40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful

40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful

Holiday traditions can bring a family even closer together. Here are 40 Christmas traditions that will cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.

40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and purchase something, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

40 Christmas Traditions

40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
  1. Attend a holiday event
  2. Go on a holiday lights tour
    40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
  3. Show gratitude
    Start a specific tradition or rotate through various ways of remembering that you’re grateful for
  4. Find someone to serve
  5. Do an advent calendar
  6. Fill a Manger with the straw by doing good deeds
    Starting December 1st, put an empty manger in your home. Each week, write down each family member’s name on strips of paper and put them in a bowl. Have each person draw out a name and do good deeds for that person throughout the week. For each good deed, they can put one piece of straw in the manger. On Christmas Eve, add Baby Jesus to the manger.
  7. Go Christmas Caroling
  8. Write a thank you letter to Santa and others who’ve given gifts
  9. Choose a child to do a secret Santa for and let your kids help
  10. Do the 12 days of Christmas for someone
  11. Visit a care center
  12. Write letters to Santa
    40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
  13. Clean out toy boxes before the holidays and find toys to donate to those less fortunate
  14. Take time to remember Christmases of the past
  15. Christmas Eve, read ’Twas the Night Before Christmas or the Christmas story from the Bible
  16. Take gifts to nearby homeless shelters or other places for people in need.
  17. Have a Polar Express Party
  18. On a night leading up to Christmas, have a family slumber party by the Christmas tree
  19. Make or buy an ornament for each person relating to something significant that happened during the year
    For example, a graduation ornament, basketball ornament, or dance ornament.
  20. Christmas Eve Pajamas
    40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
    Each child gets to open one present Christmas Eve- pajamas! Everyone can sleep in their new pj’s to building excitement for the morning.
  21. Pickle ornament
    There are various versions of how and where this tradition started (the US or Germany), but a pickle ornament is placed on the tree late Christmas Eve. The first person to spot the pickle Christmas morning gets an extra present! Need a pickle ornament? Check these out!
  22. Christmas book countdown
    Gather 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new ones). Put them in a basket, even wrap them for more fun. Each day, choose a book and read it together as a family.
  23. Make an old fashioned paper chain
  24. Get a living pine tree to use as a Christmas tree in your house. After the holidays, take it outside and plant it.
  25. Spiderweb Ornament
    Follow the Ukraine tradition of putting a spiderweb on your tree. This is based on a legend of a poor widow who didn’t have decorations for her tree. She wanted it to be beautiful for her children but didn’t have any resources to make it happen. Spiders saw her sorrow and worked all night to spin webs to decorate the tree for her. People now put spiderweb ornaments on the tree to remind them to be grateful for the things they have. You can find spiderweb ornaments here.
  26. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  27. Throw a Grinch party. NO gifts, no singing, watch Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (or not), no holiday food, no tree lights.
  28. Have a Christmas cookie baking day
    40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.
  29. Plan a Christmas movie night
  30. Gingerbread houses
    It doesn’t have to be houses. One year we had a gingerbread fire truck!
    Homemade gingerbread is always nice but if you’re pressed for time, you can find a kit here, or even a gingerbread ninja kit here.
  31. Build a fort where the kids can stay together Christmas Eve night
  32. Sticky buns for Christmas morning breakfast
    I love this tradition because the sticky buns are started Christmas Eve night, then left to rise overnight. In the morning, the only thing to do is bake them and you’ll have a nice, sit-down Christmas breakfast with minimal effort.
  33. Read the book Santa Mouse, by Michael Brown and Elfrieda De Witt
    Santa Mouse is out of print but copies are available here. Read the book before Christmas, then hide a little present in the branches of the tree on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget the yellow ribbon!
  34. Christmas tablecloth
    Each year, bring out the craft paint and markers and let each person draw something on the tablecloth. Add more each year and share the memories from the past.
  35. Make a holiday memory book
    Each year, add another page or two with your favorite Christmas memories from that year. This cute kit could get you started!
  36. Set a Christmas goal for next year
    Write down something you want to do better at and put it in your stocking. Pack it up with decorations for the year, then pull it out a year later to see how you did.
  37. Go on a Christmas scavenger hunt
  38. Make a time capsule and seal it up
    Plan to open in a certain number of years.
  39. Write letters to family members telling them how much they mean to you.
  40. Put up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving.
    It could be a different day, but make it a tradition to decorate a certain day. Everyone can look forward to it!

