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Our Simple Christmas Traditions


Simple Christmas Traditions | Fun Holiday Activities | Inexpensive Christmas Traditions

I distinctly remember thinking about Christmas traditions for the first Christmas Austin and I were married.

We both had family traditions that we grew up with. Some of those traditions we wanted to keep going, others weren’t as important to us.

We also wanted to create some of our own Christmas traditions for our new little family.

We’ve been married for six years now and we really enjoy our traditions. What I love about them is that they’re simple and inexpensive which also makes them more fun because they’re not an ordeal to make happen.

I will say that just because we enjoy our Christmas traditions doesn’t mean we’re completely tied to them. If it life gets too busy or stressful around the holidays, we have occasionally skipped some of them and that’s OK.

I’d love for you to leave a comment telling me about a few of your Christmas traditions!

Our Simple Christmas Traditions

Painting Ornaments

This is our special tradition that didn’t come from either side of our family. It’s all our own.

Every year we buy a wooden ornament from the craft store for each of us. This usually costs no more than $1 each. I’ve got a drawer craft paint that we use to each paint our ornament while we listen to Christmas music.

After they’re done, I usually spray them with shellac to keep them in good shape for years. We also write our names and the year on the bottom.

I love this tradition because when we first got married, we didn’t have many Christmas ornaments and now we have two special, homemade ornaments for each year we’ve been married. I also like that if we have kids someday, we can include them in painting their own ornaments.

Our Simple Christmas Traditions - Painting Ornaments

Yearly Ornament

Our other ornament tradition is to purchase a personalized ornament from the mall with our names and the year on it. These ornaments are always so darn cute.

Most years Austin’s parents also get us one of these too, so we actually have two of these for each year since we’ve been married.

I love that between our painted ornaments and our yearly personalized ornaments, our tree is full of special ornaments instead of generic Christmas bulbs.

Our Simple Christmas Traditions - Yearly Ornament

Gingerbread House Competition Partygingerbread-house

We host a family Christmas party most years that is a gingerbread house making competition/party. It’s not a huge party, usually both of our immediate family members (the ones close by).

We have a simple dinner of soup, bread, and Christmas cookies. Then we divide into teams of two or three for the competition.

We just use graham crackers instead of actual gingerbread. I have a special recipes for super thick and sticky frosting to hold the pieces together.

Everyone brings a few different kinds of candies to decorate the houses with, which also keeps the costs for the party down. I usually make the whole party happen for around $50.

After everyone is done decorating their houses, we all vote on our favorite. It’s tons of fun!

Christmas Eve Dinner

One of my favorite traditions growing up was our Christmas Eve dinner. My parents would ask my brother and I what special foods we wanted for dinner and we had a fabulous dinner of all of our favorites!

Options usually include shrimp cocktail, spiral honey ham, sparkling grape juice, pretzels with Win Schuler’s cheese, and cheesecake!

We bust out the fancy dishes, light some candles, and enjoy the best meal ever.

When my parents are around for Christmas we have this meal with them. Last year, they didn’t come home for Christmas so Austin and I did it just the two of us.


Night Before Christmas Pop-Up Book

My dad always read us The Night Before Christmas story every Christmas Eve before bed. We even had a special pop-up book that made it extra interactive.

Well, my mom found two more copies of the exact same pop-up book to give to my brother and I now that we’re all grown up.

Someday, we’ll read it to our own kids but for now Austin reads it to me 🙂

White Christmas

There are plenty of fabulous Christmas classics out there, but White Christmas is forever my favorite. My mom and I always watch it together and quote it all the way through!

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⇒ What are your Christmas traditions? What’s your favorite Christmas movie?


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7 Things Killing Your Christmas Budget - The (mostly) Simple Life

Monday 12th of December 2016

[…] One of our traditions is to have a fancy¬†Christmas Eve dinner with things like shrimp, ham, cheesecake, cheeses, and sparkling juices.¬†On Christmas day with Austin’s family, we have more special foods like fondue and pizza. […]

Erin | A Welder's Wife

Saturday 10th of December 2016

These traditions sound like a lot of fun! My husband and I have a horrible tradition of giving our gifts to each other before Christmas... One because my husband has a hard time keeping something from me, and second is because we like to share with our family how special our spouse is and the gift giving shows a little of that.


Sunday 11th of December 2016

Haha, our first Christmas together we were so excited that we had given each other all of our presents before Christmas. We have a hard time waiting!


Monday 5th of December 2016

When my husband and I were first together, he was very burned out on Christmas by a stinky ex-wife. Well, don't you worry because I mistletoe'd him up good! Fifteen years later, we watch Christmas movies together, bake cookies, decorate the house, and celebrate with family. He loves Christmas today and all that it entails! Yahoo for love!


Friday 2nd of December 2016

My favorite thing about the holidays are all of our family traditions! You have some of the same ones we do and great ideas for new ones too! Watching a White Christmas is classic!


Friday 2nd of December 2016

I love White Christmas! My mom is coming for a short visit in a week and I've been waiting for her to get here so we can watch it.

Sheila Jo

Thursday 1st of December 2016

White Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies! Snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOW! :) Sometime during my teen years, I started a tradition of icing some of the Christmas cookies purple, simply because that is my favorite color. For some reason, it stuck, so there are at least a few purple Christmas cookies at my house each year. :)


Friday 2nd of December 2016

Snow!!! :) Love it! Purple is my favorite too. I'll take some cookies in any color! hehe