A Christmas family tradition doesn’t have to be something your family have done for years and years or something that’s been passed from generation to generation. It can be something you want to do each year with your own family so why not start a family tradition right now?
Here are some ideas to help you start a family tradition of your own:
1) Make a Family Alternative Advent Calendar filled with all of your favourite things to do as a family! I shared the things I put in ours here but you can tailor yours to what you know your family will enjoy. We love opening our envelopes each day to see what fun we’re going to have!
2) This is an obvious one but I can’t write a post about Christmas traditions without including it – walk around your neighbourhood and look at all the lovely Christmas lights. When you get home, make everyone a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows.
3) Make snowman soup together! We do this every year and I can’t decide whether we have more fun making it or drinking it. It’s a great gift for grandparents, teachers and neighbours.
4) We visit Stockeld Park every year wearing our Christmas jumpers and Christmas hats and every year we have more fun than the year before. Stockeld Park is a great Christmas day out as there’s everything from an outdoor ice skating rink to a fun maze and from an enchanted forest to a ski course through the forest. See if you have somewhere like that in your area and adopt it for your annual Christmas day out. You can choose a local event that runs every year or even just head to the garden centre which is always fun at Christmas (or at least ours is) – the main thing is that you all wear your Christmas clothes because that’s what makes it so much fun. Christmas jumpers have started appearing in the supermarkets over the last couple of days so there are lots of choices around but if you’re not a jumper fan there are some great Christmas t-shirts on Zazzle which is where Mr Frugal got his elf one from last year.
5) Make your own pet-friendly reindeer dust and scatter it on your path before you go to bed – we still do this now even though my two are waaaaay past believing. It’s a fun thing to do so we just keep doing it.
6) You’re going to love this one! On Christmas Eve when Mr Frugal comes home from work, he gets himself an the kids in the kitchen and they bake together! Nothing complicated and it’s not without a teeny bit of arguing between the three of them but they get there in the end. He’s done it since even before Master Frugal was born and it’s the only time of year you’ll catch him baking voluntarily but bake he does. They are responsible for making the treats that we leave out for Santa (yes, we still do that) while I get to go upstairs, lock myself in the bathroom and have a bath before we head out to church.
7) Which brings me to my next family tradition – a family visit to the church for the Christingle service on Christmas Eve is a must even though I don’t go to church throughout the rest of the year. We walk to the church with our neighbours every Christmas Eve night and even though the kids all moan about going, they leave feeling all warm and fluffy and very Christmassy. The nativity part of the service involves as many kids as possible in the church near us and never fails to include some sort of disaster – the baby Jesus went missing for a few minutes last year!
8) Every year we go shopping for our local food bank as a family, the kids often get involved with some of their own pocket money too. We buy what we can for our budget and take it to the food bank together. The kids also buy a toy each for the Christmas toy appeal in our local area using their own pocket money which I add to so we can get a few gifts. The 3 for 2 offers are ideal for this.
9) We’ve always given the kids a Christmas Eve box on Christmas Eve which usually contains a Christmas DVD, a new family board game and a few other bits and bobs. I shared more about our Christmas Eve box here if you want to see why I let the kids have a present each the day before too.
10) We have some amazing neighbours who are like family so every year, we have a Christmas Eve secret Santa. We draw names out of a hat in November sometime and then we all have to buy someone in the other family the best present we can on a tight budget. It’s so much fun and is one of my favourite family traditions.
11) We have a little elf called Jingle who delivers the advent calendars and stays until Christmas Eve when he leaves with Santa. He’s a naughty elf who gets up to all sorts of mischief and the kids have more fun than us with him. I wrote a post a while ago about ideas for your elf if you decided to adopt this tradition and even what to do if you forget to move your elf one night (my two are older now so I just tell them he has a hangover haha). You don’t have to spend a fortune though as you can easily do elf on a shelf on a budget!
12) We also have a pyjama fairy who brings new pyjamas for everyone although often she brings a onesie, or a new dressing gown or even a pair of slippers instead depending on what the kids actually need. She’s not one for wasting money the pyjama fairy.
13) We buy a new tree decoration and a new snow globe every year – we choose them together and usually they have some significance, such as being bought from somewhere we’ve visited and enjoyed. I have a plan that one day my tree will be beautiful and sophisticated and I’m working towards that plan, one ornament at a time. For now though….
14) For Christmas, we always give an experience as well as gifts – Master Frugal’s main present a few years ago was to be a mascot at a Middlesbrough Football Club match and although not cheap, kicking the ball around on the pitch with his idols and then leading them out is a never forgotten experience. They don’t have to be expensive though as sites like Wowcher and Groupon will have some great deals on things like photo shoots, afternoon tea, swegway rides and all sorts of things like that.
15) Every year we make a video using Portable North Pole and even now that the kids are older, I still make one for each of them although the anticipation of waiting to hear if they’re on the naughty or nice list isn’t as exciting as it used to be. 😉
16) On Christmas Eve, no matter what we’re doing we have a laptop switched on and have Norad’s track Santa page open. It’s one of my favourite things to do every year as you know when Santa sets off, Christmas is almost here!
I also shared this post last year which had another 25 Christmas traditions from around the world that might work well with your family and if you want some ideas for free family fun then have a look here.
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter, BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram