How to have a Festive Christmas that your family will love

Christmas is just around the corner, the tree is up and you are starting to feel as though everything may just about go to plan.

Once you’ve bought all of the gifts, done all of the chores, there is just one thing left to do…

Spend time relaxing with your family. 

Taking time to step back and indulge in a Christmas tradition or two, is the best way to enjoy the season with your loved ones.

I asked around in the parenting community to see what traditions they love to do every year and they came up with some crackers (pun most definitely intended!).

The best Christmas traditions for families

Going to the Christingle service. Even as a teenager, I went every year with my mum and dad and I find it just magical. It is the perfect Christmas eve activity – Becky from The Mummy Adventure

Watching the snowman on Xmas eve as kids. Now it’s a big family meal at the pub on Christmas Eve. Emma from Bubba Blue and Me.

Each year when we put the tree up hubby and I put Christmas music on and get cheese and port in for our dinner, with all the trimmings. I’m talking fruit and veg sticks, cheese biscuits and chutneys. I always look forward to it so much because a) it’s delish, and b) I know Christmas is imminent! (This may be one of the saddest aspects for me of currently being dairy free because of my daughter’s CMPA.) Kate from The Less-Refined Mind. 

My Mums side of the family all get together every year to make Christmas pudding! My aunts and uncles take it in turns to host for the weekend, and we all have a stir and a wish. Everyone brings a bowl and a sixpence and it’s a really lovely excuse to all get together. It’s my favourite pre-Christmas tradition, and I hope my generation continues it for many years to come. 

Then my Dad’s side of the family all get together on Boxing Day for a big walk up the Clent hills, followed by hot meat sandwiches and party games. It’s better than Christmas Day for me! I love it, and now it’s even more special because we got engaged on Boxing Day in 2013! – Holly from Little Pickle’s Mom.

We go round to my in-laws every Christmas morning and the first presents the kids get to unwrap (other than stockings) are the ones from under the grandparent’s tree. We all sit around and take turns unwrapping gifts. We’ve done this for the last ten years and I couldn’t imagine Christmas morning without it! Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies

Going to the Crib Service on Christmas Eve is a family tradition. As close to Christmas as possible we go to our favourite theatre to see their Christmas production. I don’t think my children would believe it was Christmas if we hadn’t ticked these off our list. Debbie from An Organised Mess.

My in-laws always go out to the pub and get squiffy on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, now we have kids they go without us. The pull from the Prosecco is strong! Clare from Mumsy Midwife.

We always read ‘Twas the night before Christmas as the children lay their stockings and the children read it to the younger cousins. My brother even used to read it as a teenager! We have a tradition that stems from my Granny and Grandpa that we don’t have any presents under the tree until after the Queen’s speech (and we all stand and sing the national anthem. I taught Sammy when he was 2) Father Christmas comes to littler ones first thing but everyone else waits until about 4pm. It’s wonderful actually and no one has ever complained. It makes the whole day feel full and the afternoon just as exciting as the morning! Plus we always dress up. Like sparkly cocktail dresses and bow ties for the boys. We love it and couldn’t imagine it any other way. We always sing all the verses of “now bring us some figgy pudding” when the Christmas pudding (stuffed with Granny’s old sixpences) is brought out alongside the mint Vienetta. My mother in law doesn’t like Vienetta really but for 17 years, every other year when we are with Rich’s family, she gets one just for me! Roll on the 25th! Lucy from Capture by Lucy

On Christmas Eve we go into the garden to see Santa’s sleigh fly over head. It’s actually the International Space Station but the kids haven’t worked that out yet. It doesn’t always fly overhead on Christmas Eve but we’ve been lucky more years than not. The children get so excited when they see ‘him’ whizzing through the sky! Cat from Pushing The Moon

We always got new PJs on Christmas Eve, and it’s something we’ve continued with ours. I used to get so excited that Santa would see my new ones and I know my two do too. Victoria from Starlight and Stories

We eat pork pie and mustard every Christmas morning, even the kids love it! Emma from Ready Freddie Go

Guess the crisp flavour game is a family tradition. – the more weird the better! Suzanne from And Another Ten Things.

We have Christmas dinner on Christmas eve followed by a movie, so everyone is full and goes to bed and sleeps, and I’m not cooking all Christmas day! Jenny from The Brick Castle.

When I was a child I spent a lot of Christmases with my grandparents and I would always leave one of my Grandad’s socks at the end of my bed on Christmas Eve, to find it filled with nuts, chocolate coins, a small toy and a satsuma in the morning from Father Christmas. It is one of my favourite childhood memories so I’ve carried on the tradition with my own children, but with actual stockings rather than an old sock! And minus the nuts because I’m now allergic! Sian from Quite Frankly She Said

We always go to the panto as a whole family for my mums birthday. Something we did as children and continue to do with the grandchildren. Laura from Dear Bear and Beany

Our favourite tradition is to choose a new decoration for the tree in memory of Joseph. It’s something we have done ever since he died so that the children can include him in their Christmas celebrations. Laura from Five Little Doves.

In Denmark, we dance around the Christmas tree. We hold hands and form a circle, sing carols and dance before opening presents. It’s crazy but I love it. I hope to convince people here to start doing the same. Nadia from Scandi Mummy.

Every year my daughter chooses a new decoration for the tree. She has done since she was 2 and chose a shiny toy soldier in Woolworths. She’ll be 18 this year so I wonder what she’ll choose. Naomi from Tattooed Mummy.