What would you add to these 40 Christmas traditions?

Please share in the comments!

40 Christmas traditions to make the holidays more meaningful. They’ll cost you very little or nothing at all, but will help make the holidays special with memories that will last a lifetime.

This is part of the 31 Days of Christmas series. Check out the other posts!

Add a little sparkle to your holidays with 31 Days of Christmas ideas! Make this season one to remember with these traditions, crafts, decorations, traditions, and more!

Looking for more ideas? We’ve got you covered.

What are you thankful for? Create Your Gratitude Tree with free printable leaves   Simply snowballs ornament is a quick holiday project with a classic, elegant look. It's an easy project for kids and great when you need a simple Christmas gift. Would be perfect for teachers, neighbors, friends, grandparents and more!

Easy Holiday Decoration Storage   The holiday blues can sneak up on anyone. Use these ideas to not only get through the holidays but to hopefully find joy along the way.

When the day comes that your child stops believing in Santa, keep the holiday magic alive with these ideas and traditions!   Can we sit together for family dinner? Eating as a family can help kids strengthen and grow.

Under the sea at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

Under the sea at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium in Layton, Utah. It was a unique and fabulous experience- I can’t wait to go back!

SeaQuest has generously offered my readers a 25% discount code for daily admission tickets if you purchase online. Learn how to redeem below!

Under the Sea with SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium, Discount Tickets

This post is sponsored by SeaQuest. All opinions and content are my own. It also contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and purchase something, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

I’ve been to a few big aquariums and thoroughly enjoyed them, but my experience at SeaQuest was one that really stands out.

When I first heard SeaQuest is an interactive aquarium, I wasn’t sure what that would actually mean. I was surprised to learn that people are encouraged to interact with a variety of animals. Feed the birds and fish, touch a starfish, swim with the manta rays- it’s such a unique and fun environment!

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium, Pirate Island, coupon

Each room at SeaQuest has a different theme, creating an exotic adventure with stops in the Amazon Rainforest, Shark Lagoon, Pirate Ship, and more. The design and layout of the aquarium are fabulous! I was really impressed by the details and atmosphere of the entire facility. There are photo spots everywhere you look.

Highlights of my visit to SeaQuest

Feeding the Stingrays

I was really surprised to find out we could actually feed the stingrays! How amazing to have these animals eat right out of my fingers!

Ultraviolet Fish

Have an awesome family adventure at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium  SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium, Glow Fish

This is one of my favorite spots! It was so fun to see the reactions of kids in this area- it’s truly magical! So many glowing fish!

Fish Pedicures

I was so excited to try this! There were still a few nerves because I’ve never let fish have a go at my feet before, but it turns out I didn’t need to be worried at all.

The fish in the tanks are doctor fish, toothless feeders that suck the dead skin cells off your feet. It was a really different feeling- maybe a cross between soaking your feet in soda or, as they described it, pop rocks on your feet.

I loved that Dianne took the time to teach us about the fish and answer our questions about them. It was so interesting and a great final touch to the whole experience.

I would love to do this again!

Details I love

Benches!

There are numerous places to sit down, which isn’t often the case in places like this. A spot to rest or watch the fish is such a practical and friendly feature.

Charging Station

A wonderful spot to sit and rest- and charge! When your batteries are low from all those awesome photos, you can take a break while you charge up for more.

Gift Shop

I love the SeaQuest Gift Shop! It’s wonderful! It’s full of fun gifts, toys, and fun! The best part was the price.

I love the SeaQuest Gift Shop! It’s wonderful! It’s full of unique gifts, toys, and fun! The best part was the price. (Yes, you read that right!) Most gift shops are crazy expensive but the prices at SeaQuest are pleasantly affordable.

Washing Stations

Since this is an interactive aquarium and there are animals to handle, there are also washing stations in EVERY room.

Awesome Staff

I was really impressed by the staff at SeaQuest! They’re all so friendly, knowledgeable, and went out of their way to help the patrons. They turned a fabulous facility into a very memorable experience.

