What's YOUR Holiday Tradition?

posted 4 months ago in Holidays
Post # 31
Member
6855 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

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missviolet92 :  I LOVE hearing about the holidays in the Southern Hemisphere! It seems so foreign to have the holidays with warm weather when we’re always hoping for a white Christmas.

I begin by putting up four trees in the house either on Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving, so we have the warm glow of holiday lights.

We put the main tree up with all coordinating (not necessarily matching) ornaments, and then each of the kids has an ornament that does NOT match. They put them on the tree, and when they’re not looking, I move them to the back or to hard-to-see spots on the tree (because they don’t GO with the rest of the decorations). Then when I’m not looking, they put them back front-and-center, and so it goes – back and forth – until the tree comes down.

Christmas Eve the kids get new pajamas and I read them The Night Before Christmas (even though they’re now teens, they still want to hear it). Dh reads them The Cheesehead Night Before Christmas, and they laugh and laugh. We always have lasagna on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas morning, we have a rule of no festivities until 9:00 am, so there is no incentive for them to wake up at 5:30 am. At 9:00, they get their stockings and I have cinnamon rolls in the oven to have after stocking are opened. After cinnamon rolls come gifts. Then we put on Christmas movies (or music if the gifts include telly-related gifts like games) and the kids play with their gifts while Dh starts preparing dinner. He grills a spice-rubbed roast, rare, and slices it very thin, while I prepare some sort of seafood (usually scallops or lobster). It’s the best meal EVER.

And, FWIW, on New Year’s Eve we make a meal of appetizers and have game night. Now that the kids are all teens, we play Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity or Who’s Most Likely To…, but sometimes Headbanz or tamer games are still fun, too. Dh and I went out for NYE a few times when the kids were little, but now they LOVE NYE at home with us, so we can’t leave anymore (which is good – there will be plenty of time for that when they are all grown up and have families of their own).

Post # 33
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I love these! Working on starting traditions for my 18 month old. So far, we usually host my family for Xmas eve dinner and then go to their house in the morning the next day for gifts, eggs Benedict brunch. We used to drive to my husbands parents after brunch (2.5h) but last year and I think this year too we plan to drive down on Boxing Day, so we will have dinner with my family. Then with husbands family, we do gifts, dinner, the adults (most of us, there’s two toddlers) build some large complex LEGO. This year, my SIL and I have decided to do gingerbread houses/decorating so the kids can be involved in something haha, I’m excited for that! We got my son a couple Christmas books for his gifts this year so plan to start reading those in the days leading up in years to come. Oh also my son and his cousin get matching PJ’s for DH’s family festivities. 

Post # 34
Member
2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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strawberrysakura :  ha it is pretty nice here. Where I live we dont even get snow in winter as we have a temperate climate so doesnt get too hot or too cold. I’d love a white Christmas.  My mother in law has lived in Nz 35 years and still isn’t used to our summer Christmas!

Post # 35
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2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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echomomm :  it’s still foreign for us. I want a Christmas like in the movies with a fire roaring, hot chocolate and cheesy jumpers. My mother in law is English so she makes us have a mid winter Christmas every year! 

Christmas is actually our summer holidays packed into one. The country pretty much closes for 2 weeks and every one gets a nice break. The cities are pretty empty.  

Post # 36
Member
214 posts
Helper bee

My husband is Dutch so we now also celebrate ’Sinterklaas’ on the 5th December with our friends.

We do a secret Santa but the rules where he is from in the Netherlands are that you have to write an insulting poem for the recipient and also disguise the gift (‘suprisee’) as something else. For example one year I bought a football, unstitched one of the hexagons, filled it with mini alcohol bottles and other cocktail ingredients and recipes and sewed the hexagon back on. It’s always so much fun, we have a party and eat lots of great Dutch treats. In the Netherlands kids would also put out clogs which get filled with sweets too so when we have kids we’ll do that! It’s like having a second friends Christmas as well as a family Christmas on the 25th.

