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5 Unique Christmas Traditions That You Should Try This Holiday Season

Updated on January 3, 2020
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Michele loves Christmas! Most years the tree stays up until the spring! Allow her to share her passion with you in her holiday articles!

Begin your own holiday traditions starting this year!
Begin your own holiday traditions starting this year! | Source

Traditions can bring families together and may even motivate them to create new holiday adventures each year. You are welcome to try one of these ideas and to modify it to your family’s needs and desires. Just figure out what works best for you.

Let new family members explain their experiences with holiday traditions so that you may incorporate them into your mix and make them feel welcome! What a great thought! Embrace new members of your family by showing them how grateful you are that they are spending Christmas with you instead of with their own families.

They may not have a family of their own and need the encouragement that you can give of allowing them to try something new or to see your family adopt a tradition that makes them feel part of the family during Christmas.

This article will introduce holiday traditions that you may have never heard of and/or encouragement to create your own Christmas traditions. Maybe this will help in giving you a "push" to have "Christmas" this year in new and exciting ways.

There are many articles on the subject of family traditions, so this article will focus on the “unique” aspect of family traditions. The point is let’s see what kind of stuff we can come up with that you may never heard of or that you can tweak to be closer to your family’s liking.

Unique Holiday Traditions

This article will embrace these unique holiday traditions:

#1 Decorating the Christmas tree Together

#2 Falling in Love with the Nativity Story

#3 Creating or Buying Handmade Christmas Stockings

#4 Being Mysterious with Kids’ Christmas Gifts

#5 Christmas Movie with Festive Hot Cocoa

#1 Decorating the Christmas tree Together: an 8 Layered Teamwork Activity

Enjoy your Christmas tree while it's up this holiday season!
Enjoy your Christmas tree while it's up this holiday season! | Source

How original is this tradition? You tell me!

If you’ve ever heard of this tradition or done it each year, please share the details with us in the comments section at the bottom of this article. I only say that because I am coming up with this myself, and I’d love to hear the details if someone else has tried this before. I love to hear about holiday traditions, especially unusual and unique ones.

Let one person be in charge of putting all the balls on the tree. The little ones may need a lift!
Let one person be in charge of putting all the balls on the tree. The little ones may need a lift! | Source

How to Get Started on this Tradition

First, when you pack up the Christmas stuff each year, you’ll need to do it in a specific order. So, let’s say you have already done that (the year before). Each layer of the decorating should be separate. The goal here is to have it so that each person or child gets one area of the tree to decorate. Here is an idea of what I am talking about:

Christmas storage box to use to put away Christmas ornaments carefully and in order

IRIS USA Ornament Storage Box with Attached Lid, Stores 75 Ornaments per Bin, 2-Pack, Stackable Durable Christmas Storage Organization Container Bin for Holiday Decorations and Accessories, Clear/Red
IRIS USA Ornament Storage Box with Attached Lid, Stores 75 Ornaments per Bin, 2-Pack, Stackable Durable Christmas Storage Organization Container Bin for Holiday Decorations and Accessories, Clear/Red
These boxes are perfect for the family decorating Christmas tradition. You can put the decorations in the right order so that you can do the tradition just right! It has awesome dividers, just be careful with them as they are made of cardboard. We have one like this, and it eliminates so much clutter with our Christmas decor. It's very helpful and handy!

What do you think of this kind of Christmas Tree game?

Do you think your family could try this tradition?

See results

The 8 Steps to Decorating the Christmas Tree as a Family

Decorating Duty
beads and ribbon
large items like flowers or angels
Christmas balls
Christmas bows
Colorful ornaments*
Colorful ornaments**
Top of the Tree (Star or Angel)

We have 300 balls, so that is a big task to take on! *depending on the colors you are using in your tree (for example: Red decor); **Similar to #6 but with a different color (for example: Green decor). This can be repeated as many times as you want.

The rest of the steps in this process are the same. Draw a name for a specific part of the tree and allow each person to do hir or her decorating in that order. That’s why it’s so important to do everything in order. If you do the lights after the bows, well, it won’t work, so try to do them in order.

Tip: Consider listening to Christmas music while you do this activity. So, break out your favorite music or radio station (or even Pandora) and jam to that holiday beat!

By the end of the decorating the tree activity, you should have a gorgeous tree and a happy group of people who are proud they were able to participate in the Christmas decor this year.

Decorate the tree together as a family and boost how proud you all are once it is all done!

#2 Falling in Love with the Nativity Story: the Miracle of the Birth of Jesus Christ

Celebrate what the nativity symbolizes: the birth of Jesus!
Celebrate what the nativity symbolizes: the birth of Jesus! | Source

Luke 2:1-20 tells the story that the nativity scene represents. The story of Christ’s birth is told. He was born of the Virgin Mary in a stable. Animals and the three wise men attended the birth of Jesus. It’s a great story to share with your family as you put together the pieces of the Nativity scene.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Do you use a different Bible translation? If so, can you explain the difference if there is one? Describe your findings in the comments section at the end of this article.

