Family Christmas Traditions You Haven't Thought of Yet

We get it. Holiday traditions are nice — hanging the stockings on the mantel, watching a Christmas movie — but some traditions get a little, well, old. There are so many ways to shake up your Christmas that are still fun for the whole family (and don’t involve leaving Santa beer or taking a Christmas card photo that involves feather boas and leaves little to the imagination. Is that just my brothers? All right then.) There’s too much pressure and insanity around the holidays to worry about your kids rolling their eyes at matching family pajamas or trying to talk them into posing for a Christmas card. Stumped on coming up with a new tradition the kids will actually get behind? Not to worry. We know this time of year, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the soundtrack to your nightmares and you’re panicking you forgot to get a present for one of your kids, so take a breath. Cross this one off your to-do list, because we’ve rounded up the best family Christmas traditions you haven’t thought of yet (but should start doing immediately.)

Make your own Polar Express

Trick your kids into cleaning… because Santa

Blow frozen bubbles

Have a family living room campout under the tree

Make snow angels — in your swimsuits

You’d be surprised how easily the kids will jump on board with this one. Don’t get me wrong. It’s really dang cold, but if you can count to three, run outside and do a quick flop into the snow, the giggles and laughter will outweigh the five seconds of freezing cold. I’d keep a camera ready to document the absurdity, and make sure you toss a stack of towels into the dryer for prime warm-and-fluffy towels to help you dry off.

Have a competition to see who can find the best (or worst) ornament for the tree

Whether it be an awesome DIY or an ornament of Jeff Goldblum’s head, (do those exist? I’d like five), take the kids shopping and see who can find or make the ornament that just makes everyone burst out laughing. There are ornaments of toilet plungers, skunks, Donald Trump in his tighty-whities — you name it, it exists somewhere. Make it a competition and have a prize for the winner (maybe they get to be the photographer for the swimsuit snow angels moment and don’t have to participate) and document which ornament wins each year. The older the kids get, the crazier the ornaments will get.

Take an “honest” Christmas card

Anyone else sick of the overly posed and airbrushed family photos people use for their Christmas cards? Take a picture of the kids being their normal, crazy selves. The fake smiles and behind-the-scenes bribery are things of the past. Why not take an honest photo of your family, good, bad and ugly. If you want to go over the top, a staged photo is totally fine, but see what happens when you try to do a family pyramid or surprise the kids when they get off the bus one day with red and green silly string (just make sure the timer on your camera is ready!).

Set up a kids-only Christmas tree that they can decorate however they want

Sure, the big family tree is fun, and whether you prefer a live tree or a fake one, let your littles pick a mini version to keep in their rooms and decorate however they want. Toilet paper garland? Done. They want to hang candy canes and also all the dog’s chew toys? Fine. They’ll appreciate the freedom and ability to express themselves on their own tree, while the big family tree can hold all the childhood handprints and craft stick ornaments.

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