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Holiday Traditions for Families
December 20, 2018 4:00 am | by
Choosing the perfect holiday traditions for your family.

We are just days away from Christmas. Are you trying to decide which activities you and your family will do this weekend? Here are a few of my favorite holiday traditions to do with my own family.

Here’s a piece of advice: you don’t need to do EVERY tradition! Once you start, your kids might expect you to follow through every year. Figure out what makes you all happy and do that together.


Whether it’s hanging your own or driving around to look at lights, this is a relatively low-key activity that will get you all in the holiday spirit. In St. Louis, we have several places that offer walk-through light displays, too. It’s great if you can find a night to go that isn’t too frigid! 


Even if you don’t have the greatest singing voice, belting out some holiday favorites can be a blast. Kids love having adults join in the fun.

Helping Others

Spread joy by giving back to others. Whether it’s helping a neighbor to do their shopping or hang their Christmas decorations, buying gifts for families in need or serving at a food pantry or soup kitchen, this time of year is a great time to teach young kids about the importance of giving back and helping others.

Family Photos

I am in love with documenting the holiday season. I love having family photos to look back on them. Actually taking them can be about as easy as herding cats, but the pictures are worth it to me.

Holiday Cards

It seems like a lot of people around my age have given up on sending Christmas cards. Receiving holiday cards from friends and family puts a smile on my face, so I always try to plan ahead of time to make sure I get them sent out.

Fake Countdown to Midnight

My kids are way too young to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. A local children’s museum is hosting an event to ring in the New Year at noon instead of midnight. This sounds like a great idea to me!

Holiday Activities

There are many holiday activities to choose from. Locally, we have the Breakfast with Santa, the Polar Express and Teddy Bear Tea. They’re fun yearly events that have lots of holiday cheer.


Visiting Santa is definitely a tradition for my family. Will the kids scream or be happy to see Santa Claus? We never know until we get there.

Matching Jammies

I do not enjoy running around from house to house on holidays. I’m fortunate that my extended family has agreed to let me host Christmas Eve for the past few years. To keep things cozy, I’ve designated Christmas Eve as pajama night. My husband, kids and I wear matching pajamas. It’s fun while they are young enough to comply.


My family opening stockings as the first thing we did every Christmas morning. I love finding cute things to fill our stockings with.

Crafts and Gingerbread Houses

Making things together as a family can be a ton of fun. Gingerbread houses are fun to decorate, yummy to eat, and make a cute decoration. My 3-year-old thinks they are one of the most fun activities. Kits are easy to find at the grocery store or a big box store. Holiday crafts are great for developing fine motor skills, creativity, and they are fun to look back on from previous years.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Check out our list of fun ways to get in the holiday spirit.

About the Author

Julia joined Cotton Babies in 2016 as Executive Assistant to Jenn Labit. She’s the proud mama to a toddler and a baby. She and her husband also have 2 dogs, a cat, a turtle and a pet fish. Julia is a diehard Cardinals fan who loves spending time with her family, shopping, crafting, and binge-watching “The Office.”


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