View Full Version : Share your Christmas traditions!
12-01-2010, 12:36 PM
I searched this and there are one or two other threads similar, but they are quite old and we have lots of new members so I thought it would be great to see all their Christmas traditions! I'll start:smile::
We have two big ones that I'll share. The first is getting our tree. We always have to get it the weekend of Thanksgiving. ALWAYS! And it has to be a REAL tree. Growing up, we always had an artificial one and I always said that when I grew up and got married, I would have a real tree every year ~ and so it has been ~ for 23 years:encourage12: ~ and always that weekend so we can enjoy the holiday season for about one month.
The second big one started about four years ago with our son who was 6 at the time. We bought some jingle bells and decided that when we put him to bed on Christmas Eve, my husband announce that he is taking the dogs out one last time for the night and would go outside and jingle the bells so he could hear Santa's sleight flying over the house. I had the idea to package up a small gift, complete in brown shipping paper with twine wrapped around it and a scrolled letter from Santa explaining that the gift is a little something to hold him over until Christmas morning, that Santa was just flying over beginning to make his rounds and would be back when he was sound asleep. The letter also told him various things...like he was proud of him for accomplishing certain things throughout the year, a bit about a vacation we might have taken, his report card, etc. So this gift....my husband jingles the bells, take one of the dogs' big, hard balls, throw it on the roof so it made a "bang", drop the gift on the sidewalk below Kyle's room and run and hide behind the garage:rofl1:. Meanwhile, Kyle and I are upstairs hearing all this, we look out his window, see the package and run downstairs. My husband is then trying to be nonchallant about just coming back in with the dogs asking if we heard Santa's sleigh!
This is SO great. The look my son's face every single Christmas Eve is priceless. He is going to be 11 in April so I don't know how much longer we can do this, but I sure hope it's something he will remember when he is grown and possibly continue it with his children!
Can't wait to see all of YOUR traditions!
12-01-2010, 03:32 PM
Christmas is usually an all-day open house at at parents' place, and rather than try to schedule a big meal, for years my Mom has done all-day breakfast. We'll do batches of scrambled eggs or pancakes every few hours, along with a ham and tater tots. I don't remember how or when the tater tots got added to the menu, but at this point my siblings and I would revolt if they were replaced. Trader Joe's has just started carrying their own tater tots, so they'll be on the shopping list this year :smile:
We always had an artificial tree when we were kids, but my own tradition is to have a real tree -- usually a balsam, since they just smell like Christmas. We should be getting our tree this weekend :christmas7:
12-01-2010, 03:48 PM
We never had anything quite that cool. :) Mom and Dad told me about Santa when I was 7 and I was never so relieved! I was TERRIFIED of strangers, esp ppl dressed up (Top 3 were clowns, Santa, and the Easter Bunny), and people breaking in the house. This joker was all 3, wow, I was so glad. Hahaha
This is only our 3rd Christmas married, so we've not got a lot established yet. Trying to marry together both our families' traditions and get our own takes time. We go over to his parent's on Christmas Eve, and everyone exchanges gifts. Then on Christmas, everyone goes over there for lunch. Not terribly exciting but it's fun. : )
This year, and hopefully every second year, we'll be in OK at my parent's and all 6 of us kids, the 4 spouses, 2 ADORABLE nephews added this year, and 1 girlfriend will be together. We'll be taking a family picture, which we did maybe 4 times growing up? I think that's going to be our newest tradition. I can't wait for that! I've not been home in 2 1/2 years, and I've not seen my eldest brother since he drove off on his honeymoon nearly 3 years ago so this is going to be great! : )
Growing up, we always started decorating as soon as we could after Thanksgiving, and I still do that. What I'm putting up this year was put up Saturday. : ) We always found time to all pile in the van and look at Christmas lights about a week before Christmas. Hubby and I have done that on my bday the two years we've been married and we enjoy it! This year, sometime while we're home, we're all going to Broken Arrow, OK to Rema Bible Church's HUGE light display. That's going to be a blast! We've never gone even though it's only an hour away, but we always wanted to. : )
On Christmas morning, Dad was usually the first one awake, waking up us kids to see what "we" got. LOL He's a big kid! Here, it's me who's always up first, finishing off fresh cinnamon rolls or something extra yummy for bfast. Then I drag hubby's gifts from the crazy places I've hid them BECAUSE HE'S A SNOOP, and wake him up! : ) At home, and I know this year will be the same, we all dig into the presents and Mom always suggests we open one at a time so everyone can see. That usually is met by groans and lasts about 5 minutes or less. We ALWAYS get at least 2 or 3 new movies everyone's been dying to see, and they're turned on somewhere in the mayhem of the 8 of us digging in. No one watches it, and it's turned off for the parades while Mom goes and makes a special breakfast and finishes off the potato rolls to bring to her mom's house.