We have so many and I love every one but my favourites are a picnic by the Christmas tree, a family Christmas disco (we put on Christmas songs and hats and dance around the lounge, and my most treasured is on Christmas Eve we don’t see anyone in the afternoon we watch a Christmas movie with hot chocolate and popcorn and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I cry with happiness every year. Laura from Little Ladies Big World

Each year we watch A Muppets Christmas Carol while we (I) decorate the tree. I also buy my children a new decoration each year and write their name and the year on it so I can give them all to them when they move out. Erica from The Incidental Parent.

We always try and make the crib service on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition that I’ve carried on with my children. We then come home to a Christmas bubble bath, new pyjamas and hot chocolate to watch a Christmas film together! Perfection! Eilidh from Mummy and Monkeys

Every year we become secret Santas or secret Elves. We choose a family we know who may be struggling and buy a gift for each family member. We sneak up to the house, drop them on the doorstep knock and run away. It’s so fun and is something I did with my parents and now do with my daughter. Angela from The inspiration Edit.

We have ‘tree presents’ after supper. Small, inexpensive presents that can fit on the tree ( not under!) which are given out in the evening. It makes the magic last that little bit longer. Carrie from Flying with a Baby

Caroline Lennox Every Christmas morning, before any presents, we drive to the beach and have a walk on the sand with a flask of tea. There are quite a few people there and usually some brave people taking a dip in the North Sea. There is a brilliant atmosphere. We’ve been doing it since my eldest was born and this will be our first year. We always take a family selfie and I love to look at them seeing how much we’ve changed over the years. Then it’s back home to warm up and open pressies. It’s one of my favourite bits of Christmas Day. Caroline from Sprog On The Tyne.

We always go to the candlelit Carol service in the Sunday before Christmas. We sing all the carols, read the story of Jesus’ birth and generally remember the real reason for Christmas. It puts it all into perspective. Naomi from The Organised Life Project

I’ve started a Christmas Eve box for Little M that I want to put Christmas pjs, a Christmas book and/or DVD and some hot chocolate and marshmallows into as she gets older. Last year it was just a book and a reindeer sleepsuit and was more for my benefit than hers as she was only 7 months old, but I hope it becomes a tradition that she looks forward to every year. Julie from Pondering Parenthood

Table gifts, we have a small gift for everyone on the table. It started as a bribe to finish our lunch when we were kids but just carried on. I love our table gifts. Karen from Monkey-Feet.

I created a felt advent for the boys and each day we have a different activity to do. I love that I make a plan for each day and the boys enjoy all their Christmas fun, from pantos to making Christmas play dough or going to see Santa. Jenny from Monkey and Mouse

As kids, my sisters and I used to visit our grandmother and bake lots of gingerbread men/cookies. We took turns (there are four of us!) to visit her and spent the whole day baking! It’s a very fond memory of mine and I hope my own children will have something similar one day! Petra from A Mum Reviews.

Alice Soule Christmas Eve board games! As a child we always played Trivial Pursuits (which I never understood) but now with our children, we vary what we play. It’s just nice to sit by the fire and have some time together, knowing how excited the children are feeling. Alice from Living with a Jude.

We go every Christmas Eve to the garden centre to wish the reindeer well on their journey, picking up some last minute nibbles to leave out for Santa, and then home to peel the veg together in our Christmas pjs. Sherry from Life at Cooks Cabin.

Paper hat making competition! Using only the discarded wrapping paper & ribbon we each make a hat to wear at dinner and the best one is voted as the winner! Louise from Pink Pear Bear

For me, the Doris Day Christmas Album makes Christmas. I listen to it on repeat as we put up the tree and on Christmas Day. It’s the only time of year I would listen to music like that but I love it! Nyomi from Nomipalony

We have to watch the Muppets Christmas carol with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Louise from A Strong Coffee. 

We used to play card games as a family every Christmas Day evening, and I miss it so much now I’m all grown up. New market, pontoon, and 21s, and we’d all bring our little jars of coins. We had such fun and spent proper quality time together laughing and chatting until the early hours! Lucy from Real Mum Reviews

Just before we go to bed on Christmas Eve, we all put our slippers under the Christmas tree so that Father Christmas can put our presents under the slippers (we don’t really do tags in France). My 4 love this tradition. Mel from Le Coin De Mel.

We always have hot chocolate watch Xmas movie in Xmas pjs on Xmas eve. Jenny from Let’s Talk Mommy

We have a Christmas Eve box full of goodies to get cosy with! We include new pyjamas, a movie, hot chocolate, cosy socks etc. Also ELF! We watch elf possibly once a week on the lead up to Christmas. Jodie from Dear Little Daisy.

In our family, the youngest family member puts the angel on the tree. Lucy from The Parent Game.

We started a new tradition last year. We read ‘The Chriatmasaurus’ by Tom Fletcher last year, a bit every day in the lead up and we’ve agreed we’ll read it every Christmas. Books are important to all of us, in our family, so it’s natural that our most well love tradition be book related. Laura from Petit Moi – Big World


All of these are so lovely – they will all create memories to last a lifetime.

If you’d like a few more ideas then check out my post on this month’s BritMums Mums & Tots roundup.

What are your Christmas traditions?


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Comments 1

  1. These are fantastic, love the fact that no matter what our traditions are, it’s what brings us together…ours is always to have fish and chips on Christmas Eve while watching ‘It’s a wonderful life’, and I love that our older girls get excited over it now x

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