I love the holiday season and all the fun traditions our family has developed over the years. From November to January, we nurture relationships, have fun together, and focus on Christ. But that didn’t happen overnight! Each year we have added to our family holiday traditions and they will keep growing and changing over the years.
Are you looking for meaningful family holiday traditions of your own? Then this is for you! I’ve gathered our favorite activities plus some. I hope they are an added blessing to your festivities!
Choosing the Perfect Family Holiday Traditions
First, a note for the intentional mamas reading this who are looking for the perfect family holiday traditions. I am one of those types who overthinks everything and spent a lot of time trying to find the “right” traditions in the early years of our family.
Here’s the thing: good family holiday traditions are best when they grow a little at a time, year by year. So you have time. They don’t have to be “perfect,” either. Our goal should be relationships and focusing on Christ. That’s what makes the most meaningful memories, not photo ops or idyllic family scenes!
Bottom line: Don’t fret too much over what family holiday traditions you’ll establish – which were the best, coolest, most “Christian”, most memorable, etc. Scouring Pinterest and blogs for the perfect tradition will definitely stress you out. Keep it simple and build on things gradually!
Whatever you do, please, don’t worry about what the neighbor or the gals in the homeschool co-op are doing. Comparison kills holiday joy.
Thanksgiving Family Traditions
- Gratitude Calendar – This printable has gratitude prompts and Scriptures to go through all during November. It’s a simple and sweet tradition to try!
- Cranksgiving Tree – Or you could be normal and call it a Thanksgiving tree. 😉 We put up our fake tree around the end of October and add homemade Thanksgiving-themed decorations. Throughout the month, we use these paper leaf ornaments and add things we’re thankful for or answer the prompts from the gratitude calendar.
- Thanksgiving Lego Challenge – Another free printable, this is a simple set of build prompts that also includes copywork, coloring pages, and more.
- Family Devotions – This free 7-day devotional for families will help your family focus on Christ during Thanksgiving week.
- Operation Christmas Child Boxes – These are a fun activity to do as a family or with your church or homeschool group. Put together boxes to send for Operation Christmas Child. Or find another way to serve as a family for a local Thanksgiving event or a favorite charity.
- Go here for more Thanksgiving holiday traditions, books, activities, and more!
Christmas Family Traditions
- Jesse Tree – This is a tradition we have loved so much over the years. We don’t do it every single year, but always enjoy it when we do! It helps us follow the story of Jesus from creation to the incarnation.
- Names of Jesus – One of the most meaningful Christmas years we had was when we spent all of December learning 25 names of Jesus. Beautiful coloring pages, devotions, and more made for great family Bible time.
- Focusing on Giving
- Every Good and Perfect Gift – Another year (and this year again) we went through this family Bible study and activity guide — all about gift-GIVING! It includes a service idea calendar, devotions, gift tags, and more. Excited to be doing it again!
- (Not So) Random Acts of Kindness – If you want something a little simpler, download this 60 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids printable for a calendar or bucket list of activities your kids can do to bless others during the holidays.
- More Ideas for Serving
- Work with your kids to choose toys from their rooms to donate to children in need!
- Find a local holiday meal event you can chip in financially or in serving food.
- Sell cookies or collect cans and bottles to raise money for a favorite charity. We love Remember Nhu to help prevent child trafficking!
- Book Countdown – We are a big read-aloud family! Have a fun book countdown to Christmas. This one also includes a Bible reading plan!
- Bucket List – During or shortly after Thanksgiving, gather your kids and make a bucket list of things to do during December. Then have each person in the family pick ONE thing (mom gets veto power) that is a must-do. Anything else you get to is extra fun! We usually at least do gingerbread houses, watching The Nutcracker, and driving around to look at lights.
- Find more Christmas holiday traditions, books, and activities!
New Year Family Traditions
- Yaweh Jireh Box – Some years ago we started a Yaweh Jireh box (it means God will provide.) Record God’s answers to prayer and provision all year long, then review them as a New Year activity before starting fresh!
- Fondue Party – Have a fun dinner with the kids! We like doing kabobs or fondue parties with lots of dipping sauces, cheese, chocolate, etc. It’s definitely a treat!
- Time Capsule – Help your kids put a time capsule together, or add to one each year! Use the free printable on this post to help you get started.
- Here are more New Year holiday traditions and activities!
There are many many more things you can do to create meaningful family holiday traditions in your home! These are just the ones we love most.
Tell us in the comments what YOUR favorite traditions are!
Download this FREE Christmas Book Countdown!