids go to Tesco and buy food for the food bank with the card/stamp money. It’s become a real tradition and the kids really look forward to it. Amy from www.allaboutamummy.co.uk
  • We love decorating a gingerbread house together. We may try and bake our own this year though, fingers crossed it turns out okay! Laura from www.threelittlezees.co.uk
  • We take part in the UK Money Bloggers reverse advent calendar to collect and donate food in the food bank in November so they have more stock ready for the run up to Christmas. Victoria from www.lyliarose.com
  • I’ve always done a book advent calendar with my kids. Each morning they unwrap a new Christmas or winter themed book to read together. I don’t buy 24 new books each year. I reuse the ones we’ve collected over the years and add some from our local library. To reduce waste I bought some Christmas fabric. Each night I wrap a new book in the same fabric for them to open the next morning. Claire from www.theladybirdsadventures.co.uk
  • We buy a bauble for each child and write their name and the year on each year. The idea is that they can have them for their own tree when they leave home. Erica from www.theincidentalparent.com
  •  Presents always opened in age order from youngest to oldest with everyone watching one at a time. Also the tree goes up on my December birthday. Both of these are long-standing from my childhood and I now resent being second oldest as was the baby of the family for many years. Kate from www.kateonthinice.com
  • We don’t open presents from under the tree until after the Queen’s Speech. We open stockings in the morning. Sarah from www.champagneandpetals.com
  • We always have a last present Christmas tradition. It’s kind of like a way of saying thank you and goodbye to the festive season. It’s a family present that gives us a chance to spend some time together, encourages some reflection on our Christmas and puts a close on the festive season. The last present sits under the tree and will not be unwrapped on Christmas Day. Instead we wait until just before the new year, and have a Last Present Picnic. The present will be filled with items to make hot chocolate with an array of toppings, sprinkles and squirty cream, a box of biscuits, new mugs, and a box of crackers to see Christmas out with a bang! Deborah from www.familydaystriedandtested.com
  • We bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and do crafts. They have a Christmas Eve box with new pyjamas, film and some snacks. We watch the film and eat pizza on the evening. Nicola from www.themerrallshome.com
  • We make and decorate a Peppakaka Hus (basically a gingerbread house) as a Christmas tradition. The children then smash and eat it on New Year’s Eve. I lived in Norway as a child and this is a tradition we borrowed from Scandanavia and have done every year since we were kids and now I do it with my kids and God kids. We also have a tradition of having an after dinner present so we all have something else to look forward to, and it was often a game for us all to play as a family when we were kids. Kirsty from www.navigatingbaby.com 
  • Ours is around merging the narrative with what we bring from our traditions. It can get very complicated between who Santa is to St Nicholas, and who brings what presents when! Monika from www.mumonthebrink.com
  • We make a wishing tree at New Year and write out goals and wishes we have as a family and hang them on stars on a tree to welcome in the New Year. Becky from  www.babybudgeting.co.uk
  • As a lover of travel and adventures, I’ve always preferred to give experience gifts at Christmas time. I often like to find a fun, family friendly activity to do together or surprise my partner with a spontaneous weekend getaway. The best part for busy parents? You can buy and send a Gifting Owl experience gift anywhere in the world in just a couple of minutes. Jackie from giftingowl.com

Any of these take your fancy? There are some brilliant ones here. And if you want even more inspiration head over to the Lifestyle Blogger UK to see Becky’s suggestions.

If you still want to read more Christmassy stuff head to 31 ways you can have Christmas on a budget, for some top advice from Laura at Savings4SavvyMums, read 19 of the best advent calendars for teens by Emma and 3 or even How To Do Lapland On A Budget.

This post has been included by Twinkl among their top picks for their favourite Christmas traditions

What are your Christmas traditions? 

*This post contains affiliate links indicated with a *. Clicking these links and buying the product means I may earn a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay. I have also been paid for some of the links inserted.

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others. If you’re local and looking for some ideas for Christmassy things to do with the kids, check out my Ultimate Family Guide to Christmas in and Around Plymouth, or read all about our weekend at Bluestone’s Christmasland. Or what about some other Christmas posts – 20 ideas for Christmas Eve Boxes, Simple Christmas Crafts for Kids, or Top Must-See Christmas Movies for Kids.

Or check out some of my more usual parenting rants in my Mum Life section. And if you want to read more about different people’s Christmas traditions, head over to the lovely Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls blog here.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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