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What is your family holiday tradition?

pkd09

Future Director
Silver Member
Feb 20, 2006
1,909
4
An earlier post just got me thinking about this so I thought I would start it off and also see what others do....

Since I was 10 yoa (that is a long time ago!) we have had spaghetti for XMas eve. I am the only sibling of three that still follows the tradition. My kids and grand kids now also look forward to having it.
 

wadesgirl

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jul 25, 2007
11,412
31
Christmas is not traditional in our family! Well except since I started dating DH. His family goes to mass on Christmas Eve and then back for food and presents. We used to go Christmas Day to my gma's every year but since all of us grandkids are older we have been getting together around the 1st of the year.
 

crystalscookingnow

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Gold Member
Jan 17, 2006
2,961
2
We go to Christmas Eve with my ILs. We have supper, then candlelight church & then back to their house for presents. Christmas Day is here with breakfast & my mom & brother coming to our house for the day. :) This year, we're doing homemade pizza for lunch.
 

chefheidi2003

Senior Member
Gold Member
Aug 18, 2007
2,943
2
Growing up we always went to my grandparents on my dad's side for Christmas Eve..then to my mom's side for Christmas day..since all of my grandparents have passed..my sister now host's Christmas eve..and my aunt does Christmas Day..this year though we need to squeeze in my boyfriend's parents on Christmas eve..but we meet at my sister's house before church..and his parents do something after church..so it is working out well.

Did you follow that..LOL..sorry.
 

pampcheflisa

Advanced Member
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Jan 11, 2008
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On Christmas Eve, we go to the service at our church (not midnight or even late though), then home for Tortilla soup. Christmas morning, my parents and brother/SIL come over for breakfast, do presents, and then later in the day go to my parents for dinner (usually either a ham or beef tenderloin). On the Saturday following Christmas, we do the in-laws at their lake house.
 

dkitten13

Member
Mar 23, 2009
499
0
We go to my Aunt and Uncle's in Manhattan Christmas Eve - it used to be all 3 of us kids and my parents and Grandma. Now both my brother and sister and their families are in VA so its just us and my parents and 95 yo Grandma + my cousins. Now that my older cousin is married and they also live in VA we may not see them at X-mas.

Christmas Day however is changing. I became and active Catholic 5+ years ago so I need to get to Mass. Hubby is a non-practicing Christian and my 5 yo son does dreadful in Church so its always a scramble to get there.

We will host Christmas Day at our house since we are the only ones with a little one and I hate to drag him out on X-mas day.

Sorry this was so long - crazy year!

Merry Christmas to all!
 

kcmckay

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Feb 24, 2008
703
4
Well I'm really the only one that follows the tradition I grew up with. And I drag DH along with it! LOL. But I've told him we can go to his family but we are never invited. We got invited to Thanksgiving once from his SIL and the invite came on Wed. because apparently we will not have plans for a holiday that is tomorrow!:eek: But anyway.

Since as long as I can remember we spent all the majority of 3 major holidays at my maternal grandfather's house. When i was 12 my grandfather died. We tried changing it up occasionally but since my uncle and aunt moved into my grandfather's house we ended up just going there. Unfortunatley we are all older married engaged etc. Jeff and I always go. My brother usually comes depending on what is going on for his FI family. We didn't see them Thanksgiving but believe they are splitting Christmas. My brother is in Pittsburgh with wife and 2 young children a lot to travel with. They did come home last year though which was nice. My sister lives in San Diego and the last holiday I saw her on was Christmas of 2004. The best christmas ever for me would be if all my siblings and their families were at my Aunt and Uncles (grandfather's) house. Maybe someday it will happen!

But anyway the traditon is to spend the day there and my aunt is a fantastic cook and baker and I've learned to give up on trying to bring something and just enjoy the day off!:) We chat while turkey is finishing. We eat then usually we play board games. And the past 4 or 5 years we've been doing a chinese auction instead of exchanging gifts. Even though it's a newer tradition I enjoy it because I just have to buy 2 $10 gifts that I would like and it's a lot of fun with the stealing and all that!:) Should be fun this year.
 

robochick84

Member
Sep 3, 2009
213
0
I come from a VERY large German-American family and I am marrying into a German family. Christmas to us is The Season of the year. It was tough growing up having different customs and traditions than other children and not having the big Christmas mornings that many children talk about, but we have so many special memories that are near and dear and closer to the real meaning of Christmas.

