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What traditions do you follow in the holiday season?

The Green Dragon

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1Vanye
Nov 24, 2011, 2:46am Top

I start to decorate right after Thanksgiving & start playing Christmas music & watching Christmas Movies & specials. Since it came out a few years back I got the DVD of Hogfather & I watch it annually along w/my other 2 favorites: A Charlie Brown Christmas & the original version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the one w/Boris Karloff). I also listen to all of my Christmas CDs. There is one song I listen to many times over: "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen.Oh & I also have a Charlie Brown tree. Anybody detect a theme here?

So tell us what your holiday traditions are! 8^)

2Busifer
Nov 24, 2011, 4:31am Top

First Advent Sunday we put up the Yule lights - a light-chain on the balcony rail and four window lamps.

If we're spending Yule at home we get a tree which is stored on the balcony until the eve of Dec 23, then we take it in and dress it, lightly. The same evening different other decorations comes up we we tend to keep it very low-key.

On Yule Eve, which is the day we celebrate in Sweden, we watch "Donald Duck" - really, old Disney cartoons - at 3 PM on national TV. This is a national tradition. If you want to take over Sweden, plan it to 3 PM on on Yule Eve ;-) Then dinner, then presents. If we're at home my parents comes over for a Yule lunch at noon, before the proceed to my sister, where they have dinner.

When I was a kid they national TV always aired old Marx Brothers films during "mellandagarna" (the days between Yule and New Year's). I loved that.

Every Yule-specific decoration comes down by Epiphany, or at the very latest at Hilarymas day. Some lights, like the chain on the balcony and such, stays up a while longer. It's a dark time of year here, especially if it doesn't snow, so extra light is welcome.

3Morphidae
Edited: Nov 24, 2011, 7:07am Top

We don't decorate much. If I do, it's the first week or so of December. A neighbor brought me a poinsettia last night which is nice.

I always watch Love Actually on Christmas day.

We've recently started a tradition (this will be the second year) of having a rib eye roast for Christmas dinner. It's not something we can usually afford (about $30 for the roast.)

4maggie1944
Nov 24, 2011, 9:12am Top

Ah, well, it is kind of "hit and miss" for me but I do try to decorate inside my home, at minimum. I always intend to do some outside lights as I like them so much but I've never quite pulled it off. I always try to find some way to eat some Turkey on Thanksgiving.

I like thinking of this season as a time to bring light to the darkest time of the year.

5trisweather
Nov 24, 2011, 9:23am Top

This sunday everybody here turn on the light in their stars in the windows and they stay on until January 6th. It look very beautiful from outside when walking in the dark.
A family traditon is glögg and homemade æbleskiver the first of advent. Since moving to Greenland I have made it my own tradition, so this sunday I have an open house, where I will serve white glögg, red glögg and a couple hundred æbleskiver.
I will also put up my christmas decorations on sunday.
No tree for me here this year, because I will be with my family in Denmark. I haven't been home for christmas the last two times, so I am really looking forward to it. We celebrate christmas on the 24th. We will have duck and ris a la mande with an almond for dessert. After dinner we will walk around the christmas tree while singing christmas song, before opening the presents.

6tardis
Nov 24, 2011, 11:39am Top

I put out the outdoor lights and a few things around the house on December 1st, and then a week or two later I get the tree and decorate it, but as I am pretty much alone in my enjoyment of Christmas around here it is all for my own benefit. Husband is a Scrooge, and even the kids are lukewarm.

This year I expect the big excitement will be keeping the kittens away from the tree. They'll be almost 6 months old and are plenty big enough to cause real mayhem if they get a mind to (cue picture of innocent, big-eyed kittens regarding decorated tree with "I aim to misbehave" bubbles over their heads. oh, hey - excellent Christmas card idea!).

Christmas day is scones for brunch, phone calls from all my family (they all live far away), then dinner at my husband's parents place, which is always delicious.

I take time off work between Christmas and New Years so get a nice break.

