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10 Christmas traditions to try this year

It’s November 1, which means…it’s time for Christmas!

Photo courtesy of Canton Tourism

Christmas is about spending time with the people you love and making memories! Those memories may be as simple as baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, or going out to see Christmas light displays. For instance,  I remember as a child we would always play games together such as Pictionary or cards. I don’t remember many of the gifts I got, but I will always remember the time we spent together and some of the things we did. If you are just beginning to create Christmas traditions with your own family, here are some fun ideas!

Count Down the Days with an Advent Calendar

Count down each passing day with an advent calendar. Kids love this tradition, but there are also adult versions as well (chocolate, wine, etc)! I love this list of Christmas advent calendar ideas.

Cut Down a Tree at a Christmas Tree Farm

Create a new memory by visiting one of the Christmas tree farms across Mississippi. My go-to is A & W Christmas Tree Farm in Moss Point.

Watch Christmas Movies Together

There’s definitely a Christmas movie out there for everyone. If you like romance, try Hallmark’s Christmas movies. If you love action, try the Die Hard movies. For kids, the Mickey Mouse Christmas movies are a lot of fun! If you need more ideas, here are 63 of the best Christmas movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Make a Gingerbread House

This is a classic! You could even have a family gingerbread house decorating contest. A little competition never hurt anybody! If you don’t want to make your own gingerbread and assemble it into a house, you can try a premade and preassembled gingerbread house kit.

Open one present on Christmas Eve

As a kid, we actually opened all of our presents on Christmas Eve. However, we’d still celebrate Christmas the next day with dinner and various other activities. But, you may try letting everyone open one gift on Christmas Eve!

Give Back to Others

This is a great time to teach kids about giving back to others, which can be done in many ways. I plan to help my daughter pick out toys she doesn’t play with anymore that can be given to those in need. Or it may be giving gifts to one’s neighbors or you can actually be an elf by answering children’s letters to Santa. You can find letters to answer by going to this website: Be an Elf.

Bake Christmas Cookies and Make Cookie Platters

Bake various kinds of Christmas cookies and assemble them onto cookie platters to keep or give away to others. Here are some ideas for cookie recipes: 70 Christmas cookie recipes.

Make a Special Christmas Breakfast

My family enjoys making monkey bread, and it’s something we only make on Christmas morning. For more examples, check out these Christmas morning breakfast ideas.

Create a Christmas Village

You can set up a miniature-scale village and add a new house or shop each year. There are lots of sets on Amazon if you need ideas!

Go Out and Look for Christmas Lights

Take a drive out to look at Christmas lights in the local area. There are also fun Christmas displays throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast such as the Gulfport Harbor Lights and the Christmas boat parade in Biloxi. If you’re in the central part of the state, Canton has one of the best light displays in Mississippi. You can also create your own Christmas light display at your home!


I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and I hope these ideas for traditions help create fun memories. Are there any other traditions you can think of that your family might enjoy? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook.


Written by Tamra Cater

I am married, and I also have a 4-year-old daughter. I earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and I have been teaching psychology classes over the past 10 years. As a professor and as a parent, I grew to love learning anything about child development. I recently turned that into a passion for helping other parents by starting my own blog at


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