Starting Your Own Christmas Traditions


Most of us who grew up celebrating the holidays also grew up with family traditions around those holidays. So, maybe you didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas but now you do with your own family and you want to make some traditions. Or maybe you did celebrate Christmas growing up, but now you want to make new traditions with your own family. There is no rule that says you have to stick with what your family always did, or that this is the only option. They are called traditions for a reason, and while they tend to stick with people over time, you can definitely change them if you want.

If you want to start your own Christmas traditions, it’s as simple as just dedicating yourself to doing it, and then putting it into action. That said, let’s look at a few tips to make this easier for you:

  1. Blend your beliefs – You and your partner may have had different traditions growing up. You can make your own Christmas traditions that are a blend of your favorite things about each of your families.
  2. Find ideas that mean something to you – Do you really love special ornaments? Do you love going all out decorating the house or the lawn? What are things that are special to you? These are the things that you want to work into your own holiday traditions.
  3. Tweak ideas you already have – Maybe you like part of how your family did something growing up, but not all of it. You can keep what you love and toss what you do. You can mix and match, and you can add or take away however you want to make things work for you.
  4. Use popular ideas – If you’re stuck for ideas, you can borrow some from other people. Consider visiting a tree farm, writing letters to Santa, putting milk and cookies out on Christmas Eve, decorating the tree together, or playing in the snow.
  5. Find your family identity – Family traditions are based in ritual but also in an understanding of the family values and identity. What’s important to your family? Figure our where your values lie, and you will see what traditions come naturally to you.
  6. Make a meal together – Many families prepare meals for the holidays. You can make a new tradition out of planning or making your meal together. Get everyone involved!
  7. Let your kids share in ideas – This is about starting something new as a family, right? So, let your kids get involved and share some ideas of their own. They will feel like they had an important role in shaping your new family traditions.
  8. Do Elf on a Shelf – Sometimes the tradition is already created for you and all you need to do is adopt it for your own family. Elf on a Shelf is a good example of this. It’s all laid out for you, so it’s easy to begin.
  9. Include everyone – One of the most important parts of starting new holiday traditions is that everyone can be a part of it. Don’t leave anyone out- then you will create wonderful memories together that can be passed on from year to year.

Now that you have these nine tips for starting your own Christmas traditions, you’re ready to go. Remember that this time is about you and your kids/ your family. You get to decide how you want to spend it. There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to traditions. Don’t get so hung up on the details that you forget what it’s really all about. Happy holidays!