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Thread: Christmas Traditions

  1. #1
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    Christmas Traditions

    It's my Christmas get together with the women's group I belong to and we have been asked to research Christmas traditions around the world. I get to do USA so would love to hear from you as to how you celebrate Christmas.

    Here in UK Turkey is the traditional meat for Christmas Day. Followed by Christmas pudding. We have crackers and you MUST wear the paper hat that comes out. Listen to the queens Speech at 3 pm.

    A visit to a pantomime is a must this year we watched Rapunzel. And you must eat as many sweet mince pies as possible because they are delicious and you can only buy them at Christmas!

    TIA

  2. #2
    Member Ahof's Avatar
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    In our family, Ham is the meat, mashed potatos, corn, sweet potato casserole among other sides. We will play the Chinese gift exchange, and then catch up on everyone's life.

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    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    My family loves frosted chocolate brownies topped with peppermint ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce for dessert at our Christmas meals. I had forgotten this tradition until I retired to my hometown after decades living away from Virginia. Now I'm thankful I've convinced my grocery store to carry a lovely peppermint ice cream all year round!

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  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    sounds yummy, Jan.

    I miss a tradition we had when I lived in Florida and was married to an English sailor. The day after Christmas is Boxing Day. We would prepare a huge breakfast brunch and invite all of our international and local friends along with any of their families visiting from out of town. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know their families.

    Our Christmas was waking to the stockings which held lots of silly or small practical surprises and lots of chocolate. Then we had breakfast after which it was gift opening time. Then all was picked up, gifts displayed in a nice pile, and fine outfits put on for the rest of the day. Dinner, usually turkey, was served in early afternoon. Family visited and/or played board games after that. Those were fine times... family is so scattered now
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  5. #5
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    We watch The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, eating Christmas cookies and drinking cocoa. My husband is sicilian and their traditional Christmas cookie is cuccidati. It's a thin cookie dough rolled up with a mincemeat/nut filling dipped in royal icing and topped with multicolored sprinkles. We only make it at Christmas time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    sounds yummy, Jan.

    I miss a tradition we had when I lived in Florida and was married to an English sailor. The day after Christmas is Boxing Day. We would prepare a huge breakfast brunch and invite all of our international and local friends along with any of their families visiting from out of town. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know their families.

    Our Christmas was waking to the stockings which held lots of silly or small practical surprises and lots of chocolate. Then we had breakfast after which it was gift opening time. Then all was picked up, gifts displayed in a nice pile, and fine outfits put on for the rest of the day. Dinner, usually turkey, was served in early afternoon. Family visited and/or played board games after that. Those were fine times... family is so scattered now

    That just about sums up a typical English Christmas. Boxing Day is always brunch made with bubble and squeak (all the vegetables from the Christmas dinner mashes up and fried ) with eggs and cold meats.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahof View Post
    In our family, Ham is the meat, mashed potatos, corn, sweet potato casserole among other sides. We will play the Chinese gift exchange, and then catch up on everyone's life.
    What is the Chinese Gift Exchange? We also have ham with our Turkey, plus bread sauce and cranberry sauce.

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    [QUOTE=Jan in VA;7003520]My family loves frosted chocolate brownies topped with peppermint ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce for dessert at our Christmas meals. I had forgotten this tradition until I retired to my hometown after decades living away from Virginia. Now I'm thankful I've convinced my grocery store to carry a lovely peppermint ice cream all year round!

    Love the sound of brownies ,not too keen on peppermint ice cream my my DGDs love it so they would take no convincing. As an alternative to Christmas pudding I usually make sticky toffee pudding and serve that with ice cream.

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    Usually on Christmas Eve our local cinema shows Its a Wonderful Life so we go watch that in the afternoon and come out when it's dark, then have a meal with DS and DDIL at a local restaurant. Will be different this year as they had their first child last night so ww will go to there house for a take away meal. Perhaps it will be a new tradition.

  10. #10
    Super Member Billi's Avatar
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    Awe how fun I love it

    As a child mom and dad bought us a few gifts wrapped and under the tree our main gift and stocking was from Santa never wrapped but set up under the lite tree to see first thing in the morning it was almost magical.....Stockings usually had a small inexpensive gift or two and was filled with an orange, an apple, nuts and Christmas hard candies.

