Thinking about introducing some new holiday traditions into your home this year? Whether you’re a couple, or a family with children there’s a whole host of different holiday traditions you can try to find the one (or couple) that’s right for you.
Over the years, Helen and I have continued to add to our holiday traditions – and there’s never an objection to trying a potential new one as we just love the holiday season!
That said, if you’re stuck for choice or looking for inspiration let us help. We’ve put together this list which is totally printable (download link at the bottom of this post) which you can use to challenge yourself to try something new or use as inspiration to find the right holiday traditions for you and your family.
As always we’d love to know which ones you try, let us know in the comments below!
Listen To Holiday Music
Holiday music is truly one of the best parts of the holiday season. Whatever happens, you can always bet that there’ll be a CD in a drawer somewhere which is full of songs that will get you in the holiday spirit.
In our house, it’s a bit of a tradition to listen to slightly weird covers of holiday songs while we put the decorations up. For example, last year we listened to jazz covers of typical holiday songs, and to be honest: the results were better than you’d expect! Whatever your tastes, there’s bound to be a holiday playlist out there for you!
Trim The Tree and Decorate It Together
Decorating the tree is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! There’s something so wonderful about putting on a big, comfy jumper, and getting elbow deep into a box of Christmas lights.
Our family always makes sure to do this together, because then we can be sure that we all love the tree before we push it into the corner it stays in. We have fun, joke, and laugh while we’re trying to remember where those red baubles we like are, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
Make A Gingerbread House
Gingerbread houses will always be impressive. The skill it takes to put one together is amazing, not to mention baking one!
Nowadays, a lot of supermarkets sell gingerbread house kits, complete with little packets of icing and sprinkles. These kits are sure to be easier than baking it yourself, and you could even have little competitions with each other when you’re using them!
Bake Lots of Cookies
And by lots of cookies, we mean LOTS of cookies! We’ve got a big extended family, so we really don’t mess around with cookies. We bake and bake and bake, and always end up taking huge Tupperware boxes full of cookies to the Christmas celebration, wherever it may be. If you’re up for a challenge, you could try to make a different flavor for every shape of cutter you have!
Drive Around To Look At The Lights
This is a tradition we haven’t done in years, but a magical one for sure. Make sure to grab your favorite holiday CD, and get everyone into the car. There are so many neighborhoods with great lights up, make sure to check them out!
Do A Secret Santa Gift Exchange With Extended Family And Friends
A secret Santa is a great way to make sure everyone gets a gift, and no-one gets singled out for buying a poor present. Make sure to set a price limit that everyone’s comfortable with, and then draw names at random. Whether you buy a joke present or a serious present, however, is up to you.
Countdown to Christmas With An Advent Calendar
We absolutely love advent calendars in our house, and as soon as they come out in stores, we go and look at all of the ones on offer.
Last year, I actually got a beer advent calendar for myself, which had a can or bottle for every day of advent. While it was perfect for me, my partner wanted something a little more low-key. She ended up with an advent calendar that counted down the days with small figures of Harry Potter characters! That was absolutely perfect for her, and she loved it.
Watch Christmas Movies Together
Who doesn’t love a Christmas movie?
Every year, our family sits down on Christmas eve and watch a few of our favourites. While I have a personal love of A Muppets Christmas Carol, there are some other great ones too. If you wanted to make a bigger event out of it, perhaps you could have an Oscars-like awards ceremony after you’ve watched your films, and vote on which film gets which award!
Make Santa Boot Prints Outside If You Have Small Children
Keeping the mystery of Santa alive is a big part of Christmas for parents, and this can be a great way to do it.
Dig out that old pair of boots from the back of your wardrobe, and put them on if it snows on Christmas eve. That way, you can make a trail from wherever Santa may have landed to wherever he may have come in. After all, even someone as magical as Santa has to leave footprints.
Make Salt Dough Ornaments
Salt dough ornaments are a great way to get creative during the holiday season. There are plenty of recipes online which can help you to make a batch of this simple dough. You can cut it to your heart’s desire, and then bake and cool it. Once their cool, you can even get the glitter and paint out!
If they’re made right, they’ll last for years, so have a good think about your designs!
Set Up A Hot Chocolate Bar
Hot chocolate is one of the best holiday drinks around. It’s rich, sweet, smooth, and super decadent! During the holiday season, you could set up a little hot chocolate bar in your kitchen, complete with marshmallows and whipped cream to keep everyone excited about the delicious drink!
