You’ll love these unique and memorable family Christmas traditions! Keep reading to see the full list of ideas to start today and continue for a lifetime. Brought to you in collaboration with Radio Flyer.
28 Memorable Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year
The weather is finally turning cooler here in Texas, and in the next week or two we’ll be putting up our tree and pulling all of our decorations out of the closet!
My favorite part about the holidays are all of the Christmas traditions we do together as a family. Some of these Christmas traditions are things that I did with my family as a kid (like baking sugar cookies). Some of these Christmas traditions are ones that we’ve made up ourselves for our girls.
Our special Christmas traditions get us into the spirit of the season and create lasting memories of all the time we spend together as a family.
This list includes all of our own treasured family Christmas traditions, as well as new ideas from our blogging friends that we are planning to try.
We hope that this collection inspires you to start some new Christmas traditions with your own family!
Family Holiday Tradition #1 — Make Lasting Memories with a Radio Flyer Wagon
Growing up, my siblings and I had two Radio Flyer wagons that we took on some pretty crazy adventures (for elementary school kids anyways!) My mom might cringe to read this, but I vividly remember streaking down the hill in front of our house as fast as those wheels would go. (Safety note: Don’t do what I did!!)
I still have the wooden Radio Flyer wagon from my childhood. It got a little banged-up in our cross-country move, but I spruced it up and it now serves as a unique vintage wagon planter on our front porch. Every time I come home and see that wagon full of blooming flowers, it puts a smile on my face!
I want my girls to have those same types of adventures that I did as a kid, so my husband and I got them a Radio Flyer wagon of their own. This updated model is practically a luxury vehicle! There are cupholders, a cushioned seat, and even a canopy to shade them from the blazing Texas sun.
As expected, the girls LOVE their Radio Flyer every bit as much as I did mine! We take it on nightly walks around our neighborhood, and it has been a lifesaver for the past two Halloween nights! It rained both last year and the year before on Trick-or-Treat night, but the canopy kept the girls dry. We even decorated the wagon with lights and a portable speaker and dubbed it the “Party Wagon.” Needless to say, the “Party Wagon” got a lot of compliments from the neighbors!
Over the past 100 years, Radio Flyer has inspired both adventure and lasting memories for countless families like ours.
Radio Flyer’s founder Antonio Pasin started the company in 1917 with the mission to “bring joy to every boy and every girl.” From humble beginnings, Pasin built an iconic brand and is the true definition of the American Dream.
To celebrate this milestone achievement of creating a century of family traditions, Radio Flyer released a beautiful new book, RADIO FLYER: 100 Years of America’s Little Red Wagon.
This gorgeous keepsake contains over 250 exclusive illustrations, stories, original drawings, and photos from the Radio Flyer Inc. archives. RADIO FLYER: 100 Years of America’s Little Red Wagon makes a wonderful addition to any family library because both kids and adults will enjoy it.
My girls were fascinated! I think they may have inherited their mother’s love of history!
Click here to purchase Radio Flyer’s new book: 100 Years of America’s Little Red Wagon on Amazon. It’s also available on RadioFlyer.com, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million and IndieBound.
Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy too!
Family Holiday Tradition #4 — Create a Christmas Eve Box
A Christmas Eve Box is a family holiday tradition that changes each year. In the first year, you and your family can dedicate an evening to decorating your box.
Every year afterwards, fill the box with goodies like holiday pajamas, treats, and books (like the Radio Flyer Book) and gift it to your children on Christmas Eve.
See how to make a Christmas Eve Box at TheBestIdeasForKids.com
Family Holiday Tradition #3 — Host a Holiday Toy Drive
The first year that I started my blog, I was surprised at the number of free toys we were offered in exchange for including them in potential gift guides. However, it seemed like way too much for our family, so I decided to gather all of those toys to donate instead to area families in need.
This year is the fourth year of The Soccer Mom Blog Toy Drive, and it is something that the whole family looks forward to every year. We love our community, and are honored at the opportunity to give back. Plus, it is a wonderful way to teach your children about kindness and serving others.
Click here for a round-up of last year’s toy drive.
