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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Does your family have any Christmas traditions that are fun or just plain corny? I'm especially interested in the corny ones.

    We used to go skiing every Christmas. That was a blast. Now we are all grown, and most of us have kids of our own.

    My parents have started renting a limo with some friends. They go for a nice dinner and then drive through town looking at Christmas lights.
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  2. #2
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    We always play Monopoly on Christmas day after Dinner. I always lose too, cos my mother is a financial shark.

    Why Monopoly I've no idea, but this year i'm going to suggest Scrabble and see who can still spell after all the wine.

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    Funny, I was just thinking about this. Aside from Christmas Eve candlelight service and the normal opening of presents, we don't do much. However, about 5 years ago, my brother started his corny wrapping tradition. We went skiing that year and due to a variety of things, he hadn't had time to wrap the gifts beforehand. When we decided we were going to open presents Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, so we could spend the whole day on the slopes, he wound up sticking all the gifts in articles of his clothing (stocking caps, socks, shirts, etc.) and in brown paper bags. Since then, he has not used wrapping paper for any of our gifts. He just sticks it in whatever he finds and it is a constant contest to outdo what he did before.

    I live in Dallas, and although it isn't a family tradition per se, Christmas lights are a big deal down here, bigger than anywhere else I have been. There are some streets where all the houses get together and decorate according to a theme. One street that has been doing this for several years decorates all in white lights and then has a bunch of the painted, wooden lawn decorations with elves and stuff. It has gotten to be such a big deal, that people come from all over the city and suburbs to see them and it is always bumper to bumper traffic down their road after dark from mid-December until after Christmas. There are even kids outside selling hot cider and stuff. My personal opinion is that, since we don't have snow and the weather could be 30 degrees or 80 degrees on Christmas, we use Christmas lights rather than weather to signal the Holiday season. So I was wondering if they were as big a deal anywhere else? What about outside the U.S.?

  4. #4
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    When I was a kid, I used to live in Kansas City and they did something similar to what you describe sahar.

    There is one large section of housing which was the "high society" portion of the city. Gated community and all that stuff. Anyway, they used to decorate according to a theme and then would sell entrance into the community, with all proceeds going to charity. Was a pretty spectacular showing from what I remember.
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  5. #5
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    We have large displays of Lights in California. One display by Sacremento has over 1.5 million individual lights and takes between 10 and 30 minutes to drive through.

    Closer to home, we have smaller displays but I know of at least 6 streets in my area that do this early.

    Family traditions....

    My grandmother is the Matriarch of the Family, what she says pretty much goes. She raised 10 children by herself and has 158 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    Anyway, she insists on buying everyone a gift (and everyone buys her a gift). So we get together just before XMAS to exchange. Since we want to give the impression to the little ones that Santa Claus dropped off the gifts (my grandmother signs each on "From Santa"), they are taken out to search for Santa Claus. While doing this they look at local lights in the hopes of seeing Santa Claus.

    When they come back they see a tree dwarfed by mountains of presents around it.
    Wayne Luke
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  6. #6
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    My family always eats grapefruit, scrambled eggs, and kippered herring for breakfast on Christmas morning. On Christmas eve we walk through the streets where people have set up fires and farolitos (brow bags with sand and a candle in them) and sing christmas carols and drink hot apple cider.

