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faye's avatar

What are some of your family's traditions for the Christmas season?

Asked by faye (17810points) November 15th, 2009

I’ve been reading old threads, lots about grandparents, so I began wondering what other families do for holidays.

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29 Answers

shego's avatar

My family and I always go Christmas Caroling, on the 20th and then we also see a holiday Broadway performance, Like Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum ( Cleo Parker Robinson), the Colorado Symphony, or the Colorado Ballet performance the Nutcracker

Facade's avatar

Stupid arguments, guilt for not helping decorate, receiving gifts none of us ever wanted or needed…

DominicX's avatar

Well, for starters, we always got the decorations out on December 1st, that included all the lights too. We would all set them up and it was a lot of fun. Then the next weekend or so we would go get a tree and go out for Mexican food on that day. We always had an advent wreath (Catholic) and we would light it each Sunday, in addition to chocolate advent calendars. On Christmas Eve, we would drive around and look at people’s Christmas lights. We also saw the Nutcracker a few years shortly before Christmas and we did go caroling a couple times. Other than that, not much else. The presents were put out a few days before Christmas and we always had a Christmas Eve dinner. Back when we lived close to both my maternal and paternal grandparents, we would go visit them the day after Christmas.

We also had a new tradition where my mom went with my sister and I (and my brothers if they wanted to go) to downtown to go to Macy’s and the Westfield. I also did that with my friends. I plan to do that with my boyfriend this Christmas. :)

(I really love Christmas if you couldn’t tell. I get it from my mom).

jrpowell's avatar

my dad always worked on Christmas day. so we got in the habit of opening presents on the eve.

i’m using the onscreen keyboard. my real one took a beer bath.

faye's avatar

My daughter’s took a gingerale bath. she used a hair dryer on it and its fine.

jrpowell's avatar

i’m going to toss it in dishwasher soon. i have a spare. i just would need to wake someone up to get it.

whatthefluther's avatar

Celebrating Channukah. See ya….Gary/wtf

Courtybean's avatar

Ahhhhh good old memories!!

Our Christmas day tradition is counting how many hours it takes before my mother makes me cry! lol yes I’m serious!

It happens every year without fail and has been going on since I can remember. I’m 24 now and it still happens! My sister and I made a joke of it 3 years ago (there is nothing else to do but laugh sometimes) and we have named the incident “The Christmas day tear bomb!” We’ve named it this because every year as soon as we arrive at my parent’s house, the bomb is starts ticking and it’s only a matter of time before it explodes and I end up in tears. The challenge now, is to guesstimate how many hours it will before this happens.
Last year was impressive and I lasted till early evening before I was reduced to tears. The year before wasn’t so hot though- I arrived, an argument broke out almost immediately and I was back at my house within the hour, spending Christmas day alone!

lol after rereading my response please don’t think I have a horrible, callous woman for a mother! I honestly love her dearly! Unfortunately by the time Christmas day rolls round she’s generally stressed to the max and I’m over-tired and over-emotional after working 3 weeks straight in a crappy retail job. Baaaaad combination!!

Courtybean's avatar

@Facade – I’m rolling round at ur response by the way! I’m gald we’re not the only ones! Luuuuurve for you my dear!!

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

On Christmas eve we get everybody in the car (even the dogs and cat) , and just drive around town and look at all the lights. Afterwards we go back home and watch A Christmas Story. It’s simple, but its one of my favorite things to do.

J0E's avatar

One of our traditions is that each year (in my immediate family) we draw names and then make a homemade gift for the person we whose name we got. It’s never much, and they usually get forgotten amongst all the boughten gifts, but it’s always fun making them and they mean more than something bought from a store.

erichw1504's avatar

We get KFC for dinner on Christmas Eve. My wife and I always get each other pajamas for a pre-Christmas gift.

wundayatta's avatar

All of our traditions seem so ordinary—getting a tree and decorating it, hanging the stockings by the chimney with care, reading “The Night Before Christmas” to the children before they go to bed on the night before Christmas. Actually, we now pass the book around and everyone reads a page until we’re done, and everyone says the last stanza together.

Once we did the Jewish Christmas thing and went out for Chinese. That was when it was just the four of us, and I didn’t really feel like cooking a big meal just for us. It’s not really a tradition, but it does kind of honor the Jewish side of us, lol.

Aethelwine's avatar

My siblings and our families gather at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve, and for the past 10+ years my father has dressed up as a character and passes out presents to everyone. No one knows how he will be dressed up. My mother will put clues around the house and before my dad comes out we all put our guess on a piece of paper. Whoever guesses correctly wins $20. My father has been Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Baby New Year, a hillbilly Santa and a cowboy Santa to name a few.

One year my dad was ill so my husband was recruited to dress up. We decided that he would be the Easter Bunny. I guess my parents got quite the look when they went to the costume store just before Christmas to rent a bunny costume. The store employee mentioned that it was a first for him. My daughter was just 3 years old that Christmas and when my husband came out dressed as a huge bunny she cried because it frightened her. It was one of those moments that would have been perfect to send off to America’s Funniest Home Videos. my sister keeps bugging me to send it in

It’s a silly tradition that we will always remember.

zephyr826's avatar

This year is my husband’s and my first Christmas together. I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but I know that balancing three celebrations (my parents, his mom, his dad) will be a challenge.

