Modern Christmas Traditions

Modern Christmas traditions include sending out Christmas cards, decorating a Christmas tree, decorating homes with poinsettias, hanging stockings and even going to see The Nutcracker performed onstage.

With so many traditions surrounding Christmas, it”s easy to find one to fit your style and to incorporate into your holiday festivities!

  • Christmas Decorations: During the holiday season, families often decorate their homes with many different types of Christmas decorations.Christmas trees are often seen as a symbol of the Christmas season. Traditionally, people decorate Christmas trees with ornaments, strings of lights and garland and many other festive items.Decorating the Christmas tree can be an activity for the whole family. Making ornaments by hand is a tradition of some families, as is making strings of popcorn to hang around the tree.Hanging stockings and candy canes as decorations is another modern Christmas tradition. Stockings are hung mostly on or near fireplaces for Santa Claus to leave gifts for children. Poinsettias and mistletoe also traditionally decorate homes during the Christmas season, as do outdoor lights, plastic Christmas figures and fake snow.
  • Christmas Gift-Giving: Another tradition of Christmas is gift-giving. While families and friends exchange gifts around Christmas, children also anxiously wait to receive gifts from Santa Claus at Christmas.Secret Santa is a tradition that some people enjoy at Christmastime. Secret Santa adds a bit of mystery to Christmas gift-giving celebrations. In the game, gift-givers write their names down on pieces of paper and put them into a hat or bowl. Then, everyone draws a name. The name on the slip of paper is the person for whom the name-drawer must buy a Christmas gift.Secret Santa is a lot of fun, but it is also a money saver, as people don”t have to get gifts for every family member or for all of their friends. Instead, they simply buy one gift for the person whose name they pulled from the hat!
  • Christmas Stories and Plays: Many families tell Christmas stories during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, popular stories to read to children and families include A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among many others.Christmas storytelling is often accompanied by a fire in the fireplace and mugs of hot chocolate.Other families have traditions of seeing Christmas plays and movies during the holidays. Also, many families enjoy seeing the popular ballet The Nutcracker around the holidays.
  • Christmas Vacations: Many families go on vacations during the Christmas season. Children have time off from school and parents often get a few days off from work. This allows families to take trips and not only relax but also experience some family bonding. Europe, tropical locales and Disney World are popular spots for Christmas vacations. However, Christmas is also a time when many families enjoy visiting places with snow. Playing in the snow, sledding, building snowmen and having snowball fights are some ways that people get in the Christmas spirit. Traveling to the snow can be a weeklong Christmas vacation, or, for some people, mountains with snowfall are close enough for a weekend getaway.

Every family has different Christmas traditions and ways for getting in the Christmas spirit.