Post # 1
Merry Christmas from Australia!!!! Lovely and sunny here in Melbourne, expecting 31C/88F 😀
How do you feel about Christmas traditions? And what changes have you made since you’ve been with your SO?
I’m a touch sad because for the second year in a row we haven’t been able to go home to my family in Auckland (although definitely next year!). Our family Christmases were so consistent, for 20 years til I first had one Christmas away in 2007, that it’s really hard not being there!
My “usual” Christmas is HECTIC. Dad’s family has a beach place about an hour north of home, and all the family on that side (20 people most years, and now time’s ticking on my cousins & brother are home with their kiddos so there’s six young kids and three older ones too) stay there for Christmas eve. Christmas morning there’s present unwrapping (which you can imagine takes a while as we all go round the circle opening one at a time) and then my immediate family head back to the city for lunch with Mum’s side. When we’re hosting, like they are this year, it makes for even more craziness. After all that… we head back up to the beach for an equally large Christmas dinner with all the clan up there… noise, craziness, singalongs… so. much. fun.
My nan, our matriarch, passed away in May though and I’m kinda sad because I think this may be the last of our “traditional” Christmases at the beach and we’re pretty much the only ones not there. One of my aunts has got a beach place for her family and because there’s really not enough room at our family place any more I wouldn’t be surprised to see a split soon. The family “pyramid” just keeps expanding at hte base! It’s like one last huge celebration going on there.
But at the same time, it’s nice to be with FH’s family and joining in with their traditions, like making a gingerbread house on Christmas eve, watching holiday movies, going to church Christmas morning (a first for me!) and generally having a quieter day. Totally different change of pace!
FH and I have also started our own tradition… I never had stockings before so I made us a stocking each last year and we go to the dollar store and have 5 minutes to spend $10 on stuff for the other … it’s a lot of fun!
Here’s our first lot of loot for the day!
Post # 3
@goingtotherooftopoflove: your stocking tradition is fun!
FH’s family always has take out fried chicken on Christmas Eve – completely weird to me but I’ve adopted that for him.
FH’s family also rips through presents in about 5 minutes, whereas my family made it more of an all day affair and we had to eat breakfast (a huge glorious spread of anything you can imagine) before we opened sotkcings or anything. I’m working on this with FH, what we’ve been doing is stockings first (which cost WAYYYY more than $10 in my house) and then breakfast and then presents.
Post # 4
@MsGinkgo: It’s hard trying to meld two totally different ways of doing things, isn’t it?! I had a moment where I got really sad last night when we were at FH’s family’s house because I was thinking of everyone back home at the beach… I felt really bad when FMIL caught it, even though she understands. It was nice to be able to Facetime them. Good luck working with FH on some self control! Haha. Although we like the stockings because it means we get to start the day with a little craziness 😛
Our “loot” is pretty hilariously kiddy… but that’s still kinda the point of it 😛 We’re silly people at heart so it works for us 🙂
Post # 5
Me & fi will be doing making our own traditions next year [once we’re married].
My family used to do ALL kinds of traditions.. but since our family is basically too far spread apart [my grandparents had children 6+ years apart, and so did their children and so fourth.. nobody is really close due to the age gaps].
Our traditions were :
– christmas wrapping parties
– christmas eve dinner with the ENTIRE extended family at the grandparents house as well as extended family present exchanging
– christmas day dinner with the immediate/close family, immediate family present exchanging
– christmas cookies [mainly kolacky’s]
– gingerbread house making
– rice crispie making
– stockings [we would open them up xmas eve]
– presents from the immediate family on christmas morning
– after christmas “closeout” shopping
– christmas pickle ornament [spider for my mom]
– we’ve been known to do a secret santa as well
– everyone brings a dish to christmas dinner
Post # 6
I grew up on a Christmas tree farm, so my SO has to deal with having a Christmas tree, even though his family never had one when he was growing up — they’re Buddhist, so they don’t really celebrate Christmas. Also, I’m used to lots of snow (the low today is 9 deg. F/-12 deg C in my hometown!) but now I’m living in California, so it’s 66 deg F/19 C today! Weird… I miss the snow, and sledding!
The biggest change is not being with family. Christmas was kind of big deal in mine… but one of my grandmother’s is deceased now, my other lives across the country, my parents live a 9 hr drive away (my brother is 10 hrs), and my two sisters are scattered across the US. My husband is changing jobs so he couldn’t get time off for us to go visit my parents in Las Vegas — and my SO’s parents and sisters decided to take a Christmas vacation in Las Vegas! So, we’re all alone… not a big deal for him because, like I said, his family never really celebrated Christmas! The hardest part is knowing my grandmother is going to be alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas. It breaks my heart… especially since I have an aunt and two cousins that live within driving distance, and they haven’t stopped by or even called. (I really don’t understand people sometimes!)
As for food… we’re starting our own tradition! Christmas day he wants to get Chinese food, and I’m on board. I love A Christmas Story, and then I don’t have to cook. 🙂 Since there’s only two of us, no use cooking a whole turkey or a huge ham or anything, and we’re both on diets, so no cookies or pie for us.