When i was growing up, we’d get all of the manger scenes out on the first Sunday of Advent and set those up. All of the magi would be placed in the East corner of the house together until the 6th of January.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Similar to @erichw1504 my Mom and I always get way too much Chinese take out on Christmas eve (we have both landed in the ER for vomiting because of this). We give each other brand new and already washed PJ’s to wear on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve day we make brunch items to snack on throughout Christmas Day. We typically watch a Christmas movie or do a Christmas puzzle Christmas Day and Christmas night we load into the car – in our new PJ’s and drive around to see the lights. A few days before Christmas we get together with family and exchange homemade Christmas ornaments (my fave part of the holiday). And every other year or so, I come down with a major illness that strikes Christmas morning (so far: Salmonella poisoning, Pneumonia, Bronchial Pneumonia, and severe allergic reactions THREE times.) – my least fave part of the holiday.

tinyfaery's avatar

Tamales on Christmas day. Opening one present Christmas eve. Wow. Boring.

JLeslie's avatar

@shego I love that your family goes Caroling, you don’t see that much anymore.

If it is just my husband and I we celebrate chanukah, so I light the menorah if I am home at sundown and one night make potato latkes.

Christmas we sometimes spend with his family which means dinner Christmas Eve and opening presents that night. His mom makes traditional Mexican dishes like Bacalao, Picadillo, a Shrimp broth and sometimes chicken and potato taquitos.

Other times we take a vacation.

shego's avatar

@JLeslie that sounds like fun can I come over for dinner?

FishGutsDale's avatar

My brother flies home from Canada with his girlfriend and we sit around the pool drinking Vodka Slushies and playing cricket. Also, copious amounts of food are consumed, even though there is no room left. Good time of year.


mattbrowne's avatar

Listening to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

OpryLeigh's avatar

When we were kids we would usually wake up on Christmas morning and open our presents together as a family (in the early years when we were all together – in later years we had two Christmas days, one with each parent and the routine would be similar just minus one person) but dad would always save one final present for my brother and I that he would put in our beds while we weren’t watching. It was his way of dragging Christmas day on for as long as possible. Anyway, for me, this final present was always a book and so now, even though I don’t live with dad anymore, he still finds a way to continue this tradition of putting a present in my bed so that I find it when I call it a night.

Aethelwine's avatar

I would like to add to my above answer. It has been a tradition for my mom to make a great southwestern chicken casserole for the past ten years for Christmas Eve. I was just informed that we are now having our family get together at my sister’s house and her girlfriend will be cooking spaghetti and lasagna for dinner. I am so bummed!!! We have spaghetti at least once a week at home. I’m so tired of spaghetti!

Thank you for letting me vent. There goes a tradition down the drain. :(

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Can you bring a chicken casserole or make it for Chistmas day night at your house?

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie We’ll still do our usual tradition at home on Christmas day, but for some reason spaghetti just doesn’t sound appetizing. I think a lot of my frustration is based on my sister’s girlfriend coming in and suggesting so many changes for the evening. I really shouldn’t sound so ungrateful, just sad at losing a tradition.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Not sure why the friend gets to change everything? Is she an SO? I call girl friend girlfriends and also SO’s girlfriends, so I need to clarify. I can understand why you find it odd, people look to holidays for consistancy of tradition, a big part of which is usually the food. Well, this does not mean every year going forward it will be different right? It’s just his year.

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, she’s the SO. My sister is a lesbian. sorry for the confusion, I’m used to calling her the girlfriend This is a fairly new relationship. 3 years now I believe. My sister’s SO has three children and they think that it would be better to have the celebration at their house because it is bigger and the kids can go off and play video games while the adults chat. Of course my parents don’t have the gaming systems that my sister does. To me the occasion used to be about all of us being together, talking and playing board games. Not sending the kids off into another room to stare at the television. I feel that she’s just trying to cater to her children. I have a feeling this will be a yearly thing now.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I would have to agree that she is catering to her children, but I guess in her mind she is doing her idea of Christmas, which it turns out is in conflict with your expectations. I have never been one to send the children out of the room, so I would feel the same as you on that front. I like everyone to be together; I like to talk to my young neice and nephew, and I think it good when children have the opportunity to interact and participate with adults and family.

They have been together 3 years, so I would guess the last couple of years they have come to your mom’s Christmas Eve? It can be so complicated. You probably have seen on other threads that I will be going to Vegas for Christmas, so this year I have ducked the whole obligation, but typically we go to my husband’s parents and she makes all of the traditional food that is traditional to them, but it has not happened that way every year since we have been married. A couple of years it was at my house, and so I did not cook what she cooks (because I don’t know how to make most of it) and I think they felt that Christmas was just not the same. But, I was not insisting it be at my house, it was kind of extenuating circumstance, it is not even my holiday. I think if the “parents” are still alive and want to still make the effort to do all of the work to host Christmas Eve, they should win.

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie I just talked to my father and I asked him if my mom is happy with this decision and he said that she is a bit sad that it won’t be at their house like it has been for the past decade. It is all for my sister’s SO and pleasing the children. I think my mom is worried about offending her if she says no. I appreciate the chat with you. :)

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