As the holiday Christmas season peeks its cheerful head around the festively lit corner, some of your nostalgic childhood memories may come merrily flooding back. From singing Christmas carols in the car with your parents to finding an array of exciting trinkets in your stocking on Christmas morning, the list goes on and on.


As a parent, you hope to provide similar magical Christmas memories for your kiddos. Establishing your own family Christmas traditions is a perfect way to honor some of the holiday traditions you had when you were younger and also provides an opportunity to create some new ones with your children.


After speaking with some of Santa’s finest elves over a mug of steaming hot cocoa, we’ve compiled a list of fun-filled Christmas family tradition ideas to pass on to you and yours.


Christmas Activity Traditions

Throughout December, there are plenty of opportunities to bust out your Santa Claus hats and peppermint-striped scarves to make the most of the spirited Christmas season. 


From winter activities for kids you can do in the comfort of your Christmas PJs to festive family outings, here are some holly, jolly Christmas activities for everyone in the family to enjoy.


#1 Make Handcrafted Christmas Cards

Who needs store-bought Christmas cards when you have your very own family of Santa’s helpers to spread the holiday cheer? Gather your merry group of elves around the Christmas dinner table as you prepare to craft your own Christmas cards for the family.


With a few simple items from your craft table, your children can easily turn a blank piece of construction paper into a holiday-inspired work of art. Some commonly used materials to make winter crafts for kids include:


  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Glitter (You can never have enough red and green sparkles)


After loved ones receive your little one’s first homemade Christmas card, they’ll proudly display it on their refrigerator while patiently waiting for next year’s sprinkle of holiday spirit. It’s a Christmas tradition people near and far can appreciate!


#2 Go Ice Skating

You don’t have to live in a snowy tundra to experience the joys of ice skating during the holiday season. Whether you live somewhere that has its fair share of yearly snow days or you reside in a town where the coldest December day reaches a low of 75 degrees, there’s an ice rink calling your family’s name.


Find your nearest rink, rent everyone a pair of ice skates, and enjoy all of the laughs, hand-holding, and occasional fumbles as you skate around the rink. To commemorate the holiday tradition, try to snap a yearly family photo at the ice rink. You can store each yearly photograph in your annual Christmas album and keep them there as fond mementos of Christmas past.


#3 See a Local Christmas Parade

Many towns, big and small, celebrate the holiday season with an annual Christmas parade. You can bundle up the kids, pack some hot cocoa to go, and venture out into your local winter wonderland.


Once you’re there, cheer on each festively lit Christmas float as they pass by while all of the boys and girls on Santa’s “nice” list (a.k.a. your kids) fill up their stockings with candy canes and other sweet treats.


#4 Build a Gingerbread House

Building a gingerbread house from the ground up (complete with wall-shaped gingerbread cookies and a vat of edible “glue”) is a right of passage for all children. With time, patience, and a dash of creativity, it offers an excellent opportunity to bond with your littles while crafting a Christmas-inspired miniature home you can enjoy all month long.


Whether it’s your first year building a gingerbread house or you’re practically a tenured engineer, here are some tips to try:


  • Decorate the house (and let it dry) before assembling.
  • Buy additional colorful candy to add to your growing collection of edible decorations.
  • Make your own super-strong icing “glue.”


Christmas Eve Traditions

As Christmas Eve approaches, you may find yourself with a few days of uninterrupted time with your nearest and dearest. That leaves you with plenty of opportunities to create even more family traditions.


Don’t know what to do on Christmas Eve? From us to you, here are some of our favorite family Christmas tradition ideas for Christmas Eve.


#1 Wear Matching Christmas Pajamas

Whip out the matching Christmas PJs or any pajama party PJs for a day full of family fun. Christmas apparel sets the merry mood and provides the perfect opportunity to take this year’s family Christmas pajama photo. You can opt for matching red cotton Santa Claus suits, go for the red and green striped elf attire, or pull out a completely different theme from your Santa hat full of ideas.


#2 Bake Santa Some Cookies

With so many homes to visit in one night, surely Santa could use a little incentive (and a snack break), right? Confer with your littles and decide what type of cookies you’d like to make for Old Saint Nick. With the right ingredients on hand, the sky’s the limit for what you can bake!


