7 Ways to Have an Old-Fashioned Christmas

A collage of Christmas items on a wood background including fresh greenery, berries and dried orange slices.

How to Have an Old-Fashioned Christmas

I have an old soul and I really love incorporating old-fashioned traditions and values into my modern life.

The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has reached a fever pitch in the last few decades and I think it’s wise to slow down, clear our heads and appreciate what truly matters this time of year.

In generations past, Christmas wasn’t about shopping for hours on end and piling expensive presents under the tree. Instead, people used what they had to make gifts and homemade treats to give.

Today, I want to share with a you a few simple things that you can do to slow down and connect with those that you love.

This post was originally published in December of 2015, but has been updated for your convenience.


Decorate with Natural Decor

One easy thing that you can do is choose a real tree over a fake one. So many things are fake and plastic in our modern world that I think we sometimes forget the beauty of the natural world around us.

Sure you can go to your local big box store and purchase a perfectly symmetrical plastic tree with a ton of shiny glittery decor to go on it, but I think the simplicity and imperfection of a real tree has more to offer our tired and weary souls.

The smell of fresh greenery, dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks adds to the ambiance of the season and helps to feed our desire for connecting with nature and living a simple life.

And if you’re feeling really festive, then why not throw a few of these ingredients to simmer on the stove in this recipe for an Easy DIY Christmas Simmer Pot.

Here are some items that you can buy or collect and use to decorate:

You don’t have to spend a fortune to deck the halls, just look around at what you have on hand, roll up those sleeves and get creative. Celebrate the season with the beauty of what nature has to offer.

Make Handmade Decorations

Another great way to celebrate the old-fashioned way is to make handmade decorations. Most people didn’t have the money to buy store-bought decorations so they used what they had to make their own.

Stringing cranberries and popcorn to make garland is a great idea, also making cinnamon dough ornaments is easy and fun for adults and kids alike.

Another easy idea involving your kids is to make a paper chain countdown to Christmas where you remove a chain every morning until Christmas day.

Check out these DIY Christmas Decor projects that you can make:

Give Homemade Treats

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season is by making homemade treats to give to those that I love. I would much rather make up a big basket of treats to give than buy a present from the store.

In decades past, women used to bake for weeks before Christmas so they would have treats to give to everyone that they loved. Don’t forget to involve your kids and make it a family affair! Check out the list below for some easy recipe ideas to get you started.

Some of my favorite homemade treats include:

Make Gifts to Give

Another important old-fashioned tradition is to make gifts instead of buy them. I love this because time is precious and if you take the time to make a gift for someone then you’re showing them how much you love and care for them.

I personally enjoy receiving homemade gifts because it makes me feel loved, plus I know that it’s unique.

I try to make as many homemade gifts as I can each year because I enjoy the process and it keeps me out of the stores which are crazy this time of year.

An easy idea for a homemade gift is to take your favorite baking recipe and make it into a gift in a jar. Just fill the jar with the dry ingredients and attach instructions for completing the recipe. Anyone can do this and people LOVE them!

An easy idea for small children is to have them make their own Christmas Cards or pictures to give. Little kids LOVE doing stuff like this and it’s so important to teach them the joy of giving at a young age. You may also be interested in my article, 10 Ways to Serve with Young Children During the Holidays for more ideas.

Spend Time Together

The best way to celebrate the holiday season in my opinion is to simply spend time with those that you love.

This can be challenging in our busy modern lives, but it’s important to be intentional about this and block out time each week to do something with your family.

Last year, we sat down as a family and created a Christmas bucket list. Each family member listed two things that they wanted to do during the holidays and we put them on our calendar. This is a simple way to make sure that everyone’s favorite holiday traditions are kept and it’s pretty simple.

Some of the activities from our list were, making Christmas cookies, watching Elf, going to IHOP for pancakes and looking at Christmas lights.

Some more easy activities that you can do together include ice-skating, making gingerbread men, reading Christmas stories, etc. For more ideas and a free printable check out 25 Christmas Activities for Kids.

Sing Christmas Carols

I know this sounds really simple, but just think about it, before screens and radios, people made their own music. I think it’s an important human tradition that should be continued, especially during the Christmas season.

Does someone in your family play an instrument? Maybe you could gather around the piano or guitar and spend an evening singing together.

If no one you know plays an instrument, you could sing accapella or put on a holiday CD and let Bing sing for you, either way continuing the tradition of singing Christmas Carols is a great way to connect with the past and have an old-fashioned Christmas.

Light Candles

If you want a truly old-fashioned holiday experience, then why not turn off the lights for an evening and use old-fashioned lighting such as an oil lamp or candlelight. Why not make an evening of it and light a fire, make hot cocoa and put on some Christmas music or just listen to the silent winter night. How cozy does that sound?

Celebrate the TRUE Meaning of the Season

I’m including this not because it’s old-fashioned to believe in Jesus, but because it’s out of fashion in our current culture. The true meaning of the season is that God sent his only Son Jesus to die for our sins so that we could have everlasting life.

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus and I hope that you take the time to reflect on that and read the Christmas Story with your family that is found in Luke 2:1-20.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”

Luke 2:14

There’s much to learn from the past about slowing down and focusing on what’s important. I hope you will incorporate some of these things into your own own holiday celebration, especially the birth of Jesus. Have a Merry Christmas and if you want to read more articles like this one, then be sure to check out the links below!

Follow Graceful Little Honey Bee on:
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Want more Old-Fashioned tips and tricks? Here are a few of our favorite articles:

Similar Posts


  1. These are great ideas that not only bring old tradition back but can also save you money during the Holidays. Making gifts are more meaningful and can help you stay on budget as well. Thank you for your post.
  2. It was a joy to read your ideas and to know that there are other people that like the old-fashion and true meaning of Christmas. I love that you included the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas, Hilda Castillo
  3. Nice. Will try the Amish bars. Thanks! I like your comments about the actual meaning of Christmas. Not much without Him.
  4. I love your blog. I have two boys 6 and 9. And we live on a low budget and trying to teach my kids the importance of Christmas and Jesus. I think this year shows us more than ever what is important and what isn’t. Thank you for the wonderful post and hope u and ur family are healthy and well Nicole
      1. Merry Christmas to you and your family too! We got our nativity set today and built a gingerbread house. All the simple things that are the best. Have a blessed Christmas and thank you for the inspiration on your blog 😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.