Our Family Christmas Traditions

We are a very low key family around here. We don’t do elaborate or themed birthday celebrations nor do we spend a lot of time and money preparing for events and special occasions.

Christmas is pretty simple at our house too — we have a few family Christmas traditions, bake our favourite treats, visit with family, and tuck a few presents under the tree.

These are the family Christmas traditions that bring excitement and joy to our family and have become a somewhat distinct aspect of our family culture over the years.

Our Family Christmas Traditions - 3 Christmas traditions that give me the warm & fuzzies!

Our Family Christmas Traditions:

 

Gingerbread

Gingerbread is my favourite non-chocolate dessert. Nothing tastes like Christmas to me the way gingerbread does!

Ever since my oldest was a toddler we have been baking and decorating gingerbread cookies as a family, and have sometimes enjoyed having friends join us for the decorating.

This is actually something I have incorporated from my own childhood — my mom used to bake piles of cookies and invite a table full of happy boys and girls over for a decorating party. I have a lot of memories of gathering with my cousins, friends, and neighbours for a sweet afternoon of cookie decorating!

Baking gingerbread - an annual Christmas tradition!

We like to roll our cookies fairly thin and bake them until nice and crispy. We also have a favourite gingerbread recipe that we use every year.

Gingerbread - a Christmas tradition

Nativity Set

This is a relatively new family tradition for us — but it has much deeper roots.

About 3 years ago I found this lovely set from my childhood in my parents’ basement after not having seen it in years! I asked my mom if I could have it and it has been one of my favourite parts of our family Christmases ever since.

Gran's hand painted Nativity Set - an important Christmas traditionWhat makes this set so special to me is that not only that it is 30 + years old, but it was hand painted by my own dear Gran <3! I just love that I can share this with my girls!

 

Gran's hand painted Nativity Set - an important Christmas tradition

Advent Calendar

This tradition is not one that originated from my own childhood. I’m not sure that we ever even had one of those cardboard, chocolate filled advent calendars or any other type in my home growing up.

But when I found this lovely, wooden, Christmas tree advent calendar, I thought it was just perfect for us! Behind each door, I tuck a little activity card (or sometimes a sweet treat!) so that each day we have some special Christmas activity to do together.

Christmas Traditions - Advent Activity Calendar - a Christmas themed activity for each day!Some of our activities have included skating, Christmas card making, watching Christmas movies, baking, and making Christmas themed crafts. Sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch coming up with 25 ideas!

My children are just so excited each morning as they discover what special holiday activity we will be incorporating into our day.Christmas Traditions - Advent Activity Calendar - a Christmas themed activity for each day!

Over the years I lost most of the original, handmade cards I created that first year, so I recently made some printable advent activity cards that I can reuse or reprint if they get lost.

I’d love to hear about your family Christmas traditions! What do you and your children enjoy at this time of year?

FREE printable Advent Activity Cards - Chocolate-free Advent Calendar idea

Best Ever Gingerbread Recipe - enjoy making these delicious cookies with your kiddos this season!

5 Comments

  1. Shecki @ Greatly Blessed December 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Your advent calendar is adorable! 🙂

    We do new jammies on Christmas Eve, and cinnamon rolls and OJ for Christmas breakfast every year.

    We also add a new animal to our Schleich nativity set every year and give the same animal to a family in need through World Vision. (This year, it’s ducks!)
    Shecki @ Greatly Blessed recently posted…Swindled In Paradise #giveawayMy Profile

    1. Learning Mama December 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      My daughter begs all year for cinnamon rolls – I usually make them for New Years Day.
      I love what you are doing with your nativity set! What a great idea 🙂

  2. Rebecca December 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    You know, I have never tasted a gingerbread cookie before? Crazy huh? I just thought about that. Sounds so strange. But I love the way you do your advent calendar. So cute and clever.
    Rebecca recently posted…12 Days of Blogmas: Day OneMy Profile

    1. Learning Mama December 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      You’ve never had gingerbread?! Noooooooo! We made about 7 dozen last year – wish I could give you some!

  3. Kylie December 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Beautiful photo’s, love the look on your daughters face.

    Thank you for linking this to Christmas Fun. Week 3 is now up on the blog. 🙂

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