7MrsLee
Nov 24, 2011, 12:26pm Top

I'm trying to decide whether to start the Christmas music at work today, or tomorrow.

8catzteach
Nov 24, 2011, 12:55pm Top

My husband and I will hang lights tomorrow or Saturday, weather permitting. We usually get a tree, but I don't decorate much inside any more. I'll bring out the Christmas place mats and napkins. I haven't made the December (Christmas) wall hanging yet, so that place will be empty. At school, the week before break, I do a Grinch week. We then end the week with a Who Feast and pj day. I have footie pjs with Thing One and Thing Two on the feet. I also wear funny head gear all that week, you know, the Christmas headbands. The kids love it! Oh and this weekend I will be making the ornaments for my students. I give each one an ornament with their picture on it.

9tardis
Nov 24, 2011, 1:14pm Top

I forgot - I have two movies that I always watch on Christmas eve or a day or two before: Hogfather and Bernard and the Genie. I also have some VHS movies - Muppet Christmas Carol, A Wish for Wings That Work, The Snowman, etc.) that I don't watch every year - maybe this year I'll get them out, too.

Also love to listen to Dylan Thomas reading "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

I get tired of Christmas music pretty fast, since it's EVERYWHERE outside the home so at home I don't play it much. Besides, husband HATES it. We have some non-traditional seasonal music that he tolerates and I don't get tired of (e.g. Loreena McKennitt's "To Drive the Cold Winter Away", the Chieftains' "Bells of Dublin").

10Morphidae
Nov 24, 2011, 3:14pm Top

I also buy a new Christmas DVD each year. Last year it was Muppet Christmas Carol.

11Rozax
Nov 24, 2011, 3:43pm Top

Packers kicking Lion butt is a nice tradition. :)

12Vanye
Nov 24, 2011, 6:57pm Top

#9-Tardis-Yeah I forgot about A Child's Christmas in Wales. I always listen to it. I also have a mini (2 ft.)tree that I decorate as well as the 4 ft. artificial tree & the miniature village. In other words my apartment is wall-to-wall Christmas! 8^)

13catzteach
Nov 24, 2011, 7:40pm Top

#10 Morphidae, I do that too! Is that the one with John Denver? I have that one. I'll need to look around for a cute one this year.

14Busifer
Nov 25, 2011, 9:33am Top

Not Yule exactly but I used to have a Star Wars (original, of course) marathon each New Years' Day - husband were normally off to work so I had a day in which to just lounge around.

Perhaps it's time to reinstate that tradition.

I'm not a big fan of Christmas/Yule films. But husband likes both the Grinch and Nightmare Before Christmas are great so maybe we'll watch one of those ;-)

15reading_fox
Nov 25, 2011, 9:51am Top

No particular personal tradion/varients. I like to just relax and have a plesent unwinding time wherever I am and whoever I'm spending time with. I do like a real christmas tree, but probably won't this year as we're visiting (though of course they probably will have one). My parents decorate the tree with candles which does look magnificent, (and gets very warm no matter how nasty it is outside) but it is too much bother for me to want to attempt.

16JPB
Nov 25, 2011, 11:19am Top

2 Kalle Anka I think it is called! I heard about that tradition as a youth from Swedish exchange students in Minnesota!

17Busifer
Nov 25, 2011, 11:43am Top

Absolutely - Donald Duck is called Kalle Anka here, and the 3 PM Yule show is called Kalle Ankas Julafton (Donald Duck's Christmas). Even though the presenter actually is Mickey Mouse. It features a set of very old cartoons, always the same, plus clips from newer films.

18OracleOfCrows
Nov 25, 2011, 12:11pm Top

We *almost* always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. The hubby likes to get Christmas started as soon as possible, because he says it helps him "get in the spirit." Really, I think he just can't wait to put the decorations up and feel like a kid again. He's silly. :)

Other than that, we don't do anything special until Christmas Eve. We go to some of our relatives' homes, stand outside their door, and sing horrible, off key carols until they let us in. Hehe.