Family Holiday Tradition #4 — Write a Letter to Santa
I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve told my girls “put it on your Christmas list” when they tell me about a toy they saw on television. So I better help them write a letter to Santa!
Grab a free Letter to Santa template here from Mommy’s Bundle.
Family Holiday Tradition #5 — Receive Letters FROM Santa
Perhaps even more exciting than mailing a letter to Santa is when a letter arrives FROM the North Pole instead!
Thanks to Jodi at Meaningful Mama for sharing this idea!
Family Holiday Tradition #6 — Have an Ornament Making Party
This is something my girls and I do every year with their Grammy (my mom) and Aunt Kathleen (my sister). We look forward to it and spend weeks planning each year’s theme.
One year we made Orange Pomanders inspired by one of my favorite childhood stories. Another year we made Candy Cane Ice Skate Ornaments.
Stay tuned to see what we will make this year! (Or feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!)
Family Holiday Tradition #7 — Choose the First Ornaments for the Tree
If making ornaments isn’t on the agenda, buying a special ornament for each child every year is an alternative that could be just as fun! Nicole at Coffee and Carpool says that she spends all year thinking about what kind of ornament to get for each of her children, then she wraps the ornaments and has the kids open them at the start of the holiday season.
Those ornaments are the first ones that they put on the tree each year, and as the years go by, this special collection continues to grow.
Family Holiday Tradition #8 — Invite Your Elf to Visit
The Elf on the Shelf tradition is a huge hit in our house! First thing each morning in December, the girls race to the living room to see what “Pickolina” was up to during the night.
Perhaps this year she will go for a wagon ride 😉
Click here to see some of our favorite Elf on the Shelf hiding spots!
Family Holiday Tradition #9 — Christmas Kindness Lunchbox Notes
Lunchbox notes are a year-round tradition that my oldest daughter loves. Every morning I tuck a little sticky note into her bento box with an inspirational quote, Bible verse, or simply to say “I love you!”
Last Christmas I put together a special set of Christmas Kindness Lunchbox Notes just for the holiday season, and I can’t wait to use them again this year!
Family Holiday Tradition #10 — The Last Present
What is “the last present?”
Deborah from Family Days Tried & Tested explains that every year Santa brings their family a special gift to save and open after the new year. Their family picks a day to have a winter picnic, dressing in warm coats and boots. Then they go to a special spot outdoors, opens the gift together, and reflects on the past year.
You can make this family holiday tradition your own by packing up your Radio Flyer wagon, heading to your favorite place, and opening the last present of the year together with your family.
It’s a unique and memorable way to ring in the new year!
More Christmas Traditions Your Kids Will Love:
- Bake and decorate Christmas cookies – Homemade cookies are always a great idea. Think chocolate chip or decorate sugar cookies as well!
- Leave cookies and milk for Santa – Use some of those homemade cookies to spoil Santa.
- Make Christmas coasters and other handmade gifts – Not only are these fun to make but homemade gift ideas are the best.
- Volunteer together as a family – There are a lot of opportunities around town that the entire family can do together.
- Create your own upcycled Christmas wrapping paper – Save some money and think outside the box when it comes to wrapping gifts this year.
- Read Christmas stories – Get some of the Christmas classics at the library and have story time at home.
- Go Christmas caroling – Your neighborhood would love to hear your singing voices!
- Bake gingerbread house cakes – These are so fun and creative and perfect for holiday memories.
- Create a DIY nativity scene – Find a way to add a homemade nativity scene to your house.
- Take a family Christmas photo – Holidays mean family photos and you know that you’re going to need a good photo for your Christmas card next year.
- Wear matching Christmas pajamas – Speaking of family photos, matching PJ’s are so cute!
- Craft Christmas cards, like this Handprint Angel Card – Making DIY Christmas cards is a fun and special way to brighten someone’s day.
- Make Edible Candy Cane Slime – This slime is edible and great for sensory play.
- Commemorate baby’s first Christmas with these ideas from Rainy Day Mum
- Do one random act of kindness a day (see ideas here from Sixth Bloom) – Have everyone in the family join in on the fun!
- Take photos with Santa – Book an appointment for the kids to meet the big guy himself.
