Looking for some fun holiday traditions to enjoy with your family? So many of you have asked, so I'm sharing our favorite Page Family holiday traditions with you!
A few years ago, on a trip from California, Bubba turned to me and said, “So…what do we want our Christmas traditions to be?” I was a little taken aback by this because we had been doing Christmas with kids for almost seven years, and figured we already HAD traditions.
…but it got me thinking.
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
I realized we had never really consciously thought about it before; planned for it. Sure, over the years a few things had crept in that we like doing each year, but we hadn't formally considered them traditions yet… Not like we do now!
So, are you ready? Click to watch below or keep on scrolling to learn about how we celebrate the holidays and why holiday traditions are so dang important! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for new videos every Thursday!
Watch my holiday traditions video online HERE, or click and watch below:
WHY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS ARE IMPORTANT
We live in Utah, and while some of the other members of our family have moved closer to us, there are still others who live in Arizona, California, and Oregon. As a result, we find ourselves traveling to see family for the holidays, so our kids can at least have some memories with their cousins. We've stopped traveling for Christmas (hauling the presents was…a nightmare) since we have so many children on my side of the family and my parents live here now.
We love it, we really do! We love spending as much time with family as possible.
Riding in that car, I came to the realization that almost all of our traditions have come as a result of 1) participating in the traditions of the family members we were spending time with, or 2) doing what we've done since we were kids.
While we've been satisfied with the things we've been doing at Christmastime (for the most part), I realized in that conversation with Bubba that…
They weren't OURS.
Are those the traditions we wanted to do for the rest of our lives? Are those the traditions we wanted our kids to grow up with? What memories do we want to create for our kids?
We started with the Christmas season in general. What did we want to accomplish?
We got excited about it, and made a list… because I'm a list freak. And a list just feels good. Some of the things on our list include:
SAVE CHRISTMAS DECORATING FOR… AFTER THANKSGIVING
Can we talk about the middle child in the room here? How is it that Thanksgiving gets totally overshadowed by Halloween and Christmas? To keep Thanksgiving all about the thanks, we specifically decorate for fall.
That's right! We try not to bring out a single Christmas box of Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving. We also wait to cut down our own tree the day after Thanksgiving — or as soon as we get back from traveling for Thanksgiving. The turkey deserves a place, okay?
Pro Tip: Plan your best Thanksgiving ever with these Thanksgiving recipes, tips & tricks!
CREATE A THANKSGIVING GRATITUDE TREE
Along the lines of decorating for Thanksgiving, we cut out a bunch of construction paper leaves of different colors, sizes, and styles. Then we write things we’re grateful for and stick them on our Thanksgiving tree.
We leave the tree up all November long. It’s so cute to see what the kids are thankful for. It also puts an attitude of gratitude in my own heart and makes me think of things I was grateful for! And speaking of having the right attitude…
FIND A SERVICE PROJECT THAT SPARKS JOY
What is your passion? Find a service project that you and your family can get involved in to help others this November or December! This can be as simple as leaving a gift on a neighbor's doorstep with our “You've Been Elfed!” free printable. Or, it could be something even bigger!
Every year, we host our company-wide Secret Santa project. We do this because we want to focus on and serve other families. At The Page Company, just last year we were able to help over 170 families and give them each $500 to help them cover the costs of Christmas.
We receive hundreds upon hundreds of nominations of families in need. Want to help out? Read to see how we help our Secret Santa families and to donate!
GET SHOPPING LISTS TACKLED EARLY
Look, it takes time to find the best deals to shop for your kids, friends, and others for Christmas. I also like for my kids to make their lists early, so I can budget for Christmas and get a feel for how important that list is to them. It takes a little time to feel that out! At the end of the day, we want to make sure those gifts mean something. And, speaking of that…
MAKE CHRISTMAS GIFTS MEANINGFUL
We give three gifts to our kids every year: One main gift, one middle-ground Santa gift, and one smaller, really practical item. This forces us to become really intentional about those gifts. We can focus on what they really and truly want and need that’s very special to them. Plus, our kids get so many fun gifts from friends, relatives, and even each other that the gifts we focus on for them really speak to them!
Pro Tip: Print out these free, adorable Christmas budget tracker envelopes and plan your holiday spending!