19trisweather
Nov 25, 2011, 1:23pm Top

#17 we watch the same show in Denmark, where it is called Disneys juleshow (Disney's christmas show).

20MrsLee
Nov 25, 2011, 2:22pm Top

Hmm, thinking maybe my kids could enjoy a Dr. Who Christmas specials marathon on Christmas day. Start a new tradition?

21pollysmith
Nov 25, 2011, 3:10pm Top

Well, the christmas tree goes up soon after Thanksgiving as well as other decorating. I also love the christmas specials and watch as many as I can. I like to have a bowl of hard candy out for guests, a tradition from my mother, and the christmas cards go on the door in a triangle shae to imulate a tree. I've done that since I was about five. Corny huh? Baking cookies is another long held tradition and not wrapping the gifts until an hour before I have to give them is a bad habit that has become a tradition

22Esta1923
Edited: Nov 25, 2011, 7:37pm Top

I design and send New Year greetings to all e-mail connections. (See some oldies on Flickr, tell me your address for 2011.....)

23NorthernStar
Nov 26, 2011, 2:26am Top

I put up the outside lights in November - usually soon after Remembrance day. Usually don't do any inside decorating until the weekend before Christmas. I cut and decorate a real tree, but try to find a small, skinny one with lots of branches for ornaments. I have some beautiful ornaments that go on the tree every year, many of them were gifts from family and friends and have lots of memories. I usually leave it up until at least New Year's day. Aside from the tree, I don't decorate much.

My favourite tradition is the community Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I have attended and volunteered at this for quite a few years now. It started as a dinner for those who couldn't afford a good Christmas dinner, but the organizing committee decided that if everyone was invited, no-one would feel that it was charity, so they raised money and invited the whole town. In a town of 5000-6000 people, usually from 3500-4000 free dinners are served every Christmas Eve. Since I have no family at home I usually volunteer for the evening and cleanup.

Christmas day I phone my family in other parts of the country, go for a ski, then go for dinner with friends. I like making pies, so usually that is what I contribute to the dinner.

24kassetra
Nov 26, 2011, 3:51am Top

End of november means end of the school year and end of nanowrimo at the same time, so all holiday'ing has to wait until both of those things are done first.

Typically though, once those are done, then comes time for the itty-bitty tree with fibre optic lights, silver and black sparkly ornaments, skirt, and stockings to all be put out at once. Although this year, since we've redone the arrangement of the postage-stamp-sized flat, where to put the aforementioned items will be something of a 'does it work here' adventure. Then, the little christmas stuffed animals get dressed up as elves, presents, etc. and get to be posed around the tree.

Once that it all setup, then comes time for the mix of Bob Rivers Christmas Songs (oh they are terrible... terrible terrible, lol), along with songs by Burl Ives, Charlie Brown, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mavis Staples and Sheryl Crow/Eric Clapton and of course, Thurl Ravenscroft.

Then come the movies -- The original Grinch, the Burl Ives Rudolph the Reindeer, and of course, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. If we're feeling adventurous, then of course Charlie Brown and possible the original Chipmunk's Christmas.

Apparently though, what the blue-haired-one waits for all year is the menu:
- buffalo-batter quorn/tempeh + celery + blue cheese fusion sushi rolls
- rice, cornbread and sourdough mushroom stuffing with chillies
- almond butter smashed potatoes with dill and vinegar
- gingerbread and fig spice streusel swirled muffins.

We have the same exact thing every year. Every time I ask him what he wants for the holiday season -- it's the same request, exactly what we had last year, lol.

The only thing that changes are the drinks:
- citrus spice margaritas
- cocoa nib and citrus-chilli mulled wine
- pomelo/grapefruit spice chu-his

I'm thinking that maybe this year we'll do something with the chocolate spirit instead of tequila. :)

This is such a pattern that it's a complete tradition and the blue-haired-one buys the ingredients (the ones that can be stored) basically on the first of december, lol.

