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Meagan lives in St. Joseph, MI with her husband Jon and kids Clara, Owen, William, Isaac, and Jacob; who range in age from four to fifteen. Meagan celebrates the art of sane + satisfying family life at her blog The Happiest Home, and shares her ideas on being a happier mom in her book The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood, both of which have been hailed as down-to-earth, funny, wise, and helpful.

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Christmas PJ’s – our family holiday tradition (plus Target giveaway!)

By Meagan Francis |

pajamas from Target

Due to a camera malfunction (okay, I forgot to charge the battery) this iPhone shot is one of the only photos I have of my boys from last Christmas.

So it seems fitting that it’s one in which they’re wearing their Christmas PJs.

Actually, now that I think about it, even if I’d taken 180 pictures they would be in their PJs in every one. Christmas pajamas are one of our family’s longest-lasting and most treasured holiday traditions.

It begins on Christmas Eve, when we get home from candlelight church services and then a pizza dinner out with my brother and his family.


I dole out the packages, and the kids tear into them with glee.

There’s another gift, too; something special for all of us to enjoy together on Christmas Eve – cocoa, special popcorn, a board game or puzzle – but I think the kids like their pajamas best. They seem to signal that this Christmas thing is really happening and that we are that much closer to bedtime, which means we’re that much closer to wake-up-and-storm-the-tree time.

Christmas pajamas

A very excited William in his Christmas PJ’s.

On Christmas day, the new pajamas seem to symbolize our attitude: relaxed, without agendas or commitments. We rarely leave the house on Christmas day, and haven’t ventured out for any kind of pre-arranged obligation in over a decade. It’s just our day to sit at home: quiet, low-key, together, warm and snuggly in our new sleeping duds, which we usually keep on all day.

Another of my favorite things about buying PJs as a gift? You can really tailor them to your kids’ personalities. Since they don’t have to worry about looking “cool” or pulled-together while in bed or lounging around the house, you’re free to match a silly personality with silly nightwear, or honor a TV show obsession or recent experience.

We almost always buy our kids’ Christmas PJs at Target, who’s sponsoring this post (& the giveaway below!) The Cherokee line is great for snuggly, reasonably-priced pajamas, and they even have some footie jammies (the preferred style of my oh-so-ironically-cool teens.) Here are the options I’m looking at for the kids this year:

target footie pajamas

My teenage sons Jacob (15) and Isaac (13) are really, really attached to their fuzzy footed pajamas.  The first year we got them, it was sort of a joke (they were 11 and 13 at the time; it seemed a little old!)

But they couldn’t deny their ultimate comfort, and I think secretly they liked dressing like little guys again, even if just at night. In fact, when the temps start dropping, the boys will often lurk around when I’m folding laundry at bedtime, hoping for a set of warm-from-the-dryer fleece footies.

Since it’s not always easy to dress teenage kids like, well, kids, I was excited to find these Circo PJs in sizes all the way up to 16/18. I figure that, since part of the fun of the footy PJs is the “little boy look” part, I’ll go for these preschool-esque dinosaur prints.

Target pajamas

These Cherokee jammies look soft and comfy, but have a bit of “cool” edge – perfect for my nine-year-old doesn’t-think-he’s-a-little-boy-but-still-believes-in-Santa son, William.

target pajamas

My littlest guy, Owen, is just 7, but he won’t be into “character” PJs too much longer. He’s a huge Ninjago fan, so I know these will make him happy!

target girl's pjs

Clara is 3 1/2, and after our trip to Disney World last month, she’s obsessed with princesses. For some reason, flimsy, filmy nightgowns give me the willies (I must have a bad childhood memory involving a hangnail or something) but I can get behind this sturdy, soft two-piece fleece set. Princesses and comfort: now that’s what I call a Christmas compromise.

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? Do you give pajamas as a gift like us?

Do you keep your family festively stylish during the holidays? We’re giving away three $50 Target giftcards to brighten the season! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you dress your children conveniently — and with style – during the holidays!

A big thanks to Target for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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About Meagan Francis


Meagan Francis

Meagan Francis is a mom of five who loves everyday adventures and is in pursuit of a big life with her big family. Her love of family, food, home and travel fuel her writing here and on her blogs The Happiest Home and The Kitchen Hour.
Read bio and latest posts → Read Meagan's latest posts →

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18 thoughts on “Christmas PJ’s – our family holiday tradition (plus Target giveaway!)

