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Thread: Holiday Traditions

  1. #31
    Premium Member burntbrat's Avatar
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    I just looked up Lutefisk on Wikipedia and I can not believe that people actually eat that stuff! You poor thing. There was a quote on the bottom that said eating a little was like vomiting a little. It made me laugh!

  2. #32
    Thinking femme fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newfherder;2177837;
    One of my aunts makes Lutefisk every Christmas, and words cannot express the joy and appreciation that I have for living 16 hours away from THAT feast.
    Many Swedish people do that as well. As for my family, we never had it so a few years back we decided to try it. Our general consensus was "well at least now we have tried it...so we won't have to eat it again"

  3. #33
    would rather be cruising! marybethp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntbrat;2177816;
    It's a big, felt Christmas tree and the pockets are filled with felt ornaments that you hang as you go. My mom made one when I was a little kid and it was always a part of our tradition. Then she lost it when I was a teenager. So I recreated it from memory (and made her one, too).
    My husband's Aunt (also his Godmother) made one of these for us. We have such fun deciding which felt ornament to add to it! We start from the bottom and put the angel or the star on top. I LOVE it!

  4. #34
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    What a nice thread this was to read, from nachos to lutefisk and every where in between.

    We do a few consistent things. When we decorate our tree, we talk about every single ornament because each one has a story, even if it's something trivial like, "We were dating when we bought this in that little shop in Santa Barbara" all the way up to the ornament with the picture of our cat who died this year.

    My mother makes an enormous, elaborate advent calendar every year for my daughter that we all enjoy. We send and receive dozens of Christmas and Hannukah cards. We take walks in the neighborhood to look at the lights.

    We collect toys for a few different drives - for us it's Toys for Tots, our local police department, and a local Girl Scout organization called To Kids From Kids. All three programs target different people in need, so we spread it around. For the police drive, they have one day where they fill a gym with sorted presents and the general public comes and wraps them and makes sure the correct gift goes to the right kid. For the girl scout group, there is a progression you follow that's age appropriate - this year our troop made gift tags and little tie-on ornaments to go on the gifts.

    At the big wrapping day for the police drive, this year was the first year my daughter could actually wrap presents, but in previous years she's been a gopher, fetching tape and supplies, throwing out paper and generally helping. I like the idea that we can go back every year and progressively do a little more, it makes the connection a little stronger for her.

    Other than that, we sometimes see family on Christmas eve, but mostly we just have a nice peaceful day. Maybe we'll pick up the nacho tradition, I like that.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  5. #35
    Aint I a lil devil? SuperBrat's Avatar
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    I'm going to my mom's christmas party tomorrow with here, and we had to bring a white elephant gift and teh limit was $10, so I bought 3 color books, a box of crayons, and a pack of markers, and wrapped them up all pretty like.

    And it's almost a tradition for me to wrap all the gifts. Because I am a neurotic artists, and all my gifts have to be PERFECT with pretty (real) ribbons and all that jazz.
    Pink Elephants on Parade!

  6. #36
    FORT Fogey
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    Talk of advent calendars reminded me of my absolute most favorite tradition of my childhood!

    My grandmother made my sister and me an advent tree. It had 25 ornaments, and a book that had a poem for each day of December (which obviously coincided with the ornaments). Each year, my mom would wrap all of the ornaments and number them. Once a day, my sister and I would alternate "jobs" either reading the poem, or opening the present and hanging it on the tree. They were the same every year, and we pretty much had them memorized, but we both LOVED it. It made us feel like we were getting to open presents early.

    My mom made one a couple of years ago for my nephew, and in order to do it, pulled out the box with our old one. The box top had this long list written out, where my sister had kept track of who got to start with opening the present each year: 1975: Veruka, 1976: Veruka's sister, 1977: Veruka, etc. It was really funny to have the reminder of just how seriously we took it.