Write Letters To Santa
Writing letters to Santa was a staple of my childhood Christmases, and it can be a wonderful thing to spend some time on.
Make sure to decorate your letters with plenty of sparkles, and Santa’s sure to appreciate them all the more!
Deliver Baked Goods To The Neighbors
Baked goods are definitely one of the best parts of the holiday season. There are so many more of them around, and people are actively encouraging you to inhale them!
In the spirit of giving, perhaps it’s time to dig out an old family recipe and make your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies for the neighbours. It’s sure to make their day, as well as their holiday season!
Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen
This is another one which is really in keeping with the spirit of giving. A large number of us are very lucky to live the lives we do, and so in the holidays, it’s a great time to appreciate that and give back to our community.
You could get started by looking up soup kitchens near you, and seeing who’ll take volunteers over the holiday period.
Have An Ugly Sweater Party
The holiday season is truly the peak time for ugly sweater enthusiasts.
We’ve all got that one buried at the back of the wardrobe which only dares to rear its head during the holidays, so why not celebrate it and embrace the weird style of your sweaters. You could even have a vote on which is the ugliest sweater at the party!
Do Random Acts of Kindness
Kindness really is what makes the world go round, especially during the holiday season. Try a random act of kindness on for size, and if you like it then you can go with that for the rest of the season!
A good option could be to bake a few dozen holiday cookies, and then offer them to people in your office! People always appreciate baked goods.
Go Ice Skating
A true holiday staple, this one’s a great activity for couples. It can be seen in any number of Christmas movies, but it’s a great activity in the real world too. It’s easy to do, but difficult to get perfectly right, so it’s a great activity to try for the first time with someone.
Go On A Sleigh Or Wagon Ride
A sleigh ride fits perfectly with the theme of the season, and it’s a great activity to do with your family: especially if it’s snowing!
Take a look online to see if there are any companies local to you which offer this type of service. It’s sure to be popular during the holiday season, so consider booking in advance!
Make Traditional Holiday Dishes
Food is a huge part of the holidays for my family. We have our own traditions that we love to do, but the vast majority of people eat turkey. A huge roast dinner with turkey and all the trimmings can be fantastic, but what really makes it is spending all that time with your family on the holidays.
Send Out Holiday Cards
Lots and lots of people send out holiday cards every year, and they’re a great way to keep your family up to date with what’s going on in your life.
You could send out a letter that is filled to bursting with any number of great accomplishments from the past year, or you could opt to send out personalized holiday cards. Nowadays, there are services online which allow you to customize a number of cards, and send them all out to the people on your list without even getting off your sofa. Take a look online, there are tons of options!
Take A Family Photo
When do you have the family all together during the course of the year? Typically, it’s limited to one or two events during the holiday season. Why not use that opportunity as a chance to get a snap with the family altogether? Put your smiles on, and get everybody in the shot!
Wear Matching Pajamas
Pajamas are, in my opinion, one of the greatest human inventions. They’re so comfortable and cozy that we really should wear them all the time!
There are plenty of stores that stock matching sets of pyjamas, some of which will even include a set for your furry little pet! We usually pop new Christmas pj’s in a Christmas eve box and then sit in our matching pyjamas and drink great big steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Nothing sounds cozier than that!
Have A Fruitcake Eating Contest
Fruitcake is a holiday season staple. We have a brilliant recipe in our family, and apparently the trick is to use natural yogurt in the mix so that your sponge stays light and fluffy!
Whether you opt for more traditional ingredients or not, fruitcake can be a truly delicious part of the holidays. Having a fruitcake eating contest is just another way to get as much cake into your body as possible. That said, it’s the holidays – that’s the whole point!
The mistletoe is a classic Christmas decoration, and it can be found all over the place during the Holiday season. The classic tale tells that you’re supposed to kiss if you find yourself under it with someone, but even if you opt-out of that – it’s pretty for decorative purposes. The look and smell of mistletoe can lend a lot to the holiday atmosphere of a place, so consider getting a few springs to decorate with!
Hide A Christmas Pickle
The Christmas pickle is a little-known but much-loved Christmas tradition for households in America. The practice involved hiding a Christmas pickle amongst the branches of the Christmas tree, and then letting the hunt begin! When it’s found, the finder receives either a reward or good fortune for the previous year.
Whether you love or hate pickles in sandwiches, this is a great tradition to help spread some festive cheer.