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Watching holiday movies might be one of your family’s favorite Christmas traditions. Other families might make fruitcake, and some may even hide pickles in their trees. Whatever your family Christmas tradition may be, one thing is certain: it brings you all closer together.

But let’s get real, some holiday traditions are pricey! (I like you Nutcracker Ballet, but not if you’re going to cost me $70 per ticket!) They don’t have to be, though. Here are 21 Christmas traditions everyone’s gonna love — free playlist and printables included.

To help you save on all the other holiday things, keep these deals and KCL’s free app close by:

 

1. Start a Christmas tradition of adding kids’ handprints to a Christmas tree skirt.

A Tree Skirt with white hand prints on it.

Include the year with each handprint and eventually, the entire Christmas tree skirt will be covered in handprints of all sizes. You can get a tree skirt like the one shown for around $15 at Target, or you can make your own for much less with cotton or linen material from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Two photos. An adult using white paint to paint the palm of a child's hand then pressing a child hand covered in paint to a tree skirt

This is the perfect addition to your decorations, whether you have a traditional Christmas tree or not!

 

2. Go on a Christmas lights scavenger hunt with this free printable.

A house with Christmas lights and inflatables out front

Turn this into an outdoor family Christmas tradition and bring some snacks whether you’re on foot or in a car. Make a list of everything you might see on the scavenger hunt, or use this free Christmas scavenger hunt list printable, and let the kids check off items as you look at lights.

A free Christmas printable for holiday lights scavenger hunt

 

3. Make a Christmas music playlist to share with all your friends and family.

A person holding up a cell phone with a Christmas tree in the background displaying a Spotify Christmas playlist

Need inspiration? Check out The Krazy Coupon Lady’s free Holiday playlist on Spotify, where you’ll discover our team members’ faves in one place — traditional Christmas songs and boy band holiday jams, included. (You’re welcome.)

To add KCL’s playlist to your library, open your Spotify app, hit “Search” along the bottom, and use the camera icon in the top-right corner to scan this nifty barcode:

A graphic showing how to add KCL's Christmas Playlist on Spotify

 

4. Refresh your Christmas movie tradition by wrapping movies to open and watch each night.

Christmas movie being wrapped in festive paper

Unwrapping a surprise movie each night is almost as much fun as watching it together. It’s one of those family Christmas traditions that will go on forever!

If you want to save on wrapping paper then we recommend Dollar Tree! They always have cute stuff and it’s only a buck a roll!

 

 

5. Or, wrap Christmas themed books to read every day during the holidays.

Try to aim for 12 books for the 12 nights of Christmas. Each night one child gets to unwrap a book for you to read. Check them out at the library or just use ones you already own.

 

6. Put together a night-before-Christmas box.

A red box filled with PJs, popcorn, candy, hot chocolate, and a movie.

Include new Christmas pajamas or slippers, a movie or a book (even if you already own them!), a fun game and maybe some hot cocoa and popcorn.

Whether you have kids under the age of 5, teenagers or adult children, this Christmas tradition is always a bonding experience.

 

7. Leave candy in shoes in honor of St. Nicholas Day.

Saint Nicholas was a real saint known for being kind, helping those in need, and loving children. St. Nicholas Day is on December 6th, and traditionally, children leave their shoes by the door for St. Nicholas to bring them gifts and treats. Make this a Christmas tradition and fill shoes with candy. You can even sneak in candy from Halloween.

 

8. Make DIY reindeer food a new family Christmas tradition.

A person holding a bowl filled with sprinkles, oats, and pumpkin seeds

Mix together a combination of rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, red and green sugar crystals, and sprinkles. Sprinkle your homemade reindeer food in the snow for Santa’s helpers for a fun Christmas Eve tradition. (Stay away from actual glitter or any non-food items which are harmful to critters who may get into them.)

 

9. Write a letter to a soldier with Operation Gratitude.

Have every member of the family write a letter of gratitude to the soldiers serving overseas. Operation Gratitude allows you to say thank you, which is especially warming during the holidays when our soldiers are away from their own families.

It’s a great Christmas tradition that’ll help your kids spread joy without spending a dime.

Important note about sending letters: Please don’t place letters in individual envelopes. Just bundle them all together and mail them directly to Operation Gratitude, which will take care of the rest.

 

10. Adopt a family together.

Christmas is the perfect time to teach children and teens the spirit of giving. Make it a Christmas tradition to work with local charities to find a family in need, then get your family together in buying, wrapping, and delivering gifts.

In order to make your money stretch as far as possible, follow the KCL deals page. This way you won’t overspend, and you’ll be able to give generously.

