New traditions to add into your holiday celebration this year

In the beloved words of former Vine star Christine Sydelko, “Merry Chrimhus.”

To me, Christmas has rarely looked the same. I’ve had big-family celebrations with gift-opening circles and gag gifts. There have been Christmas Eve midnight masses and day-of stockings with scratch offs and chocolate coins. I have traveled some years, while others were spent quietly at home in the snow.


With an immediate family sprawled across the world and a rotating spouse holiday schedule, Chad and I are constantly changing our definition of what Christmas means to us. Traditions follow suit. This year, we’re heading to Gunnison to spend the week with his family, and we’ll be bringing fresh ideas on how to make Christmas ours.

As we barrel closer to the epicenter of the holiday season, it’s time to review and possibly add traditions and experiences that are special to this time of year.

Holiday-Time Traditions to Consider

Fun Family Activities

  • Classic Christmas film marathon, served with movie snacks
  • Game night (Christmas charades, bingo, etc.)
  • Midnight fire-pit / s’mores
  • Go ice skating as a family
  • Ugly sweater making – for each other
    • Grab basic sweaters from Goodwill or Walmart, draw the name of who you’re making it for, and use glitter, buttons, ribbon, etc. with hot glue
  • Cookie or donut making and decorating
  • Gingerbread house competition

Gift-giving Ideas

  • White elephant
  • Name drawing
  • Open presents on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas morning gift opening
  • Gift exchange dice game
    • Prize pool: a pile of misc. gifts ranging from the Dollar Store to scratch off lotto tickets
    • Rules: on rolls with 7 and 11 you can open a gift, 5 and 9 you can steal someone else’s gift, and on doubles you have to trade. After the last gift is open, all players go around one more time
  • Stuffer scramble game
    • Participants go to a dollar store, set a timer for 15 minutes, and have to find quirky, fun, or unique stocking stuffers for others in that time frame.

Out-of-the-House Adventures

  • Go to a hot springs (a day trip is fun if there’s no local option)
  • Holiday-themed scavenger hunt that ends at a restaurant, holiday landmark, or town celebration
  • Holiday-themed scavenger hunt with a prize for the winner
  • Christmas Eve dinner in a nice restaurant
  • Chinese food on Christmas day


Party Time

  • Christmas morning brunch
  • Meal of eclectic appetizers, followed by a card game tournament
  • Holiday-themed wine and painting night
    • Bob Ross on Netflix or a Youtube video could act as a guide
  • Poker night
  • Ugly sweater party
  • Wine/booze tasting: everyone brings a different kind of drink. We all have samples, with assorted snacks
  • Progressive dinner: appetizers at one house, entree at another, dessert at last
  • Holiday games for adults


Do you have any holiday celebrations that your family loves? Let me know in the comments!

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