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The Tradition of the Christmas Angel

By: Bethany Beal

My family adores Christmas traditions; we look forward to them every year.

Christmas breakfast always looks the same. Christmas dinner always looks the same. The stockings hanging on the fireplace always look the same.

We love doing the same things year after year after year!

One of my family’s most special Christmas traditions started when I was little. My parents called this tradition “The Christmas Angel,” and it begins on December first and lasts until Christmas day.

The goal of this tradition is to secretly leave a little “Christmas Angel” gift for someone in a place where they’ll simply stumble across it. These gifts can be anything—they don’t have to cost money!

This tradition is all about making someone else feel loved and special. It’s truly a joy to focus on others and bring a smile to someone else’s face during the Christmas season!

Here’s How It Works:

  1. You buy or make a little gift for a family member or friend.
  2. You wrap the gift and draw an angel (with a marker) on the outside, adding the recipient’s name.
  3. But don’t add your name! The gift is anonymous—and that’s part of the fun!
  4. When the recipient isn’t around or looking, you leave your Christmas Angel somewhere where they’ll find it—in their car, on their dresser, taped to their bathroom mirror, on their Bible, etc.
  5. The person discovers the Christmas Angel!
  6. You can repeat these steps over and over again for all of your friends and family throughout the month of December.

The Christmas Angel gifts don’t have to be big or costly. They can be simple, inexpensive, or even free. The goal isn’t to spend money; the goal is to be thoughtful and secretly let someone know that they are loved and cared for.

Christmas Angel Gift Ideas:

  • An encouraging letter
  • A hand-lettered quote
  • $5 gift cards
  • Handmade Christmas ornaments
  • A coffee mug
  • A small candle
  • A journal
  • A small poinsettia
  • Cookies
  • A tube of lipstick
  • A card game
  • Candy
  • Packs of gum and mints
  • Pens and notecards

If you came over to my house, my parents’ house, or any of my siblings’ houses during December, you would be sure to stumble across these secret little gifts. Our family is big on The Christmas Angel gifts, and we do them every year without fail!

The Christmas Angel is a tradition that I plan to bring into my new marriage and family. I love the idea of intentionally thinking of others and doing something to make someone I love smile.

Give The Christmas Angel tradition a try.

Start leaving little gifts with angels drawn on them around your house. Maybe your family and friends will catch the fun festive spirit and want to join in on the fun!

  • Does your family do anything unique this time of year?
  • What is your all-time favorite Christmas tradition?


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4 Responses to The Tradition of the Christmas Angel

  1. Shanae B says:

    On Christmas Eve we get “Christmas eve” presents of pajamas, and a big box of assorted chocolates! Then we watch the same Christmas movie (while eating a few chocolates) before going to bed! I really like this Christmas angel tradition your family does Bethany, it’s a great idea! 🙂

  2. Erika says:

    Saw this post over on LYWB. It’s sounds awesome to do thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Christiana says:

    Aww I love this idea! My family and I used to do something sort of similar. We would get a basket of some sort (large enough to hold a baby doll who would be baby Jesus later on) and straw. Then we would do nice, special acts for each other like making somebody’s bed, or picking up someone’s mess, or setting the table for mom etc. After you completed your nice act you could go to the basket (manger) and stick a piece (or a couple of pieces) of straw in the manger. So for every nice act you did you got to put straw in the basket manger.Then on Christmas Day, I think it was, we would get our baby Jesus doll and place him in the straw-filled manger. It was so fun and sweet and really taught us to put others before ourselves! We don’t do it very much anymore as we’re all getting older (which is sad, but maybe we’ll do it again sometime), but it’s something I’d like to do with my family when I have one!

  4. Kate says:

    Wow what a great idea! I came up with one very similar to this, only mine was exempt of the angel, although I like the name you gave it! This sure would be fun 🙂

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