15 Fun Family Holiday Traditions!

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During the holiday season it is so easy to get caught up in all that is commercial about Christmas.  Shopping, buying gifts, receiving gifts, the rush to get the Christmas cards out in time.  In the scope of our lives what will matter is the time we spent, the fun we had, and the memories we created with the ones we love.

This year is the first year our family will be on our own for Christmas.  We will be away from aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.  Because we’ve always spent Christmas at my in-laws we really hadn’t developed any of our own family traditions. 

This year I was determined to find some fun activities that my family would enjoy participating in every year during the holidays.  Because my boys are still very young, and because I’m at the uncomfortable stage in my pregnancy right now we’ve kept it simple.  We have added in just a few simple activities that bring us together as a family and help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

For those who are looking for fun holiday family activities or new holiday traditions, I’ve asked a few of my blogging friends to share some of the activities they enjoy doing with their families during the holiday season.


  1. Holiday ornaments—Sara from Mom Endeavors talks about the popular tradition purchasing or making each child a special ornament every year.  You can even do this for yourself and your spouse.
  2. Silly Matching Pajama Photos—Cori from Cori’s Big Mouth tells of how her sister started the family tradition of outfitting the family in matching PJ’s (and she has a big family too!) and taking a family picture.  I can imagine the silliness that would go on with my family if we attempted something like that.
  3. A Prayer for Friends—Dawn from a Day in the Life of Dawn talks about “When we receive Christmas cards we place them in a basket on our dining room table. Each night when we sit down to dinner we choose one and pray for the family.”traditionsmakingcookies6
  4. Grandma’s Butter Cookies—Each year Kerri from Raising Three Savvy Ladies makes her grandmother’s butter cookies with with her three daughters. Check out the recipe at the link above and enjoy! “Cooking with children can be a family bonding time for all and teach them valuable skills.”
  5. Advent Christmas Tree—Rachel from Titus2Homemaker puts her Christmas tree up in layers with a corresponding lesson with each layer.
  6. Christmas Scavenger Hunt—One Christmas Becca from Our Crazy Boys decided to do things a bit different on Christmas morning.  “Instead of tearing open packages non-stop on Christmas morning, we thought we would slow it down a bit.  With a holiday scavenger hunt!”  They posted clues all over the house and their boys were off!thankfultreefinal
  7. Thankful Tree—This one is from Yours Truly.  At the beginning of November my family and I started our Thankful Tree.  We take turns each night naming something we are thankful for.  We write our thanks on a little note and then hang it on our Thankful Tree.



Here are a few other wonderful traditions you begin with your family.

  1. Make a box for Operation Christmas Child—My kids and I did this for the first time this year.  They had so much fun picking out little toys and activities at the store. The boxes you make are then sent to children in need around the world.
  2. Pick a family and be their secret Santa—Find a family you know who may be struggling or just going through a rough time.  Secretly drop them off some goodies and/or presents, ring the doorbell, and run!  You’ll find this as gratifying as they will find it wonderfully surprising.
  3. Go Christmas Caroling—This is something I used to do every year as a high schooler.  I can’t wait for the Christmas when my kids are old enough that we can do this as a family.
  4. Build a snowman or snow fort—If you live in a place where it is cold and snowy get outside and have a little frigid fun!
  5. Build Gingerbread houses—Whether you bake it in the oven or buy it in a box this is a fun activity for kids and grown ups alike.
  6. Have friends over for a game night
  7. Do a white elephant gift exchange—This is great if you have older kids and teens.  Invite a bunch of friends, make sure to tell them to bring wacky gifts, and get ready to have lots of fun!
  8. Do an advent calendar—I have to admit, we have a few of these this year.  We have a Nativity Story Advent calendar that we do every year.  On top of that, this year, we bought the boys each a chocolate advent calendar.

What fun holiday traditions do you have with your family?


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Great post! Thanks so much for including our family ornament tradition! :)
  2. Thanks for the link! I'm looking forward to checking out some of these other tradition posts. :)
  3. Thank you for including Raising Three Savvy Ladies in your holiday traditions. On Wednesday, we will be making some more cookies for the season!
  4. Awesome list!! Thanks for including my family's pj tradition :).
  5. Wanted to let you know that your whole post just showed up here, in case it wasn't your doing/with your knowledge: freeinter. com/giveaways/15-fun-family-holiday-traditions/
    • Thanks for letting me know. That site has been stealing my content for months. There are several other bloggers they copy from as well. I've tried contacting them and telling them to take my posts down, but they refused. As far as I can tell they don't have much traffic to their site so... I'll have to see what the next step to take is.
  6. Great list! I want to start doing the silly pajama photos! Great ideas! Kas
  7. This is a great list. We did a box for Operation Christmas Child as well and my mom loves having Christmas scavenger hunts.
  8. Hey, check it out: jammies for the whole family! http://www.pajamamania.com/family-matching-pajamas.html
  9. Very Nice list of Holiday Traditions! I like the Grandma's Butter Cookie Recipe and I like taking pictures in matching pajamas! We should also think about what we can do by helping others during the Christmas season!