25alco261
Nov 28, 2011, 10:38am Top

1. Actually stay at home on the granted day off from work.
2. When possible, set up a big loop of track around the living room rug, pull out one of trains, turn out the lights, lie down on the rug with my head as close to the track as possible, and let 'er rip. There's nothing that says holidays like the smell of hot oil, burnt grease, and ozone as that toy train zooms past with its headlight lighting the way.

26JPB
Nov 28, 2011, 10:49am Top

@25: You are absolutely correct about #2! But I would add to it - cotton bedding with little multi-colored lights poking out of it that creates a wintery display :D

27Sakerfalcon
Nov 28, 2011, 11:39am Top

Most of my Christmas celebrations are tied into singing in the church choir. This Sunday just past, we had our Advent carol service which starts the season. Now we're practicing for the service of Nine Lessons and Carols which is the Sunday before Christmas, and then we have Midnight Mass and the morning service on Christmas itself. It's a lot of work but I love it. Also, singing on Christmas morning gets me away from the stress of getting the dinner cooked!

Newer traditions for me are a meal and Secret Santa with the group of friends I made while travelling four years ago, and a Tyrolean Christmas themed meeting of my girlsown book group with German/Austrian Christmas food.

I always go to my parents' for Christmas so I don't decorate my place. They get a real tree, except for last year when they couldn't get out to get one because of the snow.

28C4RO
Nov 29, 2011, 3:29pm Top

I think you can do a whole section on Christmas/ New Year TV programmes.

In the UK there will be the Queens Speech. There is also Sound of Music almost certainly and Wonderful Life at some point.
In Germany and Austria, they get Dinner for One which is an oddity- a bizarre black and white comedy short, in English. I can only recommend you read the wikipedia entry for that.

29MerryMary
Nov 29, 2011, 4:43pm Top

My grandchildren and I make nice big platters of cookies and deliver them to places where our "heroes" have to work on Christmas Eve : 2 hospital ERs, 1 fire department, and 1 police station. It's also a good way to drive around and "see the Christmas lights."

30maggie1944
Nov 29, 2011, 4:50pm Top

My best known tradition is to try to do some decorating and only do it about half way. Nonetheless, I love the season. I did put a few twinkling lights in my bedroom windows today. That's it so far.

31foggidawn
Nov 29, 2011, 11:11pm Top

I always get a real tree, usually the day after Thanksgiving. (I'm running a little behind this year.) I have some Christmas movies I always like to watch (Love Actually, The Santa Clause, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.), and some Christmas books I like to read (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Christmas Carol, etc.), and some Christmas music I like to listen to (an odd variety of stuff).

I'm thinking about decorating tomorrow night. I did think "why bother?" for just a few minutes -- it's unlikely that anyone will see my decorations but me. Still, I think it will lift my spirits, and after a long and often difficult year, that's worth something.

32katylit
Nov 30, 2011, 9:04am Top

This is a great thread Vanye. I love reading about everybody's Christmas plans.

We try to get up any outside lights/decorations about the middle - end of November. The tree goes up usually the weekend before Christmas and comes down New Year's Day. I mistakenly mentioned to my family a long time ago that I love snowmen, so now I have an enormous snowman collection that gets dispersed throughout the house. I usually also have holly that I put in bowls and string from doorways etc. And candles galore.

Baking is: my grandmother's Christmas pudding, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, nanaimo bars, a sweet fruit and nut bread and mincemeat tarts (my husband's favourite). I also make a butter crunch candy, like almond rocco, for the family and as gifts to neighbours and friends.

Christmas Eve involves taking the brown paper off of parcels mailed from friends and family far away. Then watching Scrooge, the one with Alistair Sim (the best one IMHO). I've watched it every year on Christmas Eve since I was born. I've tried special meals for the 24th, something easy but tasty and finally found one that works for us and is delicious - a tortierre, so that's become a tradion over the last few years.

