Wednesday 13 December 2023

Creating new Christmas traditions as our kids get older.

 'Tis the season to be jolly and as our children transform from little kids into savvy teenagers it's only natural that our family traditions change too. The twinkling lights on the tree may remain the same but the traditions we had when they were younger change with each passing year.

Christmas cookies

Here are some ideas for things to do with older children/teenagers over the Christmas holidays!

Some DIY decor!
As kids grow so does their artistic flair. Trade the handprint reindeer cards for a family DIY decoration project. Set aside an afternoon to do some Christmas crafts. Create ornaments, cards or personalised stockings. Not only does this encourage creativity but you can also bring the handmade creations out every year to remind you of the good times that you had.

Give back!
The Christmas spirit is best shared and involving your teenagers in acts of kindness can become a heart warming tradition. Volunteer together at a local charity or local event, donate to a food bank or check in on vulnerable friends and neighbours. It's a chance to teach empathy and gratitude while creating memories.

Have a karaoke night!
Host a festive karaoke night with a Christmas twist. Make a playlist of Christmas classics and modern favourites and let your teenagers showcase their vocal talents. Add a competitive element with a friendly singing competition or duet challenges making it a memorable and entertaining tradition.

Have fun in the kitchen!
With older kids comes the opportunity to let them do some of the cooking over Christmas. Consider turning Christmas Eve or Christmas Day into a family feast. Choose a festive recipe, gather the ingredients and let everyone play a role in preparing the Christmas meal. Not only does this create a delicious tradition but it also teaches valuable life skills.

A festive movie marathon!
There are so many Christmas films now, with more and more coming out every year. Personally I love the one's on Netflix. Create a cosy movie night with a nostalgic twist. Have your teenagers choose their favourite Christmas movies from their childhood watch them together. 

Do a themed secret Santa!
Bring a new level of excitement to the gift exchange by incorporating a themed Secret Santa. Whether it's a nostalgia theme or as seen in a movie, having a creative twist to the gifts will make the exchange more entertaining for older kids.

A game night!
Gather around for a Christmas Eve game night featuring board games, card games or interactive video games. This light hearted competition, laughter and friendly rivalry with make the holiday season even more enjoyable. You can even get Christmas themed games to really get into the spirit.

Get outside!
Plan a day of winter themed adventures such as ice skating, a visit to a Christmas market, a National Trust venue holding special Christmas events or even a winter walk. This tradition combines outdoor activities and provides a break from screens and a chance to embrace the magic of winter.

A virtual family gathering!
As technology becomes an integral part of our lives embrace it in your holiday traditions. Set aside time for a virtual family gathering with distant relatives or friends. Share stories, have a catch up and perhaps even enjoy a virtual meal together. It's a modern twist that keeps the holiday spirit alive even when miles apart.

Have an ugly Christmas jumper Party:
Encourage creativity and a sense of humour by hosting a DIY ugly Christmas jumper party. Provide plain jumpers, glue and a variety of quirky decorations. Teens can compete to see who can create the most eye catching, festive and ugliest jumper.

What traditions do you enjoy now that your children are older?


  1. Some really great ideas, thank you for sharing (and thank you for linking to my reindeer handprint cards, I wish I could still get them to do crafts like that!) I definitely want to involve mine more in the festive cooking this year, I always make them gingerbread houses and I make all the gingerbread pieces myself, this year I want a bit of help! I definitely want to get the board games out this Christmas, and we'll be watching some festive films together.

  2. Festive movies and games nights are going to be on our Christmas to do list, as well as some baking. I may even get them to help me bake a gingerbread house, the last couple of years we've cheated and bought kits. Time to make one from scratch again. xx

  3. December 2023 at 18:02

    Awesome ideas for the older children X

  4. I love all of these ideas! Movies and games are definitely on our list, and we will be using our National Trust membership too. x

  5. Creating new Christmas traditions as our kids get older is a fantastic idea and I love your list. I often find myself thinking "I remember when my kids were little and we used to.....". Your ideas have inspired me xx