Whoever said that Christmas traditions were just for kids was kidding themselves. We want to share with you 7 of the best tried and tested Christmas traditions that everyone can enjoy. Be gone ba-humbug and welcome the magic of Christmas!

Christmas time marks the winding down of a years’ worth of hustle and bustle and the ramping up of all kinds of celebrations and traditions that generally come with the holiday season. It is time to pay tribute to those nearest and dearest, take a little break and soak up some quality time with family and friends. And for my family and friends network, Christmas is time to roll out our Christmas traditions to see what we have in store for one another for the year.

Our Christmas traditions are a great way to get everyone involved, not just the younger breed of humans who already get a large portion of the goods and attention at Christmas. In fact, it doesn’t matter how old you are with our Christmas traditions, as they are made to uphold the magic of Christmas for everyone.


So, for some Christmas traditions that are guaranteed to get even the grinch excited about the silly season, take a look at our festive list of favourites.

The Christmas Cart’s top 7 Christmas traditions for everyone to enjoy

#1 White Elephant Game (Gift Exchange)

The rules with this Christmas tradition can vary slightly, but we prefer to run our white elephant Christmas tradition as below.

Each player is to bring one gift each to the value of not more than a set price (we set our gifts at $25 for this year).

The gift must be wrapped. But, here’s the catch. Part of the fun and excitement is that players can select any gift they fancy based purely on what the package looks and feels like. This is where the art of disguise and crafty gift wrapping comes into play. Shaping gifts to look like something else, changing the weight by adding rocks, etc. The more intriguing (or misleading) the gift wrapping, the better!

Player names are drawn to determine the order of who goes first and so on. In turn, players can choose to select and unwrap an unopened gift or steal one from someone who has already opened theirs. The process continues until all gifts are unwrapped or when enough “gift trades” have occurred.

There are two simple rules to note with this Christmas tradition game:

  1. if your gift is stolen, you cannot steal it back from that person
  2. once all gifts are unwrapped and the stealing has ceased, the gift you end up with is yours to keep or do whatever you like with

To make it more interesting, you can also pre-determine a theme for your white elephant Christmas gifts. Themes can be anything; tools and toys, re-gifts, gimmick gifts, DIY Christmas gifts, etc. They obviously need to be gender neutral too.


Another rule variation you may choose to introduce a steal limit on items so they can only be stolen a set number of times before remaining with the final recipient. This eliminates endless stealing of the popular gifts that get unwrapped.

We like to save this as a Christmas tradition for the big kids only as the littles get plenty of gifting fun of their own.

The idea of this Christmas tradition is that it gives all players the opportunity to experience the joy of Christmas gifting and encourages plenty of fun and banter, exactly the atmosphere you want to create on Christmas Day.

#2 Giving with the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal began in 1987 as a way to use the wide network of Kmart stores as collection points for gifts for the less fortunate. Over this time, more than 8 million Christmas gifts have been distributed to those in need. The Salvation Army now partner with Kmart to continue the success of this wonderful Christmas tradition.


I love upholding my family Christmas tradition by getting my kids involved in selecting a gift to donate to the appeal. This year, cash donations are also being accepted online.

For larger groups and family networks, why not arrange your own annual Christmas tradition to gather gifts, or cash donations, for the appeal. It’s a wonderful way of putting a little love out to the universe and sharing the gift of giving.

#3 Christmas Eve Gift

I can’t speak for everyone, but when it comes time for opening gifts on Christmas Day, I always feel a little pressured and unable to give every gift the attention it deserves (probably from being part of a large family with excited children running about as well as the organisational demands of hosting). So, I love this Christmas tradition particularly as I get to witness and enjoy a more private and relaxed gifting experience.

Each Christmas Eve, my husband and I open one small gift to each other as a pre-Christmas Day specialty. I get to see his reaction to the (quite often difficult to nail) gift I select for him and vice versa.

This Christmas tradition is a great idea for couples as it presents a chance to exchange a gift and soak up the detail prior to the rush on Christmas Day.

And it is very easy to get your kids involved with this Christmas tradition too. To contain their excitement, simply present them one small gift to open that will hold them over until morning. A game or toy is generally a good idea as it will keep the kids out of your hair while you finish prepping for the day ahead.


You can coincide this Christmas tradition with other Christmas traditions too. Your children’s gifts (or yours) can be added to the Christmas Eve box. A new Christmas stocking, a Christmas decoration for the tree, personalised bauble or set of Christmas pyjamas perhaps.

#4 Christmas Lights Competition

Some families really enjoy a good dose of healthy competition. If this sounds familiar, why not combine competition and festive fun and run a Christmas lights competition amongst your friends or family? To enter, each household must pay $20 (or another set amount). The winner is voted by the participants, but you can’t vote for your own handy work. And the winning household takes all!

As a guide for this Christmas tradition, you could create scorecards to incorporate ratings for the “judging” of various areas such as eco-friendly options, sound, lighting effects, props, etc. This can help to make the result “fairer” and more unbiased if needed.

#5 Watch a Festive Flick

As a popular Christmas tradition to get spirits lifted up nice and high, put on a festive favourite Christmas movie on Christmas Eve. Then grab your favourite spritzer or cuppa and relax for an hour or two before things get busy the following day.


#6 Carols by the Light of the TV

If you prefer a bit of background music while finalising preparations for Christmas Day, tune in to one of the carols by candlelight productions that are usually aired on Christmas Eve. Then warm up the vocal cords and get fa-la-la-lahhhring as much as you like. This is a Christmas tradition in my home that no one ever argues with (as they’ll be chased from the kitchen with a wooden spoon!).

#7 Christmas Ornaments

Make or purchase a Christmas ornament that has a particular significance for the year for you and your partner, or your household.

As an example, the year I was married, I created a Christmas ornament featuring a piece of my wedding bouquet in resin. It now sits on my specially-decorated Christmas side table each year. Craft baubles are a great idea for this Christmas tradition too as you can add little bits and pieces into the bauble. Don’t forget to include the year as well.


You can get the kids involved in this Christmas tradition by creating their own Christmas ornament or decoration for the tree. What was so special to them this year? Give them plenty of Christmas craft supplies to get their creative on.

Christmas is a magical time of the year. And the enjoyment of Christmas traditions does not have to be limited to our younger breed. We think big kids are just as entitled to have as much fun with Christmas traditions as anyone.

Need some supplies to roll out your Christmas traditions this year? The Christmas Cart has a fantastic selection of Christmas baubles, Christmas gifts, Christmas décor and ornaments, as well as Christmas serveware. Head to our online store to take a look at what’s on offer. We also have a bucket load of Christmas tradition ideas in our blog if you are looking for more.