Christmas Day is sharing stockings first thing, then coffee and mincemeat tarts and fruit bread while we take our time opening presents from under the tree. Then calling family who live away, and always watching the Queen's message. This year we're going to my SIL's place for dinner. Since we've always lived far away from family we don't often get the chance to celebrate with them, so this is a special year.

Movies I love watching between now and New Year's include Scrooge, Love Actually, The Snowman, Rudolph, The Bishop's Wife (with Cary Grant), Remember the Night (Fred MacMurray). I'm thinking the Dr Who Christmas specials will be included this year.

33trisweather
Nov 30, 2011, 11:27am Top

#28 I love Dinner for one and watch it every year on December 31st and have watched it for as long as I can remember on DR, a Danish channel. It is on right before the count down.

34fuzzi
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 9:19pm Top

(5) trisweather wrote "No tree for me here this year, because I will be with my family in Denmark. I haven't been home for christmas the last two times, so I am really looking forward to it. We celebrate christmas on the 24th."

Aha! So it wasn't just an excuse for opening the presents the night before!

What am I talking about? My mother, whose father came over from Lyngby in the early 1920s, told us that in her family they always opened the gifts on Christmas Eve.

We started the same tradition with my own children, even though my dh wasn't used to opening presents early...but he didn't seem to mind.

When I was growing up, we'd go out on Christmas Eve afternoon and find a real tree. My dad would bring it over to the car where my mom was waiting, and she'd critique and choose which one she wanted. After taking the tree home, my dad would set it up in the stand, trim it with clippers to 'make it perfect', string the lights and then let us three girls finish with the ornaments and tinsel!

My dh and the children didn't get a real tree after the first few years, but purchased an artificial tree. The kids (husband and children) couldn't wait to set it up, so it usually was brought out of the attic the first week of December and decorated.

Now that the children are grown, we just have a small table top tree. It also keeps us from cleaning up broken glass from the two cats and one large dog (she thinks glass ornaments are to be played with!).

Oh, the food and television? Let's see...

We love to splurge on pickled herring and cream cheese, spread on little slices of rye bread!

And each year we watch "A Christmas Carol" (with Alistair Sim) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Sometimes we'll even watch "A Muppet Christmas Carol". Last year, my son talked me into watching "210 to Yuma" with him, and despite the violence, I enjoyed the movie.

But all that stuff aside, Christmas is about spending time with family.

35trisweather
Dec 3, 2011, 10:24am Top

#34 In my family we also wait until the 24th before decorating the tree. Maybe it is a Danish and/or Scandinavian tradition?

36fuzzi
Dec 3, 2011, 3:27pm Top

(35) tris, I thought it was my dad being 'cheap', but perhaps it wasn't?

My mother also had little paper Danish flags to string around the tree. I don't think they exist anymore, too bad... :(

37MrsLee
Dec 4, 2011, 6:03pm Top

fuzzi - I found strings of Norway flags here on Amazon, maybe there's hope for strings of Denmark flags?

http://www.amazon.com/Flags-of-Norway-on-Strings/dp/B005FA3QTM

38fuzzi
Dec 4, 2011, 6:49pm Top

MrsLee, thank you!

I am in love with that 'shoppe'...even though they do not have any Danish flags...

...however, they DO have Swedish horses! (I'm 1/4 Swedish, too)

39Booksloth
Dec 5, 2011, 5:28am Top

Most of our Xmas traditions go back to when I was a small child or even when my parents were children but we do have one new-ish one that looks like sticking around and that's the 'Christmas Centipede' - the large, rubbery, luminous insect that sits in the middle of the dinner table. It all began a few years ago when our daughter misheard me talking about whether to buy or make a centrepiece for the table. Two days later I spotted this guy while out shopping and he's become an integral part of the celebrations ever since.

