Please Post Your Christmas Traditions Here

sylviatexas1December 14, 2010

When I was little, my "immediate" family was so huge that my grandparents' children decided to draw names instead of everybody trying to buy for everybody else;

you would buy for Papa & Mama (their parents, my grandparents), for your own children, & for the nieces or nephews whose names you drew (if you had 3 children, you drew 3 names, etc).

One year, maybe 1957 or 1958, my Uncle John, tall, blond, handsome, a career Marine, drew my name.

He was stationed in Japan, & he sent me a silk doll dressed in a silk kimono, with fancy pins in her hair.

All the mothers of girls wished that John had drawn their daughter's name!

I still have that doll.

& every year Papa had a huge red & white peppermint candy cane;

that thing must have been 2" around & about a foot long, & he'd make a big production out of unwrapping it & not being able to break off any pieces.

so he'd take it, & us, to the kitchen, & put it on a towel on the old counter top & break it with his hammer.

What Christmas traditions do you remember or keep?

What Christmas memories do you treasure?

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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

When I was a child, my dad always had to "work" Christmas Eve. He'd leave for work about 6 P.M. and Santa would arrive about 8. He'd then get back home right after Santa left, saying they shut down early for Christmas.
I belived that line for many years.
After we all married, Christmas eve was at my parent's home with all my siblings, their spouses, children, and grandchildren. There would be 26 of us. We'd meet at or after midnight mass. The living room would be almost wall to wall gifts. After the gifts were exchanged we'd all sit down for a really late night/early morning breakfast of homemade coffee cakes, waffles, sausages, bacon and eggs, and a ton of various cookies. We'd get home about 5:00 A.M. and go to bed, then get woken up at 7 as our children got up to see what Santa left for them at our house.
Now, with my brother and parents dead, my wife and I spend our Christmas eves with our own family.
As I get older, I'd just as soon spend the evening at home with my wife but, My children demand we visit each of them.
When I was working, I'd decorate my bosses scooter as a sled and attach a pair of antlers and some bells to the front. I'd buy tiny candy canes, dress up as Santa, and spend the last day of work before the holiday break going around the plant on the scooter and pass out candy canes to every one. There were 1500 people working that shift at the Chicago Ford Assembly Plant and I gave everyone of them a candy cane and wished them a Merry Christmas. That was my only job that day. The rest of the year I was a production supervisor.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 12:08AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

You guys have cool memories. Those must come with big families.

My most memorable Christmas was in 1968 when my grandmother bought my cousin and I life-sized dolls WITH REAL GLASS EYES THAT BLINKED. That doll wore a bigger dress size than I did. I just knew that doll hated me for keeping her in my closet instead of letting her have my bed. When I started to look deranged after a week of sleeplessness my mother moved her to the garage where she really began to hate me and plot how to get even with me. I still have nightmares about dolls. I became a tomboy.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 3:12AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

When I was a little girl my family waited until Christmas Eve to put up the Christmas tree and decorations. I can remember my Dad whistling Christmas tunes along with the radio while he supervised us kids hanging ornaments and tinsel (I was the youngest of 5.) Meanwhile, Mom would be upstairs wrapping presents. Christmas Eve was very exciting, more so even than Christmas Day in some ways. On Christmas morning, we had to wait for presents until after Church - even the ones from "Santa" that would be sitting out so tantalizingly under the tree unwrapped. Talk about torture, LOL! Then there would be a huge brunch with coffee cake and kielbasa and lots of relatives popping in and out all the rest of the day and the evening would finish with my siblings and I on our various musical instruments (mine was piano) playing Christmas carols and singing in harmony.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 2:24PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

First of all, my family consisted of 4 brothers and 3 sisters, my mom and dad. So, at the dinner table for Christmas we would have all 10, plus my grandparents on both sides and my Aunt on my fathers side. That's a lot of people! We had one long table for everyone to sit at.
Christmas eve my Dad would always take all the kids out in our station wagon (the big boats that were around in the 70's lol) and we would drive around looking at all the lights, while "Santa" would deliver the gifts around the tree. We always had a real tree too :)
My favorite part was getting home from our light crusade and seeing a mountain of gifts under the tree! Never mind that they all weren't for me lol, it was fun to see so many, many gifts! lol
Then we would have gift opening time (fun!) complete with stockings and then Christmas eve dinner where my mom usually made lasagna for.
Christmas day was more relaxed and we just had Christmas dinner of usually Ham.
Those are my memories that I'll never forget...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 7:30PM
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In my family we always went to church Christmas Eve. It was fun when we were old enough to attend the 11pm candlelight service, instead of the 7pm family service. Then we'd go home and my mom would spend the night wrapping and my dad assembling. I'd fall asleep usually listening to old time radio rebroadcasts of A Christmas Carol. It was always so hard to fall asleep because of the butterflies in my stomach.

Christmas morning we had to wait until 7 to wake our parents and open presents. So my sister and I would always sneak down and look in our stockings first because we could easily put everything back and pretend we'd been good. When it was time to open presents we designated one person to be Santa and pass out the presents, which were opened one at a time to draw everything out. After presents we'd cook up a big breakfast/brunch and follow that with long naps! Then usually a big turkey or ham dinner.

Happily, many of these traditions are being followed in my home today, with the addition of a fancy Christmas Eve dinner that is my husband's family tradition.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 3:03AM
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beautiful memories all!

remembered another:

One year, I wanted a bride doll (all the rage for little boomers whose mothers doubtless wanted "all the trimmings" for us that they hadn't been able to have at their own wartime weddings).

My Aunt Pansy borrowed my Sweet Janie doll one day while I was at school.

Somewhere toward the end of my grandparents' Christmas Eve party, Aunt Pansy made a grand entrance-
with the most gorgeous bride doll in the world!

She had handmade the dress & slip out of taffeta & lace, & the overskirt & veil were fine nylon net.

I was speechless, breathless, & totally thrilled!

It may have been a day later that I realized that the "new" bride doll was my own dear Sweet Janie.

The dress rotted long ago, but I still have that doll.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 2:00PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Does Sweet Janie have real glass eyes that blink, Sylvia?
I'd watch my back, if I were you.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Nah, her eyes open & close, but I don't think they're glass.

some sort of plastic, most likely, having been "born" in the 1950's.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 4:43PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Whew. I'll be able to sleep tonight.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 1:19AM
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