When we think back to our own childhoods, we think of the Christmas traditions.

We don’t remember the presents we received or food we ate. Our memories focus on the people we spent it with, the places we went, and how we spent the build up to the big day.

In 2o2o, our traditions were snatched away when restrictions were put in place. This meant that grotto visits and family get togethers were a no no, but this year, we’re bringing them all back!

So for those who had a baby last year and didn’t get to live the full Christmas experience with their little one, or brand spanking new parents, this is for you. It’s also for those of us who just want to get into the festive spirit by starting some new Christmas traditions of our own.

I’ve put together an epic list of tonnes of free, cheap and easy ideas to create your own family Christmas traditions. There are also a few local recommendations thrown in if you’re feeling comfortable with going slightly further from home.

Christmas traditions scrapbook

Making Christmas plans

Spoiler alert, Christmas is really busy time.

That said, when you have children, we somehow manage to shoehorn in even more plans to an already crammed schedule.

And why? Because it is an obvious time to mark milestone moments. It’s also fair to say that kids see magic in pretty much anything at Christmas.

Read on for some of the best ways to create your own family traditions, whether it’s the baby’s first Christmas or not.

Making festive family memories

  1. Make or buy a decoration. There are tonnes of ideas for how to make your own DIY Christmas ornament. Or find local suppliers such as Paint and Glaze or Crazy Kiln to turn your child’s hands or footprints into beautiful bespoke decorations. 
  2. Watch a show. Find a Christmas show or panto and make it your annual tradition. Check out what Albany Theatre has to offer. In fact, they often run a series of shows that follow the same theme each year.
  3. Christmas jumpers. Everyone loves an ugly festive jumper, no matter how big or small. Take a look in supermarkets, charity shops or Facebook Marketplace to find a Christmas jumper or outfit. After all, they will probably only have been worn a few times!
  4. Have a magical breakfast. Set up a North Pole breakfast full of yummy treats and surprises for your little ones.
  5. Family pyjamas. Head to Etsy to create some of your own family PJs.
  6. Visit Santa. There are loads of places to see Santa in Warwickshire this Christmas.
  7. Stockings for everyone. Buy a plain stocking and personalise it for each family member to hang on Christmas Eve.
  8. Start a new tradition. Having an activity that you do at the same time each year is a great idea. Perhaps enjoy a winter family walk, watch the Christmas lights switch on, or invite friends over for an afternoon. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s in your calendar for years to come. 
  9. Make homemade prints. Homemade cards are easy and inexpensive to make as keepsakes. Check out handprints cards ideas on Pinterest.
  10. Read classic Christmas stories. Sit down as a family and work your way through classic tales such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ to get started.
  11. Bake together. Make mince pies, Christmas cookies or gingerbread together. Keep your recipes handy to return to year after year. These easy cookies make a lovely teatime treat. You could even package some up to share with relatives.
  12. Watch Christmas films together. Make a list of Christmas movies to work through on the run up to Christmas. After all, everyone loves the classics!
  13. Take a photo in the same place. Take an annual photo to show how everyone changes.
  14. Donate to a food bank or charity. Instil the true meaning of Christmas by donating to a local food bank or charity in your community. As they get older, involve them in the process by making them aware of when you started and why you do it.
  15. Have a winter clean. Have a declutter of old toys or clothes and donate them to a charity shop or local cause. Do this each year as an annual tradition to make some room, but also give back to the community.
  16. Find a carol concert or church service. Enjoy the real Christmas spirit and maybe get to know some people too. Consequently, this is where the true meaning of Christmas began!

And finally…

Make a scrapbook of your Christmas memories, traditions and events. I did this as a Christmas Eve activity with my kids last year. We bought plain board books, printed out our recipes, and made a note of everything we did as part of our family preparations.