For many people, Christmas means trees, presents, and fun holiday movies. But for the ultra-religious Duggar family, Christmas is something else. For them, it’s primarily a time to remember the birth of “our lord and savior Jesus Christ,” as eldest son Josh Duggar explained in a 2014 video.
While the Duggars do celebrate the holiday by exchanging presents and having a big meal, they don’t have a big tree or tell the younger kids that Santa’s going to pay them a visit. Instead, they have a “Happy birthday, Jesus” banner and sit down together to read the Bible story of his birth.
But as the older Duggar kids have grown up, gotten married, and started families of their own, some of them are embracing new Christmas traditions.
Jessa Duggar seems to be going all-out on Christmas presents
The Duggars do exchange Christmas gifts, but they tend to keep them pretty modest. With 19 kids, the easiest thing to do was to exchange names, with each child buying a present for one of their siblings. Jim Bob and Michelle would also buy presents for each of the kids, they explained in an interview with Focus on the Family. Everyone also received a uniquely Duggar present: A gift bag filled with Pringles, beef jerky, and pickles.
But when it comes to their own children, the Duggar kids might be a bit more generous. In a recent Instagram post, Jessa Duggar shared a photo of her husband Ben Seewald staring at four large Amazon boxes on her doorstep.
“Just been doing a little Christmas shopping, Babe.” 😁🙈” she captioned the post before asking her followers where their favorite online gift finds were this year.
Jill Duggar puts up a tree
At Jim Bob and Michelle’s house, the only tree is a small tabletop one. But last year, Jill Duggar and her husband Derick Dillard decided to put up a full-size tree (with plenty of presents underneath) in their home, as seen in a December 25 Instagram post. Jill’s embrace of mainstream Christmas traditions may have been due to her husband. In another post, she shared a video of Derick as a child telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas.
Jinger Duggar also seems to be taking up new traditions for the holiday. In 2018, she and husband Jeremy Vuolo spent Christmas with his family. The proud mom shared photos of her daughter Felicity in a cute red and white striped dress posing in front of a tree.
Josiah Duggar and his wife Lauren also had a tree in their home last year.
Even the Duggars have found new ways to celebrate
As the kids make their own Christmas memories with their families, the Duggars are also finding new ways to celebrate. Last year, the extended family had an ugly sweater party in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Daughter-in-law Anna Duggar called it “a new tradition.”
The Duggars also like to visit Silver Dollar City theme park around the holidays. So while their Christmas traditions might look a little different from yours, it seems clear that they do love to celebrate the season in their own way.