10 Special Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

Some of us have family Christmas traditions passed down from generations before, and others of us are looking to create new traditions of our own. Either way, I think we can all agree that we would like to create special memories with our children that they can carry on. As a first time mama, it is extra special to decide on your baby’s first Christmas traditions! Look no further for the best Christmas traditions to start with your family, we have gathered up everything from the fun to the sentimental below.

Family Christmas Traditions to Start on Your Baby’s First Christmas

1. Baby’s First Christmas Ornament (My Favorite Christmas Eve Tradition!)

When we chatted with our Rookie Mom Squad about special Christmas traditions, many of us shared the tradition of giving our children each an ornament to be opened on Christmas Eve. I love to pick an ornament that represents my kiddo for that year, whether it is a movie they loved or a special memory you made together. Of course, you have to get a keepsake Baby’s First Christmas ornament the first year as well!

A little added part of this tradition is that when your little ones are all grown, you can gift them each with a box of their ornaments from over the years.

Photo via Target

2. Matching Pajamas

You might hate matching all year long, but can you really deny how adorable it is during the holiday season? I sure can’t! Matching pajamas is a tradition you can start right from your baby’s very first Christmas. Some people open up their PJs on Christmas Eve and then wear them that night. Others wear them all December long. It is really up to you to make the tradition your own!

My nephew insists all of his family members put on matching pajamas and drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. He requests this about 3 times a week for the whole month, but they’re only little for so long right? I’m sure it will lead to a really special family tradition for them for years to come (although hopefully with less frequency once the toddler years pass haha)!

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3. A Christmas Light Hunt

Pick one day in December and designate it as your Christmas Light Hunt Day. Take the evening driving around your town to find the best light displays, a quick google search will lead you to some great spots. Our town also has a Facebook group with a map that shows you all of the coolest light displays, so be sure to check to see if your town has the same thing!

Make this tradition unique to your family by bringing along hot chocolate in special mugs, wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, or blasting a playlist that you made together full of Christmas tunes.

4. Elf on the Shelf

If you are new to the parenting world, you might not know about the infamously popular Elf on the Shelf. Your Elf arrives from the North Pole on December 1st to watch over your family and see who is being naughty or nice. There’s a whole story that comes with the Elf that will describe the tradition in greater detail to you. Check out all of our favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas here!

Your baby won’t really understand this tradition yet, but they will be able to look back on special photos of their first year with their Elf! You can buy your family Elf on the Shelf here.

5. Come Up with a Countdown

Many families have special Advent Calendar traditions. You can buy the cardboard box filled with 25 little chocolates, buy a reusable Advent Calendar that you can fill with little gifts of your choice, or come up with a tradition all your own.

I personally love the reusable Advent Calendar. My husband’s family did this and even as a grown adult his mom fills the Advent Calendar he’s had since his first Christmas. We put very small gifts in each pocket and it makes every day so special. You can find tons of options on Amazon, check them out here!

6. Pick Out Stockings for the Whole Family

Mismatched stockings have an eclectic feel I love, but matching stockings are also absolutely adorable. I especially love when they have each person’s name embroidered. If it is your baby’s first Christmas grab one for them, mom, and dad.

I would also recommend grabbing a few for siblings who might show up in the future if you plan on having more kids! You can add the embroidered name later.

7. Read a Christmas Story

Not only is it good for our little ones to hear us read to them, but it makes for some really precious moments. Many families read The Night Before Christmas or stories from the Bible on Christmas Eve, but you can really pick any story you would like. I think it does make it extra special if you choose the same book to read together year after year.

8. Host a Cookie Decorating Party

Your Aunt Karen might host the family Christmas party every year, but who is hosting the cookie decorating party?! If no one else in your circle is hosting a cookie party, we say you claim it! After all, the most special thing about the holiday season is getting to spend time with friends and family.

Invite everyone over in their lounge clothes or pajamas and have already baked sugar cookies ready to decorate with different frosting and sprinkles. You could also do gingerbread houses if you’re daring, but I like to keep it as simple as possible.

9. Choose a Family Photo Spot for Christmas Morning

Park your booties in front of the Christmas tree or in the kitchen making breakfast or at the bottom of the stairs and take a photo. Whatever spot you choose go back to it year after year and take a new photo so that you always have a memory of the magic each Christmas morning held.

10. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm Together

Picking out the tree each year together is something many families cherish. Running through the rows in the chilly weather searching for the perfect fit is always a blast.

I have a little secret to let you in on, though, even if you choose a fake tree for your home you can still head to your local Christmas tree lot to experience the magic and snap a family photo. There is nothing cuter than a teeny tiny baby in a pom-pom beanie hanging out at the Christmas tree lot!

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to starting with your family?

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