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8 Christmas Traditions to Start This Year


December 24, 2023

As the holiday season draws near, the air is filled with a special kind of magic that invites us to come together and celebrate the joys of this festive time. What better way to make the most of the season than by starting new Christmas traditions, infusing your home with warmth, joy, and a contagious sense of festive cheer?

Whether surrounded by family, friends, or loved ones, these cherished moments can turn into lasting memories you'll treasure for years to come. So, curl up with your favorite blankets and gain some inspiration for new Christmas traditions to implement, ranging from Christmas movie marathons to creative gingerbread house competitions.

Go on a Christmas Lights Tour

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Tour neighborhoods near you adorned with Christmas lights and decorations. Gather your family and create a checklist of the most beautifully decorated houses. You can find this information by typing "Christmas lights neighborhoods near me" into a search engine.

Browse through new articles and local blogs, and cover stories of the best-decorated neighborhoods nearest to your location. After you've made your list, pack some snacks and enjoy the dazzling displays with your loved ones!

Gingerbread house competition

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Host a friendly gingerbread house decorating competition! Go shopping with your friends and family and find inexpensive gingerbread house kits (Target and Walmart have some great options). You can buy the village kit and have everyone decorate their house or split up into teams and see who can build the best gingerbread home.

For a more personalized touch, consider making your own gingerbread house following this recipe and using this template. Don't forget to add decorations using icing, candy, sprinkles, etc. Gather your friends and family and let the creativity flow. Award prizes for the most creative, festive, and imaginative designs.

Watch Christmas movies

Designate a cozy movie night dedicated to classic Christmas films. Create a lineup of your favorite movies or explore new ones. Consider a themed movie marathon, like only watching holiday comedies or animated classics. Here are some Christmas movie ideas!


Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie follows the story of Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, who, as a human, was raised by elves at the North Pole. After discovering his true identity, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his real father. Watch this now on Hulu and HBO Max!

"Home Alone"

Directed by Chris Columbus and written by John Hughes, the story revolves around 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin. He is accidentally left behind when his large family vacations for Christmas. Kevin soon has to defend his home from burglars Harry and Marv, using a series of clever and humorous booby traps. Watch this now on Disney+ and Hulu!

"Polar Express"

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the story is based on the children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. The story follows a young boy who embarks on a magical train journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve aboard the titular Polar Express. The train is filled with other children, and as they travel, they encounter whimsical characters and experience a series of extraordinary events that test their belief in the spirit of Christmas. Watch this now on Hulu and HBO Max!

"A Christmas Carol" (2009)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this version of the book adaptation utilizes motion-capture technology to bring the characters to life. The classic Charles Dickens story follows the familiar narrative of Scrooge's encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Throughout the story, Scrooge learns the importance of Christmas and other valuable lessons.

4) Bake Christmas Cookies

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Spend a day baking an assortment of Christmas cookies, from gingerbread to sugar cookies. Select the type of cookies you would like to make from this list and follow the recipe. Make sure to involve everyone in the process!

After baking your cookies, decorate them to your liking (optional: buy this cookie decorating kit). Consider hosting a cookie exchange with friends and family to share your delicious creations.

5) Wear matching pajamas/ugly sweaters

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Embrace the holiday spirit by donning matching pajamas or ugly Christmas sweaters. Take festive family photos, and perhaps even extend the tradition by wearing them on Christmas morning as you open presents or share a special breakfast.

6) Create Festive Paper Snowflakes

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Create a budget-friendly way to add a touch of winter wonder to your holiday decorations by making paper snowflakes. This timeless craft is easy and enjoyable for all ages and adds a personalized and whimsical flair to your festive decor. Collect your materials (white paper, scissors, pencil) and select a pattern you want to follow. Then, simply cut and create your paper snowflake.

7) Participate in Secret Santa

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Organizing a Secret Santa gift exchange is a delightful way to bring festive cheer to your holiday celebrations. This tradition involves participants randomly selecting a person to whom they will give a gift, all while maintaining the giver's identity a secret until the gift is opened. Begin by determining a budget for your game (usually around $20-$40).

Then, collect the names of participants and randomly pair each person with their Secret Santa by using slips of paper in a hat or online Secret Santa generators. Once everyone has their person, remember to keep it a secret to not spoil the fun! For extra fun, go to a store and give everyone 20 minutes to pick out a gift for their person. Then, open the presents in the parking lot, restaurant, or someone's home (completely optional)!

8) Holiday Craft Day

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Dedicate an entire day to holiday crafting. Whether it's making handmade ornaments, wreaths, or personalized gift wraps, engaging in creative projects can be a fun way to bond and decorate your home with unique touches. This immersive experience allows you to bond with family and friends and infuse your home with unique, handmade decorations that radiate the magic of the season.

I hope you enjoyed reading and will implement some of these traditions into your magical holiday season!

Lea Garcia-Salazar
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Writer since Apr, 2023 · 10 published articles

Lea is a sophomore at Liberty High School who enjoys writing, reading and spending time with friends. She is currently a Staff Reporter for Liberty Wingspan.