55 Old Fashioned Christmas Ideas will help fill your holiday with magic and you may find some of the enchantment you experienced when you were young.
“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith
Getting everything done can make your holiday season feel like a whirlwind of activity, but sometimes the whole reason we celebrate this time of year can get lost in to-do lists.
I want an old fashioned Christmas, and I’m guessing you do too. The stress of everyday events has us yearning for a more simple life. Taking time to look at our holiday traditions is a step in the right direction.
What is an Old Fashioned Christmas?
It’s finding old fashioned values in a modern world. Instead of worrying about fashion labels and the latest trends, you look to create a Christmas that touches the hearts of your family and friends.
What does an Old Fashioned Christmas look like?
An old fashioned Christmas looks like anything you want it to be. It’s all the things you would like to see, experience, and feel.
It’s finding old fashioned Christmas activities that bring your family closer together, using old world Christmas recipes in your meals, finding old time Christmas traditions that everyone loves, and giving the perfect gifts that speak to the recipient’s soul.
Since you love to Christmas, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 8,000 like-minded souls.
It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.
Old Fashioned Christmas Decorating Ideas Outside
1) Window Dressing.
Window boxes are the perfect place to decorate for Christmas. Create a base of greenery and add sleigh bells, pinecones, mistletoe, Christmas lights, bows and/or ornaments to dress up your windows.
2) Welcome Home.
A sled or red wagon looks great on the front porch to welcome visitors and remind you of careening down those snowy hills. Hang a small wreath from the sled or put a small tree in the wagon for a festive touch.
3) Mr. Postman.
Decorate your mailbox to celebrate being the vessel to hold your greetings from family and friends. Add garland, bows, pinecones and Christmas lights to dress your mailbox for the season.
4) Line the Path.
Create ice lanterns to dot your walkway or driveway. Add sprigs of holly for a fun touch.
Old Fashioned Christmas Decorating Ideas Inside
5) Walk Down Memory Lane.
Replace all your family photographs around the house with pictures from previous Christmas’ years.
6) Santa’s Visit.
Put some flour on the fireplace and use boots to make prints. If you get up right before the kids, putting a bit of crushed ice inside the hearth would be a fun thing to do.
7) Letters From Home.
Have a small Christmas tree set up in your entrance way and add the Christmas cards you get by punching a hole in the corner and hanging on the tree with ribbon.
8) Let it Snow.
Make paper snowflakes to decorate the whole house. Add some of the snowflakes to the Christmas tree, place some on the window and string some together on the strand to make a garland.
9) Canopy of Joy.
Add white Christmas lights to each of your bedroom’s ceiling. White twinkling lights are pure magic and remembering them as the last thing you see before going to sleep will ensure sweet dreams.
10) Nativity Set.
Make the nativity set take center stage in your living room by placing in a place of honor. Make sure you don’t put baby Jesus in the manger. Place one piece of straw to the manger every day in the month of December. On Christmas morning before the kids get up, add baby Jesus to the manger and take some time out to celebrate his arrival.
11) Chestnuts Roasting.
When was the last time you gathered your family together and roasted chestnuts? They taste delicious if you slather them with butter and sugar. It’s time to bring that tradition back to your life.
12) Mantle Love.
Add greenery all along your mantle and add fresh red and green apples and pears peeking out among the branches.
13) Toasty Warm.
Have a large basket filled with warm blankets to grab while relaxing on the couch. Nothing says cozy during the holiday season like having blankets to snuggle in.
14) Festive Words.
Spell out “Merry Christmas” with alphabet wood blocks. They still make those blocks today. You can find a set (here) for a good price.
15) My Very Own.
Each person in your family has their own small Christmas tree in their bedroom decked with ornaments that reflect his or her hobbies or interests.
16) Stocking History.
Have a patchwork Christmas stocking made from a deceased loved one’s ties. Added tie tacks or cuff links to bejewel the trim.
17) Bloom Where Planted.
