Holiday and Seasonal Traditions for Kids

holiday & seasonal traditions for kids

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What are some holiday and seasonal traditions for kids?  This was a hot topic of conversation for many of my mom friends when we had kids.  I asked my mom friends from all over what are some of the holiday traditions they have in their family for their kids.  I wanted to share their responses to give you some ideas if you are looking to start a new tradition with your family.


Winter Traditions

Erica S. ~ Michigan, USA




“We do a Christmas eve box!  It usually has a new movie for mommy, daddy and E.  Hot Chocolate, popcorn and new pj’s for everyone!  Then we snuggle on the couch and watch our movie!”

Zoe S. ~ Alaska, USA




“Coming from my Childhood days living in England, “crackers” were always at the dinner table for Christmas Day dinner.  I’m so glad they are becoming more popular and available in the states :)”  Christmas Crackers Mini 6 inch Size

Sara M. ~ Texas, USA



“We do the 24 books of Christmas! I wrap 24 books and H. opens up one every night from 12/1 – 12/24!”

(side note she shared: Library books help with getting to 24. I put a small L on the package somewhere so I can make sure we open and return those on time ??)

Heather B. ~ Alaska, USA

“We do a kindness advent calendar. So we pick 4 or 5 kindness projects and they are spread out over the weeks leading up to Christmas. Each day we do one small thing toward the big project and then on the weekends when we have more time we do the rest. Projects we have done made cookies for our neighbors, made a care package for a soldier, send Christmas cards to seniors in the nursing home, etc.  Last year we added the book The Sparkle Box to this tradition. It will be our kick off to the kindness advent calendar”

Tammy H. ~ Arizona, USA

“My kids are older(almost all teens), and we let them pick out their own gifts. Well, this was boring to me, very few surprises. So I started the Christmas scavenger hunt. They start with a letter, and have to use the Christmas Bags (from a few years ago, or I’ll make new ones). Rules: They have to travel together, read the clues out loud, can’t open any of the gifts (we do bags, no wrapping paper). Its challenging for me to write them. We’ve done it a few years now, and I ask them if they like it.  I can’t remember if this is the beginning or the end of the hunt, but this is them last year  Clues require them to go outside as well as inside (none in bedrooms)…forgot to add: We’re in AZ so going outside isn’t a problem  

My Question to her: “So it is a scavenger hunt to where you hid the presents?”

Her Answer: “Yes, and write the clues. So their letter starts them off, and the last clue brings them back to the tree.  Lots of fun. There’s usually less than 10 clues leading to one another, I hide the presents (and the next clue) in/around the location.”

“When they were little we did the Christmas pjs thing, open one present thing, but this has evolved as the kids got older. Plus they are picking out their own presents (literally, we go to the store tell them they have x amount to spend)…”

Jennifer G. ~ Alaska, USA

This is the one we picked out when we went to visit Charlie’s family a few months ago.




“When we travel we find and ornament for the tree that represents that family vacation. My tree is decorated with many family memories.”

Kari M. ~ Alaska, USA

“The Irelands have always hung a string of bells outside the children’s bedroom, with the fishing line strung to a different bedroom… then as the kids drift off to sleep… they get to hear Santa’s Bells outside the window… they get so excited, they never realize one adult isnt there… cause there kn the other room, tugging the string.”

Cassandra C. ~ Ohio, USA

“For Christmas we right after thanksgiving as a family .my and my husband’s and his parents and brother to pick out our live Christmas tree for both of the house and we cut them down we started to cut them down our selves I would say about 2 years ago.”

Elizabeth A. ~ British Columbia, Canada

“We do Christmas Eve gifts from our Elf on a shelf (jammies, hot chocolate and a movie)”

Kim T. ~ Tennessee, USA

“Our family traditions are handmade cookies for Santa and matching pjs. That’s all we do right now”.

Caitlin R. ~ Alaska, USA


“One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was our mini trees. Each kid had their own mini Christmas tree and ornaments that we put up every year. My mom would often put a new ornament in our stockings as well. I am now carrying on this tradition with my children, and I love seeing their trees and ornaments!”

Liz R. ~ Alaska, USA

“When I was growing up, my parents would have us put a pillow case at the foot of our bed. Then, in the middle of the night, Santa would leave a small gift in there for us to wake up to first thing.”

Alicia A. ~ Toronto, Canada

“My husband extended family all get together on Christmas eve and someone dresses as a Santa and gives out gifts to young and old…my little one gets to sit on santas lap on Christmas eve. “

Katherine R. ~ Alaska, USA

“One of my favorite traditions was my dad reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” I can still hear his voice when I read the book to my kids!

We also would watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve.”