- Make “kindness bags” to give to neighbors (thanks to The Pragmatic Parent for this one!) – These are such a thoughtful gift during the holidays.
- Decorate a Christmas doorway – Decorating for the holidays is always a lot of fun.
- Create a Christmas music playlist – This is great for wrapping gifts or getting into the holiday spirit.
Related: Studies Show Christmas Music Makes You Happy and Less Stressed!
Enter to Win a Copy of Radio Flyer’s New Book
I’m so excited to partner with Radio Flyer to gift a copy of their gorgeous new book, RADIO FLYER: 100 Years of America’s Little Red Wagon to one lucky reader!
I’ve made it as easy as possible to enter:
- Enter your name and email in the giveaway widget below.
- Comment on this blog post with your favorite family Christmas tradition.
One winner will be selected at random on 11/24/2018 – open to US residents ages 18+
Does your family celebrate any unique Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear about them! Share your story in the comments below.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Radio Flyer. The opinions and text are all mine.
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Yvonne Delgado says
One of my favorite Christmas traditions with the family is going to see the Christmas lights, drinking hot cocoa, and dressing up with Christmas silly sweaters.
Sharron Riley says
My family puts picture ornaments on our tree it’s fun to find the new ones each year
Gail Vaughn says
We get up in the morning and watch the kids open their presents
Kristin Sholaya says
We like to bake a cake that says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!” ……so that the little ones in the family don’t forget that it is really about him and not just getting gifts.
Ashley Roth says
Growing up we’d play Christmas music together on our various instruments (my siblings and I all played a different instrument in band). Now my husband and I are still establishing our own traditions.
Maryssa T says
I like to listen to Christmas music while baking every holiday season
Kelly D says
Our favorite traditions are decorating the Christmas tree together and baking sugar cookies.
Love Christmas Eve dinner!
Marilyn Nawara says
My favorite tradition is putting the Christmas Tree up as a family on my Birthday as a family. We order pizza, drink beer/wine and decorate the tree.
Julie R says
We go to the enchanted village (a Christmas event)
Anne Perry says
My favorite memory of a Radio Flyer Wagon is decorating the wagon for our Howloween Parade.
Annmarie Weeks says
During cleanup from the Blizzard of ’78, all the roads were closed & my parents & sister & I pulled our Radio Flyer all the way to the grocery store & back. It was actually very fun since it was so different!
LeAnn Harbert says
Going with the whole family to cut down a Christmas tree.
Sara S says
My favorite Christmas tradition is looking at Christmas lights and drinking a tasty, warm coffee drink 🙂
Shirley Emitt says
Everyone comes home for Christmas, that is our tradition.
My favorite Christmas tradition is waking up and opening presents with the kids. Having pancakes for breakfast and spending time with family!
I have very fond memories of being pulled around by my parents in a radio flyer at a park that was across the street from the apartment we lived in.
pizza on Christmas eve for dinner 🙂
My favorite tradition is going on the yearly drive to see the candelaria lights.
kelly woods says
We love baking Jesus a birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday for Christmas as a family.
Samantha Brown says
My favorite tradition is mailing Christmas cards and bringing out our elf rocky
danielle m says
fave christmas tradition was going over to nannys
Alma London says
Christmas traditions are baking cookies. Big family dinner. Elf in the shelf.
Virginia H says
We do the elf on the shelf. My twins are 12 and still look forward to it. We go to the Smoky Mountains for Christmas lights and the parade every year. I loved my radio flyer wagon when I was a little girl. I used it till I outgrew it lol. Thanks for the awesome blog post. I love the idea of making kindness bags for the neighbors. I subscribed and look forward to reading more of this blog. Thank you.
My grandchildren absolutely love making cool Christmas gifts for an exciting time.
My nieces and nephews really enjoy creating a marvelous gingerbread house for a neat and fun experience..
I have granddlchildren that definitely like making amazing Christmas stockings for lots of entertaining fun
Wonderful Christmas cookies, my grandchildren always like to make for some nice fun.
I have nieces and nephews that really like to help put up a fabulous Christmas tree for a very fun time.
My many children just enjoy making awesome Christmas ornaments for a great time.