Our first holiday, which is usually only celebrated if you have children is St. Nicholas Day on December 6. As a kid if you were good, we would get treat's in our shoe's.


If I am fortunate enough each year, I try to make it home to the Finger Lakes region where my family is. We have a Family Christmas Dinner a week or two before Christmas every year on a Saturday. We had 8 brother's and sister's start the tradition (first generation) whom had 53 children (second generation) between them. The third generation that I am in has 96 grandchildren which currently is up above 25 great-grandchildren. We pray each year that the elders will be back with us the next year from the original 8.

If we are in Germany for Christmas, everything is closed the 24th through the 26th and possibly longer depending on where the holiday falls with the weekend. The 23rd is unusual, because we don't normally keep meat, produce, etc in the house for more than the day. We must shop for all of our fresh bread, meats, produce, etc for 3 days to have on hand. The 24th there are three church services during the day- of which you hope you can get a seat at one of them! We try to go to the earliest one in the evening, then have dinner and then you open your gift around the tree and go to bed. The 25th, Christmas is more of a day of remembereance and reflection - no dinners, gifts, or celebrations.

If we are in America for Christmas, we go to Christmas Eve service after dinner. We tend to follow tradition and usually do presents on Christmas morning, but usually have some family who want to follow German tradition and we end up with both.

We always spend NYE with my family which has been a tradition for nearly 30 years - and it's a BLAST! New Years day is a HUGE celebration for German's and we cook for 25 minimum traditional food's each year in celebration of good luck.

Some of our phenomenal German traditions that I look forward to every year are my Eirkuchen, Lebkuchen, and Marzipan!

Our Season actually concludes on January 6th with Epiphany. After Epiphany, is when we begin to take our decorations down, etc.

We love the beauty of The Season soooooo much that we are actually getting married January 2nd!!! :eek: That way we can include all of our friend's in our traditions through the season of that time that are so dear to us.
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,376
31
Hmmm, we have so many Christmas Traditions. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of the year, and all of the traditions.

One that we have is to open new jammies on Christmas Eve, and then wear them while we drink hot cocoa, and read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, and then the Christmas Story from Luke 2. That's the last thing we do before going to bed.

This year, we are starting what I hope will be a new tradition. Instead of doing an advent calendar this year, I bought a Nativity Set called "What God Wants For Christmas" - and starting tonight, and then going through Christmas Eve, we have a devotional w/ a little gift box to open with one of the figures of the Nativity in it to place in the set. I'm looking forward to doing this with DS every night for the next week.
 

dkitten13

Member
Mar 23, 2009
499
0
  • #10
Wow, Becky, I love both your ideas! I too would like to start a tradition in my family but right now we are so torn between so many homes/people it gets a little crazy. When I was little my parents got smart and a few extra hours a night by filling our stockings and place them on the foot of our bed! I remember fondly waking up to the heavy weight of my stocking on my foot! And there were always nice, wrapped gifts, jewelry, perfume, lotions - not tons of money but not candy either.
 

ChefBeckyD

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Sep 20, 2005
20,376
31
  • #11
Wow, Becky, I love both your ideas! I too would like to start a tradition in my family but right now we are so torn between so many homes/people it gets a little crazy. When I was little my parents got smart and a few extra hours a night by filling our stockings and place them on the foot of our bed! I remember fondly waking up to the heavy weight of my stocking on my foot! And there were always nice, wrapped gifts, jewelry, perfume, lotions - not tons of money but not candy either.

Deborah - here is a link to to the Nativity Set I'm talking about

Amazon.com: What God Wants for Christmas (9781572299313): Books


Except that I got mine at Family Christian Stores for $9.77. (I'm a bit partial to FCS, since I was a store manager for 8 years! :))
 

babywings76

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jun 19, 2008
7,289
59
  • #12
We have some family favorite cookies that I grew up baking with my mom every year. So now my sisters and I all make those cookies w/ our own kids.

We always have a ham and scalloped potatoes and kielbasa (and beans and rolls) on Christmas Eve. Although, this year I'm making a turkey since I got one free from the grocery store and I need to use it up.

