an intentional Christmas: new traditions

In October, I was on a mission to create white space in my life. And in that experience I started to think about Christmas. It comes once a year. We try to cram so much into it, and most of those things aren’t family-oriented and they’re not life-giving.

They are full of obligation and commitment and end-of-the-year work functions, and often at the end of December, I’ve wondered where the time went and what we did with it.

So I was on another mission to create a White Space Christmas full of intentionality and fun family togetherness.

25 ideas for family Christmas traditions

Two years ago, Nina and I were brainstorming this very thing and between the two of us, we came up with a list of 25 Christmas traditions. We posted it back in 2011, and decided to post it again this year.

We certainly don’t even attempt to do them all each year, but it’s fun to decide which ones will work for our family and to see some of the fun ways we can be intentional. Driving around looking at Christmas lights, decorating the tree, hosting a cookie exchange, and giving matching pajamas on Christmas Eve before watching a movie together.

It could be as simple as what you eat for breakfast on Christmas morning or your Christmas Eve tradition. My family eats my mom’s breakfast casserole every year on Christmas morning, and on Christmas Eve we have seafood gumbo because we’re form Louisiana and we love it!

The one that has become the most special to me is attending the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church together as a family. It’s full of wonder and reflection as we remember the miracle of Jesus’ birth.

25 Christmas Traditions for Your Family

Download the printable PDF here: 25 Christmas Traditions for Your Family 

What are your family’s favorite Christmas traditions?

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  1. says

    I love reading about holiday traditions. This year working doing our best to make our holiday time less stressful and more meaningful.

  2. says

    I love this list! This season is always so busy and it’s so very important to remember the true meaning of the holiday and the season and really celebrate it with the ones you love.

  3. Christine says

    Thanks for the great list! My family tradition was to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas night. We would have my grandma’s pound cake as his birthday cake and all the kids got to blow out a candle for him. When we sang my grandpa would record it. Every year we listen to the last years song. We have almost twenty five years of Happy Birthday Jesus! My husband’s family eats with all of their neighbors for lunch on Christmas Eve at a local pizza place. His mom also gave all of her kids ornaments every year for Christmas. It was so nice when we got married because then we had decorations for our tree that were meaningful to him 🙂

  4. says

    Christmas has always been a family celebration in the Grinkmeyer home, but as our children grew older we found that their interest in Christmas morning waned and the sparkle in their eyes was gone. The day after Thanksgiving, 1992, we introduced the Christmas Web in our home with the placement of Magic Wands into their socks that had for years been hung at the fireplace mantel. Attached to each Magic Wand was a piece of yarn (a 70 yard piece of yarn). When our two teen-aged children came down Christmas morning, they found that the yarn was wound through the house – around window latches, door knobs, chairs and doors. It ended in a closet or cabinet which held their special Christmas gift from one of Santa’s elves, an elf that had been looking out for them for the past year and knew of their desire for this special Christmas gift.

    The Christmas Web continued as each of our children got married and as they had children. Each of our grandchildren have an Elf on the Shelf or Elf Magic elf who is now the elf that hides their special Christmas gift each year and leads them to it with their individual Magic Wand. We now have seven Magic Wands each with 70 yards of yarn winding through our house every Christmas morning, making getting a cup of coffee an acrobatic achievement before the winding hunt begins.

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