The Meaning of Christmas

Did you already do something similar to this (reading about baby Jesus)?

See results

#3 Creating or Buying Handmade Christmas Stockings

Consider buying or making homemade Christmas stockings this year!
Consider buying or making homemade Christmas stockings this year! | Source

Having a homemade Christmas stocking can be very nostalgic by blessing you the spirit of Christmas each year as you remember what fun opening up your stocking (Christmas morning is the traditional time) each Xmas morning.

The best part of having your own stocking is that it’s all yours! Moreover, someone made it with you in mind the whole time. I have made some of the stockings in our house, but unfortunately, we lost that box last year, so I will be knitting all new ones next year!

Our Homemade Stockings

Here is an image of the Christmas stockings I made. They are basic, but we still loved them. Can’t wait to start all over – trying new patterns and colors this time!
Here is an image of the Christmas stockings I made. They are basic, but we still loved them. Can’t wait to start all over – trying new patterns and colors this time! | Source

Check out Etsy for homemade Christmas stockings. Tip: If you plan to buy your homemade personalized stockings from Etsy, shop around to make sure you and the seller are on the same page and that you are getting what you expect for a fair amount.

Hang a personalized stocking for each member of the family. Make sure they know who gets which stocking if they do not already have names on them. Fill them with candy, small toys, gum, apples, oranges, nuts, lip gloss and other kinds of make-up, candy canes, personalized ornaments, yo-yo's, and anything else that is inexpensive but will fit in that tiny space. The goal is: Lots of Goodies!!!

If the adults in the family still use stockings, fill them up with more expensive items like pocket knives, fishing lures, hunting gear (scent killer stuff is not too expensive, but is definitely used by deer hunters), cozy socks, make-up, and/or gift cards. Go wild! It can be so much fun shopping for someone closer to your age, especially if you know what he or she like. Ask a store clerk for recommendations!

Another idea is to wrap each item that is in the stockings (except maybe the apples and oranges) to make Christmas morning even more surprising and fun! So, wrap up all those candy canes, make-up, and toys! The kids will love it!

"Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in a warm circle of family and friends." - Margaret Thatcher

#4 Being Mysterious with Kids’ Christmas Gifts: Stay Full of Surprises all Year Long

Try the tradition that my grandmother used to do.
Try the tradition that my grandmother used to do. | Source

Kids love presents! They love figuring out who gets what; they love unwrapping them; they love handing them out; they especially love playing with them; overall, Kids love presents! Wait? Did I already say that? Well, it’s doubly true!

So, how do you keep them from shaking, guessing, searching, peeking open the presents that just sit there under the Christmas tree making them want to be mischievous and sneak a peek! Something must be done! Here are my suggestions based on things my family had done:

1. Wrap each present with a specific wrapping paper. Hypothetical example, all of John’s presents are wrapped in deer wrapping paper. So just wrap all of his with that wrapping paper and just keep a running list of how many presents John will need to open and flag in your notebook how his gifts are wrapped.

Then, don’t put nametags on those gifts. He will have to guess (unless he knew that his gifts were wrapped in the deer wrapping paper). Do this will all family members (or just the kids), and they will just have to wait until Christmas to know which ones are theirs.

What giftwrapping games does your family play? Tell all in the comments section.
What giftwrapping games does your family play? Tell all in the comments section. | Source

2. Another idea with children like John in the last example is to attach ornaments or symbols on each gift. In my family, I have twin cousins, who usually got the same thing each year, and my cousin Jenny and I who are almost the same age. It was easy to tell which presents we got because they were all wrapped the same for the two of a kind.

Give “Santa” a break and let them wrap the gifts how they want to; it might just be more fun for everyone! Try this game out and see for yourselves!

So, the problem for “Santa” was that we would guess who got what ahead of time, and it ruined the fun of Christmas for everyone. Therefore, my grandmother would assign each child with a wooden ornament.

Wooden Ornament Examples

Christmas Tree
Gingerbread Man
Candy Cane
Christmas Stocking
Gingerbread House

If you know someone who does woodwork, you could ask if he or she would be able to create something like this for your family.

Great Example of Wooden Ornaments to Buy (this should have you covered!)

URATOT 120 Pieces Unfinished Wooden Ornaments 12 Styles Christmastree Hanging Ornaments for Christmas Home Party Decoration
URATOT 120 Pieces Unfinished Wooden Ornaments 12 Styles Christmastree Hanging Ornaments for Christmas Home Party Decoration
The essence of the wooden ornaments tradition is to have the wooden ornaments replace traditional nametags. This product is perfect, because there are plenty of the same shaped ornaments, meaning if Joe has 4 presents to open, you can just assign him the star ornaments. Keep a note of who has which shape, and reveal the answers only when time to unwrap gifts. This way Joe can't "sneak a peek" since he won't know which gifts are his. Start this tradition this year by purchasing these wooden ornaments. Want to be even more festive? Paint them with different colors and add sparkles, beads, glitter, and stickers. Have fun!

