Familius.com Shop

Familius Family Holiday Traditions

Every family is unique in their own special way—this includes holiday traditions. Some of us celebrate with our extended family, or maybe just our immediate family; still others have a small group of chosen friends who have become family. We celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and, yes, some of us even celebrate Festivus. However you celebrate and whoever you celebrate with, we hope that it is happy and full of joy!

Our favorite traditions

We asked our authors, illustrators, and co-workers to share the one single thing that makes their holidays the happiest. Here are some of the responses we received:

“Each holiday season I build a large bonfire in the middle of whatever neighborhood I live in. I set up lights, bake cookies, and have a five-gallon container of hot cocoa ready. I invite all the neighbors to gather for some holiday caroling. I hand out the hand-typed and numbered carols that I saved from when this tradition started over fifty years ago. Once the crowd has gathered, I strum my guitar and begin singing Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Everyone knows this carol and the children become excited. For the next hour, people call out a carol’s number and I play my guitar while everyone sings. Eventually, when we’ve sung almost every carol and the cookies are gone and the hot cocoa cooled, we close with Silent Night and then disperse to We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It’s my favorite night of the year.” – Christopher Robbins, CEO and Founder

“Locally there is a street called Christmas Tree Lane that has been decorating their homes since 1920 with very few exceptions. This year is the ninety-ninth year of lights! My family goes to see the decorations on Christmas Eve eve (two days before Christmas, or Christmas Eve Squared as we often call it) every year with hot chocolate for the kids and coffee for the adults. It’s so fun to see the cool light displays and the local art from the high schools on display.” – Ashley Marie Mireles, Director of Sales and Marketing

“My favorite holiday tradition is receiving a new pair of pajamas from my aunt and my cousin! Every year, on Christmas Day, my family goes over to their house in the morning and we get to put on our new PJ’s, open presents and drink hot chocolate. It might be small, but I absolutely love our little tradition!” – Jaiden Wong, Marketing and PR Associate

“Lighting Hanukkah candles is a very special part of our family’s celebration. Each night we add another candle to the menorah and sing the beautiful Hebrew blessings and songs. I love listening to the sound of my children singing the same Hanukkah songs that I sang with my family when I was their age. It brings me right back to the memories of Hanukkah from my childhood.” – Adina Oberman, Marketing Associate, and Social Media Manager

“We didn’t have a lot of holiday traditions growing up, so my favorite thing about the holidays as an adult is helping my younger siblings create new traditions and holiday experiences we didn’t have before. I also love that the holidays mean it’s tamal season!” – Carlos Guerrero, Art Administration, and Graphic Design

“My favorite thing to do during the holidays is baking pumpkin bread and delivering it to friends with Christmas carols. It’s always a family activity. We bake as many loaves as we can, sometimes extra, because the families we know will get into loving feuds over the bread—some friends even going so far as to hide it from their family so they can eat it all themselves! We’ll drive around town and drop off the bread all in one night, singing as many Christmas songs as we can think of, in the car and on doorsteps.” – Shaelyn Topolovec, Interim Managing Editor

“I’m a long way from home these days, so nothing makes me happier than when my American husband bakes a pavlova for us to eat while we Skype with my family back in Australia! This year my son is even old enough to join in with the pav decorating! 🙂” – Stephanie Campisi, author of Luis and Tabita, Five Sisters, and the upcoming book Axolotls: A to Zzz

“Lighting Hanukkah candles with my young children and explaining all of our traditions to them. At least for now, they’re much more interested in that than presents.😅” – Scott Rubin, author of Naming Your Little Geek

“Our kids are mostly grown now, but my husband always used to spend a night sometime during December with the boys in sleeping bags by the lit Christmas tree.” – Kim Harms, author of Life Reconstructed

“I love baking holiday cookies and then giving them away. Realized today that over the last few days, I have handed out almost twenty plates of cookies filled with six different kinds, plus pretzels dipped in whitebark.” – Nancy Dearborn, author of Hugga Loula

“One favorite tradition that is a carryover from my own childhood is that each family member is allowed to open one gift under the tree on Christmas Eve. When I was little, I would shake and inspect each wrapped gift for the days leading up to Christmas Eve, trying to decide which package I would open first. I still remember a year when I chose a gift from my grandmother that had a very intriguing rattling sound each time I lifted the box. Inside was a paint-by-numbers canvas and little containers of oil-based paint. The sounds I’d been hearing were the paintbrushes sliding from the top of the box to the bottom each time I picked up the box. My children are now grown, but we continue to maintain that family tradition, and it continues to be fun for all. Sometimes gift-givers even wrap their gifts with ‘decoy’ sounds or weights inside the box in hopes that it will encourage the recipient to choose that particular gift as the early opener!” – Dawn Prochovnic, author of the upcoming book Mama’s Home

“Our girls are grown women now, but one of our favorite Hanukkah traditions is making potato latkes from scratch on the first night of Hanukkah. And I’m not sure if it’s the taste of the latkes or the smell and sound of them crackling in the pan that we love more, but those things together have always been the staple of the first night of our holiday.” – Lisa Sugarman, author of How to Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids (and Be Okay With It)

“We have a beautiful wooden countdown box with little doors for the twenty-five days until Christmas. Hidden behind each door is a love note, a piece of chocolate, or little surprise. My kids LOVE opening the box each morning in December. 🥰” – Jessica Speer, author of BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends) and the upcoming Middle School: Safety Goggles Advised

“One of our favorite Hanukkah traditions is to sit around the candles and gaze at the light as a way of bringing down the miracles of Hanukkah, and as a way to purify our eyes. There’s also a tradition that one who lights the candles with joy will have great children. I asked my children, ‘Who would like to have such amazing children as I do?’ And then described what I love and admire about each of them. Their eyes glowed like the candles they lit, and they all said a prayer to merit having great children.” – Libby Kiszner, author of Dear Libby

“We take a Christmas walk together! It’s one of the most joyous, grounding highlights of our Christmas day!” – Dr. Carla Marie Manly, author of Joy from Fear, Aging Joyfully, and Date Smart

Scroll to Top