Christmas family traditions: creating our own

Christmas family traditions

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Christmas family traditions weren’t a part of my childhood. I grew up in a socialist country where Christmas wasn’t celebrated, at least not in my family. Eventually times changed, but it took a while for old Bulgarian traditions to come back to life. Then I came to Australia and Christmas became the time when I missed my family most. My husband comes from a non-Christian family, so neither of us gave Christmas a lot of thought until we had kids.

For a couple of years after our son was born we continued as if Christmas wasn’t a big deal. But then things changed. Little eyes observed all the excitement around us and lit up like Christmas lights. We got inspired to start creating our own Christmas family traditions, based not on our ambiguous religious beliefs, but on our family values.


We still have the first Christmas tree decorations our son made which are nothing other than toilet paper rolls with pieces of coloured paper stuck to them. Since then we’ve come a long way in creating decorations, cards and gifts for family and friends.


Each year we donate a few presents for kids who would otherwise receive no gifts. My kids still believe in Santa, so it’s a little bit tricky explaining why Santa would bring presents for some children and not for others (and it’s not because those other kids have been naughty). But even if my explanations are not very convincing my children still enjoy giving and making someone else’s Christmas special.

Slow living

Everything seems to happen at lightening speed at Christmas – shopping, parties, end-of-year concerts, but it is still important to us to make time to just be and enjoy our time together as a family. I’m not usually a planner, but the challenge to create some slow time during the holidays  means that I have to make an effort to get more organised. My diary and some meal planning become a necessity or I would never remember when and where I am supposed to turn up with a plate of food.

If you’re finding it challenging to get organised and slow down here is something that may help: Maggie’s Christmas, a book of Maggie Beer’s most cherished recipes and plenty of advice for stress-free entertainment.

What Christmas family traditions are you creating?

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  1. says

    I love how your Children are learning that “Giving” is as good {or sometimes even better} then receiving.
    Our Family tradition is to buy a World Vision Gift to family members because we have so much stuff here in Australia but many go without the basics :)
    We also LOVE to spend time with family, chilling out, which I can’t wait to do!
    Lisa Wood recently posted..The Best Gingerbread House Ever

    • Tat says

      Charity gifts are such a great alternative for people who have everything! And yes, chilling out tops my list of things to do during the holidays, too.

  2. says

    I am just figuring out what traditions to do with my kids (Miss 4 and Master 6 weeks) as this will be the first year that she may comprehend, especially in terms of presents, Santa vs Mum and Dad, stockings in the bedroom or under the tree. I was also given the honour of making the Christmas rocky road which is something my aunty did for as long as I can remember, just have to not eat it as I go.
    Rachael @ Fit Fab Forty recently posted..The Bizarre and Unusual Sport of Paintball

  3. says

    We’re a blended family so holidays are always tdicky. My kids are gone or my husband’s kids aren’t available so our son that we have together kind of gets the short end of the stick. This year is the first time that We won’t be gone over Christmas but my kids won’t be here. We’ll try to make the day special for Peanut somehow (since we’ll have our family Christmas a week later).
    Missy Homemaker recently posted..Wellness Wednesday: The END of New Year’s Resolutions and a Big Surprise!

  4. says

    You bring such a fresh perspective to celebrating Christmas, Tat. Loved reading this. This year is our first Christmas at home with kids so I’ve been thinking about traditions a lot too. We are starting Santa Sacks – but not to receive gifts, rather to leave under the tree full with old toys for Santa to take to less fortunate kids. I hope it works out well. I hope your Christmas is great x
    Kate recently posted..Spiced Christmas Ice Cream

  5. says

    I personally love creating Christmas traditions – baking Christmas cake together with my family, going to the Christmas market with them… And you’re right about creating some slow time during Christmas. I also think that it helps to create a Christmas bucket list, things that you absolutely want to do during the holidays, and then make the time to actually do them.
    Vanessa Morgan / Traveling Cats recently posted..Reading / watching / listening to…

  6. says

    What wonderful traditions to start together as a family. Like your focus on slow living we’ve made more of an effort to keep things simple this year, and it has made things so wonderful. We’ve been able to really enjoy and focus on the activities we’ve chosen to do without feeling like we are rushing from one thing to the next.
    Shaunna @ Fantastic Fun and Learning recently posted..Fireworks Ring Craft

  7. says

    Traditions have to begin somewhere, right? How lovely that you are starting your very own with your young children, now at this most blessed time of year.

    Happy Holidays, to you!


  8. says

    This is a very good post, absolutely love the idea of spreading Christmas happiness and giving gifts to those that can’t avail otherwise.

    personally, here in India we have so many festivals that we don’t celebrate Christmas as much, however I like your ideas and will be looking foreword to implementing some of them for sure.
    Uttoran Sen recently posted..15 Final Polish Tips for Impeccable Content

  9. says

    since we’ve had kids we always stay home for christmas day. my mom and mil were big on this. mil- always had to travel across Ma. to her grandparents for the day. they got to be there for about 2-3 hrs and then return home. no presents from her grand parents and no chance to open them at home before they left. no turkey dinner either. pretty sad tale of woe, she didn’t wish that sort of xmas on any one. my mom said it was important for us to have our own traditions. so we stay home. usually our family gets together sometime over the holidays, but no matter whose house we’re at everyone has a 300-400 mile drive– so we usually have to commit to a weekend of guests.
    Lara K. Wilder recently posted..No last blog posts to return.

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