So, if Jenny was the snowman, all of her presents would be marked with a little wooden snowman, and she would not know which ornaments were hers until my grandmother revealed the secret of who gets what. It was a lot of fun for us. We still tried to guess, but we knew that she was clever with the list so it was just best to wonder who got what but not to bother with it too much. After all, Santa knows what’s best.

Have you tried this???

Has your family ever used ornaments instead of nametags from Santa?

See results

#5 Christmas Movie with Festive Hot Cocoa

Christmas movie night will be one video worth watching as a family!
Christmas movie night will be one video worth watching as a family! | Source

Each year try to get everyone together to watch a movie and to eat leftover cookies that were from Santa or to munch on popcorn and sip on hot cocoa or apply cider. If there are children, make sure it’s a fun one for adults, but a good one for the kiddos too. Spend time cherishing the time that you all are enjoying together as a family.

Age Appropriate Christmas Movies

Home Alone
White Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Christmas Story
The Santa Claus
A Christmas Prince
A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding
A Christmas Prince 3: The Royal Baby
The Grinch
A Christmas Carol
The Christmas Chronicles*

*The Christmas Chronicles is an absolute MUST SEE movie for ALL ages! It aired in 2018 and the next one will air in 2020. Kurt Russell (and a sneak peek at the perfect Mrs. Claus) goes beyond in this film! It's probably the best Christmas e

The Best Christmas Movie of 2019

Must See Netflix Movie: klaus

You can't miss out on this movie for all ages. It explains many Christmas traditions and well, it's just unbelievable. You really don't want to forget catching it this year! I don't want to give it away, but my family has watched it over 3 times so far. It's amazing, uplifting, and special. Check it out on Netflix!

If you have seen it, comment at the bottom and tell what you loved the most. The video on top of this is probably my favorite part. Just don't give anything away for those who have not seen it yet!

All About the Movie klaus

Have you seen klaus off Netflix this year?

See results

You can also watch whatever sporting events or holiday parades going on live. Sing some carols together or find another way to spend time, and don’t forget to make it a tradition each year.

My family usually goes to the mall to watch a movie as a family. We go all out and buy popcorn and candy; we even talk about the movie afterward.

Keep in mind the ages of the members of the family. Some people may not feel up to a movie, because they are older and need more rest. Other people may be ill or somewhat ill and just need to rest and get to feeling better. Every situation is different, so keep that in mind.

Mix and Match these traditions in whatever way will be special to your family. The great thing about new traditions that are very popular is that as you do them year after year they will become more and more memorable and special. Consider keeping momentum or pictures so that you can look back and see how great they were! However, your holidays unfold, enjoy them and celebrate in a way that is special to you!

Bonus Holiday Traditions

Bonus Traditions: Check out these holiday traditions from the 1950’s that are no longer popular and see if you can come up with your own tradition by bringing one of these back! Maybe you can tweak them to make them one-of-a-kind!

One more bonus tradition: Take your family to do volunteer work during the holidays. The opportunities are endless, and the warm fuzzies you get from doing more for others is well worth the sweat and tears that you may endure.

"There is no better time than right now to start your own "family tradition" of helping needy children." -Debby Boone

5 Christmas Traditions from the 1950’s that are No Longer Popular

Take Away's From This Article (Your "Homework")

  • Learn from others: Ask new family members or friends what their family usually does for the holidays while at the same time describing your traditions to them. Be social! Try this with people you meet in waiting rooms, at hair salons, or while shopping for Christmas gifts. You never know what you may learn by opening up.
  • Take Pictures or Video: One of the most important ways to capture your memories for years to come is to photograph everyone during the holidays. You won't regret it; it could be a lasting memory for generations to come.
  • Record/Write in a Journal: Be sure to write down the details of your new holiday traditions so you know what you added or subtracted from your usual mix. Write down the new stuff and all of the specifics on how it turned out. At the same time, you may want to make a list of who got what gifts, so you don't re-gift to the wrong person and so that you can send out meaningful thank you notes!
  • Share in the Comments Section: Tell others all about what you do for the holiday in the comments section at the bottom of this article. I appreciate it and so will other readers. Include what your family does for Christmas, which family tradition you like or dislike, and which ones you plan to try this coming year!

Dear Readers:

The images in this article either were personal images taken by Michele Kelsey or were found on Please see the captions and credits for the details.

Please feel free to ask a direct question about any of the information provided in this article or any questions you may have about the holidays.

Please leave me a comment if you found this article to be:

  • useful
  • interesting
  • beautiful

I would love to rate it, share it, leave a comment, and/or follow me!

Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoyed reading about these Christmas traditions!

If you attempt to try one of these traditions or if you make a new one, please share it in the comments! I would love to learn more!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Michele Kelsey


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