Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's your holiday tradition?

We’re nearly two weeks out from Christmas, when the big holiday build-up is at its merriest and brightest.

You know that feeling everyone gets when all the presents are opened up and you realize Christmas has ended? And then it’s sort of sad because the holiday has come and gone? My family has a unique tradition that delays the feeling a bit.

Every Christmas evening, my family does “pull on the ribbon.”  At dinner, there are presents piled in the middle of the table, each with a ribbon connected that leads to someone’s plate. When you’re finished eating, you pull your ribbon to find out which gift is yours and then everyone opens their gifts. It’s a little taste of Christmas morning all over again. My mom says this has Dutch roots, but I can never find background on it.

Other special holiday traditions:

Julie Guess Daneman (via facebook) We always went to cut our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Now that I'm married, I've added lighting a menorah during Hanukkah and making Hanukkah cookies to our holiday celebrations.

Jessica Hof (via facebook) I always hang little ribbons that my mom made into bows on my Christmas tree every year. It started on my 2nd Christmas when my folks were divorced. My mother had literally nothing, but wanted to provide me with a proper Christmas. So she bought a "Charlie Brown" sized tree, purchased some ribbon and ornament hangers. She tied all the ribbon to make small bows so I would have ornaments to hang. And for the last 28 years my mom and I always still hang them on the tree remembering where we came from. How God brings us through trials and tribulations. But look at how grateful we are for everything he has provided for us since. So this is a tradition that will maintain in my family for years to come. What an AMAZING Mom I have!

Jennifer Hofer Mills (via facebook) Santa Claus always sneaks into our house during late November/early December and puts our tree up for us! Usually it's when the kids are at school, Daddy's at work and Mommy is running errands. This year he snuck in when we were watching Rudolph at Casa Manana. Great surprise to walk in and the tree and lights were on! Then we get to decorate and have a relaxing evening.

Ashleigh Whiteman (via facebook) We always go to church on Christmas Eve and then get together for sandwiches, cocktail weenies, veggies, etc. The random part that I thought everyone did as a child (and realized in high school that no one else does) is that we have red and green bread on Christmas Eve for our sandwiches. As in one loaf of red and one loaf of green. My grandparents drive to Bluebonnet Bakery in Fort Worth to get it each year. We've had it since before I was born, so more than 28 years!

Susan Bruns (via facebook) I am from Baltimore and we always have sauerkraut with turkey. This year I found jarred Bavarian sauerkraut at Whole Foods. It was the best I have ever had (not being fresh). I cooked it with pork neck bones and then removed them and added polish sausage. This is a Baltimore tradition.

Jenni Jacob (via facebook) On Christmas Eve, we have dinner when my husband gets off work. We have prime rib and crab legs. I make a chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake for dessert too. Once dinner is done, we do “pull on the ribbon” (described above). Then we all suit up and head out. We load up in the van and take a trip to a neighborhood subdivision to look at Christmas lights. At the end of the light tour, we all eat a candy cane. We drive back home and everyone gets their pj’s on and gets comfy. Then we pop in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." We have a fire going in the fireplace, the Christmas lights on the tree are twinkling, and the world is good. The kids are all excited and can barely sleep. Once the movie is over, we write a note to Santa and leave out the cookies and milk. We also don't like to forget the reindeer and some years even leave a carrot and lettuces. Then it is off to bed to await the arrival of Santa and open gifts the next morning. We don't put candy canes on our tree either. Santa brings them and puts them on our tree. On Christmas morning, we get up and put Christmas music on the radio and the movie "A Christmas Story" on TBS for a marathon. I make cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate with a chocolate mint candy cane garnish. Then the kids go to town on their gifts and check out their stockings. It is the best two day event and the best quality family time of the year!

(via twitter) Holiday traditions? Mom wrapped new PJs & on Christmas Eve, I would unwrap them & wear them!

Reace Alvarenga Smith (via facebook) My brothers and I don't exchange presents. Several years ago we decided that we were spending too much money on things that the other person didn't really want. So now we just wish each other a Merry Christmas and move on. Works for us!

Brooke Veigl (via facebook) We make foamnog. It's actually Paula Deen's recipe for eggnog, but it's so foamy that we renamed it. We also like to watch Martha Stewart make eggnog. It's great for a laugh. She must have alcohol running in her veins. One per person indeed. Definitely check it out:  

Deedee Debo Morehead (via facebook)  I don't cook the traditional foods like ham and/or turkey. My boys never cared much for all of that so I started cooking their favorite food that took me years to perfect: homemade chicken and dumplings! They expect it every year---forget if we have company, that's what they get too!!

Libby Cole (via facebook) Memory bows on the Christmas tree for those who are no longer with us... Kinda lets them participate and "Elf on the Shelf" that moves around watching little ones for Santa! I think this is a book now, but my dad started this MANY years ago!!

Happy Holidays!

Megan Brooks is a Stepmom to a 10-year-old and a Sr Public Relations Specialist hoping Santa will bring her a Nook for Christmas.

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