Post # 7
We load up on snacks and put Christmas songs on the radio then drive around the neighborhoods that are all decked out and look at the Christmas lights. My FIs family grew up going to see some big movie that opened on Christmas Day so that’s what we do now (one year it was War Horse, this year it’s Walter Mitty).
Post # 8
@goingtotherooftopoflove: first off I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved nan 3 years ago. Loads of hugs to you.
Traditions: we have some, we do stockings too! So fun. We also open one present on Christmas Eve. My FI is currently watching his present, he got Man of Steel. I got a make up mirror. Since I met him I’m turning into a girly girl.
Post # 9
My Nana died this year too and she was the matriarch of the family too… not too sure how much longer our family christmas’s will hold together.
Not that I’m worried about that because I don’t really enjoy christmas at my family’s… we have quite a few ‘bad eggs’ in the family and if I went the entire day without a single hurtful jibe, it would be a miracle. Thank god every 2nd year we now travel to Perth to be with DH’s family and those are amazing 🙂
I started a new tradition this year, we are holding Christmas Eve dinner every year and only my parents and sister and her partner (and our future children) will be invited. This way I have something to actually look forward to about Christmas, one non-drama day surrounded by people who love us unconditionally, which is the way it should be!
Post # 10
SO and I have not had the chance yet to make our own traditions. Really, the only traditions my family has kept consistently are:
-Choosing a new ornamemt for the tree every year. Some people have trees with just balls of one or two colors, but we have a very odd collection, from stars to polar bears to poinsettas and angel wings and birds and (of course) the more traditional balls. I love it. Actually, one of the only things I want when my grandfather passes are some of his and my grandmother’s ornamemts. They used to have one that chirped like a bird and for years I actually believed there was a bird in their tree. It didn’t seem so outlandish considering my grandmother would feed ANYTHING that showed up on her door step, from stray dogs and cats to squirrels to possums and raccoons.
-Also, every year on Christmas I get a new nutcracker. It’s my only present marked “from Santa.” The tradition originated when I was about three and a nutcracker was the first thing I ever asked for for Christmas. I got one that played music, then a few years later my grandparents bought me one, and later my dad bought me one (or two until I was caught up from the years I didn’t get one) every year. I have them in sizes from two feet tall to three inches, from teddy bears to mice, outfits ranging from kings to military to tuxes to sequins. I have a nice little collection now.
Post # 11
I’ve been spending the holidays with my husband and his family ever since we met. Christmas eve we all eat dinner together, and those interested attend evening mass. Then after mass is presents. I grew up opening all the presents on Christmas morning, but his family does it differently. His family opens all the gifts from one another on the night of Christmas Eve, and the gifts from ‘Santa’ as well as the stockings are opened the following morning (Christmas morning).
Post # 12
Growing up, Christmas was a big deal. My mom really went all out. After their divorce, once I was in HS, I lived with my dad/stepmom. They’re into Christmas but not huge gift givers (where as my mom always went way over the top). I had a little sister and they went all out for her, so it was fun to see that (she was much much younger than me).
Once DH and I started dating, the first few years we’d spend Christmas seperate. He’d go home to his family, and I’d stay with mine. After a few years we started always going to his family for Christmas. His mom is like mine was, going all out and it’s generally just a blast. That being said, it’s been 10 years of driving the 6+ hours to spend it with his family. Now that we’re married, I want to start celebrating in our own home – and I’m tired of the stress and hassle of traveling for the holidays. We told his mom, no more. From here on out we are trading holidays. If they want to see us next year, they have to come to our house.
We’re bucking the family tradition and I’m sure things will change. His sister most likely won’t want to come to us, because her BF has kids. All that being said, my parents will be thrilled to have us home for Christmas.
Post # 13
We’ve come home for a sugar-induced nap 😉 so much more to share but my mum wins best card (FH’s name is Chris)! … even funnier because we have an enormous Squishable stuffed moose soft toy at home 🙂
Post # 14
I strugged this year with this(and got some good advice here)My parents are both gone and my FI has a very “hands off” kind of family-
Our traditions, which started this year:
Homemade lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner(a throwback of when I would make this for my parents and was the last meal we ate together)
Monumental Ornaments: decorate ornaments of something we did as a couple this year(I did our engagementand camping trip and he did our trip to D.C., our new dog and our boating fun)
We listened to Christmas carols during dinner and ornaments. Exchanged gifts on Christmas eve after watching Rudolph.
Went to midnight mass.
Today is traditionally quiet. We are going to his mom’s for dinner.
Post # 15
I think traditions are wonderful. My DH asked me whether I thought they were important (my family has a lot, and not just for xmas), and I said I think they are very important because I feel like those are the ways I define being part of my family. Also, since I gave up my name, it is important for me to hold on to parts of my identity.
My side of the family always has BLT sandwiches on Christmas morning and plays the Christmas pickle ornament game.
My husband’s side of the family only has one tradition: to open one present on christmas eve. We will continue this, but this year we didn’t really do a lot of presents, so we didn’t do that cause we only had one present each!