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Thread: Traditions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri


    So for the past 25 years or so, our family gave up the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and stuffing and started going with steak and shrimp every year.

    When my parents used to host, my mom had a bunch of miniature Santas she hid around the house. Both of which we still do.

    We also play a game of cut throat (like white elephant, but not a gag gift and worth at least $40) for the gift exchange between the adults.

    Any traditional things your families do that make the holidays special?

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Only one we have is no matter where we're at, we head home before 8pm, to spend Christmas eve and Christmas day eve at home in front of a roaring fire, no TV, or music...just 'us' time for the holiday...well, & whatever pets that are living with us attend as well

    When my Dad was alive, him & my stepmom always held open house on Christmas day, never knew who was going to show up, that was always a blast.
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    Clam chowder (of course the best in Nevada!) every Christmas Eve and one present is opened. We might hold off on that one since there lots of things to open on Christmas Day!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    I will have to start new traditions once the house is built. By next Christmas, I hope.

    This year is no tree (no room in the tin can I call home). Santa has already come with the mig welder, so no presents to unwrap. Busy, busy Christmas Eve though (three services). Christmas Day? Sleep!

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    When the kids were still living at home and we were a family as in the kids were not yet married and not yet with licenses. We had a tradition of spending Christmas as low key as possible. Christmas dinner was as simple and NON traditional as possible. We went so far as to have microwaved warmed up McDonalds hamburgers one year.

    We did NOT cook on Christmas day except to warm up stuff.

    We did make sure it was low key and solid family time.

    These days - both of my kids are married with kids of their own and they are living their own family lives. Diane and I do not even decorate. No we are not scrooges - we just don't decorate - we live pretty low key simple lives. We visit the kids and they have decorated houses. So I guess that is our new tradition.

    What we are doing now is that we go to a nice Christmas show or play of some sort. We have seen the Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular - and this year We saw The Trans Siberian Orchestra. We will continue doing that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Nova Scotia, 45°N 64°W
    My wife loves to bake, so we have lots of traditional goodies we need to work off There's lots of music too, the church choir and Celtic tunes (I can hear the fiddle and piano from the music room this very moment )
    Mostly though, it's being with family and friends. The commercial distractions seem less and less important as time goes on.

    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Last edited by Peter Rideout; 12-21-2014 at 12:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Lots of decorations and the biggest tree I can wrestle into the house. The nearby kids/grand kids come over for Christmas eve dinner and to collect their swag, then it's hot glühwein in front of a nice fire. We listen to a little Mannheim Steamroller and some Trans Siberian Railroad and watch Christmas Story, Christmas Carol, Scrooged and some of the other classic holiday movies. Christmas day means face time with the too far away families, more hot glühwein....and snuggling by the fire. We always drink a toast to those who serve, here and abroad. Christmas is a lonely time when you are away from your family.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    We always get rip-roaring drunk on tequila and scotch, then ride bicycles (don't want to drink and drive) over to the golf course for some real hilarity on the links. After that, it's the traditional "creep out the neighbors by looking in their windows as they unwrap their gifts" routine. Gets them EVERY time.

    Seriously, my traditions have changed over the years, as I suspect most people's have. As a kid, we'd spend time on Christmas Eve with one side of the family and Christmas Day with the other.Then eventually Christmas Eve became time for the immediate family at home, and Christmas Day was spent going to various relatives' houses. As an adult, my traditions have varied depending on my location and marital status. One year Kian and I went to Disneyland on Christmas Day, thinking the crowds would be smaller because of the holiday. Apparently every Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim in Southern California had the same idea.

    These days, we'll have a low-key get-together at my sister's house on Christmas Eve for a dinner of posole and other soups and stews (and possibly other local treats like tamales), then Christmas morning a larger group will again gather at my sister's house for breakfast, gift-opening, and then a midday meal of prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. For the gift exchange, all kids typically get gifts from all the adults, and the adults draw names at Thanksgiving so each of us only has to shop for one other person. Most of us also make a list of what we need or want and make that known to others. Originally all the lists were stuck on my Mom's fridge, then eventually my sister's, and now they are spread via text message. This year, just like every year, Kian told me exactly what to buy her for Christmas. Unlike me, she doesn't like to be surprised at Christmas...she would rather receive exactly what she specifies.

