Do you and your family have fun family traditions for Christmas?

In my family, it was reading The Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve before heading off to bed.

We would all sit down on the couch together, while my mom read it to us.

As we got older, sometimes we kids would be the ones to read it!

I love the magic of Christmas, and now that I have kids of my own, I want to pass down that same magic I had growing up as a child.

If you’re going to create family traditions to start this Christmas, that are also frugal, then you’ll want to take a look at some of these ideas I use in my own family.


Start With These Christmas Family Traditions For Kids

family traditions

Make A Graham Cracker Cottage

As a fun group activity, get one box of graham crackers, whip together some royal icing and put your candy creativity to work by making Graham Cracker Cottages.

It’s a fun decoration for the house and something edible for later. {if you have around $10 in the budget, you could buy a Gingerbread house from the store to assemble as a family also… but that is not nearly as creative!}

If you are not going to be eating them and can’t get the icing to stick, pull out your glue gun! Your house will stay glued and you can get to the fun part of decorating!

You can see how big and creative you can be with your gingerbread houses. I think the small ones are just as fun!

This is one Christmas family traditions for kids that is so fun (and delicious)!

Here’s a video from Martha Stewart to see how easy it is (and give you some crazy amazing ideas):


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Here is a FREE Checklist of pertinent things you don't want to forget to do this coming holiday season.

family traditions

Drive (or Walk) Around And Look At Christmas Lights

The most obvious fun family traditions for Christmas we start with each year is to look at all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

And, the nice thing is that it only costs gas in your vehicle (or its free if you can walk around your own neighborhood).

But this time I want you to do this slightly different.

I want you to be intentional about looking at the lights with your little ones and really make it an experience they will remember.

Print this Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt to make the night more meaningful.

Then, grab a few snacks, such as popcorn and hot chocolate in thermoses, and pile into the car and start your fun.

Don’t forget to play Christmas music on the radio!

We have several neighborhoods in which almost every house participates in a massive light display and lots of cars drive through their neighborhood during the week to look at the houses.

It just doesn’t feel “right” if we don’t visit that neighborhood every year.

It’s definitely a family tradition to start this Christmas!

Watch Christmas Movies

Did you know there are over 70 different Christmas movies out there?

That means you could watch a different Christmas movie every night for TWO MONTHS before Christmas Day and you would still have some leftover!

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to spend time with family and get into the Christmas spirit! It’s a great Christmas family tradition for kids of all ages!

We pop popcorn and make our special tasty blends of spices and flavorings, pop down on the sofa and get comfy. It’s one of those rare times when everyone actually stays home which makes this momma happy!

You can find Christmas movies for free online (just connect your computer to the TV using an HDMI cord), Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even at Redbox during the holidays.

I like to print out a schedule of all the Christmas Movies playing ahead of time so I can highlight our favorites and mark them on our calendar before the season slips away.

family traditions

Make Christmas Themed Breakfasts As You Countdown

This one of our fun family traditions for Christmas to start with your family to lead up to Christmas morning!

One search on Pinterest, and you’ll find hundreds of ideas for pancakes, waffles, and even cinnamon buns in the shape of a Christmas Tree!

And these ideas are so creative that it shouldn’t interfere with your normal grocery budget to prepare for each meal.

You can easily add red or green food coloring to homemade whipped cream to top pancakes, waffles or even pumpkin bread.

Red and green M&M candies make a festive addition to pancakes which won’t cost a lot of money either.

Several years in a row we made Chocolate Chip pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse and the kids loved it! It’s the ONLY time of the year when we do something special like this for breakfast, so it makes it super special and feels like it’s extending the season.

family traditions

Make Special Ornaments For The Tree

Have each family member, or one as a family if you prefer, make an ornament for the tree!

You can get supplies such as glass ornaments, pom poms, fake snow, and more right at the Dollar Tree!

This craft can easily cost less than $1 per ornament!

Or try this simple Orange Clove Pomander! These are so fragrant and easy to make!

Here are 5 other super simple ornaments that I’ve made with my kids before, from a couple of my favorite fellow bloggers.

family traditions

Countdown to Christmas

What is more exciting than Christmas itself? A great family tradition to start this Christmas that we love to do is to count down in anticipation of Christmas, of course!

Depending on your budget, you can make a Christmas Advent as simple or elaborate as you want!

I’ve made advent countdowns with simple envelopes and clothespins that we clipped to twine and hung on the wall!

You could print this adorable advent that includes bible verse cards to read each day to include in your envelopes.


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Here is a FREE Checklist of pertinent things you don't want to forget to do this coming holiday season.

This year I found some at Trader Joe’s with 24 pieces of chocolate for only 99¢ (but you better call to see if they have any because they sell out pretty quickly).

You could also look in Target’s Dollar Spot area for some cute (and inexpensive) ones.

Every year I set up a special Jesse Tree for my children to add one ornament every day and we talk about the story of the Bible, from Creation to Christmas.

At one point, we had to have FOUR SETS of all the ornaments so that everyone would have one ornament to put on the tree each day of the month.

Thankfully, I found a free resource where I could print each child their own Jesse Tree Ornament set.

Read New Christmas Stories

Usually, during the weeks leading up to Christmas, you can find classic kids’ Christmas ebooks for FREE on Amazon utilizing the Kindle App.

The best part? You’ll have these books forever to use next year!

There are so much more Christmas stories than the usual “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. You can look for a new book each year, or just keep rereading the classics over and over. You might find a new favorite.

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and snuggle up together on the sofa to read a Christmas book.


Christmas is the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you need to dish out the cash to give back.

In fact, donating time together as a family is a great way to see first hand the blessings that you have and recognize your appreciation.

Sit down as a family and pick a cause that is near and dear to you, then look for opportunities in your area.

Sometimes it can be as easy as helping a food pantry organize their shelves for the rush of the season.

In my (Tampa Bay FL) area, Metropolitan Ministries or ECHO would love to have your help! (and you only have to be 8 years old to be able to participate).

You don’t need a lot of money to create meaningful and fun family traditions for Christmas !

Anyone of these ideas would be an excellent fit for your family, and you can guarantee you’ll have the budget to do them each year.


Your Turn: What frugal Christmas Family Traditions do you do each year? Do you make up new Christmas family traditions for kids? Share the family traditions that you have kept year after year below!

The Best Meaningful, Magical (& Frugal) Christmas Family Traditions To Love