Okay, I already admitted that I am a fan of Elf on the Shelf. It adds to our holiday traditions and it also prolongs Christmas holiday magic for my kids. This morning my kids woke up to the Elf gifting them reindeer cookies and reminding them to make sure they make some cookies for Santa on Christmas eve! Also, they can't forget the carrots for the reindeer.

One other tradition that we have in our family is personalized ornaments. I call our tree the humble tree. It's not embellished with anything fancy. Not extravagant decorations or twine. It's all simply ornaments that my kids or I have made. Or some that have been gifted to us. I love looking at the tree and seeing an ornament that is associated with a special memory. The kids love putting the ornaments on the tree that's designated as theirs. When they get old enough, I will pass on their ornaments to them for their tree.

One other tradition that we do every year since my youngest was born is Santa arrives on Christmas Eve. A knock on the door and the sound of bells is heard faintly from the living room as we sit in anticipation. The kids always run to the door to see who it is. I can't help but tear up every year that Santa comes to our house and makes the girls feel so special.

If you're looking for ideas on traditions you can add to your families, here's some good ones friends shared.


  • Find an ornament that signifies a memory or experience from the year

  • Add a Family ornament with the year on it

  • If you go on a trip every year, bring something back to add to the tree

  • Make your own ornaments by getting ideas from Pinterest

  • Each family member write a memory from the year on a slip of paper and insert it in the ornament