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Tuzilla  (Level: 144.8 - Posts: 3839)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 5:50 PM


Post a unique December family tradition here. Be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, whatever, let's talk about things that make the end of the year special. Who knows what kind of traditions we can share, and maybe help others start.

I'll kick it off with the 10-year-old Yule Log.

This is best if you have a fireplace, but I think a creative person could adjust it to fit their home situation.

Year One. Select a nice fireplace log. Mark the year on it. Take pieces of paper and write notes, pictures, whatever, etc. about Christmas Day...who got what, things the kids did, what you ate, funny or odds happens, special occurrences, etc. Staple or somehow affix them to the log. Stash the log away.

Years Two through Nine. Keep doing the same thing with a unique log for each year.

Year Ten. Do a log in the now well practiced way. BUT...get out the log from Year One. Take off all of the notes and other items. Put the log on the fire. Sit around and read/talk about all of the remembrances. It is remarkably moving.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 6:06 PM

WoW.... that sounds like a wonderful Tradition, and I'm sure your children
will appreciate that as they grow older and need to remember their roots.

Stone  (Level: 35.0 - Posts: 259)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 6:37 PM

One of our traditions is that everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve. As we got older, this evolved to spending Christmas Eve with my nephews and niece, letting them open one present with one set of grandparents and saving some for Christmas Day when the other set of relatives arrived.

That's the nice way things evolved. 30+ yrs ago, it was "who's going to start the argument this year?" Until, SNL did a skit about the "Dysfunctional Family Christmas Album". I taped it(VCR), and before things got going, we watched it. Each time someone in the family tried to start something, we all started laughing and tried to decide which song went with the situation. Another TV to true life success!

And, you have to have fresh oysters for the giblet dressing and hog head cheese for the relish tray. MMMMMMMMM, my mouth is watering! Claudette

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 6:42 PM

My Uncle is a missionary, and he comes home for Christmas every year. Our tradition is his reading of Luke's passage on the Birth of Christ.

We also all sit in a circle (about 80 of us, including aunts, uncles, and cousins) and say one thing that we were thankful for the previous year.

Frannie  (Level: 96.2 - Posts: 68)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 7:16 PM

Started this about 20 years ago and it's still going strong. I read it in a magazine. That first year I sent everyone in the family one of those little candles in a tin with a note to light it at 7:P.M. Michigan time on Christmas Eve as they wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Love for the year ahead. While visiting a very elderly aunt and uncle this summer they told me that is the highlight of their Christmas. It's an easy and charming way to share the same Christmas moment with family all over the country. Sharing these Sploofus Christmas traditions is a great idea! Frannie

Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Tue, 30th Oct '07 8:16 PM

My mom was given 8 beautiful angel ornaments back in 1958. When Mom died in 2002, my sisters and I each took 2. Since we live all over the country (CA, TX, FL) whenever one of us hangs them on our tree, we call the others to say "They're up!" They connect us.

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 12:17 AM

A tradition passed down through my grandfather's family is having oyster pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning. In a large bowl combine one box of "complete" style pancake mix, 1 pint shucked raw oysters, along with all the liquid from the oysters and one stick of melted butter. Do not add additional liquid. Using electric hand mixer, stir all ingredients together until oysters are broken into small (dime to quarter size) pieces. Batter should be about the same consistency as regular pancake batter. Cook on grill or in skillet the same as you would regular pancakes. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Surreyman  (Level: 272.4 - Posts: 2771)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 5:20 AM

We're hopelessly (UK) traditional in that we still go to Midnight service each year - shamefully, the only time apart from Christenings, weddings & funerals!
Usually preceded by a few pints in the pub.
But our own tradition is that we then walk back to our home and host a port & mince pies gathering into the early hours for whichever neighbours and friends we've gathered along the way.
It's downright stooopid, 'cos we rarely then get to bed until maybe 4 a.m. Christmas morning, but for some crazy reason we still do it!

Bigbird  (Level: 249.1 - Posts: 3337)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 5:44 AM

One that has always been special to me is our New Year's Day Open House. We started it when my daughter was in kindergarten and we were fairly new to our neighborhood. We each invited just about everyone that we knew (but the kids had to bring their parents)

I keep considering moving it to another time, as many folks we would love to see are still away for the holidays, but it just seems to stay on New Year's Day. It is our third large gathering of the end of December - it follows our extended family Chanukah Party, and our more immediate family Christmas Get Together. I love the December Holidays!


Zeedee  (Level: 234.3 - Posts: 1088)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 7:55 AM

When my children were very little I read a story to them about the first Christmas. In it, when Mary and Joseph got to the stable, they made and ate a supper of lentil soup while they awaited the birth of the baby. Since then, our Christmas Eve supper is always a simple bowl of lentil soup. My kids don't really like lentil soup, and yet that's the only thing they want on Christmas Eve even now that they are grown.

Tuzilla  (Level: 144.8 - Posts: 3839)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 9:53 AM

A short lived tradition waiting to be revived by the eventually arrival of grandchildren.

The Jingle Stick.

When my son was 3, he was firmly into the present fever that wires kids up on Christmas Eve and also makes it impossible for them to go to bed. We needed something to quiet him down so we could do the Santa thing and go to bed. Enter the first jingle stick.

I found a few bells from various things like the thing people hang on the door to some other decorations. I tied them onto a mop handle. Armed with that, the mop buckle and a few snowballs, I went into the side yard. I went jingle, jingle, jingle as I tossed the bucket onto the roof. It womped, womped down thanks to the flat side. I jingled and ho, ho hoed some while tossing up a barrage of snowballs.