We watch a couple videos: Mr. Krueggar's Christmas (starring Jimmy Stewart and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), and "The Nativity" (a really beautifully done one from my Church). Then we have a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus. It's a little tradition we started when we were kids. I guess when we learned about celebrating Jesus's birth at Christmas, we asked if that meant we'd have cake and sing, so my mom decided to just go ahead and do that. :)

Then each child gets to open up one present, and it's typically new Christmas PJ's. Then we read from the Scriptures and create our plate of cookies for Santa and send kids to bed. :)

The the adults play games and visit, and then we scramble to assemble toys and set things up for the morning.

OOh, another tradition is making sweet danishes for Christmas morning. So yummy!
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
Staff member
Sep 8, 2008
7,895
146
  • #13
Wow, Becky, I love both your ideas! I too would like to start a tradition in my family but right now we are so torn between so many homes/people it gets a little crazy. When I was little my parents got smart and a few extra hours a night by filling our stockings and place them on the foot of our bed! I remember fondly waking up to the heavy weight of my stocking on my foot! And there were always nice, wrapped gifts, jewelry, perfume, lotions - not tons of money but not candy either.



My parents did that too!! It was great! The younger siblings always climbed on my bed to show their loot...I was a bit older when this tradition started, so I wasn't clueless ;) Most of the time I was still awake when dad put them on our beds...I'd just smile and go to sleep. I really wanted to do that with my boys- but DH really wants to keep it "traditional". He likes hearing them sneak down in the morning to see what Santa brought. It's fun to hear them whisper and then get all excited and come running upstairs. But our boys are great- they are patient and wait for us to rouse our b**ts out of bed, etc...we let them do stockings before breakfast, but presents are AFTER breakfast.

My DH has also started putting boot prints around the hearth of our "fake fireplace" (thanks to movies like Tim Allen's Santa Clause, we can explain how Santa gets in!). The kids get a huge kick out of it.

To write letters to Santa (and save me stamps!), we have a mailbox ornament on the tree that the kids can put their letters in and put the flag up. Hopefully the elves aren't too busy ;) and come get the letter overnight...and then they leave special treats for the kids in return! Candy, stickers, etc......which of course means santa gets quite a few letters.

We are too far from family so we just have a quiet Christmas at home usually otherwise.

I'm thinking this year of letting them open up some Special Christmas PJ's so they can wear them to bed that night (I'll wash before wrapping)....then everyone can look all nice and handsome in their Christmas photos.. *hehe* :D
 

raebates

Legend Member
Staff member
Dec 6, 2005
18,357
437
  • #14
The only tradition I still carry on from when I was little is that our son gets to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

However, we've started many, many traditions in our home. One that I love is having a stocking for Jesus. Each year I write a letter to Jesus telling Him what I plan to give Him in the coming year. I tuck that note into the stocking when I fill everyone else's stockings on Christmas morning.

This year we started what I hope will become a new tradition--the Jesse Tree.
 

heat123

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Silver Member
Sep 7, 2005
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  • #15
We do Lasagna for Eve and then a HUGE breakfast on morning, follwed by a traditional turkey dinner. YUM! HOLY Calories batman! lol
 

kristina16marie

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Apr 15, 2009
875
10
  • #16
my favorite family tradition that started when we were kids was to have chocolate cake for breakfast christmas morning after singing happy birthday to jesus. i love how it's an easy way for younger kids to get the correlation of why we give presents.

also a new tradition in our family is the advent conspiracy. check out this video that explains it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU
 

Pampered_Ashley84

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Gold Member
May 15, 2009
57
0
  • #17
We have two Christmas dinners, the first one is a more formal dinner the Sunday before Christmas and then on Christmas Day we have an everyone's favorites dinner. Everyone is responsible for supplying their favorite dish, it can get a little crazy, but you can always expect to see wings and ribs from the guys :)! In our own home, we each open one gift on Christmas Eve, which are our Christmas pj's. We're still working on our own traditions as our kids are only 17 mos and 4 mos. I look forward to being able to read the Christmas story to them on Christmas Eve.
 

dkitten13

Member
Mar 23, 2009
499
0
  • #18
The only tradition I still carry on from when I was little is that our son gets to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

However, we've started many, many traditions in our home. One that I love is having a stocking for Jesus. Each year I write a letter to Jesus telling Him what I plan to give Him in the coming year. I tuck that note into the stocking when I fill everyone else's stockings on Christmas morning.