There’s a bit of magic when you see a plant that blooms during the coldest part of the year. How about having Christmas cactus hang in your window? Paperwhites are gorgeous flowers and can be forced to bloom at the perfect time.
18) Artistic Side.
Why should your windows miss out on all the fun? Let each family member decorate a window. You can use tempera paints for easier removal if someone decides to use his or her painting skills to celebrate the season.
19) Dinner’s On.
Display your Christmas menu on a large chalkboard, so everyone knows in advance what tantalizing recipes to look forward to eat.
20} Well-Dressed Chair.
Add a small green wreath and bow to the back of all your kitchen chairs to add a festive touch.
21) Mother Nature.
Small living cedar tree for each place setting.
22) Where’s My Seat?
Instead of placards, how about designating where each person sits with a photo of him or her when they were little during Christmas? You can make a copy of the photograph and put on a cardboard paper and fold into a tent. You could also put each photo in a small frame.
How to decorate an Old Fashioned Christmas Tree
Set up an electric train underneath the Christmas tree. There’s nothing more fun that a train racing around the base of a holiday tree
24) Natural Instincts.
Stringing cranberries and popcorn for the garland of the tree never gets old. You could also dry apple and orange slices and hang them as ornaments. Old-fashioned Christmas cookies will give your tree a homespun look.
25) Days Gone By.
Why not bring your past to the present? Hang your children’s baby spoons, rattles, children’s mittens on the tree to remind you of such a treasured part of your life. Grandpa’s pocket watch, grandma’s brooch or mom’s handkerchief are some other ideas to add a little history to your tree.
Old Fashioned Christmas Recipes
26) Chocolate Dreams.
Make your own hot chocolate from scratch. Why not try making homemade marshmallows while you’re at it?
27) Heritage Nourishment.
Bring those delicious recipes from the past back to life by giving them a place of honor on your table. If your heritage is Norwegian then Kringla cookies added to your baked goods would be a great tribute to your family history. Tamales for Christmas is a yummy tradition that would be a delicious way to salute your Hispanic background.
Gingerbread pancakes with maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice are just some ideas to create the ultimate breakfast-in-bed experience.
Old Fashioned Christmas Presents
29) Star Magic.
Put a star on the one gift each person is allowed to open Christmas Eve.
30) Naturally Festive.
Small trees are the perfect gift to give to neighbors. Have the kids create homemade ornaments to hang on the trees by drawing pictures of birds, bird nests, squirrels, acorns and pinecones
31) Perfectly Personalized.
Who wouldn’t love monogrammed pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve?
32) Angelic Thoughts.
For that special someone who has always been your angel in this life, get her an angel to let her know how grateful you are.
33) Gift of Time.
Finding moments to spend one-on-one time with your children can be difficult to achieve. Create coupons for your kids that will give them those special moments. The coupons could include teaching him or her something, taking them somewhere or giving them a gift of an experience.
34) Sweet Thoughts.
Hang a single mitten filled with goodies like a couple of truffles, hot cider mix, and candy canes on your neighbor’s front doors.
35) Jewels for the Tree.
Give each member of your family and your friends an ornament that marks an accomplishment for the year.
36) Culinary Magic.
Compile all your favorite family recipes and make a book to give to all your family and extended family members as a gift.
37) Four-Legged Friends.
Make homemade dog biscuits for your family and friends that have furry family members.
Old Fashioned Christmas Traditions
38) Holiday Lights.
Find out where all the best displays of Christmas lights are and tour the areas equipped with hot cocoa and hot apple cider.
Decide as a family which house was the best dressed and send them a thank you note for the enjoyment you received because of the care they took to decorate it.
39) Bubble Queen.
Treat yourself to a Christmas bubble bath complete with Christmas scented candles and gingerbread sugar scrub. Here’s the blog post I wrote about How to Create the Ultimate Christmas Bubble Bath.
40) Wishful Thinking.
Write your wishes for the future of each family member and have each person wrap up his or her thoughts. Open these unique gifts in front of a roaring fire on Christmas Day.
41) Picture Perfect.