It worked great. Izaak knew he had to be asleep in bed when Santa came, or no presents. The next morning he was firmly convinced he had heard him, and had got tight into bed and success.

I told my next door neighbor about it. He thought it was great. The next year I jingle sticked my house and his. He said his daughter had a near panic attack the first year getting into bed and pretending to be asleep. During those years I created a pretty nice official jingle stick with new bells added annually.

Currently, it is resting in a drawer, waiting for a new generation.

Geniuswaitress  (Level: 52.1 - Posts: 381)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 10:36 AM

My family is, um, different. We've started doing a family beatbox session every Christmas.

Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 10:51 AM

Right after Thanksgiving, my children go through all of their things, toys, clothes, etc - things that are still in good shape - but they don't wear, play with use.

We take them to the Crises Center - it's part of a must before they make their Christmas wish list - this year will be slim for us because of various things that have happened throughout the year - and they will get a very big reminder of do they really want or need something they are asking for.

The getting rid of seems to get less over the years - helps with impulse "wannas" - and gets things in the hands of people who can really use them.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 11:26 AM

Our Christmas traditions:

Every year, each of my children picks a child off of the sharing tree, picks out their gift, and wraps it themselves, and then we return the gift to the sharing tree. They look forward to it every year.

At some point, before Christmas, we all sit down as a family and watch Christmas Vacation.

We get our tree a week or less before Christmas and it is entirely decorated by the kids while Christmas music is playing. I don't like traditional Christmas music so its usually CD's I've created (like the Eagles singing Please Come Home for Christmas, etc.) Its fun to watch them argue over who gets to put up what ornaments, and who is clumping instead of spreading them out.

Christmas Eve, we usually have a special dinner with just us. Prime rib, seafood, or something. The kids are allowed to open one present. I get to choose.

Christmas morning we open our presents, but stockings are last. My oldest is a Christmas Nazi and threatens the rest of us with doing things out of order and "ruining Christmas." Its all in jest. After the stockings, the Santa gifts are searched out, usually hidden somewhere like the front porch.

My favorite tradition though, and I don't know how much longer it will last, is that we track Santa on the NORAD website. They track his flight across the world, providing satellite video footage at certain stops. I'll never forget the pandemonium that ensued the first time they heard "if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you'd better get to bed because Santa is on his way!" It was total panic on who could get their teeth brushed and into bed first.

The kids, I believe, are onto Santa but they won't say anything because I have always told them that the magic of Santa is real only as long as you believe.

Seniorrita  (Level: 140.1 - Posts: 223)
Wed, 31st Oct '07 12:29 PM

We were ALONE for Christmas and were bored. I remembered the gift of Darth Vador a co-worker was giving her 5-year-old. Star Wars was brand new... We called the co-workers son, Billie, and my husband (who has a very deep voice) identified himself as Santa Claus and asked to speak with Billie.

Billie came to the phone and "Santa" asked if he had received what he wanted from Santa Claus. He explained that he thought he got mixed up on his street.

Billie melted. "Oh yes, Santa" he said, "That is what I wanted! Thank you!"

Santa asked Billie to sing him a song and was rewarded with JINGLE BELLS.

My co-worker spent the rest of the day calling relatives all over the USA trying to figure out who had called and I didn't confess that it had been my husband for several weeks.

This was so much fun that it became a tradition at our house. We solicit friends with little Santa-believing children and he calls them on Christmas morning to be sure they got their order. We have done as many as 44 calls! This entails getting the list of gifts from the parents, etc. but it is well worth the time. I am in the background with sleighbells ringing and I yell at Rudolf for each kid.

We have done this since 1976! Want a call from Santa for your darlings? Let us know!

Also... those oyster pancakes must be wonderful! I thought I had eaten oysters every way possible until I read that recipe. Thanks!

And Merry Christmas!

Kaufman  (Level: 267.9 - Posts: 3941)
Thu, 1st Nov '07 12:19 AM

Given that:
-- Our household has a sum total of approximately half a Christian,
-- We don't have kids,
-- Neither JJ nor I do well with our extended families in large gatherings:

We usually stay home, play things low-key, and open our doors for an "orphans' Christmas" for our friends who also don't have anyone to spend the day with. We cook up some chili or spaghetti or something, and play games till late into the night.

Sherilynn1962  (Level: 116.2 - Posts: 372)
Thu, 1st Nov '07 11:09 AM

The only tradition in my family when I was growing up was trading whose house the holiday would be held at. We either went to Costa Mesa to my Aunt's house, or they came to ours.

Sadly, we don't really have any traditions in our home today (other than opening one present on Christmas Eve). Our 8-year old has known the truth about "Santa" her entire life (she's also smart enough to not let the cat out of the bag to other kids, though).

We are known to pick up a homeless person or two and have them over for dinner on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.......

Blessings to all,


Chyenn  (Level: 209.4 - Posts: 1332)
Thu, 1st Nov '07 3:36 PM

because of his work, my Daddy wasn't home for breakfast with us except on Christmas mornings. until i was 10 years old, every Christmas morning my Daddy took over the kitchen to make breakfast. nothing fancy, just pancakes and sausage but i loved sitting by the stove watching him cook. he could flip them in the air; that was the grandest thing and i thought they were the best pancakes in the world.

Daddy got a new job and we moved the year i turned 11. he had always wanted a waffle iron so Mother got him an iron for Christmas that year with all the Top Value Stamps she had saved. that's when the tradition changed and he made waffles on Christmas morning until a couple of years ago he when became too sick to cook. My Mother still carries on the waffle tradition.

But, you know, even after 40+ years, i miss watching him flip those pancakes.

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