Even more!

Visit a mermaid

Events

SeaQuest would be such a fun place to host an event! There’s an Event Room which would be really fun for a hosting birthday party, corporate event, reunion, and more.

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium, Event Room

Follow me so you don’t miss out on a special giveaway coming soon!

Snorkel with the Stingrays

I definitely want to experience this! I watched others snorkeling and it looked amazing!

25% OFF Daily Admission Tickets when you purchase online

SeaQuest is generously offering a discount for my readers. Thank you!

To redeem the coupon, visit www.seaquestaquariums.com and enter the Discount Code: swordfightsandstarynights25.
It might not look like the discount code was applied but click through to checkout and it will show up!
This coupon expires August 31st 2017, so you can enjoy SeaQuest all Summer long!

*I’ve had a few people mention they’ve had trouble with the code. Please note that “stary” in the code only has one “R”. Oops! Also, it doesn’t show the price drop until after you click through to the purchase screen. Please let me know if there are still issues! Thanks!

Click to check out these great gift ideas for aquarium fans!

  

  

More posts coming soon!

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium Gift Shop

There are so many things to experience, I can’t fit them all in one post. I loved my visit to SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium and I’ll be going back soon! Follow me to be sure you don’t miss upcoming posts and learn about more features of this destination!

Check out SeaQuest on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter too!  SeaQuest has multiple locations: Layton, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; and coming soon to Texas.

Related Posts:

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11 Ways YOU Can Cause Chaos and Stress

11 Ways YOU Can Cause Chaos and Stress

If your family seems a little too happy and peaceful, turn things around fast by trying these ideas for adding stress and chaos to your day!

1.  Yell and nag at your family when you’re running late.  Think they should be moving faster?  Holler at them.  This will cause extra stress (especially when your daughter proceeds to lock herself in the bathroom to cry) and slow everything down, cascading in extra chaos all around the house.

2.  Say, “I told you so!”  Obviously the person already knows this and they likely feel bad and/or dumb about it.  Try rubbing it in to add some stress to both of your days.

3.  Tell your kids you’re making a phone call and need them to be quiet, then pick up the phone.  Your children’s evil twins will emerge and drive things to the brink of insanity in no time.

4.  Criticize someone in front of others.  Help that special person know they did something wrong by shaming them in front of your in-laws, neighbors or kids.  Stress levels are guaranteed to rise!

5.  Having an argument?  Bring up all the past mistakes the other person has made.  Take things from bad to ten times worse.

6.  Refuse to apologize.  After all, if you hadn’t been pushed so unreasonably, you never would’ve snapped in the first place.

7.  Say YES when anyone asks you to do anything and everything.  After all, you don’t need sleep.

8.  Hide the toilet paper.

9.  Interrupt people when they’re talking.  They really should be listening to you in the first place.

10.  Insist everyone recognize that your way is The Right Way.  You already know this, of course, but shouldn’t the world acknowledge such an accomplishment.

11.  Get upset when people don’t read your mind correctly.  You DID put the vibes out there!

There.  Wasn’t that easy?

Extra stress not your thing?

Don’t follow the list!  Be nice, apologize, and help everyone get along!   Be a positive force in your homes and lives to bring out the best in everyone!
What should I wear?  Solved!

What should I wear?  Solved!

Save time and energy every morning!  Getting clothes ready early can save time and stress in the morning.  Prep clothes for a week at a time to make life even easier.  It saves you from having to choose an outfit and then track everything down.
Save time, energy and stress in the morning with this easy trick!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and purchase something, I’d receive a small commission to help keep the lights on at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Mornings are hard.  They just are.

There’s always so much going on- especially when there are places to go and people to see.  Anything that can be done in advance can make a big difference in the morning rush.
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I’ve tried setting clothes out the night before and it worked… for awhile.  Nighttime routines can be a bit crazy too so I’d find myself forgetting or just thinking, “I’m too tired!  I’ll just do it in the morning!”  Then we were back to crazy mornings.  Have you ever felt like this?  (please tell me it isn’t just me!)
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One day I was folding laundry and thought, why don’t I just get it ready for the whole week right now?

 So I did- and it was totally worth it!