    With my own family I kept the Santa gift under the tree and stockings but instead of fruit and nuts they always got things they needed like sox, underwear, new toothbrush, chapstick, and since I have girls usually hair bands or barrets, sometimes small gifts like Legos, bubbles, small stuffed animals. Now that they are older I usually give them jewelry, or gift cards a new Christmas ornament and they insist on getting thier underwear and sox.
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  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Billi;7003831]Awe how fun I love it

    As a child mom and dad bought us a few gifts wrapped and under the tree our main gift and stocking was from Santa never wrapped but set up under the lite tree to see first thing in the morning it was almost magical.....Stockings usually had a small inexpensive gift or two and was filled with an orange, an apple, nuts and Christmas hard candies.

    This was my family's Christmas tradition ... was in local market recently and sister asked young clerk if they sold nuts still in the shell ... should have seen the bewildered look on his face !
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    At my Grandparents home who both had ancestors that came from England, we would have a turkey with all the works such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, stuff celery, cranberry sauce, pickles, beets, radish, green beans with fried onions and pie for dessert. NO paper hats thank goodness. We would open presents before dinner which was more of a late lunch. Those were the best of times... most family is deceased. Use to go see a movie on Thanksgiving, Xmas and Easter but too difficult now to get out in the crowds anymore.
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    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    Dad was German and he liked to put the tree up on Christmas Eve after the kids were in bed as well as put out all the toys. We kids were allowed to open one gift before Mass on Christmas Day and Mom would fix a big meal of roast beef (we had turkey on Thanksgiving) and vegetables after church and we would eat about 1:00 in the afternoon.
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    We usually have Christmas Eve but, getting to be too much work and expense. Our youngest Grandchild is 12. We are going to a Chinese Buffet this year. Some kids and Grand kids will join us. Time for them to start their own traditions. My Husband and I will have a Roast Beef dinner with potatoes, and frozen corn and warm rolls. Homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert.
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    When I was small my father put up the tree Christmas Eve and only put the lights on it as Santa decorated the tree. I was part of a big family and my Dad had us all line up by age with the youngest first to walk into the room the tree and gifts were in. Quite a production with music and all. It was really magical. Our stockings(plain regular socks- not fancy like these days) held small gifts, candy and in the toe, a tangerine. Dinner was usually Turkey and all the fixings.
    Sally

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    First of all - congratulations on the new grandbaby! You were pretty low key about that!

    I am not American but here goes anyways.

    We have brunch with our kids and grandkids at our home. We put some candles in some muffins and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We then open presents (stockings are opened at each home earlier in the morning). Kids play with their new toys (they are 2, 3, 4 and 5). I wash the tablecloth and reset the table for dinner. My Mom and my in-laws join us for supper. Kids go home with tired little ones right after supper and the old folks sit and reminisce about the good old days.

    Supper is turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, assorted vegetables and salads. Dessert used to be mince pudding (a generation ago) but not too many of us like it, so we have something that I can make ahead and freeze (like mud pie or frozen strawberry delight).

    We have party crackers (the ones you pull apart with your table mate and they make a big noise) - inside are little toys, a fortune and of course a paper party hat. Now I wanna go look at old pictures. Miss my dad and our first grandbaby so much at Christmas time. But they are celebrating in heaven! How fantastic is that!

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    Growing up we always put our tree up about a week before Christmas, we opened one present on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas morning before breakfast. Breakfast was always scrambled eggs, with some sort of rolls and fruit juice. Then a big turkey dinner with dressing, mashed potatoes, a vegetable, black olives, tiny pickles (both sweet and dill) would be about 2-3 in the afternoon with friends that would be invited. (A lot of our friends celebrated on Christmas eve so would come to have dinner with us on Christmas.)

    We had the tradition of an orange in our stocking too. When I told my daughters about that they thought it was funny, living in Southern CA they could not understand the thrill of having an orange at Christmas time.

