Christmas Traditions: what do you do with your family?

I didn’t realize how many Christmas traditions we truly have until I started going through my old photos! We’ve continued on traditions from my own family, my husband’s family, our Norwegian heritage, and even traditions with our friends (Ugly Sweater Party!). Now that we have two little ones (almost 5 and 2.5 years), we’re starting our own, too. I partnered with Walmart’s #ChosenByKids event to share these with you…

Decorating the Christmas Tree

decorating the tree

We start the holiday season by putting up the tree! We always decorate as a family, putting on our ornaments (the kids always get a new one each Christmas), and the kids putting the star on top from dad’s shoulders. And, of course, there are plenty of photos in front of the tree!

Visiting Santa

Visiting Santa - Christmas Traditions

We do Santa. There are multiple chances during the season to meet Santa, have breakfast with him, see his reindeer, and tell him everything you want that year! We already had breakfast with Santa this year and the kids LOVED it!

Christmas Cookies, Gingerbread Houses, and Santa Snacks… oh my!Making Christmas Cookies

SO MANY CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Okay, my mom makes most of them, but we always get together and bake together or share the load. Sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, oreo truffles, pepperkaker, and more. The kids decorate gingerbread houses and we always leave out our homemade cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve!

Matching Christmas Pajamas

matching christmas pajamas

When I was a kid, my brother and I got a new pair of Christmas pajamas every year–usually on Christmas Eve. When we had kids, we started doing matching pajamas for the whole family! Yes, my husband and I own adult-sized footie pjs 😉

Christmas Music

christmas music

My husband’s family has some talented musicians! We always celebrate with them the Saturday before Christmas because the family is so big, it’s the easiest way to get us all together! Everyone brings their instrument, we fill the family room, and listen to some beautiful Christmas songs! There’s a trumpet, french horn, tuba, trombone, clarinet, guitar… and I’m sure I’m forgetting some! They always try to get me to bring my flute, but I haven’t played since high school 😉

Norwegian Christmas Traditions

Norwegian Christmas Traditions

We follow some of our Norwegian heritage traditions. We have dinner with lefse and pickled herring. We have rice pudding with one lone almond (who will be the lucky one to find it?!). We do it up big on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. That’s my little Ryan above with the Norwegian flag!

Gift Giving

gift giving Christmas Traditions

My husband’s side of the family (on his mom’s side) is huge… there are so many people that we’ve switched to doing a grab bag style of gifting! Everyone brings one gift around $50 and we take turns choosing a gift from under the tree. White Elephant style, you can steal from the people that have already opened a gift (a max of 2 times) or pick a new one. It’s a lot of fun!!!

We do my family’s Christmas the day before and our cozy family of four on Christmas Day. Santa brings some gifts and fills the stockings and some gifts come from mom and dad, too.

What are your favorite family Christmas Traditions? What are your Gift Giving Traditions?

If you still have shopping to do, Walmart stores are having Toyland events this month! Look here to find the participating stores and the dates! I’m heading to our local Walmart this Saturday for our Toyland! Just look for a giant Buddy the Elf cutout to play with the hottest toys #ChosenByKids and be an official toy tester!

See you there?! Check back in a week or so for my toy review from something we pick out at Walmart’s Toyland! :)

~Written in partnership with Walmart and the #ChosenByKids campaign. Any opinions (and all traditions!) are our own!

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