Our Family Christmas Traditions

Family Christmas Traditions at the International Elf Service

We all have Christmas traditions even if we think we don’t! I love love love all of ours. We have big ones and little ones. Ones that take planning and ones that don’t.

We had lots of Christmas traditions when we were kids, then I got married and suddenly mine were different to his and we had to have ‘discussions’ to sort out the finer detail. Then we had children, which made me want to find new Christmas traditions. My husband despairs of me now. The only Christmas traditions he’s been firm about clinging on to, has been his need for stove top stuffing (an American box of deliciousness) with the Christmas (home smoked) turkey.

I know some of us love to hear what other people do. To me it’s all about enhancing the magic and the warm cosy feeling that I remember so vividly.

So, in absolutely no particular order at all:

1. The kids have a candlelit bath on Christmas Eve.

2. The kids find a parcel containing new pjs and a (not necessarily seasonal) book/DVD to share.

3. We do at least 3-76 Christmas crafts daily from mid November until Christmas eve.

4. We go to the Christingle service at the local church.

5. Mr Elfie smokes the Christmas turkey in the garden while I fill the oven with too many other things.

6. The kids have chocolate for breakfast on Christmas morning.

7. I collect little things for their stockings throughout the year and put them into plastic bags for each child labelled ‘Wednesday’, ‘November’ and ‘Frog’, incase the kids should find them when I’m not looking. It helps me know what I’ve got for who.

8. Stockings are opened downstairs because our eldest would have us up from 3am, and I can’t cope with sellotape in all the beds.

9. We throw carrots and oats into the garden for the reindeer.

10. We try to remember to retrieve the carrots from the garden.

11. We do Elf on the Shelf (ours is called Elfie believe it or not) who just enjoys watching the kids enjoy the lead up to Christmas, tells Father Christmas what they like playing with and leaves the kids clues to find…

12. …Elfie’s Christmas Letters!

13. We have our Christmas dinner at 5pm ish to avoid having to get up early to start cooking.

14. We get our Christmas tree on the first weekend in December. We all have to go and choose it, and it must be tied slightly too loosely to the car roof so it slides when we turn left and right.

15. We go for a walk after dark so we can look at all the Christmas lights in people’s houses.

16. We bake, decorate and eat.

17. We make the table look Christmassy from Christmas Eve and eat every meal with candles burning.

18. We never have enough Christmas crackers.

19. The kids remember they don’t like Christmas pudding and I remember eating almost a whole one makes my belly hurt.

20. We spend all of December deciding if we want a wreath on the front door and then finally buy one on the 23rd December.

21. We put fairy lights up around the fireplace.

22. Luckily the kids always grow out of their clothes in November, so they get their new ones as Christmas presents. Just so there’s more for them to unwrap.

23. Everything must be wrapped by the 23rd so I can enjoy Christmas Eve.

24. The Husband starts building 3 hour-long self assembly kits at 9pm on Christmas Eve.

25. We are no longer allowed to buy anything that requires self-assembly for Christmas.

26. We must all decorate the Christmas tree with Christmas music blaring and the fire roaring.

27. Each child gets a small silly present from the cats on Christmas morning.

28. The kids must spend 20 hours asking if they can get the crackers out and pull them.

29. The house is filled with tangerines, cinnamon sticks and Teapigs winterspice tea.

30. The magic of Christmas is over at midnight on the 25th.


…I could go on and on.

We really do absolutely LOVE Christmas and all of our Christmas traditions in this house!

I’d really love to hear yours, so please leave a comment!


Magical moments for you and your child to share

Take your children on a magical journey with these unique, hand-drawn letters from two of the most magical places on earth … the North Pole and Fairyland.

Hide them among the bills and junk mail, lay them on the table first thing in the morning, stashed among the toys, or snuggled up in their bed. You choose where your children find the letters, to create a magical family tradition the kids will love!



order-now-buttonFree Delivery To UK


Download your FREE Guides To Common Christmas Conundrums


“The best Christmas idea ever.” – Charlie Condou (Actor)


“These were the best things I have ever (and I mean ever) ordered!!
I’ve never seen the magic or happiness last so long x”
– Jolene (August 2017)


order-now-buttonFree Delivery To UK



If your child believes in Father Christmas and you want to keep the magic for as long as possible, There are DIFFERENT and NEW! Christmas Letters each year!  You can preorder these for Christmas 2018 for dispatch from September.



Fairy & Tooth Fairy Letters

Unusual Fairy & Tooth Fairy Letters from the International Fairy Service. All with streetwise advice woven through each one!

Fairy letters from a world of dragons (who set fire to your lunch by mistake), Mystery Gardens (with changing adventures inside), Magical Potion Fairies, Secret Underground Passageways, Magical Tree Bark, Time Travel … and more.


Birthday Letters

Tooth Fairy Letters

Dummy Fairy Letters are available too!

Come and join us on Facebook, or find us over on Christmas Traditions & Magic For Children for all year round festive chat.

To receive my blog posts, please sign up at the right hand side of this page or for Product or Christmas News and promotions from the International Elf Service, please sign up at the bottom of the page.

Emily x


  • Maria @ Suburban Mum
    September 17, 2015 AT 11:35 PM

    I love this list! Gets me excited for Christmas already! LOVE the idea of the children being allowed chocolate on Christmas morning!! I’m going to introduce that this year! I’ll be posting our traditions nearer the time. Have you joined the blogger group #12daysofparenting? If not you should! xx

    • International Elf Service
      September 18, 2015 AT 9:31 AM

      The chocolate thing came about because that’s what I REALLY wanted myself as a kid 😀 Ooh I haven’t come across that yet – will pop over and have a look x

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.