Holiday Traditions

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by See Post, Dec 5, 2005.

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  1. See Post

    See Post New Member

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    Originally Posted By melekalikimaka

    I love to hear how people celebrate their holidays, what traditions their families have and the history behind the traditions. Sometimes we have traditions that we have abandoned and never miss for a moment and sometimes we stop a tradition only to bring it back because we missed it so much. Sometimes we tweak it a little bit so that it fits into our family/lives better.

    Tell us your stories! :)
     
  2. See Post

    See Post New Member

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    Originally Posted By melekalikimaka

    I'll start.

    In 1999 I decided to start an annual cookie party for the kids but not the usual cookie exchange. I thought it would be a neat idea to invite over a group of kids to decorate sugar cookies. We provide everything, the cookies, frosting, sprinkles and containers for the kids to take them home.

    It was originally supposed to be a great way for the parents to drop the kids by so that they could get a little Christmas shopping done, etc. When the time for the party came, none of the parents wanted to go shopping, they wanted to decorate cookies!

    Some parents are relieved that they don't have to make the sugar cookies from scratch but still get to spend time decorating them with their kids. Other people look forward to getting their "cookies for Santa".

    My kids just look forward to mainlining sugar for 2 hours. LOL

    Over the years we have had different friends to our party. Mostly the kids' friends and my SIL and her 2 kids. This year I am really excited because I have invited MissCandice, Kala and her husband, Brian, over to our party. I always get a little nervous when I think of the hundreds of cookies that need to be baked, but the whole family chips in and it's not too bad. It always feels like Christmas when I'm up to my eyeballs in flour and cookie sheets.

    There is one other important part of our tradition that always makes me smile when I think about it. I have TONS of cookie cutters and so I jokingly made some large lobster-shaped cookies for our 2nd party. The kids LOVED them! They don't care about the salmon shaped cookies (we live in WA, gotta have salmon-shaped cookies!) and they didn't like the crab-shaped cookies I made last year. Nope, I gotta make a lobster cookie for everyone. The kids especially like to break off the claws and pop them into their mouths.

    They also like to frost the cookies w/about 1.5" of frosting. LOL

    I started this tradition with the dream that it would go on for a long, long time. We're having our 7th party in less than 2 weeks. I can't wait! :)
     
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    Originally Posted By -em

    Awesome!


    Well for us Christmas is usually pretty simple as its never been a heavily celebrated day. Our big day is Christmas Eve where we have lots of friends and family come over for the angel ceremony. We have a huge dinner then we sit in a circle with small candles and light them in turn for the friends and family we have lost. Its our way of letting them know we havent forgotten them. We sit and tell stories, and sing christmas songs (very few of the latter..) until the candles go out. Then we each open one gift and chit chat till everyone leaves.

    Christmas day has always been low key (esp now with no kids at home) and this year I'll hafta work 7am-11am...

    -em
     
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    Originally Posted By tapdancemom

    That sounds like a lot of fun, a lot of work too of course. It's something special for your kids, that's great!

    The tradition in our house is scaling WAY DOWN this year. I put up a HUGE Christmas Village every year. I started out with one of those all inclusive "villages" in a box from Costco put on a big round endtable.

    Over the past ten years it has mostly grown quite a bit larger with each "after season sale" of village houses, people and accesories. I have quite a few Dept. 56 pieces, but also LOTS from JoAnn's which sells lots of the same kind of items, just not as GRAND OF SPENDY as Dept. 56.

    Several years ago it graduated to a two tier, across one whole wall EXTRAVAGANZA. I have mountains, forests, frozen ponds and buildings and people galore.

    When my grandson came along four and a half years ago it moved in a really small version up to the counter top in the kitchen as soon as he was old enough to reach the one in the living room. Last year we put it back in all its glory and I made him a little one on a low coffee table so he could TOUCH THAT ONE ALL HE WANTED TO. But wouldn't you know he only wanted to play with Nanna's. I don't want to be cross with him this year so I'm doing another SMALL VERSION ON THE COUNTERTOP YEAR. I think next year he'll be old enough to do the BIGGIE SIZE again :)
     
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    Originally Posted By TomSawyer

    My wife and I are still bringing together our Christmas traditions for our new family.

    My mom's birthday is Christmas Eve, so we never did any Christmas stuff that night out of respect for her special day. My dad would usually take my brother and I out to do something during the day of the 24th to get us out of the house for a couple of hours. Now that I'm a parent, I understand how much of a gift that could be!

    We were allowed to get our Christmas stockings early on Christmas morning, but we couldn't wake our parents until 7 am. The stockings usually had a Mad Magazine or a comic book in them to keep us entertained along with everything else.

    We'd have to get dressed before we opened presents - that came from the days that we lived in California and had to go to relatives houses as soon as we were done. My wife's family is used to hanging out in their PJs all day, so that was a big change for us to muddle through. (PJs for Christmas morning, then we get ready to go to my Dad's house.)

    My mom would always make breakfast - sausage, eggs, and orange rolls. She had a set of special plates that she only used for Christmas morning. Once we were done with breakfast, THEN we could open our presents.

    We're from the "open one present at a time" school. Dad (and later my brother or I) would hand out presents one at a time for us to open. Mom would write down what we got and from whom so we could write our thank you notes later. We still do this, and I think it does a great job at making Christmas morning stretch out.

    My mom and dad got divorced in 1990, and my dad has since remarried. My mom will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with us or with my brother. She'll be with us this year so she can be there for Anna's first Christmas. My sister-in-law will come up from Oregon to be with us as well.

    Kelly and I will take Anna to my dad's house after Anna's morning nap - about lunchtime. My dad's wife has three kids, all of whom are in the 20s and 30s and have kids of their own. It's a huge gathering that can be a little overwhelming, but we're only there for a few hours and it's a lot of fun.

    We do go to a service on the 24th - this year, it will be the 2:00 pm service that is designed for families with small children. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. We've gone to the midnight service, but that's just too much.

    My wife's parents used to do something pretty cool - they would put the tree up, but they wouldn't decorate it or put presents under it until after the kids had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. When the kids came downstairs on Christmas morning, the whole living room had been transformed. Kelly said it felt like magic. They'd keep with tradition and take the tree down when the Christmas season ends on January 5.

    We know that as long as my mom is around, the 24th will still be her day. I'll always do something to celebrate her birthday even when she's gone, but we might alter our evenings a little.

    As far as our new traditions, we know that we'll still open presents on Christmas morning and not on Christmas Eve. We'll go to service on Christmas Eve. Christmas breakfast will always include orange rolls. Our Christmas Stockings will always have an orange or an apple in the toe. My wife will always bake cookies and I'll always demand my "10% for the house" of anything she's planning on taking to work. I'll always get at least one bottle of scotch.
     

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