Take a family photograph every Christmas. Stretch your creativity by changing the family picture each year with a different theme.
For instance one year, you can take a picture of the whole family building a gingerbread house, another year building a snowman and another year of the family making snow angels.
43) Home Not Alone.
Watch your favorite family Christmas movie every year. Make a big production out of the night by all wearing Santa hats, munching on peppermint bark and sipping on hot cocoa.
44) Being Campy.
Camp out under the Christmas tree one night every year. Lay out the sleeping bags and sleep together as a family near the twinkling lights of your holiday tree. Talk about favorite Christmas memories.
45) Fresh Air.
Create a tradition of snowshoeing on the morning of Christmas Eve. There is something so serene about being out in nature and taking in all her wonder.
46) Family Memories.
Inspire older family members to include one Christmas holiday memory in his or her Christmas cards to family members every year. This is a wonderful way to document your family history and family traditions experienced in the past.
47) Ice Crazy.
Start an annual tradition of going ice skating as a family. Everyone has to pick out a crazy hat to wear for this outing.
48) Holiday Guests.
Use a special tablecloth reserved for Christmas dinner. Have everyone that was at the dinner sign his or her name on the tablecloth. Embroider each signature as a distinct reminder of Christmas pasts.
49) Christmas Tradition of Good Thoughts.
Place all the Christmas cards you receive together in a basket. Every evening, take one card out and have the family say a prayer for the family that sent it.
50) Yuletide Wishes.
Have everyone in the family pick out a yule log to burn in the fireplace. Each family member should touch the log and think of a wish. Your wishes will be released into the world through the smoke when you burn the yule log.
51) Spread Love.
There are so many people who have a difficult time during the holidays. Ease the burden of others by making it a family tradition to show kindness throughout this magical season.
As a family, shovel older neighbor’s driveways and sidewalks, offer to run errands for those having a hard time leaving his or her home or volunteering at a soup kitchen are just a few ways to make the world a better place.
52) Time Capsule.
Why not make this year the year you create a Christmas Time Capsule?
Some of the items you might want to include are wish lists, letters to Santa, a written menu of what you had for dinner and each person’s favorite thing they did this year.
53) Child in Need.
One of the ways you can teach your children not to accumulate too much stuff is after they open all their presents, they are to find the same number of used toys to donate to children that would love to have their gently used items.
54) 12 Days of Reading.
Why not read a different Christmas book each day counting down the 12 days of Christmas? As a family, you could snuggle in the same bed and read the book out loud.
55) Phone Caroling.
Who says you have to go door to door to sing carols? Bring a smile to out-of-state relatives by starting a phone caroling tradition.
Pick one or two of your favorite Christmas songs to sing together as a family and practice before calling.
Where to buy old fashioned Christmas lights?
You don’t want to use vintage lighting because of the fire hazard. Thank goodness they now make Christmas lighting that recreates the lighting of yesteryear.
Here’s a string of old fashioned Christmas lights on Amazon.
Where to buy old fashioned Christmas hard candy?
Why not try your hand at making old fashioned Christmas hard candy yourself? It would be a fun Christmas tradition to add to your schedule.
The good news is, if you don’t have the time to make it – there’s lots of candy makers that can help you give sweetness during this magical holiday.
Where to buy old fashioned Christmas decorations?
Have you ever seen an old fashioned bubble lights for the tree? They are simply stunning.
They also have clear bubble lights with silver glitter. You can find some here on Amazon.
Congratulations, you made it through all 55 Old Fashioned Christmas Ideas!
Hopefully at least one of these ideas spoke to you and will inspire new decorations or traditions in your life.
Put the Christmas music on and grab a pen and paper and outline how you can turn your Christmas into the holiday you’ve always dreamed about.
It’s important to remember all the simple things in life and create happy memories for both friends and family.
We wish you a magical holiday season!
For more ideas on how to have an old fashioned Christmas – check out these 75 Easy Christmas Craft Ideas to keep your home feeling merry and bright on Country Living.