6 Special Sibling Christmas Traditions your children will love doing year after year, and look forward to passing along to their own children.
And don’t forget to snag your Kid’s 99-Page Holiday Activity Kit, complete with Elf on the Shelf Notes & Letter Boards, Letter to Santa, Activity Sheets, Countdown to Christmas, Christmas Scavenger Hunts & I Spy Games, and much more!
6 Sibling Christmas Traditions & Why Family Traditions Are Important
When I have grown old and my children are adults with their own babies, what I want most for them is an unbreakable bond they have with each other.
Who knows what the future holds and if they live across the country from one another, but I hope more than anything they’ll do their best to spend time together during the holidays and share in some of the same traditions we had as a family when they were little.
This is also why I make sure my kids have their own Sibling Christmas Traditions; for their excitement of the holidays to help cement them together for the years to come.
While some days it feels like all my three kids do is bicker, I love to catch the little moments when they think I’m not watching and catch them help each other, run to comfort the other when they’re hurt or have fallen, and of course, get excited about all the fun the holidays bring for them together.
These sweet magical moments are the glue that I hope will bond them to one another when distance and time push them a part.
Traditions are important for families because they create unity. Traditions contribute to healthy family dynamics and building a positive home for children to have a sense of belonging and identity.
There is nothing more meaningful than to give children family traditions, but also their own sibling traditions they can cherish for a lifetime.
Sibling Christmas Traditions: For Kids To Delight in the Excitement of the Holidays Together
1) Let Siblings Buy Gifts For Each Other
This tradition is one my kids talk about all year long and once we decorate our tree, ask a million times when is it time to go Christmas shopping for their brother and sister.
They love it so much but what I love about this tradition, is how much thought and consideration they put into buying the perfect gift.
Each year, we give the kids each a certain amount of money to go shopping for their siblings. It’s usually $10 per child, but this is completely up to you and your budget.
Here’s how we do it.
Mom or Dad will take each child to a store of their choice to scout out a special present and what’s special is not only the time you get one-on-one with your child during what’s typically a busy holiday season, but you get to see first hand how intimately your child knows their siblings and the amount of thought they take to plan for the perfect gift.
We’ve taken all three kids to Target or a big store before and divided up to conquer our holiday shopping, but this does get tricky with checkout and making sure no one else sees what the other ones bought for them.
Once we get home, my kids run to their rooms to wrap the present, make a homemade card and set it under the tree.
The best part is when it’s time to open presents on Christmas morning, how excited each child gets when their gift is opened and you can see the pride beaming from their faces at making their brother or sister happy with a well-thought out gift.
These are always the first gifts to get unwrapped and I think that’s pretty special.
You can also let your kids go in together on planning and buying a family gift such as a board game or something they’ll play with together outside, or making a gift for Mom and Dad. Of course, any gift from your kids and from the heart is the best kind!
2) Christmas Camp Out
My kids get to pick a non-school night in December to set up their sleeping bags, pillows, what feels like hundreds of stuffed animals and sleep in the living room with the Christmas tree lights on.
(I always turn them off before I go to bed so it’s not a fire hazard!)
We might watch one of their favorite Christmas movies like The Grinch, eat popcorn, have a cup of hot chocolate in one of our Santa mugs sand read a Christmas story (The Night Before Christmas the classic version is always our favorite and a must-have) before they settle to bed too.
3) Night Before Christmas Box
If you are doing special Christmas pajama this year, this might be a fun way for you to gift them to your kids in a special Night Before Christmas Box.
The box can have new Christmas pajamas to wear to bed for Christmas morning, a Santa hat, socks or slippers, a Christmas book to read before bedtime, a special treat like a candy cane or package of hot chocolate and some sort of note.
This is a Certificate of Making Santa’s Nice List if you want to throw this is your Night Before Christmas Box.
Box idea from Oh My Creative.
4) Magic Reindeer Food
This recipe is easy to make, but what’s hard to capture is the delight little kids get from making and then sprinkling Magic Reindeer Food outside on Christmas Eve.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, bird seed)
- Festive holiday sugar crystals or cooking decoration toppings
Once you mix everything together, bundle up and head outside to sprinkle it your yard for Santa’s Reindeer to eat on Christmas Eve. (Stay away from actual glitter or potentially toxic non-food items which can be harmful to critters if they eat it.)
As an added magic trick – pop open a glow stick and sprinkle the glowing liquid over your lawn and tell the kids to look outside and see how the magic reindeer food sparkles and glows in the dark!
Snag a free printable & recipe for Magic Reindeer Food from Savvy Mom.
5) Christmas Eve Sleep Over
I used to do this as a kid and this is something we’ve passed along to our kids, a Christmas Eve Bunk Over.
This is where all your children can pick a bedroom to bunk in together for the night. This may mean squeezing into one bed if it’s big enough, or throwing a couple sleeping bags on the floor, but the excitement is definitely tangible when all the kids are together in one room and they wake up together on Christmas morning.
I love hearing the excited whispers of “I think I just heard a reindeer on the roof,” or “we have to go to bed so Santa can come tonight” for the next 30 minutes after I tuck them in.
6) One Act of Kindness Your Kids Participate in Together
The materialism of Christmas often gets in the way of the true meaning of the holiday – giving, caring for our fellow neighbors and friends and being kind to one another.
What is one act of kindness your children can think of and do together that’ll be of service to a friend, family member, neighbor, teacher, coach?
Think of all the possibilities!
Bringing a plate of fresh baked cookies, a bouquet of flowers, washing their car, raking leaves in their front yard, making something for them, collecting canned food for your local food bank, donating used toys to a shelter, writing kind notes …. so many possibilities!
Have your children sit down and brainstorm 1) who they can do something nice for and 2) a meaningful act of kindness. Then, support their mission to do something nice for another person.
Here are some Acts of Kindness Ideas to get them started and another article on how to Create Kindness Bags to hand out to those in need and the homeless community around you.
What are some of your favorite sibling traditions you do with your own siblings or with your kids?
Check Out All of Our Gift Guides:
- Ultimate Guide: 200+ Practical Non Toy Gifts for Kids That Aren’t Junk
- Best Board Games for Kids and Families to Play Together
- Best Gifts for Kids Who Love Arts and Crafts
- Best Outdoor Toys for Kids to Promote Active Play & Healthy Habits
- 40+ Unique Stocking Stuffers for Baby – Toddler (Ages 0 – 3)
- Non-Toy Gifts for Giving Children Experiences Not Things
- Gifts for Kids to Receive in the Mail All Year Round
More Christmas Resources:
- Over 285 Easy & Fun Elf on the Shelf Ideas, Activities & Printables
- Free Kid’s 2-Page Printable Christmas Scavenger Hunt
- Elf on the Shelf Printable Notes
- 30 Last-Minute & Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas For Busy Parents
- 12 Hilarious Minute To Win It Christmas Games for Kids
- 21 Best Christmas Games Perfect for Preschoolers
- 24 Cute & Healthy Christmas Snacks for Kids
- 26 Unique Family Traditions to Make the Holidays Magical for Kids & Adults
- 10 Beautiful Homemade Christmas Gifts for Kids to Make
- Non-Toy Ideas: Gifts Kids Will Cherish All Year Long
- Gifting Experiences: Non-Toy Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love
Allison B says
Our kids buy gifts for each other and we give them $5 for each sibling, but they can do extra chores to earn more money to spend on them. It’s amazing how hard they work so they can have more money to spend on each other.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing, I think we might have to do this next year when the kids are old enough to start pitching in with more chores.