Holiday Traditions

What I want to do today is be a slug, but instead I’ll be doing more work in preparation for being a slug later this week.  I have plans to go work out since I’m likely not to after Wednesday of this week.  I also have last-minute grocery shopping today, getting a few more things for our holiday dinner.  Our traditions have remained mostly the same, though they’ve morphed a bit as the kids have gotten older.  We no longer have to tiptoe around the Santa issue, though we do still hide the “Santa” gifts and they appear under the tree by Christmas morning.  Our gifts are going in two directions–both larger and smaller.  Either the kids want something big and that’s all they get or they have no big thing and they end up with lots of little things.  It used to be lots of medium things, from us, Santa, and relatives.  Relatives are likely now to give money or gift cards instead.  But some things remain the same.  Here’s our traditions:

  • Christmas puzzle.  We have one going, almost halfway done.
  • Dinner on Christmas Eve.  This is usually relatively formal, with the good china and silver coming out.  This year’s menu: ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls.  Warm brownies wit peppermint ice cream for dessert.
  • Champagne on Christmas Eve and mimosas on Christmas morning.  This is a new one for us, started a couple of years ago.  The other two come from my family.
  • Christmas cookies.  Used to go to Santa, of course, but now we eat them. 🙂
  • Each kid opens a present on Christmas Eve.  I won’t say what they are, in case the kids are reading, but this is always a fun tradition.
  • Christmas movies after dinner.  Often A Christmas Story.  Sometimes National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (which we’ve already watched this year).  Sometimes White Christmas or A Christmas Carol.
  • French toast on Christmas morning, made by Mr. Geeky.  This is when I get into serious slug mode.  All *my* work is done–the shopping, the cooking, the decorating–and Mr. Geeky takes over.
  • Stay in our pajamas until at least noon.  Mr. Geeky’s family was off going to various family celebrations by 9 a.m.  The first year we did things “my way,” he said, I don’t know why we didn’t always do this.  It’s great!  He’s been trying to convince his family to adopt this tradition for years.  So far, it hasn’t worked.

What are your traditions?

8 Replies to “Holiday Traditions”

  1. _mimosas on Christmas morning_

    This has been a Christmas morning tradition for D and me for several years now; we love it both for its indulgence and for the clear indicator that it’s a holiday, not like other days.

  2. I think I may have to start making mimosas on a holiday morning!

    We have been creating holiday traditions anew these past few years as Curious Girl has grown up a bit. For various reasons, the traditions of my family and Politica’s family don’t translate very well for us-but we’ve adapted various things and invented some others. During Hanukkah, we have a book night, a tzadakah night (no gifts, but we designate a charity to make a gift to), and a homemade gift night. For Christmas, we have some little, twisted-by-us Norwegian traditions (the nisse come and fill a stocking for CG), and although we don’t do Christmas gifts ourselves, CG uses that morning to open some gifts that will have arrived in the mail from either relatives or distant friends.

    Now, off to add champagne to the shopping list.

  3. We used to do the one present on Christmas Eve thing when I was a child as well! Doesn’t really work with our two, though – we can’t even put presents under the tree due to wrapping paper not being two-year old proof.

  4. I wish we had some different cultural traditions to draw from. Both of us pretty much grew up with standard American Christmas traditions. I have tried to infuse my holiday meal with different traditions from different times and places, but I’m not doing that this year, just the basics. 🙂

  5. Hanging out in pajamas and drinking mimosas sounds great.

    Our Christmas activities schedule gets tweaked a bit each year–the exception being Christmas Day, which rarely changes–but this year we’re doing this:

    Dec. 23: Ride with family on my aunt and uncle’s electric (Duffy) boat through the canals of one of Long Beach’s upscale neighborhoods, to gawk at the lights on the houses and yachts and sailboats. Take-out or a simple dinner. Chocolate and wine on the boat.

    Dec. 24: Dinner at my parents’ house, with my sister and her husband, and this year Pete’s very cool sister and her husband.

    Dec. 25: Open presents at my parents’ house. Christmas morning down the block at Grandma’s, with two aunts and their husbands, my parents, a cousin, my sister and her husband, Grandma, and of course Pete and Lucas. Lots of presents and an insane amount of food. My favorite: Grandma’s almond pastry. Dawdling at midday, then dinner at aunt’s house next door to my parents with the same cast from the morning festivities.

    Dec. 26: Dinner at my parents’ house with my Dad’s brother, his wife, and my favorite cousin.

    Pete, that cousin, Lucas, and I are the only out-of-towers in all these festivities.

    So we keep busy. And we get fat, because there’s a ton of alcohol and way too many desserts.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Laura!

  6. Sounds like a great time! I sort of missed the hubbub of family this year, but it’s been very calm. The kids are still in their pajamas!

    Happy Holidays! Wishing you the best as always!

  7. The visual effects are great, even though a lot of it was :”Look, we have 3-D!” They stayed very close to the original story, though they added a miniaturization segment that was unnecessary. Carrey was muted and did a great job with some occasional clowning around. It was actually scary in some parts, as it should be, but not overwhelmingly, and there were some laughs as well.

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