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    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Since you ask, as my Dad was Polish, we do the Polish traditional thing which is:
    Christmas Eve is when it all happens for Poles. You have the biggest Christmas meal on this night, which starts when you see the first star in the sky. If it's cloudy you have to guess. There are twelve courses, none of which are meat, but you can cheat by saying things like "mushroom vol-au-vents are a course" if you feel lazy. The main dish is usually salmon, or maybe trout. You have to have borsch as a starter (spelt something like that) which is beetroot soup, **** tasty. Then you have rollmop herring and stuff like that. Everything has to be washed down with good wine and vodka, I go for cherry vodka which I can pronounce in Polish but not spell. (It's something like wischnuvka, but don't quote me on that.)
    You also have to have a spare place at the table just in case of an unexpeted visitor - it's the Polish way.
    OK, it's not over after the meal, which finishes with brandy-christmas-cake-on-fire-type pudding, because Poles also open their presents on Christmas Eve. This is fantastic, because it means we open family gifts now, but being very even-handed we save non-Polish gifts for the next morning. In fact, it's very cool because we also do standard western stocking and Santa Claus stuff, and we still get the Christmas Day meal as well. (Not wishing to be party-poopers!!! )
    After the present-opening it's out on the town like everyone else.
    There you have it, the way a half-Polish family celebrate Xmas Eve in the UK.

  8. #8
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Weird, it edited out my harsh language, which was only mild, as in "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a...". How about 'heck'?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Santa can tell if you've been naughty or nice, and he edits out words he doesn't like.

    Actually, that is an automatic function of the forum software.

    Thanks for sharing though. It is great to hear how people of different backgrounds celebrate Christmas. It gives me new ideas for my family.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
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    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    When my sister was little and just had gone to bed but not asleep yet, we would stand my her door shaking Santa Bells very lightly ~~ we could tell she was still awake and the amazing smile on her face the next morning as she told us with wide eyes about hearing Santa Claus on the roof is a memory I still remember...

    When she was older both of us would fill stockings with treats for our parents ~~ the first year was such a surprise for them when they saw stockings just for them along side ones for us. Although they knew something was up be because my sewing machine was going on in the wee hours of the night making the stockings and we would be in the kitchen baking cookies after they had gone to bed! This became a tradition to this day of giving stockings to them but as we got older the treats became more like little gifts rather than just homemade cookies ~~ but the first year we did this was the best!

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  11. #11
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    We always have stockings for everyone that will be present on Christmas morning. This includes pets. Both cats and the dog get a stocking full of treats and toys for the upcoming year.
    Wayne Luke
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  12. #12
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    In Moldavia, we all get together and dance with our goats.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    my family celebrates festivus.

  14. #14
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    Usually I just wake up..and wake my family up and then we go eat, open presents and eat..and eat and play with the presents

    Nothing really special.

  15. #15
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Here in Houston we (the whole city) all go outside around 9:30 am and shoot firearms and make noise! J/K

    My family usually drives to Indiana to see my dad's parents. We wake up at 3:00 am and leave and get to Indiana around 6:00 pm 2 days later. We drive straight there!!!!

  16. #16
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    When I was young, my parents had a ton of fun making the whole "Santa Claus" theme seem incredibly real. They would go out into the snow and make sleigh tracks and reindeer pawprints..they would even jingle bells, not to mention, take the "list" and eat most of the cookies. Christmas morning there were a handful of new presents "from Santa".. I never did catch a glimpse of the jolly old elf, for fear that he would disappear if he caught me looking!

  17. #17
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    Patrick's Avatar
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    Sparkie, a lot of the things you mention are things my GrandParents and Parents used to do!

    But, we've always gotten up pretty early, because I used to not be able to sleep (excitement). But, now I just sleep. Its just my little brothers that can't.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    My grandparents always held to the tradition that Christmas began at 12:01 AM. So my Mom and my Aunt would wake my grandparents at 12:01 to open presents.

    When I was about 10, my Mom made the mistake of teling me this story. Guess what I did that Christmas?

    We also have stocking for everyone (including the dogs)

    My ex-fiance was Polish. She spent Christmas with my family one year (thousands of miles from her family). So, to make her feel more at home, I cooked beet soup and "ears" (mushroom filled rolls) just like polymath was talking about. No vodka though.

    One tradition that my family has had for many many years is someone always has to be "Santa" meaning that they are the one who passes out the presents from under the tree. That is a pretty cool one especially for kids that are old enough to read.

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