40trisweather
Dec 5, 2011, 3:18pm Top

#36 my whole family and friends's families decorate on the 24th, so I don't think he was being cheap.
The Danish flags on string for the christmas tree are very common in Danish shops and in shops here in Greenland. If you would like to have some, I can mail them to you. Let me know

41Meredy
Edited: Dec 6, 2011, 3:19am Top

No matter how tight things were when I was growing up, my mother made Christmas a beautiful, magical time, and I have tried to carry that tradition on in my own family. Even though my sons are grown now, I still do a lot of mood-setting and custom-maintaining for Christmas.

About two weeks beforehand, all the decorations come out of boxes in the basement. There are tinsel garlands for the windows, candles and bells and stars, little figurines, and more. There are special place mats, table covers, a runner for the piano, and even a themed welcome mat. There are special candy dishes, and of course I buy special candy to put in them. Sparkly and shiny things are everywhere.

While Christmas CDs play, the tree goes up. It's usually a six-foot Douglas fir with a nice shape and a good top for the star. Tree trimming has a ritual aspect, not just in the order of trimming but also in the unwrapping and hanging of an eclectic assortment of ornaments, nearly all different, some quite old, and some special mementoes such as gifts from my late mother.

For most of the Christmas period, from when the tree goes up to when it comes down on or about January 6th, I have candles burning every night on the mantel, the piano, and several other spots.

I try to get all my wrapping done by the 23rd so there's no need for closed doors and secret stuff on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve we used to open out-of-town packages, but we don't have those any more. We still read aloud the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke and then A Visit from St. Nicholas ("The Night Before Christmas"), by Clement C. Moore. We take pictures of the boys by the fireplace. Their whole growing up is reflected in those Christmas Eve photos.

Most years we stuff a turkey, but this year we are having Dad's special pot roast. And there are always, always pumpkin pies to bake on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas morning we open the gifts piled beneath the tree--slowly and appreciatively, no ripping and rending ever--while music plays. Then we all crowd into the kitchen to help prepare dinner and set it out on a festively adorned table.

Christmas night is chill time. We play with our new games, try on our new things, start our new jigsaw puzzles--wooden ones, I hope!--and listen to our new music, and of course begin reading our new books. If we're lucky we have some sweet-smelling new nighties and pajamas to wear to bed.

42Sakerfalcon
Dec 6, 2011, 7:45am Top

My parents are planning to buy their tree on Saturday, and I will go over to help them decorate it.

43fuzzi
Dec 6, 2011, 7:52am Top

(41) Beautiful, Meredy.

We also open the packages one at a time, while the others watch. I think it helps us as well as taught our children to appreciate what they were getting.

Come to think of it, my Dad read that passage in Luke, too, before we were allowed to open our presents.

And we'd have the Christmas albums playing on the stereo while we were decorating, and then while we were opening presents.

Isn't that interesting how many 'traditions' seem to match those of others?

44Glassglue
Dec 6, 2011, 11:42am Top

I don't have any Christmas traditions of my own... or any other kind, really. They've always struck me as odd, in fact. Ritual and tradition are extremely alien to me.

I do like strings of Christmas lights, especially the deep blue ones, and also the multicolored kind. I might put up some lights around the windows in the coming weeks. The color and light is nice on these dark days.

My girlfriend loves Christmas, and she has many traditions associated with the holiday. We will decorate a (fake) tree in the living room, most likely. I have to say, I do enjoy hanging the... tinsel, is it? You know, those thin shiny filaments. And mirrored ball ornaments are nice to look at.