Later, we all get out the door amid more mayhem and Dad threatening to leave anyone who's not out there in 5 minutes. We're kinda like the family on Home Alone without the cursing and no one's been left or forgotten. YET. LOL Then we show up at Oma's and tumble out of the suburban and haul a ton of gifts and food inside. We eat cheese log, spinach dip, and way more old German cookies than are good for us. Then we usually have ham, YUMMY au gratin potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, corn, beans, and whatever else they could make. We clean it up, open more gifts, and put on coffee for dessert. As if we need it by then. After that's cleaned up, we pack it up and go home! : )
Let's see.. We do a lot of what I did as a kid with a few twists!
The weekend after Thanksgiving~ we have a tree lighting.. Friends and family bring a mug for cocoa, a treat if they wish, and an inexpensive Christmas ornament. We laugh, and talk, eat popcorn, the kids make decorations, and decorate the tree... We let our guests each put the ornament that they brought on the tree and we have a large bowl with some ornaments that we bought and before they leave the take one home...that way when they visit they see the one the brought, and at home they have a memory of the party on their tree. It is so much fun!!!
Christmas Eve Afternoon~ is spent at my in-law's home, singing carols while SIL plays the piano, Looking at Christmas lights on our drive home, and our new thing is eating Tamales for Chrismas Eve Dinner! YUM! Oh, and getting to open one gift like jams or a robe!
Chrismas Morning~ Open gifts, make coffee with Daddy if he is in town (we switch off going back to AR and him coming here..), and relaxing by the fire while my husband reads the Christmas story from the Bible. Then I go in and make breakfast and we sit and talk, & eat...
If we are in AR I have Christmas lunch (late lunch) with my SIL and her family since she lives near by and some of my family...if we are in Cali we visit with just my dad. Then everyone (friends, family, open house) gets together Christmas night and we have cocoa, play games, watch movies whatever we like.. We always have such a great time!!!
12-01-2010, 06:04 PM
I love all of these Christmas traditions!
Every year, my mom bought me and my siblings each a special ornament that symbolized something about the past year. It could be a hobby we enjoyed, a play we performed in, etc. When I got married, I've started the tradition with my husband. Last year was an ornament that said "World's Greatest Handyman." He's not that great of a handyman, but I wanted him to know how much I appreciated all of the work he did on our home that year.
We also have French Toast every Christmas morning. Since I've been married, my husband and I go to my mom's house for breakfast and to watch my younger brother open his presents. Any suggestions on wheat-free French toast?
12-01-2010, 07:21 PM
I'm trying to incorporate more, meaningful holiday tradtions for my DD (5). I don't want the holidays to be so focused on gifts and materialism....Last year we incorporated St. Nicholas Day traditions and Solstice into our holiday celebrations. For St. Nicholas Day, DD woke up to some tiny gifts in her shoes and we learned the history of St. Nicholas and had a 'feast' for dinner. For Solstice, we read some books/poems and created birdfeeders to hang outside. This year, I hope to add more/different ideas, with her input.
We also collect supplies for donation to the local humane society. Our library has a collection basket set up...She loves animals, so it's a nice way to introduce the concept of giving.
We also do the traditional Christmas celebrations...DD loves going to her grandparents' house to help them decorate--it's become their holiday tradition already (I think this is her 3rd year doing it and she's only 5!) and we go for pizza/indoor mini golf/holiday-light-display-extravaganza on New Year's Eve.
I love reading everyone else's traditions! Thanks for sharing them! :smile:
12-01-2010, 11:27 PM
Before I opened up my daycare, each family member would buy a new ornament that represented something that happened that year. (Like DakotaSommers above) We have quite a collection from new house, new dog, when my oldest dd learned to play the flute, her favorite character that year, etc.
Now that I have my daycare in my home, we don't put up a tree. My home is very small and there just isn't any place to put it. Instead we make a paper tree out of green posterboard. (A huge one) Each day we make a handmade ornament to put on the tree. We just use simple things like beads, glitter, popsicle sticks, photos, construction paper, etc. We still put lights on it though. lol My dd loves coming home to find out what ornament we're making that day. The idea was such a success with dd that we now make mini trees for the daycare kids. They each have a tree with their picture in the star at the top. They make a new ornament each day they come and take their trees home before Christmas Day. Some of them have collected them over the past few years and have them around their house. :)
12-02-2010, 12:23 AM
Wow! The different traditions I'm seeing are sooooo awesome!! I love them all! Thanks to everyone who has shared so far ~ hope to see a TON more!!
12-02-2010, 06:28 PM
I can make some up. ; )
Oh, Sandy's post made me remember something we did as kids. : ) Oma's a VERY crafty lady. She made us an advent tree out of felt when we were kids. It's about the size of a posterboard. There are pockets and little embellished felt ornaments in each one. Every day in Dec we would put one up. We also usually had an advent candy box from relatives in Germany and we took turns eating the YUMMY German chocolate candy pieces every day.