When I think back to Christmases from my childhood, it’s not the gifts that I remember the most although several of them were quite memorable. Sitting by the fire sipping hot cocoa, laying under the tree with my sister, trudging through the snow to pick out a live tree, donning our Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve…These are the things I remember. The simple Christmas traditions that my parents worked so diligently to maintain are what stick out in my mind most. With those memories in mind, I have made it my primary goal to create holiday traditions in my own home that my husband and I (and hopefully our future littles) will be able to reflect in the years to come.
As with most things, though, it’s my goal to keep our Christmas traditions relatively simple and budget-friendly. As I always say, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to be meaningful. So, today I’m sharing with your our favorite simple Christmas traditions in our home. I hope that maybe you’ll find something new to try, or at the very least you’ll institute a new tradition in your home this year to make your holidays merry and bright!
Our Favorite Christmas Traditions
This tradition has shifted slightly from year to year. In our first year of marriage, we put everything up on Thanksgiving right after dinner (mostly because we were hours away from our families and needed something happy to occupy our time). This year we were able to spend Thanksgiving and the days following with our families, so we waited until the Saturday after the holiday to get our tree and put up decorations. Nonetheless, we like to enjoy our Christmas decorations as long as possible, so we make it our goal to deck the halls as soon after Thanksgiving as possible.
Each year I worry that this event is going to become more of a dreaded Christmas tradition for my dear husband than a happy, memorable one, but he hasn’t viewed it that way yet. I’m a little lot picky about our Christmas tree, so going to the tree farm to select the perfect one takes some time. I literally made him hike to the opposite end of the farm with me this year, and then he carried the tree all the way back as we hadn’t gotten a sled…Either way, we make a big event of going to pick out our live Christmas tree. We were even able to join friends this year!
To help us maintain our focus on Christ during the holidays, we use an advent calendar. I purchased ours on Etsy last year and used a list of relevant scriptures to add one to each box. I also add a special treat to each box and different holiday activities spread throughout the month to make it fun!
4. Watching Christmas Movies
So, I might have had an idea this year to do 25 days of Christmas movies, but that does get a little excessive. We have, however, watched at least 5 Christmas movies already, though, so I think we’re doing pretty well. We also have my all-time favorite the Christmas Shoes on the schedule to watch soon.
5. Putting Up Lights Outside
This one is a new tradition for us this year, as previously we were living in apartments where we shared entrances and didn’t have a designated outside space. I am a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas lights, so I just love the sparkle of simple white lights. We will have them lining our home soon.
6. Making Homemade Carmel Corn
This tradition is one that my husband’s family started and we’ve been able to institute in our home as well. His dad was always the one to make it and would make a huge batch to share with everyone. We plan on having him help us make some this year, and I can’t wait!
7. Going to See the Christmas Lights
One of the most magical aspects of Christmas for me is the beauty of the Christmas lights. We always take at least one evening, often on Christmas Eve, to drive around and see all of the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
8. Having Eggnog Milkshakes on Christmas Eve
Eggnog is one thing that says holiday to my husband more than any other. So, even before we were married we began having eggnog milkshakes as a special holiday treat. Now, we keep the tradition of having them on Christmas Eve each year – yum!
9. Reading the Christmas Story
One of the final things we do before heading to bed on Christmas Eve is read the Christmas Story. It’s a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and a good way to bring our family together each year.
10. Making Christmas Bread on Christmas Morning
We don’t typically do a huge breakfast Christmas morning, but one thing I do make is Christmas bread. The sweet treat is fun to make and even more fun to share with the ones I love.
In each of these traditions, it is our goal to (1.) maintain our focus on the true Light of the holiday season and (2.) make special memories with our family. The holidays are all about bringing people together, and our holiday traditions wouldn’t be the same without the people we love. As you enjoy the holiday season, I encourage you to begin establishing your own family Christmas traditions if you haven’t already, and remember the true reason for the season.
Check out this fun printable to help you remember some of your favorite holiday traditions, but remember to keep the stress out of the holidays, you need to keep it simple. So, it’s okay to let a few traditions go.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Do you keep any Christmas traditions from your childhood still today?