10 Christmas Traditions for Teens and Adults

Most Christmas traditions are centered around little kids. Growing up we would always go to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap, read holiday picture books together, and scatter reindeer food (aka granola mixed with glitter) all over the front lawn.

But now that all the kids in our family are in our teens and twenties, none of these activities are options anymore (except for feeding the reindeer, i will never let this tradition die.) Everyone still wants to have fun together, but it’s hard to think of anything to do that is holiday themed. So I made this list of new Christmas traditions for grown up kids and adults!

New Twist on Gift Swap

This is a lot more fun than a traditional gift swap where everyone pulls a name and gets a gift for just one person. This version is free (or super cheap), and everyone gets to open up a LOT of presents. For a full explanation of the idea read this post from my lovely mom who invented it!

Cookie Movie Marathon

Make your favorite Christmas cookies together, or whip up some icing to decorate pre-made gingerbread men. Then pick out a couple of your favorite Christmas movies and watch them together while eating your yummy creations!

Christmas Lights Food Tour

Bundle up and hop in the car to see all the twinkly lights! You can ride around local neighborhoods, or find lists of the best displays in your area online. If you want to make it even more fun, turn it into a progressive dinner (find three separate restaurants to stop at for appetizers, a main course, and dessert) or make pit stops at coffee shops and bookstores.

Birthday Party for Jesus

It is his birthday, so why not celebrate it the same way you would other birthdays?! Make a birthday cake, decorate the house with balloons, and play Christmas minute-to-win-it games. End the night by reading the Christmas story from the Bible.

Decorate Two Houses

Put on some festive music and get everyone involved in decorating. When the house is all decked out and the tree is covered in ornaments, have everyone sit down and make their own gingerbread house. We buy gingerbread house kits from the store, and sometimes we even break out the glue gun to make it easier. (Look for them at Costco, but you have to go early – they sell quick!) When they are finished you can put them anywhere in the house as an additional decoration. Sometimes we like to line them up outside like a little neighborhood. Over the course of the next few weeks we enjoy watching the squirrels knock them over, tear walls off, and try to sit inside of them!

Winter Bonfire

This idea is for those who want to enjoy the snow, but (think) they are too old to play in it. Make a crock pot full of hot chocolate and have everyone fill up their mugs (or thermos if you’re worried about spills.) Then bundle up and sit around a bonfire in the backyard.

Sharpie Mugs for Cocoa

These are fun to make, and you can use them together all winter long, even after the Christmas season ends! We decided to go with snowman mugs (like these from Ziggity Zoom) because they’re so simple – no artistic talent necessary! You can also use these for your winter bonfire!

Ladies Spa Day

Gather all of your female family members together to eat cinnamon rolls and make Christmas themed spa treatments! Search through Pinterest to find your favorite recipes (like this gingerbread sugar scrub from Mommy Musings), and then stock up on mason jars and common kitchen ingredients. You can take the spa treatments home, or use them as gifts!

Write Christmas Cards Together

Serve everyone a steaming cup of apple cider and sit around the kitchen table. Swap your favorite memories from the past year and jot them down. After you’re finished write your Christmas Cards together. This will help you get something productive done, but it will also become a special time to reminisce with your family.

Giving Back Box

This one lasts the whole month of December (or can even last the whole year!) Grab an old shoe box and wrap the lid and box separately with wrapping paper. Slit a hole in the top of the lid and place the box near the front door. You can also decorate a mason jar and use that instead. When anyone has extra change during December they can put it into the box. At the end of the month sit the whole family down to count up the money. Then decide together how to give it away to those in need. Samaritan’s Purse is a great place to find ideas because you can gift physical objects like blankets or baby chicks, and there are choices ranging from six dollars to thousands of dollars. If you’d rather donate time, then volunteer as a family at a local food shelf!!

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