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Laundry must folded and stacked anyway, so instead of setting it in piles of shirts, pants, etc., make stacks of outfits- socks, undies and all.  If you have clothes that need to be hung, make groups to put together in the closet.  How much easier for kids (and adults)  if they don’t have to find so many different items in the rush of morning!
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For the kids, get a hanging closet organizer like THIS ONE and put one day’s clothes in each slot.  They can grab a stack and they’ll have everything they need down to their socks.  Mission Get Dressed accomplished!
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If there’s a possibility of various weather, put a sticky note on the stacks to easily see which are which.
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Think how much easier mornings will be!

Light It Up!  Power Outage Kit

Light It Up!  Power Outage Kit

When the lights go out, it’s nice to have the supplies you need ready.

Be prepared ahead of time!  Create a power outage box and keep it where it’s easy to access in the dark.

 

We all experience power outages from time to time so having things ready can make life easier.

Basic Kit

Candles (after Christmas is a great time to stock up on these)
Candle holders
Flashlights
Batteries
Matches (the strike anywhere are great!)
Box to hold everything

A Few More Things

Radio and Batteries
Food that doesn’t need to be warmed up
Hand Warmers
A game
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Depending on your area, you might want to have a generator and fuel ready as well.  If you have a camp trailer, call an electrician to see if you can hook it up to vital systems of your house in an emergency.
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When it comes to candles, there are many shapes and sizes.  Be sure you have holders to match the candles in your box..
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Tea light candles work really well for power outages.  Put each one in a quart-size mason jar.  It can be safer this way and the light reflects around on the glass to makes rooms brighter.
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If you do have an outage, look outside to see if your neighbors have power or not.  You might not be able to tell if it’s daytime.  If it’s just your house, make sure things are secure, grab your kit and try to determine the cause.  If your whole area has an outage, get some light going and settle in.
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You can also use magnetic flashlight like THIS to keep in easily accessible places.  You could place one on your fridge and another on the utility box.  If you use a metal box for your power outage kit, you could even put one on the outside of the box to help you get candles set up!
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Having a light kids can hold can help them feel more confident in the dark.  THIS ONE is great because it glows in the dark so kids (& adults) can find it if they wake up in the dark.  Games and toys help too!
Family Emergency Drills

Family Emergency Drills

Being prepared for emergencies can mean the difference between organized chaos and complete and total chaos.  Having drills in place and practicing can help children (and adults) feel more confident that they will know how to deal with an emergency should one occur.

 

Earthquakes, house fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, medical emergency, power outage, stranger approaching

So many scary possibilities!

 

Emergencies come in many shapes and sizes and it’s important to have drills in place- just in case.  Knowing what to do ahead of time can help kids (and adults) know what to do instead of panicking if an emergency arises.
Certain emergencies can happen wherever you live.  Others are more specific to your area.  If you live in a land-locked area, you probably don’t need to worry about tsunamis.  Think about what does happen where you live.  Maybe you live on a fault line or in a remote area where there are wild animals to worry about or perhaps there’s a nearby river with a flood potential.

1. Identify Potential Emergencies

The first thing you need to do is to determine the potential threats of your area.  Decide which are the most likely and start from there.

2. Create Your Plan

Start developing plans for different emergencies.  For house fires, look at exits and plot various exit routes.  Choose an outside family meeting place so kids will know where to go to escape the danger instead of looking through the house for parents.

3. Practice Drills

Help everyone remember the drill and feel comfortable actually doing it by having practice drills.  I’m never very excited for this step but my kids LOVE doing drills!  They really like the problem solving aspect and running around.
Try several drills at a time or one here and there.  Surprise everyone by saying, “earthquake drill!” when they aren’t expecting it so they can be ready to drop what they’re doing and take action.   It keeps things light and fun while getting important practice.

4. Create A Kit

There are supplies that are helpful to have for certain emergencies.  Determine your needs and gather what you need to be prepared.
Check out my post on Power Outage Kits!
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Helpful Resources

There are many places to find help creating emergency drills.  Click the links below for a few.
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 House Fire

Create an evacuation plan with this helpful resource!
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Earthquake

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Flood

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Tornado

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Hurricane

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Power Outage

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Tsunami

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Strangers