Post # 38
Member
291 posts
Helper bee

I celebrate Christmas around Thanksgiving since that’s the only time I see my family.  We run a turkey trot Thanksgiving morning around the Six Flags I grew up going to which makes me nostalgic.  Then we have dinner that night.

The next day we go to a small old town where characters dress up as Santa’s and such from other cultures/countries and shop in some small stores.  We also have amazing St. Louis style pizza.  Then that night we go to the botanical gardens and look at the lights.

 

my boyfriend and I started a tradition where if we have no social obligation Christmas Eve, we watch It’s A Wonderful Life and eat breakfast foods for dinner.  I also still like cinnamon rolls Christmas morning since as a kid my mom always did that.

 

OP, your story made me smile and made me think of a story an old coworker told me.  He was doing a trip around Europe and ended up getting the best hot chocolate of his life in an old building in Paris.  The hot chocolate shop had been around longer than the country of America (obviously just since colonials settled it as it was around and thriving long before that happened lol).

Post # 39
Member
892 posts
Busy bee

We recently moved to a new state so were trying to start some new traditions with just us. We get an advent calendar because D H did that with his grandmother. I typically put up the tree mid November before Thanksgiving and take it down right after new years. Something my family usually does is have a bunch appetizers on Christmas Eve so that’s what D H and I are doing this year then Christmas I’m making a ham, scalloped potatoes, brussel sprouts, rolls, and a pecan pie. 

Post # 40
Hostess
9136 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

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strawberrysakura :  That hot chocolate sounds AMAZING 

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krm1984 :  your Dad setting the scene sounds so cute! How lovely

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slyfox4 :  Your Christmas sounds brilliant! What a great combo of things!

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jayquellen :  Our three cats each have a stocking on the fireplace filled with treats and toys, I even hand-sewed their names on. One of our cats pulled down his own stocking (correct name and everything and tore into the treats… look at his shame face… 

 

Post # 41
Hostess
9136 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

My traditions aren’t many really, but I do make Chocolate snowballs for my friends and family every year which is nice and always gets me in the spirit. We always open our cats’ stockings first before our own and have pan au chocolate for breakfast. In the daytime we join family and have Christmas dinner at about 5 pm and then in the evening, once everyone is settled we do the “Father Christmas” present, which is one present left over until the end of the day. My Gran always did it and we have carried it on – not sure why but it is super cute, it is normally something like socks, or a book, or a quiz. 

Post # 42
Member
318 posts
Helper bee

With my SO each year we drive around and look at Christmas lights. This actually started on our first date and we’ve been doing it every year since. A couple days from now will be our 5th 🙂

With my family the only tradition I had was “being able to open one present” on Christmas Eve. It was always Christmas PJs, it took me way to long to catch on that I was getting the same thing every year lol 😂

Post # 43
Member
4678 posts
Honey bee

Nothing really any different from what most people have. My family always celebrates on the 25th. At my mom’s house, we open gifts around noon then we have a big lunch that rolls into a big dinner while watching Christmas movies non stop.My SO is from Europe and the 24th is a biger deal to them than the 25th. He and I usually go out to a  late dinner after work at a fancy restaurant.

Just wondering, is having Chinese food for dinner on Xmas a popular thing?

  

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strawberrysakura :  

Post # 44
Member
28 posts
Newbee

These all sound so wonderful!

we split christmas between mine and husbands family so Eve is always with my side where my mom has always bought us PJs to be opened on christmas eve. It was a tradition started by her mom and she just carried on with it and is one of my favourite traditions! and my one brother and my husband have created a tradition of buying each other a nerf gun as a gift and having a nerf war. on christmas day we drive 3 hours to inlaws and stay for a few days. My Father-In-Law has a tradition of wrapping everyday items as gifts or joke items, like a waterbottle or an old phone box – it’s pretty funny!

my husband and I have a new years eve tradition of going to the movies – the vip theatre where they bring you food and drinks in recliner chairs. I think we’ve been doing that for about 4-5 years now but I missed out last year cause I was really sick, but thankfully the new Star Wars will be playing this year!

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