Where Every Family Matters

Wonderful Family Christmas Traditions

Readers share favorite holiday traditions — start one of your own this season!

Christmas traditions are the glue that hold all of your holiday magic together each year. Take it from Middle Tennessee readers, getting into the spirit is something kids can count on year after year. Take a look:


“Every year, a couple weeks before Christmas, we all get together and bake family recipe Christmas cookies. It’s usually an all-day thing. We listen to Christmas music, we make dozens and dozens of cookies to eat for Christmas, to give to Santa and to family and friends! It’s one of my absolute favorite traditions because we get to do something fun and spend quality time together!” — Danielle Roseanna Hobbs

“We do a lot of things, but our silliest, most fun thing we do is have a Grinchmas party, complete with costumes!” — Lisa Ashburn

“We get the kids all ready for bed in jammies and then at the last minute surprise them with hot cocoa and cookies and drive around looking at Christmas lights. Such great memories!” — Sarah Holton

“Each person in our family picks out a new ornament representing something that happened that year. We have one tree in our house with only these ornaments and homemade ones the kids have made throughout the years.” — Nikki English Hanna

“Each child always gets excited about picking out an ornament for their special tree that goes in each of their rooms. We also always make a new ornament together.” — Dara Nebel

“We like to hand-paint nutcrackers each year, adding to our own personal collection and also give some to family and friends.” — Carolyn Lamm

“We have a family contest for the ugliest ornament. The winner gets bragging rights! It is really fun when pulling out ornaments to put on the tree and remembering the stories behind them!” — Tammy Durham Ford

“We take the kids all over town to do random acts of kindness with our family. We always have the best time.” — Crystal Roach

“My family and I always make a gingerbread house together and we do the 12 days of Christmas where everyone gets a gift, whether it be a book we read together, a game we play together, a movie we watch together, etc.” — Layla Marie Closet

“We started Elf on the Shelf last year (my son is 4), and this has quickly become one of his (and my) favorite parts of the holidays!” — Sarah Elizabeth

“Sitting with all the lights off except for the Christmas tree listening to Christmas carols while drinking hot cocoa.” — Kelly Whiteman Pepper

“Christmas cookies, of course!” — Mandy Young


“On Christmas Eve, we open a new book that was wrapped and read cool stories while sipping hot cocoa. Then after our sweet little guy goes to sleep, we get to be Santa’s helper.” — Varsha Gocool

“On Christmas Eve, we sit around the tree and sing Christmas carols until we can’t remember any more!” — Katy Cofer Woodall

“Having Santa come during dinner on Christmas Eve to deliver new pajamas.” — Sarah LaPointe Stai “Christmas Eve scavenger hunt to find Christmas Eve pajamas!” — Sheila Treutel Clements

“We make reindeer food on Christmas Eve. It’s oats and glitter. We shake it in the front yard so the reindeer can find their way! The kids love it!” — Ashley Rash

“Letting the dog sleep with us on Christmas Eve. She is a Great Dane. She usually isn’t allowed.” — Bethany Batson

CHRISTMAS SOCKS! Some families just love their socks! Make it a ritual by handing them out when you decorate the tree together.


“We take the same picture of the kids each year on Christmas morning in their PJs sitting in the same order on the bench in front of the window.” — Amy Gill “The kids go through stockings before breakfast, and after a big pancake breakfast, they open presents under the tree.” — Connie Hubbard Rich “We all get up in our jammies, open presents and have breakfast — I usually make a breakfast casserole a couple of days before so we’re set.” — Jenny Harris

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.