Keanna K. ~ Illinois, USA

“We do Xmas Eve bags. They have PJs, books, candy, small toys. We have hot cocoa, popcorn and watch the Grinch and polar Express. Then at midnight open gifts. Pop popcorn. Make homemade pizza. We make gingerbread for santa.  Then later we have family over for dinner. And we do a different meal on Xmas. Tacos, grill, fish fry. No Thanksgiving food. Elf on a shelf starting the day after Thanksgiving. We put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving too.”

Brandi W. ~ Alaska, USA

“We always celebrated St Nick night on Dec 6. We would wake up to a stocking full of candy and a small gift. A great start to any school day!”

Jessica C. ~ Alaska, USA

“My great Aunt Shirley would make stockings for each member of the family. As the family grew she limited to making them so I took over the tradition. I’ve made 9 so far for family. Turned it into my own tradition by making one for a person in need and filling it up with goodies. Last year 3 of my neighbors where deployed over seas so this is their’s. I ended up making one for their dog, too since I watched her for 6 months while they were gone. And made one for a Mom in need for her new baby son. Each one is unique to itself and I hand sew everything except the outer stocking being sewn together. Looking forward to making more!”

Nitra B. ~ Alaska, USA

When we were growing up we would go to the midnight service at church and when we got home we were allowed to open our present from our grandparents.

Now since I celebrate Yule we do Yule at home and Christmas at my parent’s house.  For Yule we open our gifts and spend time as a family.  On Christmas morning we have a stocking for munchkin here that she gets to get into and then we go to my parents house to open gifts.  After we open gifts we have cheese fondue for lunch and then head home to relax for the rest of the day.

This year we will be starting 2 new traditions, one is that for the 12 days before Yule she will get a new book everyday.  We will wrap each book and she gets to pick which one she opens.  The other tradition we will start is a Christmas Eve Box with a new set of pajamas, a packet of hot chocolate,  a movie & a book.  After dinner she will get to open her box and put on her pajamas, sip some hot chocolate while we are all curled up to watch the movie and then read her book before bed.

We also go through her toys and pick ones that are too young for her or that she does not play with and we donate them as a way to make room for new toys.  We prefer to donate them to like a shelter so she also sees that it is as good to give as to receive.

Lacey A. ~ New York, USA

“Every year at Christmas every one picks one new ornament to buy for our tree, and some day when the kids move out on their own they’ll have their own little “curated” pack of ornaments based on their preferences through the years.”

Lzzy ~ Virginia, USA

“making cookies and sweets as a tradition. My mother would do that with us. And they would be boxed up in tins and sent to family and friends. Christmas cards too. “

“One of my girlfriends will create the home mantel or centerpiece to be completely edible. Anything you pick up can be eaten. It is kinda awesome for everyone involved. LoL”

“My neighbors have a tradition they have always done that is a German tradition. They have two Christmas trees. One of which is very simply decorated and instead of electric lights there are candles. Everyone gathers around the tree Christmas Eve for the lighting of it. It’s quite magical.”

Katie K. ~ Ohio, USA

“Visit after Santa visit we donate toys to Toys for Tots, a new winter coat to foster kids, and pizza!

While decorating the tree I tell stories of where each ornament came from and who.”

Betty S. ~ South Carolina, USA

“Only tradition I have is making Christmas cookies and decorating them. I have carried this on with my kids. Last year I started a new one with them where they have to go through their toys and decide what they dont want and we donate to an organization that takes them to give to families who dont have much. We usually donate to women and children shelters or homeless shelters.”

Terneicesa J. ~ Missouri, USA
We go to IHOP for Christmas breakfast every year.
Jennifer B. ~ California, USA
Christmas Eve: the “kids” get to open one gift. It’s always PJ’s and either a family movie or book to read!
Lacey M. ~ Alaska, USA
“My mom would make a Birthday cake for Jesus every Christmas.  I’m doing the same with my daughter even though I’m allergic to most everything in the cake!”
Megan S-H. ~ Pennsylvania, USA

“For Christmas Eve I get the boys PJs they wear all day. We do movies and open gifts at my aunts house. And we have popeyes for dinner (its a thing for my hubby)  Christmas we dress up and have more of a formal dinner.”

Fall Traditions

Jackie H. ~ California, USA

This year



“Before Halloween every year we go to a pumpkin patch and carve jack o lanterns.  We go with my cousins who are both pregnant expecting their first in late March. So our kids can grow together”

Cassandra C. ~ Ohio, USA

“For Halloween we go to the pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins right be for Halloween.”

Elizabeth A. ~ British Columbia, Canada

“Halloween we spend the first 2 hours driving to all the grandparents houses to show off the costumes”

Kim T. ~ Tennessee, USA

“Since its Halloween, we are doing boo baskets. We make a basket full of Halloween treats and secretly place it on a neighbors doorstep.  They do the same for Christmas.”