45JPB
Dec 6, 2011, 11:53am Top

Childhood Christmas: When I was young, my parents created a somewhat chaotic Christmas, as decorating did not stop until Noon on Christmas eve. Over the years, since it was the same chaos over and over, I realized they formed the basis of Christmas traditions for me. First, my parents put up two trees - one upstairs in the living room, one downstairs in the rec room. The upstairs and downstairs trees each had villages underneath them. Not tiny ones, but villages on 4'x8' sheets of plywood that would have a running electric train, cotton snow with strings of point lights poking through it, village houses, people, scattered about (with the lights creating nice colored images inside each house), and then, finally, loose tiny flakes of plastic snow you would sprinkle, like a layer of salt, over the finished scene. That village is the heart of Christmas memories. The upstairs tree was the 'fancy company' one - the new glass ornaments, prettiest lights, ceramic glazed houses, best train, etc. The downstairs tree was the 'family' one - the old ornaments, the ones we created as kids, the old village houses from their first years of marriage. We all liked the downstairs tree a lot more. But, my parents would decorate each and every room of the house - including the bathrooms, with little displays on window sills, or hangings on walls. The entire house felt 'Christmassy'. During this time, we would listen to Christmas records, which would play for a while because of course, we would stack 3 or 4 albums on the record changer, and let them fall down on each other as they played. This could give you a couple of hours of music with just one flip! Christmas eve we would have the big meal of the YEAR, far bigger than Thanksgiving, with sour cream cookies, ham, Swedish meatballs, pickles, deviled eggs, lefsa, cottage cheese, asparagus. Then, we would each get TWO presents to open. One present would be pajamas - always - and the other would be something small and fun. Maybe a card game (think Rook or Mille Bournes); maybe a book; something that you could look at and enjoy when going to bed. What's very interesting to me is that the Christmas eve gifts, in general, are far more easy to remember than the Christmas ones - because they were 'single' - you focused on one gift. On Christmas Day, it was quite easy - as we ate leftovers from the night before, and the best part about it is that we would stay in our new pajamas all day - the whole family - happy and cozy, eating, watching TV, usually in a big 'family pile' on the carpeted floor, chairs, and sofas, in the downstairs rec room.

Adult Christmas: This blends in traditions for both my wife and I, on the few times we've had solo Christmases. (Most of the time, we are with one family or the other.) Her traditions of a midnight Christmas Eve service, and the big meal being Christmas Day, we follow to honor her background. For me, the meal on Christmas Day does have the Swedish meatballs and the sour cream cookies, and also lefsa. It also has beef and mashed potatoes, from her tradition. We set up a tree, but have a 'tabletop' village about 2.5' per side. I do get her pajamas every year, and I do get the same, on Christmas Eve. :)

46Glassglue
Dec 6, 2011, 11:57am Top

@ JPB

Whoa! How many pairs of pajamas do you have now, if you don't mind me asking? Assuming you've been married for many years, wouldn't you collectively have whole dressers worth of pajamas by now?

47JPB
Dec 6, 2011, 3:30pm Top

#46 - Actually, we've been married 21 years, and yes, we have PLENTY of pairs of pajamas! :D Of course, they tend to be donated to Goodwill after a few years. So I'd say my wife has one dresser drawer full of about 7-8 pair.

48JPB
Dec 6, 2011, 3:33pm Top

If a person (relative, friend) is staying with us for Christmas, or visiting all Christmas eve - they also get pajamas. :) It's just something we do :)

49maggie1944
Dec 6, 2011, 5:10pm Top

A lovely tradition, I believe. It is time for the youngsters in my life to get new p.j.s, too; they do grow, these kids, they do!

50jillmwo
Dec 6, 2011, 7:45pm Top

That was the tradition in my house -- growing up, we always opened a brand-new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve. I suspect it was so that the Christmas morning snapshots would all look nice and respectable.

Actually, in my house, one of the traditions is to burn a bayberry candle on New Year's to bring good luck.

51Meredy
Dec 6, 2011, 8:44pm Top

>50 jillmwo: I thought it was so my very frugal mother could pass off a necessity as a gift.

52MrsLee
Dec 9, 2011, 12:29pm Top

We didn't always get new pajamas, but I have two photos I dearly love. One is of my siblings (I hadn't been born yet) in homemade red with white polka-dots pajamas, and the other is of my three children in yellow and black tiger-stripe homemade pajamas. Those definitely for Christmas photos.