  7. #37
    addicted MamaC's Avatar
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    Hubby and I both come from very large families. I am one of seven kids; he is one of six. On my side of the family we now number 37. On hubby's side, they number 25. We no longer exchange gifts with our siblings. We used to pull a name out of the hat on my side while hubby's side never went for that. We used to buy just for all the nieces and nephews but have stopped that as there are just so many. We do still give gifts to our godchildren though. Everyone has their own families now, and spends on their own. Everyone is happy with that. Maybe if we didn't have such a large family, or we won a lottery!, we would still exchange gifts with everyone.

    On Christmas Eve we used to attend the Children's Mass when our kids were younger; then went to the Christmas Vigil; and now go to Midnight Mass. We always read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the kids before they went to bed when they were little. Now it isn't really Christmas Eve until the Christmas Story marathon comes on TV!

    Baking was always left to the week before Christmas.....or else we'd eat all the cookies. I make a Buche de Noel (yule log)....or two!.....every year and never frost it until Christmas Day.

    All of my siblings are scattered all over the country now, so unless someone comes to town for Christmas it has just been my parents and us for the last few years. My youngest sister was widowed 3 years ago, so my parents now go to her house in NJ for Christmas. Her two are the youngest of the grandchildren (they are now 6 and 7 and are still into the Santa scene), so that is nice. We now have a granddaughter, so she makes our Christmas extra special!

    My siblings are more apt to come in for Thanksgiving and spend Christmas in their own homes with their families.

    But one thing we did start a few years ago....and always brings back happy memories and a lot of laughs.....is the goof gift. One of my mother's aunts was a really wonderful lady; however, she had a weird sense of home decor! She had these god-awful wall hangings in her house. They were wrought iron peacocks! I guess we thought they were pretty cool when we were really young, and we would always say hello to them when we visited her, but they were pretty tacky! Anyway, when she died and her home was being cleaned out, someone took the two peacocks. We couldn't imagine why anyone would want them, they were so hideous! But sure enough, that first Christmas after auntie died, we found out that it was one of my sisters who took the peacocks. She boxed them up and sent them to one of my brothers (he happened to be auntie's godson). He got quite the chuckle out of it, and had to explain to his wife and kids what the deal was about these truly ugly things. And no, he didn't hang them up in his living room! The next year, he boxed them up and sent them to a different sibling. The peacocks have been making the rounds since 1996 now and we never know who is going to get them. But when we do get them, we always think about my aunt and she is still a very big part of our family and our Christmas celebration. We can't wait to find out who gets the "goods" this year!

  8. #38
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    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    OMG! this so reminds me of a similar thing with me and 4 friends. One year this really ugly, tacky and EXPENSIVE gift appeared in my friends home. No one in her family would own up to it. She showed it to me and it gave me the creeps and I couldn't stop talking about it. So the next year, I got it as a gift. Then the next year, I gave it to a different friend and so on. I currently have it and need to get it in the mail to one of the friends. And we always write on the tag that is attached to this thing who got it which year.
    Too funny and thanks for the reminder as I have to get it in the mail.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  9. #39
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    MamaC's story reminds me of one year when my mother gave her mother a box full of new (granny-style) underwear for Christmas, and threw in a pair of bright red bikini-type undies as a joke. My poor grandmother opened that present in front of the whole family, held them up, cussed and threw them back at my mother. They made the rounds for a few years after that.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  10. #40
    Mixing Old Fashioneds PhoneGrrrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veruka;2176942;
    Christmas Eve, we go to an earlier church service, and then home for dinner. Dinner is always tacos now - sometimes we add things like quesadillas to it. (this came about when after I'd made a full turkey dinner for Christmas Eve, my sister volunteered to cook the following year, and the only thing she knew how to make was tacos) It's fantastic, because it's so casual, laid back and fun.
    ....
    Then later on that night, we have dinner which is always beef tenderloin (but the preparation of it changes each year).
    OK, that is just a bit weird. We do Christmas Eve church, fajitas (which is pretty damn close to tacos & quesadillas) for Christmas Eve and beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner every year and have for about the last 15 years. The fajitas came about as a 180 from the traditional Slovakian food my mother grew up with. In fact, Mom & I just did a big run to the Navy commissary to stock up on the tenderloins.

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