If you’d love inspiration for magical Christmas traditions for your family, from Baby’ First Christmas and beyond … look no further. The ideas list is bottomless, but this is a good place to start. Have a scroll down, choose the things you fancy, and please leave a comment at the bottom if you have anything to add!
Special thanks to people in our Facebook group Christmas & Magical Childhood Traditions for their photos!
Christmas Elf Letter Tradition
North Pole Garden!
I love this magical Christmas tradition to do with the kids … The kids plant jelly bean seeds in a bowl of sugar, and water them with glitter (or not, depending on your love of glitter). Either overnight, or a few days later – various candies will magically appear.
*IMPORTANT – those of you with Christmas Letters 2017 – this is mentioned on December 8th in Elfie’s Christmas Letters, and in Jenny’s letter in the North Pole Christmas Letters this year. Just in case you haven’t done this before and would rather wait until the kids have read these letters …
Christmas Eve Box
Another magical Christmas tradition. Either from you, which is better in the long run (trust me), or from Father Christmas having done a quick impromptu dash into your home. The idea is for it to contain things the kids (and you), can use for a cosy Christmas Eve night, snuggled up on the sofa. It can be anything from a luxury personalised box, to the items being left out by the Christmas Tree, the fireplace, on their beds, or anywhere else that suits.
Items you may want to put in are “something to eat, something to wear, something to read and something to stare”
- Christmas Pjs
- A book
- A Christmas DVD
- Snowman Soup (components of hot chocolate, with marshmallows & candy canes to pop in too)
Some people put in games and other snacks too, like Reindeer Poo (chocolate raisins) or popcorn.
Father Christmas Footprints
This really ‘wows’ the kids when they wake up on Christmas morning. You can either buy a stencil on the internet, or just put your wellies on and dust icing sugar or flour around them. Wait until they’re in bed obviously! You can add glitter for a more magical footprint too.
Sleep Under The Christmas Tree
Enjoy choosing and decorating your Christmas Tree together. Then, pick a night as close to Christmas as you can … get the roll mats out, bring their pillows and duvets down, and make them camp right next to the Christmas tree with Christmassy snacks too. They’ll absolutely love falling asleep next to the twinkling lights. Don’t forget to turn the lights off before you go to bed though! #FireHazard
A really magical family Christmas tradition for the kids to ‘discover’ on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day morning. It can either be prepared and laid out as a surprise from you, or your Christmas Elf!
The idea is that the kids come down in the morning and see a very over the top Christmassy looking breakfast laid out. It can be as healthy, or sugar fuelled as you like, and as simple or involved as you like!
Candlelit Bath on Christmas Eve
Our kids adore this. The first year I did it for them as a surprise, their eyes were out on stalks. It was immediately adopted as a firm family tradition after that. Be safety conscious obviously. You don’t want any accidents on arguably the most important day of the year.
The latest updates from Father Christmas’ Workshop! Where will your children find their next letter? In the cereal box? Tucked into their school bag?
Or if shorter letter bundles would be better for your family, you can find them HERE.
Make A Gingerbread House
The kids love doing this, for obvious reasons! You can buy kits, or make your own. Lots of ideas and inspiration HERE but don’t get over-faced with Pinterest! If you want to take it further – you could always create a bit of Gingerbread Magic in your community. If you’re gluten free, or know anyone with Coeliac Disease, this vegan and gluten free gingerbread recipe is incredible.
Getting new pyjamas on Christmas Eve is such a lovely thing. It doesn’t matter if they’re Star Wars or Peppa Pig ones, and they can be just for the kids, or adults too.
Switch Out Their Bedding on Christmas Eve Night!
Now this is a fun one, but is hard to do on light sleepers! Pick a different night if that’s better. The idea is the kids go to bed with their normal bedding on, and wake up on Christmas morning, to find their duvet cover has gone all Christmassy! Obviously do the switch on a spare duvet and just swap the two over – or you run the risk of getting caught!
Snack For Santa & The Reindeer
Just before the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, they make a snack for Father Christmas and the reindeer. In our house they choose what they put out
and fight about who gets the final say, and it’s different each year. The reindeer were fed very well last year …
Another firm favourite with the kids. Make Christmas Cookies, Christmas Cake, Mince Pies, Gingerbread, Christmas Star Biscuits, Peppermint Bark, and anything else you only eat around Christmas time. The smell will permeate their memories forever.
I can really recommend this Advent Calendar, and the Advent Elfie’s Christmas Letters, but whatever sort you make, the kids will love making their Advent Calendar with you. Some ideas over here, on my Pinterest Board too.
Go for a special trip into town to look at all the Christmas window displays, the central Christmas Tree and to get caught up in the after-dark buzz. That’s such a magical trip for children.
Put The Christmas Decorations Up Together
If you can’t bear for the kids to help with the ‘proper’ decorations, set them up with something like this that they can do themselves. They can hang up all their Christmas crafts too!
See A Pantomime!
Christmas is THE time of year for Pantos, and there will be one near you somewhere. The local school, the local theatre … they usually start advertising well in advance, with matinee and evening shows.
Visit A Christmas Market
It gets dark early, and Christmas markets are always much more magical after dark. The sights, the smell of caramel roasted nuts, roasted chestnuts and everything else … so wonderful!
A Christmas Elf
Families have a Christmas Elf who comes to visit daily through December. It appears in the morning before the kids wake up and goes back to the North Pole each night. Usually this Elf is found in a different place each day, and in a compromising position of having been up to some sort of mischief. BUT, Elves are equally happy to simply watch what your kids enjoy playing with, so they can report back to Father Christmas.
If you have an Elf and would appreciate a nightly reminder to move it each night, you can sign up for …
Elfie’s Elf Alarm
Make Homemade Christmas Cards
Kids love Christmas crafts, and to help make a card, or cards that they actually send to people is a special tradition to have. Homemade cards are so lovely to receive!
Every year around Christmas time, there’s a Christingle service in churches all over the country. Each piece of the Christingle (the orange with the red tape, candles and fruit / sweets) holds special symbolism to help children understand the importance of Jesus and the Gospel, and its relevance at Christmas time.
Try Hot Roasted Chestnuts
Keep an eye out for these – they’re so Christmassy. You can cook them on a fire, a BBQ, or even in your oven. Do try them, and do get the kids to too. I have very strong and lovely memories of being curled up next to the fire, peeling their sooty black coats of while trying not to burn my little fingers. A tasty evening snack!