September 29, 2017 at 2:24 pm #719309Dear WendyKeymaster
I forgot: we also go out for chinese food at some point during the holidays — christmas eve or christmas.September 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm #719310veritek33Participant
We always opened presents on Christmas eve rather than morning so that we could sleep in and have a nice breakfast. Mom would pour me sparking cider (now we have wine or champagne and dad drinks his diet coke from a wine glass).
I make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we usually watch movies. Sometimes Christmas movies, sometimes if someone got a dvd as a gift we’ll watch that.
The real fun stuff is Easter. We have 7 dogs in the family but no grand kids so we hide rawhides and dog treats in the yard and turn them loose. It’s a hilarious dog Easter egg hunt.September 29, 2017 at 2:31 pm #719311PortiaParticipant
Oh, going off the book reading tradition – Amy Dickinson has this “Book on Every Bed” tradition, which could be adapted to be less gifty (she says to wrap them like gifts). Maybe every year the family can get a “Christmas book” to read aloud together on Christmas. The subject of the book doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas-related, but every year the kids could look forward to reading a new book together. This isn’t something I do, but I always liked the “Book on Every Bed” idea…September 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm #719312AnonymousseGuest
I love the book idea!September 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm #719313RedroverRedroverMember
NOW I WANT CHRISTMAS TO COME SO BAD GUYS I LOVE IT SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! 🙂September 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm #719316CopaParticipant
I love Christmas! Both of my parents’ families are Catholic, some even being fairly devout. My nuclear family isn’t. More often than not, I spend Christmas with just my parents and sister since we don’t have any extended family in the midwest. Our traditions include:
– On Christmas Eve, we do a lot of cooking. My dad always makes like a ribeye or some other kind of steak, my sister makes sides, my mom roasts a small amount of turkey because we can never agree on what kind of meat to have, and I always make dessert. The amount of food is excessive for four.
– We open presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. We *always* say we’re just going to open one thing each, and we never do. We drink wine, and the cat plays with/in the wrapping paper and boxes. (She loves Christmas, too!) At some point on Christmas Eve, we watch Elf (or at least have it on in the background while we’re doing other things.
-On Christmas morning, everyone is lazy, and I’m usually the one trying some kind of culinary experiment for breakfast. For lunch/dinner, I also like making everyone over-the-top leftover sandwiches. We also like to go to the movies on Christmas, which is a tradition that started on my dad’s side (I think to entertain the kids while the parents cooked a big dinner for an absurd number of people).September 29, 2017 at 4:02 pm #719318RangerchicParticipant
Love reading all these traditions! I also love the dog treat hiding thing you do on Easter @ Veritek33! I might have to start something like that since my kids are to old for finding easter eggs.
We are not a religious household either. Growing up mom and dad would take all 4 of us kids driving around looking at Christmas lights which we started doing with our own girls. One year, we found a house that was totally decked out that had the lights playing to some Christmas music. Maybe mannheim steamrollers or transiberian orchestra. It was spectacular with the lights moving to the beats of the music.
I too try to make cinnamon rolls for xmas day but sometimes don’t have the energy and now being at higher elevation…I haven’t found the magic formula. But before we moved my mom and I would get together and make a ton of Xmas candy for friends and family. I’d like to start that tradition with my girls. We’d make coconut balls and white chocolate dipped pretzels and lots of different cookies. Dinner is usually ham and turkey but last year made prime rib which might have to be a new tradition…it was sooooo good 🙂
We don’t do a lot of gifts. But I love to do stocking stuffers. Some wrapped some not. I love digging down to the bottom. Growing up there was always an apple or orange at the bottom. We tried that for a while but quit doing it as no one really cared about the fruit haha.
I also love games or watching movies. Going to the movies if there is something good out and I miss having a fireplace. So many memories!September 29, 2017 at 4:13 pm #719320LooGuest
On the note of traditions starting organically, my family has a tradition of making ice cream sundaes on New Year’s Eve. We’ve done this for over a decade, and I remember the first time very well because I asked my mom why we were having ice cream at midnight. She said we were doing it because she likes ice cream. It’s maybe kinda random, but it stuck and it’s fun.September 29, 2017 at 4:17 pm #719321Northern StarGuest
Christmas Eve was our family celebration day when I was growing up. We’d have a delicious smorgasbord (appetizers galore) dinner. Pigs in a blanket, Swedish meatballs, bacon-wrapped chestnuts… I’m hungry just thinking about it!
After dinner, we’d eat cookies, open family presents, and have a Christmas carol sing-along with piano (me) and guitar (dad, sisters). We’d head out for the nighttime Christmas Eve service, and drive around afterwards looking at holiday lights.
Christmas Day was for opening presents from Santa, eating leftovers, and generally recovering…September 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm #719323RangerchicParticipant
@Northern Star…you opened presents from Santa? My husbands mom always wrapped Santa gifts to. Santa at my house always left the gifts overnight, unwrapped under the tree. I’d never heard of Santa gifts being wrapped until I met my husband. I thought he was the only one!
And someone mentioned earlier that their husband felt lied to about finding out Santa wasn’t real. I’ve heard of that but don’t understand it. I remember feeling maybe sad he wasn’t real but not hurt or lied to. Maybe it’s in the way the news was presented? IDK. I thought the easter bunny was real and even the tooth fairy too. It brings back happy innocent care-free memories thinking back to believing in the magical beings. Of course, i used to think leprechauns were real to. And that there were little people in your stomach who boxed up all the food you ate on a conveyer belt to send through your system. I suppose I had an active imagination 🙂September 29, 2017 at 5:20 pm #719327golfer.galGuest
I am also non religious, as is my husband, and I loooove Christmas. Cookies are a big deal in my city (our weddings are famous for their cookie tables), and my mom and I make about 100 dozen between the two of us in the month of December. A few years ago I invited some friends over in early December to decorate sugar cookies and have hot chocolate martinis and appetizers, and it became a tradition that’s expanded over the years. If you don’t bake, most bakeries or grocery stores will let you order undecorated sugar cookies (especially around the holidays), and you can either make or buy your own icing and get some fun sprinkles. This is something I love doing every year and can easily be adapted to a family tradition for kiddos. Our friends and their little ones look forward every year to “cookie day”. I cover the tables and floor with newspaper to account for sprinkle mess and everyone has at it.
Driving around looking at Christmas lights, making a tradition of decorating the tree as a family, opening one gift on Christmas eve, and leaving cookies for santa are all things we did growing up and loved. Many non religious organizations need gifts around this time, usually right after Thanksgiving to early Dec (women’s shelters, animal shelters, cancer organizations, etc), so you can make a tradition of taking your kids to the store and letting them pick the gifts you give. We also have a special dinner on Christmas Eve and mimosas with overnight french toast and blueberry sauce on Christmas morning.September 29, 2017 at 5:22 pm #719328ktfranParticipant
We unwrapped gifts from Santa too!