I need to visit JPB, my pajamas are sad and mismatched. :)

53CheriLasota
Dec 9, 2011, 6:11pm Top

Wow, I thought we were the only ones obsessed with pajamas at Christmas. =) My favorite tradition is eating Yorkshire pudding. Reminds me of my English roots. Smothered in honey...oh, they're heaven. I always eat too many. Any of you have that at the holidays?

54OracleOfCrows
Dec 10, 2011, 10:48am Top

We always had new pajamas on Christmas Eve, too! Still do that with my daughter today.

55katylit
Edited: Dec 14, 2011, 8:19am Top

I just read that the notion of Santa Claus living in the North Pole is a North American tradition. Europeans aver that he lives in Lapland. Huh! Busifer - does the Swedish Santa live in Lapland? How 'bout Australia, South Africa? Does the Aussie Santa live at the South Pole? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

56hfglen
Dec 13, 2011, 9:59am Top

Stories vary, but either North Pole or Lapland -- from here they're so far away as to seem like the same place! South Pole only has penguins, basically.

57Vanye
Dec 13, 2011, 3:15pm Top

Yeah! But at least it has solid ground! The ice at the North Pole is melting fast!! Santa better have a rowboat handy. 8^)

58katylit
Dec 13, 2011, 3:21pm Top

*chuckle* Now I have a picture of penguins pulling the sled. I'm sure the Emperor penguins could give it a good try ;-)

59trisweather
Dec 14, 2011, 6:23am Top

#55 Danes believes Santa lives in Greenland. His home is in Uummannaq

60hfglen
Dec 14, 2011, 7:07am Top

# 58 Penguins. Only. No sled. ;D

61margd
Oct 18, 2018, 8:42am Top

The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve
Katherine Martinko | December 21, 2015

...Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.

At this time of year, most households receive an annual free book catalog of new publications called the Bokatidindi. Icelanders pore over the new releases and choose which ones they want to buy, fueling what Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association, describes as “the backbone of the publishing industry.” ...

https://www.treehugger.com/culture/icelanders-give-books-christmas-eve.html

62margd
Edited: Dec 24, 2018, 1:36pm Top

We've spent more than a few Christmas Eves in Asian restaurants, December 24th being our youngest's birthday.
More recently, if I make reservations in time, a seafood restaurant, sometimes followed by Midnight Mass
(more like 10 or 11 pm to get a seat--or spot to stand--and to listen to the carols beforehand).

The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi
Jamie Lauren Keiles | Dec 21, 2018

In the US, Jews have been eating American Chinese food on Christmas for over 100 years...

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/12/21/18151903/history-jews-chinese-food-chri...

63maggie1944
Dec 25, 2018, 9:41am Top

I have a fortunate Christmas season: dinner + gifts with an extended "affinity family" - no blood relatives, just folks who have been chosen and who choose to be part of a family we choose to have; and, today gifts and a meal with my blood family - two nieces, their husbands and children, and their mother and her second husband.

Both traditions are ones I choose to continue year after year and I'm very grateful.

64maggie1944
Dec 31, 2018, 6:53pm Top

Happy New Year's evening to you all. What are you up to tonight?

I am going to climb into my bed with my dog at the foot of it, and my reading lamp turned on. I'm working on Michelle Obama's Becoming, a great good read for an evening of relaxing; and, a great way to usher in a new year!

You?

65foggidawn
Dec 31, 2018, 8:20pm Top

>64 maggie1944: My plans are very similar: bed, book(s), and dog.

66jillmwo
Dec 31, 2018, 8:54pm Top

>64 maggie1944: and >65 foggidawn: Bed, Books, and Beverage at this end.

67hfglen
Jan 1, 3:57am Top

>64 maggie1944:-->66 jillmwo: It was bed, book and cat here. Woken at midnight by fireworks across the valley.

68maggie1944
Jan 1, 9:54am Top

Happy me! No noise in the night to wake dog or me. Slept very soundly and very happy this morning to greet the new year!

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