5 Memorable Family Christmas Traditions

5 Memorable Family Christmas Traditions

Jim Burns -President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University


From the silly to the sentimental, traditions create meaningful memories for your family. They provide opportunities to build your family legacy as your children grow up. But sometimes, families get in a rut with traditions, never experimenting to see if new traditions might add some new spice to your family life.


Christmas is a great time to try some new ideas. You just may create a new traditions that will continue for generations! Consider the following:


1. Start traditions with Christmas Eve/Christmas Day meals. For example, at the Burns’ home, it’s always Chinese food on Christmas Eve.

2. Try a family version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. First, decide on a friend, relative, or neighbor who will receive all of the “gifts.” Then, create a unique gift for each day of the carol, (example: five golden rings could be five glazed donuts) and place the gifts each day on the recipient’s front porch.

3. Visit a Nursing Home. There are typically a lot of lonely people living in nursing homes. These people can be especially lonely during the Christmas season. Prepare some Christmas cookies and take your family to visit nursing home residents — spreading the love of Jesus to sick or elderly people. (Be sure to check with the nursing home in advance to make sure it is okay to drop by and deliver Christmas cookies.)

4. Celebrate your family’s ethnic heritage(s). During the Christmas season, prepare a family meal(s) that celebrate your family’s ethnic heritage. This is a great way to expose your kids to your family roots — especially if you don’t regularly focus on this throughout the year.

5. Letters to Jesus. Before opening your Christmas presents, write thank-you letters to Jesus. Collect them and make them available every Christmas. Keep adding new letters annually. Here’s one rule to make this tradition work well: family members can only read the thank-you letters they have written.