This year we started what I hope will become a new tradition--the Jesse Tree.

Rae, that's beautiful! I like the stocking for Jesus idea I think I will move forward! My boy just turned five and unfortunately he isn't all that in tune with what Christmas is about so I am trying to explain it to him.

I love this thread!
 

dkitten13

Member
Mar 23, 2009
499
0
  • #19
my favorite family tradition that started when we were kids was to have chocolate cake for breakfast christmas morning after singing happy birthday to jesus. i love how it's an easy way for younger kids to get the correlation of why we give presents.

also a new tradition in our family is the advent conspiracy. check out this video that explains it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU

Wow, thank you.
 

nicki25

Advanced Member
Silver Member
Feb 28, 2006
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  • #20
New jammies for the kids on Christmas eve.

We stay home for Christmas eve and Christmas morning. Then go to my parents on Christmas night. When we get to my mom's she gives us all new jammies and we all put them on and have a big breakfast dinner that night. It's just like having Christmas morning all over again.
 

chefmoseley

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Gold Member
Feb 26, 2008
493
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  • #21
We bake cookies on the Saturday before Christmas (sugar and chocolate chip) for our Pastors and any homes we will be visiting during the week. My husband and I started this the first year we started dating 10 years ago!!! We call it our Christmas Cookie Day. We now make mini banana bread and take it to our neighbors (this started 2 years ago as a way to share the reason of the season with our neighbors). When I was little we would go caroling as a family but I can't sing so we changed it a little. That night we go to a local train station and ride the Christmas Light Express (the homes that back up to the train tracks decorate their backyards :) We go to his parents on Christmas Eve for dinner and go to Christmas Eve Service together at 6 and then back to their house to open presents. When we get home we open our Christmas Pjs and finish reading the Christmas story (we have a story separated that lets us put one piece of the Nativity together over 25 days). On Christmas day we open stockings and then have breakfast and then open presents. At 2pm we go to my Grandmom's house to do traditional dinner and open presents with them. This will be the first year without my Pop-pop. Also this year we started doing the Jesse tree and it is really a neat way to teach the kids how the Bible really tells about the need for a Savior all the way through.
 

robochick84

Member
Sep 3, 2009
213
0
  • #22
One that I COMPLETELY forgot about that some of you may do!

My grandmother started back in the 30's and 40's when the scenery houses were of the now famous cardboard/wooden nostalgic look and the trees were wire sprigs! Through my mom's lifetime every year, they would go shopping the day after Christmas (As that is when sales used to start) and add a new piece to their village) over the years it transitioned into a small ceramic village.

When I was born, was when larger buildings and a larger variety were introduced. We have a LARGE village to say the least now from florists, to restaurants, to train stations, to department stores. I am battling this foot of snow to make it home this weekend, but will try to remember to get a picture of it and share it!

Plus our family has always loved trees, and over three generations we have managed to "theme" 8 (yes, eight) each year!
 

Bren706

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Gold Member
Mar 21, 2007
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  • #23
No traditions started in my family yet. I have wonderful memories from my childhood of spending the day split between the 2 grandparent's house with all of our family. My grandmother use to make her special treats each year for us, including mints, fudge, and peanut butter balls.

Last year, I read "Twas the Night before Christmas" to my kids before bedtime. I think I am going to start the "opening new pjs on Christmas eve" tradition, and continue the reading. Since we are over 700 miles away from most of our family, I would like for my children have special traditions to remember.
 

kcjodih

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Gold Member
Feb 20, 2005
3,408
2
  • #24
The children receive new pj's Christmas Eve. We have TONS of munchie food for a late dinner while watching 2 Christmas movies that they have each chosen. Then we hang our stockings, get out cookies and milk for Santa, and read The Night Before Christmas before they head off to bed. Did I mention they are now 12 and 14? :D We also have an advent calendar that we use all month.

Gingerbread house made the weekend before Christmas, a beautiful free :) nighttime sleigh ride that takes us through town and 'Santa's village' on the 23rd and then cinnamon buns with our stockings Christmas morning, presents and then strata, fruit and more buns after presents. Shower, pack car and a 2 hour drive to the inlaws mid afternoon for a huge turkey dinner. Then a 2 hour drive home later that night, usually MUCH later :(
 

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