Every family has its own special routine they do every Christmas. It could be decorating the tree with old memorabilia; or volunteering to help at food banks.
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1. Pay Father Christmas a visit
What’s a more classic Christmas tradition than visiting Santa? Head down to your local tree farm or shopping centre to find Father Christmas’s Grotto, along with his helpful elves.
2. Pick a Christmas tree
Many plant nurseries allow families to pick their own tree at Christmas. With the fresh air and hot chocolate drinks, it’s a great day out for all the family.
3. Hold a family photoshoot
Family photoshoots never look better than on Christmas cards. Not only is it cost-efficient, the personal touch makes them even more special for loved ones.
4. Volunteer for charities
Christmas can be a difficult time for some families, especially those with financial troubles. Help spread a little more joy by volunteering for charities, like soup kitchens or food banks.
5. Attend a church service
Churches are always welcoming, especially at Christmas time. It’s always worth attending a church service or midnight mass to hear the true story of Christmas.
6. Go carol singing
Warm up those vocal cords and go for a round of carol singing. Invite the neighbours to help spread a little more traditional Christmas joy.
7. Make a batch of mulled wine
Nothing represents Christmas better than a cup of warm mulled wine. With a few cinnamon sticks and cloves, your home will be smelling gorgeous.
8. Make hot chocolate drinks
Now, something more for the kids - hot chocolate drinks. This very important Christmas Day tradition must be made with marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles.
9. Watch Christmas movies
There are so many great Christmas movies to choose from, like ‘Home Alone’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Elf’. Get the popcorn ready for a binge watch this winter.
10. Start an ‘Elf on the Shelf’ game
‘Elf on the Shelf’ was originally created to encourage kids to behave at Christmas. Instead, why not turn it into a game like hide-and-seek across the whole house?
11. Visit Christmas markets
Christmas markets are always a joy to visit in winter. There’s always a stall for everyone - including attractions for the kids. Visit one in your local town and make a day of it.
12. Write letters to Father Christmas
Whilst the kids are probably ecstatic about their presents, it’s also important to teach them about gratitude. Ask them to write a letter to Father Christmas, sharing what they’re grateful for.
13. Catch up with family and friends
Sometimes, you may not be able to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones. Maybe they’re ill or couldn’t make it due to bad weather. Show them you’re still thinking about them through a phone or video-call.
14. Decorate Christmas cookies
Decorating cookies is a great Christmas pastime, especially for the kids. Ask them to decorate a plate of cookies for Father Christmas; or some to add to your festive decor.
15. Take a walk around the neighbourhood
Why not start a Christmas tradition of taking a walk around the neighbourhood? It’s a great way to help digest your lunch, or pass the time until dinner.
16. Hang up Christmas decorations
Another family-orientated tradition to try is hanging Christmas decorations. Don’t forget to add a little sparkle outside your home, like a wreath or fairy lights.
17. Build a gingerbread house
Gingerbread houses are so easy to make and taste delicious. Get yourself a ready-made kit; or if you’re feeling creative, why not make your own gingerbread from scratch.
18. Wear matching Christmas pyjamas
Nothing’s cosier than wearing pyjamas all day, and this is a must at Christmas. Get yourselves a matching set for the whole family - and don’t forget the dog!
19. Attend a tree-lighting event
Many town centres host tree-lighting events and they’re often family-friendly. Find one near you and pop in into the family calendar.
20. Design a Nativity set
Get those creative juices going by designing your own nativity set. Not only is it a great art project for the kids, they’ll also get to learn all about the true story behind Christmas.
21. Start your advent calendar
Advent calendars provide a daily treat before the big day. But they don’t always come with hidden chocolate. Some come with toys, trinkets, and even miniature skincare products.
22. Hang up your mistletoe
Most romantic Christmas traditions usually involve mistletoes somewhere or another. Place the plant in your doorways for a quick peck or loving smooch with a loved one.
23. Open one gift on Christmas Eve
If the kids have been extremely good during the holidays, why not let them open one gift before the big day? It can really help make a memorable day, as you watch them appreciate their presents.
24. Personalise your Christmas stockings
Give your family stockings a little personal touch this Christmas. Stitch on monogram letters of their name; or iron on patches of things they love, like their favourite band or cartoon.
25. Crack a Christmas crackers
One of the oldest Christmas traditions in the UK involves crackers. Make sure you crack a few, share a terrible joke, and pop on a paper crown to complete the day.
26. Start a Secret Santa exchange
Secret Santa exchanges aren’t just for work colleagues - do them with your families, too. Make it fun by creating presents from scratch, or with things found around the house.
27. Go sledding
Make your way towards the nearest hill for a bit of sledding this winter. But if there’s no snow in sight, visit your local indoor ski slopes, instead.
28. Make snowflakes
A lovely snow-related tradition you can do with the kids is make snowflakes. With paper and a pair of scissors, you can make all kinds of patterns. They’ll look great on your window or Christmas tree.
29. Design a Christmas tablescape
Complete your festive dinner with the help of a Christmas-inspired tablescape. Design an elaborate centrepiece or add a few decor onto a table-runner. It’ll add a sprinkle of magic to your holidays.
30. Wrap up the presents
Another great tradition to try is to spend time wrapping up presents. All you need to do is give everyone sticky tape and a roll of wrapping paper. Make sure they find a secret spot to wrap their presents up!.
31. Bake a traditional Christmas cake
There are so many traditional desserts associated with Christmas. Try your hand at baking an English-style Christmas cake. Next year, you could make a Bûche de Noël (France) or even a festive babka (Poland).
32. Serve up Christmas breakfast
Most of us can’t wait for Christmas lunch or dinner; but why wait until then? Serve up a little bit of Christmas at breakfast. How about some festive cinnamon rolls or waffles, along with a cup of hot chocolate.
33. Read a Christmas story together
Get the kids excited by reading Christmas stories to them before the big day. There are so many to choose from; like ‘The Polar Express’, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, or the classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.
34. Build a snowman
If you're blessed with a good amount of snow this winter, grab the kids and build a snowman. Make sure you bundle up warm - and that includes your new snowy friend.
35. Plan a Christmas dinner
Christmas traditions mostly revolve around dinner. Everyone looks forward to filling their tummies with yummy dishes and treats. A great Christmas tip is planning ahead and cooking enough per head. That way, you’re guaranteed to have a swell time, without breaking your budget!