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10 Christmas Traditions To Try This Year

From advent candles to special Christmas dinners, these festive traditions come from far and wide.

Carina Bartle
By Carina Bartle, VP Sales & Partnerships

Christmas may have its origins rooted in Christianity, but, over the centuries, it has become a universally celebrated holiday—one which not only inspires charity and goodwill, but also brings people together around the world. 

Whilst the holiday can be stressful, with moments of last-minute preparations and bustling shopping trips, gathering with loved ones is undoubtedly one of the most nostalgic and heartwarming parts of the season.raison d'être

Ballerina Ornament
Michael Aram
Ballerina Ornament

Some are cherished classics like the decorating of the Christmas tree or the hiding of charms in the Christmas pudding. Others are far newer, innovative traditions creating new ways to celebrate, like the curiously popular KFC-Japan Christmas

Finger-lickin’ Christmas aside, if you find yourself searching for some fun, new holiday traditions to enjoy this year, here are some Christmas traditions from around the world to make this year’s celebration the most magical yet and for your family to enjoy for years to come. 

1. Enjoy the Gift of Giving

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is perhaps one of the world’s most celebrated Christmas stories and, each year, even the most Scrooge-like amongst us are inspired by its message: that the gift of giving is what this holiday is all about.

Stories like this one and the time we have to stop and be thankful, encourage the custom of charity.

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2. Count down with Advent Candles

The anticipation of Christmas is all part of the magic. Children can’t wait for Father Christmas to pay them a visit, adults are excited to relax and many look forward to the time they’ll get to spend with their loved ones.

Originating in the 4th and 5th centuries, Advent began as an occasion to mark the birth of Christ, symbolising the lead up to Christmas. Advent candles are a tradition that have made a recent comeback and can be burned a little each day to mark the four-week countdown to the festivities. Serving as an alternative to the popular chocolate advent calendar, the candle doubles as the perfect addition to your Christmas tablescape.

3. Create a Floral Christmas Display 

An excellent alternative to a more traditional fir garland, poinsettia is becoming a popular choice for a sophisticated Christmas floral display. Providing a brilliant injection of red into your Christmas decor, this red-leafed plant is an easy and impactful way to bring the outdoors in during the festivities.

Plant in golden vases to elevate the look and tie your classic Christmas colour palette together. Display on the fireplace hearth below your stockings for a focal point in the living space or place at staggered intervals down the staircase to mimic the impact of a cascading garland. This vibrant decoration will soon become your Christmas staple and will save a great deal of time from dressing the mantle with an elaborate garland.

4. Feature an Eggnog Bar (with festive barware) 

Creating an eggnog bar is an excellent way to allow guests to make their own Christmas cocktails, just the way they like them, and ensure you’re not stuck in the kitchen missing the party. 

Establish an elegant area by displaying crystal tumblers, a jar of cinnamon sticks and your favourite decanted bourbon on a trolley and allow your guests to tuck in. Enjoy, surrounded by family and friends, in front of the fireplace, all cozied up in soft winter blankets.There’s nothing better than the warmth that comes from each sip of this festive favourite.

Vector Bar Cart
Vector Bar Cart
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5. Visit a Christmas Market

Nothing feels quite as Christmassy as a visit to a Christmas market to immerse yourself in the smells and atmosphere of the holiday. Like many popular Christmas traditions, the Christmas market began in Germany. Dresden’s Striezelmarkt was first opened in 1434 and has been running ever since, providing the inspiration behind many markets across the world.

Find your favourite or try a new one each year and explore all there is to offer—from ice skating to nutcracker shopping—whilst wrapped up in your finest cashmere and sipping on mulled wine. They’re the perfect source of festive cheer and inspiration; you can even do some last minute gift shopping whilst you’re there. 

6. Start a Special Christmas Ornament Collection

It is the ornaments that make a Christmas tree so special. Whether they’re glamorous and embellished or simplistic baubles made of hand-blown glass, Christmas tree decorations have the potential to tell a story and hold memories that unfold as you decorate your home for the festive season.

An excellent option for a gift with more meaning, why not tie an ornament to a present for a loved one in a style you know they will love? Over the years they will accumulate a collection of sentimental significance and look forward to their new addition each year. 

7. Celebrate Christmas twice with Spain's Three Kings tradition

Each year on the 5th and 6th of January, in celebration of the three wise men, Spaniards prolong their Christmas festivities and descend on the streets for spectacular parades, delicious cake and colourful costumes. Known as the Three Kings Festival the occasion is much like Christmas Day with the three kings playing the part of Papá Noel.

Children leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors and receive the second half of their gifts in the morning. What a lovely excuse to continue the celebrations this holiday and offer another opportunity to gather loved ones and enjoy a delicious spread. 

8. Have fun with matching Christmas Pyjamas

Christmas is a time for all the family to gather together, where children are running around, photos are taken and memories are made. This year, spark a bit of festive fun by providing matching pyjama sets for those staying at your home. They make an excellent gift for the family (without the hassle of choosing for each person) and a wonderful treat for the children before bed. This is a tradition that can help make Christmas morning even more spectacular asstockingsare opened and the festivities begin.

9. Discover your favourite new Christmas Game

There’s no better time for a round of cards or a game of chess than at Christmas. With everyone in one place and eager to spend quality time together,Christmas gamesare the perfect form of afternoon entertainment. Perfect for a family event or an evening with friends, a simple poker set or a luxurious chess board are foolproof group activities to get everyone involved. Gift one to a host and bring them a favour and some fun that they can enjoy year on year. 

Cream Shagreen Chess Set
Cream Shagreen Chess Set

10. Exchange Presents on Christmas Eve

In many countries—Sweden, Iceland and Germany among others—gifts are exchanged on the night of Christmas Eve alongside an elaborate meal.  In Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is celebrated with an abundance of seafood for dinner, symbolising their abstaining from meat until Christmas day. Similarly rooted in symbolism, the Spanish enjoy Noche Buena with feasting and gift giving with loved ones. Whilst you may choose to save the majority of the celebration for Christmas Day, exchanging presents on Christmas Eve is a great opportunity to gift your matching pyjamas ready for the morning and build the excitement for what is to come.