    On the subject of gifts, our family has a several whacky gift traditions. One of them began many years ago when I started picking one present each year to do the "prank" wrapping job on. The primary idea was to make the unwrapping process as difficult as possible. (Foil, duct tape, baling wire, papier mache, lumber and wood screws, etc. I always considered my wrapping job to be a failure if the recipient had the package open in less than 15 minutes.) One person per year (often one of my nephews) would always receive the prank package. The gift was always something nice, to make all the effort worthwhile. Then there was the traveling fruitcake gift. For about 10 years, we had a fruitcake in a metal tin that changed hands every Christmas. When you received it, you wrote your name and the year on the inside of the lid, then the next year you were to give the fruitcake to anyone who was not a prior recipient. Someone eventually threw it away, but not before it had been invaded by ants and subsequently hosed down with Raid ant spray...and given to the next recipient. Our new tradition is the creepy Santa doll. About a decade ago, someone gave my BIL a hideous Victorian-style Santa doll. Just looking at it makes you want to kill it with fire. It has since changed hands every Christmas. Last year, one of my nephews combined traditions and got some major payback on me. I spent about 15 minutes working my way through the wrapping job from hell (there was at least a roll of duct tape and a can of expanding foam involved), only to discover the creepy Santa doll. Dang smart-aleck kid. Ah well, he learned from the best, lol.

    This year is the first year in about forever that Kian did not do a bunch of decorating for Christmas. Aside from the plastic Walmart wreath on our front door at the apartment, we have no decorations up. It has driven her crazy to see everyone else's decorations and know that hers are buried in a storage locker for another month or so. Last I counted (which was a few years ago), she had 18 large plastic storage bins filled with Christmas decorations. I'm sure she'll use all of them next year as she makes up for lost time.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post

    These days - both of my kids are married with kids of their own and they are living their own family lives. Diane and I do not even decorate. No we are not scrooges - we just don't decorate - we live pretty low key simple lives. We visit the kids and they have decorated houses. So I guess that is our new tradition.

    What we are doing now is that we go to a nice Christmas show or play of some sort. We have seen the Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular - and this year We saw The Trans Siberian Orchestra. We will continue doing that.
    Dianne and I don't decorate either... we talked about putting up lights out front this year, or at least she talked about it, but that's something she can't do because of her health, and this year I was under the weather with my annual Christmas cold or whatever, so I postponed the lights until now it's too late.

    Closest we have to a tradition, when we first moved to TN we were 900 miles from the kids in ILL and 1100 from the ones in TX, so being alone we just planned a dinner out and a movie... several years in a row, Chinese (only restaurant open on Christmas day) and a movie. It's been a couple of years since we did that, as Dianne was in the hospital last Christmas. This year my son from TX has moved to Georgia just over the mountain, so we'll go there.
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    Christmas isn't what it use to be for us. Since the kids left home, have their own families it is often just me and Patti. But we enjoy the days and Patti always makes a special meal, she is a great cook. We don't decorate any more. I'm not sad about it, we always get phone calls from the kids and grandkids. The last two years it has been more like Christmas' long ago because we have gotten to spend time with one of our grandsons. He is only 220 miles away. This year we are going there for Christmas. He is 3 just the right age to make Christmas real fun.

    When I was a kid, we always opened presents on Christmas eve. There were two uncles there usually that always kept it lively. They were great story teller and get them started and they would try to out due each other. I remember they use to quietly pass this brown paper bag back and forth and take a drink from something in it. The more they did that the more confusing their stories got! The were two tradition presents me and my brothers received as we grew up. When we were 10 we received our first rifle. It was always a bolt action single shot. I still have mine and I plan on passing it on to a grandson. At 14 we got out first razor for Christmas, needed or not. I don't think I used mine until two years later. I'm not passing my razor on, it is long gone, but I did make my grandson a nice razor and gave it to him on his 14th birthday. He was really surprise and had no clue why until my son explained it to him.

    Just thought of another Christmas tradition we had when I was a kid. At some point when my Aunts and Uncles were at our house, we always drug out the picture slides of the past and went through them. That took hours but was so fun.
    "We the People ......"

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