Exciting Family Christmas Traditions

Exciting Family Christmas Traditions

Every family has their Christmas traditions.  Whether it’s decorating the tree or baking cookies, there’s always something that makes Christmas feel special.  When I was younger our traditions included baking cookies, decorating the tree together, opening a present on Christmas Eve, going to the late mass on Christmas Eve, writing letters to Santa and sending them to him through the fireplace, reading The Polar Express and watching “The Santa Clause.”  These were things that I expected every year as a child.  They made the season magical and were what made it feel like Christmas.  As you can expect, a lot of these traditions fell by the wayside as I grew older.  In fact, I don’t remember doing most of these the first Christmas without my mom.  The Polar Express was her favorite Christmas book and so without her to read it, what was the point?  Also, “The Santa Clause” was a movie she loved, so we forgot about it.  As you can imagine, I stopped writing letters to Santa.  My dad’s never been a baker, so there were a few years without baking cookies.  But, even though these childhood family traditions fell by the wayside, I’ve discovered ways to create new ones.  So, to date here are my Exciting Family Christmas Traditions!

Watching “The Santa Clause”

I’m not a huge Tim Allen fan.  In fact, this movie is downright cheesy at some points.  But, this was something I rediscovered from my childhood.  I started watching it by myself every holiday season.  Recently MMR and I watch it together every year.  I don’t think he’s a huge fan of the movie.  However, he’s agreed that it’s a holiday tradition for us.  It’s something that restores that childlike wonder of the holidays for me and it’s something my mom introduced me to.  So, it’s happy way to remember her on the holidays.  It’s a pretty cute movie. 😉

Baking Cookies

I don’t always bake cookies with the same person.  At first, I baked with a family friend.  Then I baked with my grandma.  Now, I can’t bake with those people anymore so I’ve been baking alone for the most part.  Also, now that I know how to bake I no longer need supervision. 😉 Baking Christmas cookies is something that’s fun to do with others, but now I don’t mind doing it by myself while listening to Christmas carols.  Although, that’s not to say I can’t think of a few people who would love to come over and eat while I bake.  One of the recipes I always make is actually a regional specialty for Ohio, they’re called Buckeyes.  Technically it’s candy not a cookie.  It’s a deliciously cold chocolate dipped ball of peanut butter.  I’ll post the recipe on here if anyone is interested.

Decorating the Tree

This is something I used to do with my family.  In fact last year the hubby and I decorated the tree we had together.  Although, this year we don’t have room for a real tree.  So, I decorated a couple of table trees like the one pictured above while he was at work.  Once we get a big tree again I know it’ll be a tradition for the two of us.

Opening a Present on Christmas Eve

This is something that I did as a child and I’ve continued it with MMR.  We’re like little kids the night before Christmas.  I always have to convince him that midnight on Christmas doesn’t count as Christmas morning.  So, we open one present on Christmas Eve night every year.


It’s a holiday after all, so that means it’s time for tofurkey!  Read about my experience making it for Thanksgiving here.  Previously, my sister or my grandma always made it.  But, I’m planning on making some more tofurkey myself this holiday season.  Wish me luck!


This is going to be a new tradition this year.  But, MMR always had coffeecake on Christmas morning.  This will be our first Christmas without his mom’s coffeecake.  So, I’m going to attempt some on my own.  Here’s the recipe I plan on using: Gingerbread Quinoa Coffeecake.  Doesn’t it sound delicious?

This will be our first Christmas in Colorado and away from home.  We’ll see what other traditions start this year.  But, for now this is our list of family Christmas traditions that make the season special.

What are your exciting family Christmas traditions?

15 thoughts on “Exciting Family Christmas Traditions

  1. I love that you have brought back some of the traditions that you used to share with your mom, and that you are bringing in your husband’s coffee cake tradition. I would also love fr you to share the recipe for Buckeyes!

    1. Thank you! I love the idea of entwining our traditions together as we did with our families. Check back here on Monday and you’ll find the buckeye recipe! 🙂

  2. Gina these are all such special traditions. I also like to watch the Polar Express, with or without the kids. But my favorite thing to do is to listen to the Nutcracker every single year.. By now I’ve made the kids crazy, but I can’t help it. Merry Christmas to you Gina!!!

    1. Thank you! Your traditions sound fun too! I know that when I have kids, whether or not they like The Santa Clause I’ll still be watching it. You listen to that Nutcracker! Your kids can do their own thing. Haha. Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂

  3. Very nice post with some fun traditions. I haven’t really thought about Christmas traditions because my girls and grandkids aren’t near, so I don’t get to see them much. But I remember when growing up our tradition was decorating the tree together, and we would get to open one present Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning when my brother and I woke up we would run jump on our parents bed to wake them up to see what Santa brought.
    Linda at Mixed Kreations recently posted…Junk Treasure Christmas TreesMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I hope you get to hear from them this holiday season. 🙂 I’m pretty far away from most of my family as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to skype some of them. Those traditions are so fun! I remember how excited I would be about opening the present on Christmas Eve and deliberate for such a long time before I picked it out. 🙂

  4. Hi, Gina! We love to watch Christmas movies with the kids, and going late to bed as well.
    On the 31st we meet to celebrate the end of the year and we eat 12 grapes at 12pm while the bells ring.

    1. It’s always fun to watch Christmas movies together. That is such a cool New Year’s tradition! I’ve never heard of it before. I don’t have many traditions for the New Year. I should probably make more. 😉

  5. Hi Gina! I love all of your traditions. It can be so hard when we lose our loved ones – especially our Mothers who were usually responsible for making the traditions happen. I know she would want you to keep the traditions alive so its great to see your list. Have a Merry Christmas and a great 2016!

    1. Thanks, Sue! It is definitely hard, especially for the first few years. But, I’ve tried to step into the maternal role of continuing this traditions as much as I can. It really helps it feel like they’re still a part of the holidays and helps keep their memories alive. You have a Merry Christmas and fantastic 2016 as well!

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