10 Irish Family Christmas Traditions

Its the most wonderful time of the year and no matter who you talk to everyone has their own idea of the perfect Christmas, whether its something instilled in you from your own childhood Christmases or a tradition that is newly formed with your own kids, every family have their own Christmas traditions.

Here are 15 of the most popular family Christmas traditions … don’t forget to leave us a comment below to let us know what’s your’s! 


  1. Santa Visit 

Is there anything better than looking at a child’s eyes fill up with the wonder and magic of seeing Santa Claus? It’s an integral part of Christmas and gets everyone, young and old in the spirit of Christmas. We have a magical Santa Experience at Westport House our Winter Wonderland. Its so awesome with real snow, lots of elves and even Mrs Claus is there to tell a few stories. We have roasting marshmallows, a Snowball run slide and our infamous Winter Wonderland Express Train! Remember if your going to do  Santa Visit then do it right! Book your Winter Wonderland experience HERE 


2. Family Twixmas

Becoming more popular each year, the period between Christmas and New Years is the perfect time to grab a relaxing break away. While yes Christmas is the most magical and wonderful time of the year, it can be pretty hectic. That’s why families are using those days in between Christmas and New Year to send some real family time together and unwind while some-one else caters for you. Four Star Hotel Westport offers amazing Family Twixmas Offers. spend the days lounging around the hotel, playing in the pool or taking a walk on theor amazing 400 acre Estate. For Children (4-12yrs), their Twixmas offer includes Panda Club Activities and includes Children’s Breakfast & Dinner. They also organise babysitters on request, so you can enjoy some quite time in the hotels Maple Bar or AA Rosette Islands Restaurant.


3. Elf on the Shelf®

The Elf on the Shelf® is a fun-filled Christmas tradition that has captured the hearts of children everywhere who welcome home one of Santa’s Elves each holiday season. The magical Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family’s Christmas adventures and reporting back to Santa at the North Pole nightly. Each morning, the Scout Elf returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their Elf. However some elves are more mischievous than others and can cause a raucous each night!



4. Christmas Shoe Box Appeal 

Us Irish are a generous lot and this is most definitely a tradition passed down to Irish children too. The Christmas Shoebox Appeal sends thousands of gift-filled shoeboxes to children in Africa and Eastern Europe. during a time pf all the gift exchanges its important for children to know the real meaning of Christmas and that’s to give and be kind to others plus its a really fun activity to help but one of these together! 


5.Christmas Tractor Run

Ah yes, the local Christmas Tractor Run. If it moves we will put lights on it! Usually for charity, villages and town around Ireland will hold Tractor runs to start of the local festivities or before turning on their Christmas Lights. But remember they can be fierce competitive! Here’s a list of local festivities taking place around Mayo. 



6. Cadburys Selections Boxes / Boxes of Tayto/ Roses 

All the Christmas snacks that take us right back to our childhood and they still exist as an important role in every household over Christmas. Whether your tucking into a Tayto Sandwich, stealing a Chomp from the selection box that you weren’t meant to open before Christmas eve or the sheer relief when you open a tin of Roses that’s not a sowing box! Its the little things that make it Christmas. 


7. Christmas Movies

Christmas to some families means sitting in your PJs all day and watching Christmas Movies, Elf, Home Alone, A Christmas Carol (disagreements on which one), the list is endless. And once the RTE guide is out you can get circling! 


8. Matching Family PJs

Is there anything cuter than matching family PJ’s? they have become a family must have and now you can get some really affordable sets with Pennys, Dunnes and M&S stocking them. For the pictures alone its a must.


9. Laying out Santa’s snack and don’t forget the Reindeer! 

Sometimes he likes milk and cookies , sometimes a mince pie and a glass of Guinness. When the time comes to leave out Santa’s snack, it means the wait is almost over and for the kiddos that means weeks of being on their best behavior and probably having a knot of excitement in their stomach all day is finally coming to an end and the event they have been waiting for all year is upon us. The magic of Christmas night is something that cannot be mimicked of changed. Then when all the presents are opening and the house is covered in wrapping paper , the half eaten Carrot that you was almost forgotten about is discovered in the driveway! Ahhhh we love Christmas! 

10. Christmas Skype

As a nation of travelers, there’s no way you won’t at some stage have a member of the family or a friend that can’t make it home for Christmas, but thankfully with the power of technology it’s like they are right there with you! Between the kids trying to grab the spotlight to show off their new toys, Granny trying to get in on the action but not quite sure how to hold the phone, and the noise level with all the excitement, sure it would e be Christmas without it! 


Happy Christmas Everyone! 

X Twitter

Westport Adventure
is officially open!

Book Online For 10% Off


Subscribe today and stay up to date with the Westport Estate project, receive special offers and exclusive discounts and be the first to know of upcoming events.