Rethinking Christmas: More Traditions at Home

Just after I found myself wondering how else to make our Advent and Christmas special, my laptop crashed and I had to head downstairs to use my desktop. Voila! The answer to my prayers for more good ideas was waiting on my hard drive.

I’m so happy to inspire you with these free and almost-free traditions. Happy reading!


The night we put up our Christmas tree, we act out the nativity story–usually several times so each child has the opportunity to play the part he wants. They love putting together their own costumes. I hope this tradition lasts forever.



My favorite Mommy tradition is having a cup of hot cocoa by the light of the fire and tree lights after the children have gone to bed.



Each year we put up a new ornament. Some years they remind us of a spot we’ve visited or something we’ve enjoyed as a family. Last year we tried ordering one from Snapfish. 



My kids wouldn’t believe it was Christmas unless they got to squish at least one batch of chocolate chip cookies with their little fingers, and lick the beaters. They love to watch the cookies bake, then eat them hot with some cold milk. Yum!



It just wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t decorate a Gingerbread house. This year we’ll do it on Thanksgiving Day, just the six of us.



A “must” for me is making “real” hot cocoa with Hershey’s cocoa powder. Swiss Miss is fine for the rest of the year, but Christmas just isn’t complete without a mug of steaming hot Hershey’s. Mmm…hmm…



Brooke loves making tea for her favorite doll, Libby. It’s become a tradition, and gets fancier each year.



Last year we celebrate the season with two precious families, making gum drop trees with one,


and gingerbread houses with the other.



My boys love visiting their barber, Mr. Walt. He gives them a classic boys’ haircut for all the Christmas photos I’m about to take. My boys won’t go to anyone but Mr. Walt.


I’d love to hear more of your ideas on how to celebrate the Lord’s birth and reign. Do comment.

STAY TUNED for the next post in the series, Rethinking Christmas: Around Town

10 responses to “Rethinking Christmas: More Traditions at Home

  1. This was wonderful to read :). Thank you for sharing your family traditions. It makes me wonder if we have any. I’ll have to think on it. With 3 of our 4 having been in/or still in the police profession (shift work and working on Christmas) it’s been kind of hard to establish anything in particular. So, give me some time to think on it :). I love your gum drop tree and your new topper makes me hungry :).

  2. Great ideas! I remember hearing about the gumdrop trees last year. We might have to try that one this year.

  3. We are steeped in tradition here but right now my brain is too fried to think about it. Next week my grandkids leave and then I shall get on about the business of Christmas. 🙂

  4. So very sweet–you guys are such a beautiful family and I need to tell you that in the hot cocoa photo you look stunning. 🙂 Our traditions start Friday when we decorate the house and play Christmas music. Then we bake and bake and bake and send and give cookies to everyone we know and lots of people we don’t. 🙂

  5. Great ideas to inspire us! Thank you so much!


  6. What a sweet post! We share some of your traditions — except that my kids hate getting their hair cut, so that’s ritual torture, rather than a tradition. 😉 And we’ve never made gumdrop trees — I know they’d LOVE that one!

    We like to wait until just a week or two before Christmas to get our tree, this year we’ll do it on the full moon, which is on a Friday. We go after dinner, and stop at Starbucks for hot chocolate so we don’t freeze our tushies while looking for the perfect tree. The next day, while the tree dries from being hosed off, we bake cookies, so we have something yummy to munch on while we decorate. And we watch a favorite Christmas movie, like Elf, while we’re decorating. I’m adding The Nativity to our movie list this year, and I think Narnia would be appropriate, too. I love how your kids act out the nativity!

  7. I like how your post shares crafts, traditions, and practical things like getting haircuts!

  8. Hahaha, I love these sweet pictures of your little ones…mine are college age and boy do I miss the haircuts, making cookies, sloppy baking, you name it. This is great. I hope you have an amazing Holiday time with your sweet family!
    God Bless,

  9. I’m attempting to start a new tradition about Giving every day of Advent. I’m hoping it works out! I love the idea of creating new family traditions.

  10. This was a great post, Deb. In fact, I found lots on your blog tonight to encourage and inspire. Thanks for taking the time to bless us!!


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