  1. Angela says:

    I have been trying since my boys were infants to put cute festive sweaers and nice warm cordiroys on them for the holidays. Granted it was so much easier when they couldn’t object to the reindeer overalls and the tartan sweaters. Now at 7 & 9 I would be happy if they at least wore something red for Christmas! I guess it’s thier turn to decide, I have lots and lots of pictures to keep me smiling for a long time to come!

  2. Michelle says:

    I love layers on kids when it starts to get chilly. That way when it is time to get into the car seat we can take off the jacket but the kids are still warm with their undershirt and long sleeved shirt on top. I also try not to buy bulky jackets but keep a thick blanket in the car to throw over the little one when we get out of the car. I also love the cardigans and fleece pullovers that Target has for little boys right now, they are super warm but not too bulky and thus minimal complaining from my little guy :) . Since we live in South Texas it really doesn’t get all that cold so cardigans are a super cute, stylish, addition to my kids wardrobe.

  3. Michelle says:

    Also, I too share your holiday tradition of gifting the kids pj’s on Christmas Eve; I just LOVE that tradition :)

  4. Maggie May says:

    Hey Meagan! :) HUGE TARGET HOWAH here. We do the matching PJ thing at CHristmas too- my girls have green and white striped ones.

  5. rebecca says:

    Well, my other half celebrates Christmas, so it’s more his tradition than mine, but everyone (his nieces, nephews, siblings, mother, our kids) stay in their pajamas and we have a Christmas morning breakfast. I love this tradition and love having a breakfast instead of dinner. I love making breakfast! A couple of years ago I made cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls and pajamas = match made in heaven.

  6. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    My family always did Christmas PJs and they were a gift we got to open on Christmas Eve. My husband’s family had no such tradition, and he thought it was kind of lame (like getting socks or underwear). So, my kids don’t get PJs as a traditional Christmas gift, although they do occasionally get them just because they need PJs.

  7. Tracy says:

    We give pajamas too! I used to make them, but as the kids got bigger, and my time shrunk – we now buy them. My mom gave us pjs as a kid. I think she told me it was so we all ‘looked nice’ for Christmas morning pictures!

  8. Rebecca Lopez says:

    Growing up my family always did new Christmas pj’s every year and stayed in them all Christmas Day also. I now do the same with my kids ! St Nick brings Christmas themed pjs for them and this year “he” even brought them all slipper socks to match the pjs !!

  9. Jen says:

    I make a big deal out of getting into “spiffy” clothes, including socks, spiffy hair and a dab of cologne. It won’t be long before they refuse this :(

  10. Sarah says:

    We usually do new pj’s and slippers on St. Nicholas Day. This year, my kids decided to forgo the jammies so that we could donate through the World Vision catalog. (I still plan to give them jammies for Christmas!) New jammies wasn’t a tradition in either my or my husband’s families, but I really like it.

  11. Rebecca says:

    We always received Xmas themed pjs for Xmas growing up and now I passed that tradition onto my kids ! St Nick brings them their Xmas pjs !
    We also enjoy a low key Xmas morning/day in our pjs !

  12. Now that we’re back in a state with cold winters, holiday style is *all* about festive, brightly-colored knit hats, scarves, and gloves for our kids!

  13. Amanda says:

    We do the same thing, only an elf brings our xmas eve pjs!

  14. Kim says:

    We do new Jammie’s too. On Christmas Eve we act out the Nativity then the kids can open their pjs and a family gift.

    Of course we don’t do much on Christmas Day so it’s lots of fun to lounge about in our new pjs!

  15. Jenni says:

    I love Christmas pjs! And I also love layers on kids. That way, the cute holiday clothes don’t make them overheat and keep them warm when they need to! :)

  16. Sophia says:

    As kids we got new pjs on Christmas eve. I am thinking I need to bring this back with my own family!

  17. Emily says:

    We do new pjs and a family game on Christmas Eve too – even the adults get new pjs, and it’s definitely one of my most favorite traditions!

  18. kelsey says:

    I just make sure she is warm, but still cute. target definitely helps with that

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