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12 Best Christmas Traditions from Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman has plenty of Christmas traditions we'd like to steal for our holidays. Here are a few of Ree Drummond's favorite things—from spending time with family to matching pajamas!

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Family Packing Christmas GiftsShutterstock / Dulin

Draw Names for Gifts

This Christmas tradition actually begins on Thanksgiving. While the extended family is gathered together, draw names for a gift exchange. Instead of everyone buying gifts for everyone else, each person gets to give (and receive!) one. Ree says it’s fun to see how much thought and creativity folks put into that one gift.

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Little boy and girl carry the sled and enjoying winter sledding timeShutterstock / Soloviova Liudmyla

Spend a Day with Family

The holidays are hectic, so carve out a day to spend with your family. For Ree and her husband (the “Marlboro Man”) this means an annual ski trip with the kids. But how about a fun day of sledding followed by hot cocoa and games? You could also take an evening drive to look at holiday lights.

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Young mother and her daughters using a tablet pc by a fireplace on warm Christmas eveningShutterstock / MNStudio

Watch a Christmas Movie

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” We all know certain Christmas movies by heart—they’re so much fun to watch together every year. Ree’s favorite is It’s A Wonderful Life. For my family it’s Scrooged and Elf.

From roast beast to Clark Griswold’s eggnog, make these recipes inspired by your favorite holiday flick.

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Christmas cookies.Shutterstock / AnjelikaGr

Bake for Your Neighbors

Bake up cookies, quick breads and other holiday treats to bring to your neighbors. If you’re new to the neighborhood or yours doesn’t have this tradition yet, your family can get the ball rolling. Just wait and see how quickly other neighbors join in!

These cookie swap classics would be great to give as gifts.

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Mother and children making Christmas cookies together at homeShutterstock / New Africa

Help Your Kids Bake for Each Other

This is something Ree recalls fondly from her childhood, when she and her sister would bake their older brother’s favorite cookies for him. She turned the tables with her own kids by having her sons bake for their sisters! These Christmas treats are perfect to make with kiddos.

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Christmas wooden NutcrackerShutterstock / Svitlana Morhun

Set out a Nutcracker

Ree danced in the holiday ballet The Nutcracker as a child, so she is very fond of decorating with nutcrackers at Christmas. They’re available in every size and all sorts of styles, from the beautiful, traditional German nutcrackers to Kurt Adler versions based on characters like Jack Skellington and even R2D2 from Star Wars.

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Cakes and cookies recipes in a recipe boxShutterstock / Karin Hildebrand Lau

Make a Beloved Family Recipe

To keep tradition alive and well, make a cherished family recipe over the holidays. For Ree Drummond, it’s her mom’s red and green glazed sugar cookies. For you, perhaps it’s your grandmother’s spiced gingerbread cake, your father’s mulled cider or your family’s famous recipe for fruitcake.

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Happy little kids in matching red and green striped pajamas decorate Christmas tree in beautiful living room with traditional fire place.Shutterstock / FamVeld

Wear Matching Pajamas

It doesn’t get much more adorable than dressing your entire family—even the pets!—in matching pajamas on Christmas. You can start this tradition for your family with matching flannel pants, or go head-to-toe with matching PJ sets like these from Target.

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Broken old vintage Christmas balls on wooden table.Shutterstock / Adrian_am13

Hang the Misfit Ornament

We all have one: a broken ornament on our Christmas tree that is just too special or beautiful to throw out. Ree calls hers the “token broken.” Give that misfit ornament a prominent branch on the tree where everyone can see it and share the story of what makes it so special.

These ornament cookies are almost too pretty to eat. (But we’ll eat ’em anyway!)

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happy friends having christmas dinner at home, drinking red wine and clinking glassesShutterstock / Syda Productions

Say “Cheers” with Holiday Desserts

Enjoy a few grown-up indulgences during the holiday gatherings. Add a splash of rum to desserts like rum balls and rum-glazed cake, and a nip of bourbon to a chocolate pecan pie. Get inspired with these festive Christmas drink recipes, too!

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Family Together Christmas Celebration Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com

Serve a Traditional Dinner

Since turkey has the spotlight on Thanksgiving, Ree makes a big meal on the night before Christmas featuring beef, like prime rib with Yorkshire puddings on the side. Her family enjoys dinner together before heading to the Christmas eve candlelight service at church.

Want to serve prime rib this Christmas? Here’s how to make it perfectly every time!

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Warming and relaxing near fireplace. Shutterstock / Valentyn Volkov

Relax on Christmas Morning

After all those weeks of planning, shopping, baking and wrapping, on Christmas morning Ree likes to kick back and be lazy with her family at home. A few no-fuss brunch recipes keep things simple as they enjoy the holiday and maybe even steal a quick nap on the couch.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.
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