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    The easiest way to describe Chinese Gift Exchange is .... google Chinese Gift Exchange and there are several sites that will explain it. We play it every year with our New Year's Eve group only we've always called it Yankee Swap. I can play it but if I tried to explain how I know I'd get it all confused. It's a fun game.

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    Senior Member playswithcolor's Avatar
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    Christmas Eve centers around church services. Dinner is often Cornish game hens. They don't take very long to roast and are something special. I only make them for Christmas Eve.

    Christmas day dinner is often prime rib at my sister's house. Everyone bakes special cookies and goodies to share. Spritz and snowball cookies, toffee bars, krum kaka, sandbakelse, lefse, water pail candy ( brown sugar fudge) and lots of chocolate and nuts. (Norwegian and German heritage).

    My mother, sisters and I exchanged quilt blocks for Christmas for many years. (I have blocks for 3 quilts). Hand made gifts are always part of Christmas.

  20. #20
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    I am from Southern California. The traditional custom for Christmas Eve dinner comes from Mexico, but many here in the southwest follow it. A couple days before the 24th the women in family gather to make hundreds of tamales. Tamales are made with a wet corn meal called masa. We take dried corn husks and soften them by soaking in water. Many families use the bathtub. You lay two or three husks out flat and pat the masa on in a five inch square. You place a mound of filling in the square and then roll it all up in the corn husks. The ends are tied and they look a little like the crackers you have. The filling can be pork, beef, or chicken cooked in chili sauce or cheese and diced green chillies. Some people like sweet tamales which have apples and raisins. When you're ready to cook them, they are steamed in a large kettle steamer. Then after midnight mass on Christmas Eve the whole family gathers and eats tamales. Tamales are also given as gifts to co-workers and neighbors.
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    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    When I was a child I remember our family having lots of homemade cookies and a tree. Not too many gifts. I guess we could not afford much of that. We were a family of 4 brothers and me and I was the middle child. Now that I am a grandmother and great GM also we have our own traditions. Ham and scallop potatoes for dinner with all the trimmings. Sometimes on xmas eve we have Italian meatballs and cheeses and crackers and food out for snacks as you can help yourself. We exchange gifts on Christmas eve. There is a White Christmas Pie my Mother and I have made for years and it is a homemade custard with coconut and whipped topping with more coconut. It is just to die for but takes several steps to make. My Mother made lots of date filled cookies that were old recipes. I made tamales once by myself and at the time I did not know it was supposed to be a family affair. I made so much beef filling that I myself made 13 dozen, and I was so tired I never did it again. The tamales turned out real good. The black olive in the center is to represent a present.
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    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    In our family gatherings, we all pitch in and help cook. We have turkey, ham, chicken & dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, potato salad, macaroni & cheese, rolls, and don't forget the cranberry sauce! Then the desserts.....if there is any room left......
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    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    My Mom always made Stollen on Christmas Eve day. We went to Church on Christmas Eve for the Children's Christmas program and I was the organist (thrill for me). Then we would come home and have Stollen for our dessert. It has nuts, candied fruit and a really good white icing on the top. Mom made Stollen on December 24, 2012 and on December 26, Mom had a stroke. She died in July, 2013. I made Stollen last year and my heart just wasn't in it. I'd like to try again this year - I have all the ingredients. Maybe I will. But that Stollen was food for the angels. She made it so good! It is a recipe from my great grandmother from Germany. I'd like to pass it on to my daughter in law. I will!

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    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    Christmas traditions

    As long as I make lefse for the family (Norwegian tortillas) everyone is happy!
    Mary Jane Flikke

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    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    I was intrigued by the cookie Cuccidati. Never heard of it. I thought it sounded very English what with the mincemeat and nut filling. What I found out is very interesting and sounds like a wonderful cookie. I will keep the recipe and hope to get them made one day. In the meantime the link is shown below. What I learned about the history is that while the cookie is a Sicilian tradition, its roots are in the middle-east from when the Moors ruled that part of the world and the original traditional filling is dates and nuts. I love mincemeat so will use that when I make them but what fun to learn a little history about Sicilian cooking traditions on the Quilting Board!!

    http://www.americanfoodroots.com/recipes/cuccidati/
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