SCORE FREE PRESENTS BY SHOPPING
Want a sure-fire way to get Christmas (at least partially) paid for? Earn cash back from online stores you shop anyway. Then apply your quarterly check toward your Christmas presents! Rakuten is the largest cash-back site, partnering with over 2,500 stores!
For a limited time, you can get $40! That's right! Just sign up for Rakuten using my link and get a $40 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase online (must make a qualifying purchase of $40+ within 90 days of signing up).
GIVE EXPERIENCES AS GIFTS
We also try to give gifts that give the kids can experience over a lot of material items. Groupon is a great way to find ideas for your loved ones —and you can even get cash back from Rakuten on Groupon, too! Win-win! We also love:
- The Utah Ice Castles
- Salt Lake City's Temple Square
- North Pole Express
- Holiday Window Stroll at the Grand America Hotel
- Christmas in Color
P. S. Our family winter bucket list is filled with so many fun ideas that will help you make magical memories for your family!
PUT AN ELF (OR TWO) ON A SHELF
December 1st our elves come out to play! Toby and Techie are our elves on a shelf (we have two because we have so many kids). What we love about them?
- They’re not high maintenance.
- They don’t do crazy things at our house.
- They don't cost money to create a lot of fun memories.
It’s really fun that they hide themselves every night! Then the kids go on a little hunt to find them every day.
CREATE A NEW KIND OF ADVENT CALENDAR
Every December 1st, our advent calendar comes out! Want to know what's special about it? It doesn’t have chocolate or candy in it. Wait…what?!
Our advent calendar is all about experiences to share as a family. Each day, we enjoy something as simple as building a snowman, playing a board game, or drinking hot chocolate as a family. Sometimes we go a little more elaborate with baking cookies. I find that when we don’t spend money we tend to get more creative!
Pro Tip: Make any of these great DIY advent calendar ideas for kids and include fun activites, riddles, games, and anything else you like!
EMBRACE OTHER PEOPLES' TRADITIONS
Traditions we enjoy as a family are more than just ours! On Christmas Eve, my mom loves to make her own grandma (Mimi) traditions. She invites us over for a nice dinner. She even hides a pickle ornament in the tree, and whichever kid finds it gets a dollar!
We also open new Christmas pajamas from Mimi. Then, we pile in the car in new PJs and go through the lights at Thanksgiving Point. It's all so much fun, and they're special because we're sharing these memories with people we love! And speaking of making memories with people we care for…
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS 3EVE
Back-story: When talking with Bubba about our favorite childhood traditions, we both had the same memory of getting together with the same three families every Christmas Eve, eating dinner, doing a talent show, and acting out the Nativity. We both grew up out of state from any extended family. So, we decided we wanted to start that tradition with our own kids, but on Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve…or, Christmas 3ve (pronounced three-ve) as I've started calling it.
We add our own twists to the tradition, of course. Christmas 3ve has been — hands down — the most fun I've ever had at Christmas time, as an adult. Ever.
We invite our best family friends over and take treats to the hardworking firemen in our area.
Then we come back to our house and have an amazing Taco Bar. After dinner…the most epic talent show known to man. Let's just say it involves magic, SNL Cheerleaders, 2-year-olds breakdancing, and a swing-dancing Spider-Man. I'm just gonna let that settle for a sec.
We end the night with all 14 kids acting out the Nativity, in as many rowdy, silly, sweet, and touching moments as expected.
It's the greatest tradition in the world, in my eyes, and the best part is…it's OURS.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR TRADITIONS?
I encourage you to make a list. Plan out YOUR traditions. What do you want Christmas to look like, feel like, taste like at your house?
We planned Christmas 3ve only two days before it happened! Little to no thought went into it. It was a text invite. A potluck dinner. Impromptu talents. It doesn't have to be stressful or a “big deal”…just do it.
Above all, I encourage us all to think about gifts less, and traditions more. Let's keep the TRUE meaning of Christmas in mind, and find a way to introduce the birth of Christ into our traditions.
…and Spider-Man, of course.
Wishing you and yours a traditions-filled, happy holiday from our crazy crew to yours!
Looking for more Christmas ideas?
- Check out our Christmas family gift guide.
- Looking for a holiday boredom buster? Get our holiday bucket list.
- Come see how much we spend on Christmas.