 

11. Set out 12 boxes filled with themes and activities for the 12 Days of Christmas.

Twelve days of Christmas fun means being as creative as you can — from gingerbread day to movie day. Inside each box or package should be a full list of ideas, and also contain supplies for that day’s theme.

Make sure to save the best for last and a sweet Christmas Eve tradition!

TIP: Instead of wrapping surprises, just decorate paper bags with markers.

 

 

12. Create hope notes for next Christmas and tuck them away in holiday stockings.

Kids writing notes on Christmas card stock and putting them in their stockings.

This Christmas tradition starts on the tail end of Christmas. As you pack up your stockings for the year, each family member writes a note with a hope or goal they want to happen by next Christmas. Put it in a stocking for the following year. It’s fun to read what everyone hoped for and a good opportunity to reflect on the previous year.

 

13. Host a Christmas sock exchange.

a bunch of peoples feet together in a circle, all wearing christmas sock
A pair of Christmas socks with dogs on them next to Christmas goodies

Host a holiday sock exchange party asking friends to each bring a pair of holiday socks filled with their favorite things. Set a budget so everyone ends up with something fun.

A pair of Christmas socks with dogs on them filled with goodies and tied with a bow

Need socks? Check out these sock deals all year long.

 

14. Buy or make a new Christmas tree ornament to represent the year.

A person pulling an ornament out of a box of other ornaments.

Need ideas? Here are some great DIY Christmas Ornaments the Whole Family Can Do.

 

15. Start a Christmas pickle tradition (a.k.a. hide the pickle ornament).

An green pickle Christmas ornament held next to a gift box.

After everyone goes to sleep on Christmas Eve, hide a pickle ornament somewhere in your Christmas tree. The first person to find the pickle on Christmas morning gets a special gift.

 

16. Buy an unexpected Advent calendar for cheap.

Funko Pop, LEGO, Friends, wine and cheese…the variety of Advent calendars these days is amazing. Best part? KCL knows where to get Advent calendars for cheap.

 

17. Play BINGO while watching Hallmark Christmas Movies.

A graphic for Hallmark Holiday Movie BINGO

Get the free printable here.

If you’re one of the many people who love watching these cheesy classics, make it a new Christmas tradition to play Hallmark Christmas movie BINGO! Use KCL’s free printable and invite your people to join in on the fun.

Hallmark Channel Holiday Movie Schedule for December 2021:

  • Friday, Dec. 3: Eight Gifts of Hanukkah
  • Saturday, Dec. 4: A Very Merry Bridesmaid
  • Sunday, Dec. 5: Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday
  • Friday, Dec. 10: A Dickens of a Holiday!
  • Saturday, Dec. 11: A Royal Queens Christmas
  • Sunday, Dec. 12: Sister Swap: Christmas in the City
  • Friday, Dec. 17: Sugar Plum Twist
  • Saturday, Dec. 18: The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls
  • Sunday, Dec. 19: ‘Tis the Season to Be Merry

All these new movies start 8 pm ET on the listed dates.

 

 

18. Make a keepsake ornament showing the length of your child with ribbon.

Christmas ornament print out, free printable

Measure your child’s height with ribbon and place it in a clear ornament. Create several for family and grandparents using this free printable.

 

19. Label presents with holiday names instead of real names and don’t tell anyone who’s who until Christmas.

A gift with a tag that says Prancer next to a Christmas ornament

When you fill their stockings, place a small ornament at the bottom that reveals their Christmas tag name. For example, a reindeer ornament for the child whose presents are labeled Prancer.

 

20. Create a hanging DIY Christmas card display using greenery and a tree branch.

A person attaching string, greenery, and Christmas cards with colorful clothes pins to a stick.

 

21. Have a Christmas cookie decorating party.

A boy and girl decorating Christmas Cookies

Use these food coupons to save on all the candies and cookies.

 

22. Dedicate a night to play the Silver Bells memory game.

Hershey's kisses lined up on a counter with several turned over showing matching stickers on the bottom

The Holiday or Silver Bells memory game is just like the game Memory only this one calls for Hershey’s kisses and Christmas stickers, two sets of each, just like regular Memory! I’m all about family Christmas traditions where everyone gets chocolate.

Two photos. A child adding round stickers to the bottom of Hershey's Kisses and two kids playing a memory game with the kisses

If you want to get Hershey’s kisses for cheap, then follow our chocolate deals page. We’ll keep you updated on the best candy deals the entire holiday season!

 

23. Surprise friends and neighbors with a “Jingle.”

You've been Jingled free Christmas Printable

It’s like doorbell ditch, but with happy surprises. Drop off treats or cards for a sweet surprise. This free “You’ve Been Jingled” printable explains it all.

What are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions? We’d love to hear them. Share in the comments below!

 

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