10 Good Christmas Traditions For Christian Families

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

Many of us have fond memories of spending the Christmas holidays with our families growing up. Now we have children or grandchildren of our own that we want to build memories with. Here are 10 family Christmas traditions that you can consider implementing with the young ones in your life.

Reading the Christmas Story

One of the traditions I started with my children is reading Luke 2:1-20 on Christmas morning. Some years we start working on memorizing (or refreshing our memory) of this passage a few days before Christmas so that we can all quote the verses together.

If you have a Bible passage that you want to read, you can read it in unison or get creative and have each person read a few verses from the passage. With younger children who are just learning to read, consider giving them have the honor of being the reader for that year’s Christmas passage.

Special Church Service

Perhaps your church has a special Christmas eve celebration. You can make it a part of your family Christmas traditions to attend this special time. Many of these services are filled with familiar Christmas songs and are shorter in length than a typical church service. If your church does not have a special service, it may be a good time to visit one of your friend’s churches without feeling like you have forsaken your own congregation.

Christmas Caroling

Caroling with friends or a church group is a great way to spend the evenings leading up to Christmas day. My family and I have enjoyed caroling the last several years with different groups. At times we have driven around town to sing for friends and family members and other times we have just randomly walked up and down the street and sang at every house where we could find someone home.

Gift Giving

Most people participate in the tradition of giving gifts. As a special event you could consider giving a gift to a needy family or organization each year. Have your kids donate some of their best toys to a homeless shelter, orphanage or struggling family. The whole family can get involved in a trip to the grocery store to pick out staple food items to donate as well.

Christmas Movies

There are many Christmas-themed, family oriented movies that you can enjoy. Whether it is the same movie that you watch as a family or a different movie each year, your children can look forward to that special night when you all sit down to enjoy a show together.

Handel’s Messiah

Even if you are not a fan of stuffy classical music, Handel’s Messiah is filled with melodies you are probably familiar with. We don’t get to do it every year, but when we are together and we can find a live presentation of the Messiah, my mom and I like to attend. When we can’t catch it live, we enjoy seeing one of the ever present TV recordings or listening to our favorite rendition from the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra.

Church Christmas Play

Sometimes it is painful to sit through the poor acting by other people’s children, but when your little ones are on stage you can become very forgiving. Whether it is an Oscar winning production or not, giving your children a chance to be in a church Christmas play can be used to help reinforce the story of Christmas.

Christmas Dinner

An elaborate Christmas dinner is a beautiful thing to behold. Putting it together can be a nightmare though. Simplify your Christmas dinner to something that you can enjoy as a family and not be too stressed.

Because my wife, children and I have spent several Christmases away from the rest of our family, we have our own Christmas dinner that has become a tradition for our little group of four. We cook up steak, shrimp and baked potatoes. It is neither an elaborate meal, nor simple enough to have every day. It has become a simple Christmas tradition for us.

Homemade Treats

One of the highlights of visiting my great-aunt and uncle when I was growing up was all the homemade candies and cookies. We didn’t get to participate in making the treats, but we certainly enjoyed eating them. You can teach your children to make various Christmas candies and treats that they can look forward to making every year.

Christmas Decorations

People complain that Christmas is has become overly commercial yet they still enjoy seeing the lights and enjoying the atmosphere surrounding this special holiday. Decorating your own house or tree can be filled with family togetherness and afford you time to talk with your children about the reason you celebrate each year.

Your Traditions

Please share in the comments below what your favorite Christmas traditions are. This holiday season is a great time to help your family re-focus on why we celebrate Christmas as Christians. If you don’t have any traditions of your own, I hope these 10 ideas help you make Christmas a special time for your family.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam Williams October 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

What great suggestions you have David! Something we have always done is to have a birthday cake for Jesus. We have often been the “out of town visitors” in the past several years and even so, folks expect us to bring the birthday cake. It has often served as an excellent opportunity to share the Luke 2 history too. Merry Christmas!


Esther Withers November 12, 2011 at 3:18 am

Great ideas. My family and I have been celebrating and enjoying the family dinner, the Christmas play at church, and at an early age, my parents made us (my sister and brother) learn the Christmas passage in Luke. I am now going to encourage my nephew to begin the tradition of the family movie. Thank you so much for the suggestions.


Hillary Nobuoka November 30, 2012 at 7:30 am

I was surprised you didn’t mention a nativity or manger scene. If you have a beautiful heirloom set that you don’t feel comfortable having the children touch, make sure that you also have a set that little hands are welcome to handle. The children can first be told the Bible story while they hold one or more pieces, and as they grow older you can have them tell you the story.
In our family, it has also become our tradition to include, along with the wrapped gifts on Christmas morning, a basket with straw and a baby doll wrapped in clothes to lay in this “manger.” This reminds us of the most important gift of all: our dear Savior Jesus Christ.


Daphna Wardrop December 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’d like to share one of our children’s favorite traditions. When we decorate for ChrisTmas and set up our nativity we don’t put baby Jesus in the scene. We have a beautiful purple velvet gift box that we place him in and put it under the tree. Then on ChrisTmas morning we read the Luke passage and before opening any gifts, one of the children opens this special gift first and places Him in the nativity scene. =)


Mark Roe December 23, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Daphna, your tradition is fantastic. Thanks for that idea!


bob December 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I love it think there realy cleaver


John November 29, 2016 at 8:57 pm

since I was a little boy the baby Jesus was not in the manger scene until the night he was born and one of us was chosen to put Jesus in the manger…and light a candle by him..while the Christmas story was being read…My family is gone now but I still do the same thing and will as long as I can…just one of the highlights of being here for Christmas.


hillary bobanoff December 18, 2017 at 6:07 am

me and my family buy a double chocolate cake for little baby jesius


Pamela Rose Williams December 18, 2017 at 8:39 am

Love, love, love this Hillary! What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Our Savior. Thanks for stopping by to share your Christmas tradition. Merry Christmas!


Robert Stalets December 24, 2017 at 10:26 am

Christmas is literally all about eternal life Its the Reason Christ came and died yet like him we to will not die but live forever where He is Nothing brings this home more then the death of a close family member. We lost our 16 year old son Robbie to a short 5 week battle with Leukemia Feb 2015
So we adapted a wonderful idea from another in our Grief Share group to place a taller candle in a small upright glass and with marker write the names of all family member who have already left us Then somewhere in the middle of our time together whoever wants to choose one candle and then we go around the room, light that candle and that person shares one good memory or that person. The candles burn the remaining of the night in reference to their life also continues. Then we have added something the kids really like and near the end of the night we buy Chinese candles that have a small candle like thing and we use a marker and put names on them then we all release them outside all at once to signify that is their life and exactly what they did when they passed. Of course one candle has Jesus name on it and it is always released first.


WILLIAM D COLLINS-CURRIE January 1, 2019 at 5:02 am

Thats beautiful


Bob December 4, 2018 at 8:34 am

This is an amazing app


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