Earlene E. ~ Alaska, USA

“Carving pumpkins. Even little ones can “Scoop the Goop.” My kid is a little too young to actually carve, but I let him pick the design and have him help roast the seeds.”

Maria M. ~ Alaska, USA

“For Feast of Tabernacles we let the boys choose to sleep in the tent on the deck. They loved it. Since it is a feast holiday that lasts just over a week we have everyone in the family pick a dessert and we have a different lovely desert every night.”

My Question to her: “What is the Feast of Tabernacles?

Her Answer: “It is a holiday in the Christian/Hebrew Bible. Hebrews were supposed to celebrate it in the Promised Land to remember how Good “tabernacled” or lived with the Hebrews in the desert, a foreshadowing of when God would dwell once again with His people.
It is not very well-known for some reason.”

Elizabeth E. ~ Iowa, USA

“we do chili and cinnamon rolls every halloween”

Nitra B. ~ Alaska, USA



Early August we started a tradition years ago where we go camping for a couple of days, to kind of reset.  My husband normally does a 1 day salmon/halibut charter.  So we started going down the day before and stay a couple of nights.  When munchkin was born we skipped the first year and the second year we stayed in the lodge the charter runs.  This year we took her camping over night for the first time and we all had fun.  We just did 1 night and he did not do his charter but we are looking forward to doing it every year.

Check out Tips for Camping with a Toddler
Amber C. ~ Ohio, USA




“Our town has a halloween festival every year this is last years…next weekend we will go.  The entire middle of towns decorated we have like 8 halloween stores owned by the same family”

Check out this list of gift ideas for a toddler


Summer Traditions

Cassandra C. ~ Ohio, USA

“fourth of July we go to fireworks as a big family to 3 or 4 places to see them.”

Lacey M. ~ Alaska, USA
“My mom would make a specific cake every Independence Day (please note the holiday name; 4th of July is a date ;). Can you tell I’m patriotic & OCD, lol?!)  Anyway, she would make a Birthday cake for America.  I’m doing the same with my daughter even though I’m allergic to most everything in the cake!”
Makayla D. ~ Idaho, USA
“4th of July we always go swimming always. We always go camping every summer it’s our tradition ?”
Jackie H. ~ California, USA

“We have started going to our local 4th of July parade and EVERY year we watch fireworks. WE can see our city fireworks from our front yard so we take out lawn chairs and D., T. and T. come over to watch with us.”

Alicia A. ~ Toronto, Canada

“No summer holidays but in Canada (toronto) there is some kind of cultural festival and I try to take my daughter (aged 2) to cultural events. At an event called Carassauga where many countries are represented i was able to take her to see Hawaii, Poland and Portugal.
We did Philipano, Caribbean and Latin America events in July on the weekends.  I plan to have her experience as many things as possible (see the culture, dance, food).”

Spring Traditions

Helene H. ~ Austrailia



“We’ve started Strawberry picking in spring as a tradition.”





Jacinta E. ~ “ohhh we do this! well started this year. myself, 2 kids, partner and my younger brother and older sister do it.”

Earlene E. ~ Alaska, USA

“Dying easter eggs: fun for all ages and it helps teach color mixing.”

Tricia T. ~ Wisconsin, USA
“We usually try to do a little picnic or something on May Day. (To me it’s sort of the unofficial start of spring). And this isn’t really spring, but the last few years on St. Nick’s I’ve been leaving a window cracked open a little and some gold candy coins to make it look like an leprechaun snuck in. :)”
Tiffany G. ~ California, USA
“We try to catch the leprechaun on St Patrick’s day by making a leprechaun trap and when we go to buy our fireworks for the Fourth of July we go to the drive in the same night.”
Patty D. ~ Pennsylvania, USA
“We like celebrating Earth day . We always plant a tree or a bush something that is native to our area and will grow and be there for many years.”
Alicia A. ~ Toronto, Canada

“For Easter my sister decorated and hid eggs (plastic eggs with little stickers inside) for my little one to find”

Megan S-H. ~ Pennsylvania, USA

“Easter we lay out eggs, in a trail to the kids Easter basket.  They love going on a hunt for the baskets”

Chelsea D. ~ Alaska, USA
“We celebrate Seder…about 20 or so friends and family gather at my mother-in-laws house and we use the Maxwell House Haggadah (basically it’s the book with the songs and wording for the ceremony) which my husbands family used over 30 years ago. We eat tradition Jewish food…sing and have lots of fun (the kids favorite is finding the matzah cracker hidden in the house)… Oh and we aren’t Jewish…his ancestors were Jewish (almost all were killed in WWII) so we celebrate as a way of honoring them…”

Holiday and seasonal Traditions for Kids

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