Some tasty classics that everyone (including Santa) will love are:


  • Sugar cookies
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Chocolate crinkle cookies
  • Snickerdoodles


For bonus points, don’t forget to leave out some healthy veggies like carrots and celery for Santa’s reindeer to nibble on. They work just as hard as Santa, after all.


#3 Watch a Christmas Movie Marathon

Looking to kick back, relax, and enjoy some Christmas snuggles? A Christmas movie marathon might be in order. From animated originals like Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer to more recent classics like The Santa Clause, you really can’t go wrong.


Here are a few suggestions to make your movie marathon more magical:


  • Let every family member pick out a Christmas-themed movie for the day.
  • Prepare a ho-ho-holiday spread ahead of time, like a bowl of rice krispies snowballs, strawberry Santas, and of course, a hot cocoa station full of fun toppings.


#4 See the Neighborhood Christmas Lights

During your movie marathon, your little ones might need a brief intermission to stretch their legs and get their wiggles out. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, consider venturing out of the house between movies to explore the beautifully decorated Christmas lights around your neighborhood.


If the weather permits, you can take a stroll on foot to take in the festive feels of the holiday decorations. Otherwise, everyone can buckle up and prepare for a quick jaunt around town, where everyone can sing Christmas carols and be mesmerized by the twinkly lights on each house.


Christmas Day Traditions

After your children have waited (not so patiently) all month long for Christmas morning to arrive—it’s finally here. With it comes all of the warm and fuzzy feelings as well as your memorable Christmas Day traditions.


#1 Take Turns Opening Presents

Since you (and Santa) took time to pick out toys that your sweetlings could adore, take turns opening your gifts. Not only does it slow down the excitement of the morning, but it gives every family member a chance to appreciate one another and the thoughtful gifts they’ve received.


It’s a simple Christmas tradition to add to your growing list, and it presents an excellent teaching moment to practice how to be gracious and thankful for what you have.


#2 Make a Christmas Breakfast Together

Tummies are sure to be grumbling once presents have been opened. After cleaning up the mountain of tissue paper and elaborate bags and bows, all family members can head over to the kitchen to make a Christmas breakfast feast together. It’s a holiday tradition that everyone can enjoy because it ends in something each of you appreciates—festive food for the whole family.


Whether you prefer sweet or savory breakfast bites, there are plenty of delectable nibbles to choose from. Mix and match with some of these mouthwatering creations:


  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Biscuits and gravy casserole
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Cinnamon spice pancakes
  • Bacon brunch ring
  • Pecan pie french toast casserole


#3 Have a Christmas Carol Sing-Along

You may have been singing along to your favorite Christmas playlist since mid-November, but that’s just because you were preparing for the grand finale: a Christmas carol sing-along with your family.


Whether you break out the karaoke machine, dust off the piano, or simply sit in front of the crackling fire (with another hot cocoa warming your hands), Christmas day is the perfect excuse to spread holiday cheer with a few of your favorite carols.


#4 Embark on a Family Christmas Game Night

The fun shouldn’t stop just because Christmas is almost over. Maintain the Christmas vibes all evening long with a myriad of merry games to round out the family-filled day.


With plenty of games to choose from, here are some of our favorites:


  • Christmas Movie Bingo
  • “Would You Rather?” Christmas Edition
  • Christmas Songs Pictionary
  • Snowman Bowling
  • Christmas Family Feud
  • Marshmallow Toss


You can up the ante with a tray of Christmas appetizers to share and even buy some cute tchotchke prizes for the winner of each game.


Make Your Christmas Traditions Merry and Bright with RuffleButts

From decorating the Christmas tree in a homemade popcorn garland to making an annual Christmas ornament, holiday family traditions can create Christmas memories you and your children will cherish for years to come.


At RuffleButts, we offer a wide selection of festive Christmas apparel for babies, toddlers, kids, and tweens. Stock your little elves’ stockings with holiday pajamas they’ll love, and fill their closets with some of our other stylish outfits they can wear year-round.




Shutterfly. 23 Fun Family Christmas Traditions For The Holiday Season. 


Fun Loving Families. 25 Gingerbread House Ideas, Tips, and Tricks. 


Ahead of Thyme. 30 Best Christmas Cookies. 


The Pioneer Woman. 75 Best Christmas Breakfast Ideas to Make Your Holiday Morning Even Tastier. 


Country Living. 47 Best Family Christmas Games.