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Thread: Things your familly does for Christmas..year after year

  1. #1
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    Each one of us has a special little thing that we do each Christmas that makes it special...Ours is: sitting after the Christmas dinner is over and talk about Christmas past..when our parents and grandparents were alive and Santa was such an important part of our Christmas. Had an uncle that was Santa year after year...I remember his suit was so worn...he would pass out apples and oranges to us...special memories. Lets hear your stories.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    opening overflowing stockings was allowed as soon as everyone woke up. they were filled with mostly trinkets, but so much fun. and there was always an orange or tangerine in the toe... a throwback to the depression era when fruit was not readily available. then there was a special family breakfast. everyone then retired to the living room for the opening of presents handed out one-by-one by santa's helper. everyone always watched each gift be opened and made nice comments about it. then it was time to dress in our matching outfits, lovingly created by mom and we piled in the car to the short ride to grandma's. she only had a tiny tree, but the dinner was always remarkable.

    the tradition is somewhat the same now, except that i have to go to the DGKs house predawn to watch them open their stockings and gifts. there is always such a delight on their faces. they come to my house for dinner in the afternoon.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Not much tradition left to my Christmas since I've married and have a stepchild. We have him every other Christmas Eve thru Christmas day at 2:00 pm. The one thing I've tried to hold true each year is that we start our Christmas as a family (just the 3 of us) and open presents together. Then we go to DH's parents' house for the Christmas meal.

    In my childhood, we had many. One tradition that developed when I was a teenager was to buy a 1000 or more piece jigsaw puzzle and work it on the coffee table in the living room at my parents house. Sometimes the puzzle was bigger than the table which was a challenge! Everyone in the family joined in and it was a big deal to see who would place the last piece. Some years it took weeks of Sunday afternoons together to finish. It prolonged the memories of Christmas day.

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    We got the tangerine in the toe, too. Sadly, my kids don't appreciate or care about it. I've taken to putting a chocolate orange in the toe, the symbolism works for me.

    When I was a kid, we were given the option of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Mom got to pick which present, and it took me a few years to realize that they were always pajamas! Her way of ensuring we all looked decent in the pictures, I guess.

  5. #5
    Super Member sunflower126's Avatar
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    I make Christmas Eve "jammies" now sleep pants and a tee shirt top for each of them. They are older now and don't like regular pj tops which sure works for me. Less work and less fabric. I always buy quilter's flannel because of the weight and quality. When the oldest-now 19-was little he also wanted bootie type slippers and a nightcap to match.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish
    We got the tangerine in the toe, too. Sadly, my kids don't appreciate or care about it. I've taken to putting a chocolate orange in the toe, the symbolism works for me.

    When I was a kid, we were given the option of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Mom got to pick which present, and it took me a few years to realize that they were always pajamas! Her way of ensuring we all looked decent in the pictures, I guess.
    hmmmm, chocolate orange... good thought. love the pajamas story

  7. #7
    Junior Member genafan201's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, the one thing that I could count on receiving every year was the LifeSaver Book...a think that folded like a book and held 8 or 10 rolls for LifeSavers. When my own daughter was old enough, I got her one of those, but she doesn't like the candy...so I get her a PEZ dispenser every year. She loves the candy, and now has a collections of 27 different dispenser. This year will be extra special...I got a set of 7 dwarf collection at an after Christmas sale last year, so she'll get 8 this year...the dwarves and a Snow White :)

  8. #8
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    Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church, open one out of town gift Christmas Eve (took the edge off the little ones and got them to bed sooner), after opening gifts Christmas morning off to Mom's for lunch and more presents. After the cousins reached college age, my SIL started Christmas Eve at her house in Louisiana. Drive to Lafayette the day before and up very early Christmas morning to drive back to Houston for Christmas with my family. Elf on the Shelf is an old one at my house and leaving cookies and milk for Santa. Hopefully first grandchild (girl) will be born before Christmas this year and we start another round of traditions. I love the whole season from Thanksgiving thru the New Year...too many traditions to list. Chocolate orange is a favorite here as well.

  9. #9
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    I lived with my grandparents who didn't have much. I only got 1 xmas gift each year, tho there was lots of baked goods, nuts and fruits in shoes (that I had fun shining) on St. Nick's day earlier in Dec. Took me a long time to realize why my friends got sooooo many xmas gifts from Santa and I only got one.

    Then when dh and I had 3 dd they got lots of gifts, as we could afford. Guess making up for what we thought we missed out on. DH came from a large family and didn't get lots of gifts either. Now in our senior years know that the gifts weren't all that important compared to being with family and celebrating a wonderful blessed day.

    Sad thing now, our kids have married into families with divorced in-laws, (that in itself is not sad) and they have to go to so many different homes to celebrate, it is taxing. And we don't get to see them all day like we once did. 2 of my dd have an x and now their kids spend every other Christmas with the dad, one who is out of state and gone for 2 wks.. So Christmas doesn't have the continuity it once did.

    Hopefully they will have good memories but wonder if they will have 'traditions' ?

  10. #10
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    fun for me, my husband and i crack the fireplace door a little and the kiddo's believe that this is proof that Santa did come to the house and used the fireplace!!! we also get the pleasure of eating cookies left for Santa and leave just a nibble so that they know he ate them!!!

  11. #11
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    I gather that I'm a lot older than those who've posted. During end of depression and WWII with rationing and no $$ my brother and I always had, not only the orange in the stocking but new tooth brush, comb, some walnuts to shell and other items of usefulness. Under the tree would be pjs, winter underwear, socks etc. Mom always knit a new pair of mittens for us. How I remember leaving a note for Santa telling him that I was too grown up for dolls so he shouldn't leave any doll clothes. Of course my long suffering mother had been up til midnight for nights before making a lovely dress of some taffeta from a dress I'd outgrown for my favorite doll. I remember very clearly that it was white with tiny pink roses. Along with the dress there was a pink hand knit sweater with pearl buttons. I'm 74 and my dear mother died in 1964 and I'd still like to apologize. I suppose I did in a way because I played with that doll all day that Christmas and for several years afterward. Among her few souvenirs found after she died was that letter so I think she and Pop had a good chuckle over the incident. I certainly hope so.

  12. #12
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110
    we also get the pleasure of eating cookies left for Santa and leave just a nibble so that they know he ate them!!!
    Yes we did that too, but also put out a can of beer instead of milk...

  13. #13
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    We always bake a birthday cake for Jesus' birthday... usually an angel food cake... after we open gifts we have birthday cake for breakfast... we even sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. We always tried to make sure the children kept in mind the reason for the celebration...

    I, too, have fond memories of finding trinkets and fruit in my stocking. When my sisters and I were old enough, my older sis suggested that the three of us fill Momma and Daddy's stockings. They agreed and it was great fun. We would fill their socks and cover them with a sheet and head to bed. About the second year of this, my sis said, "hey, let's hide the fruit," knowing that fruit had become the mainstay of stocking-filling. We left a little note in the fruit bin of the fridge: "ho ho ho"...
    only to find potatoes, onions, and carrots in our stockings with a note: "ho ho ho!"

    We've had a lot of fun with that one over the years...

    Christmas is coming!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    When my daughters were young, they were allowed to open 1 gift Christmas Eve & I got to choose which one. It was always a new dress they could (were expected to lol) wear on Christmas Day.

    I make Christmas Eve dinner now & since I cooked, DDs were expected to clean up, put everything away & do dishes. When my GS was an infant, I decided to start the tradition of reading him "The Night Before Christmas" while the girls were cleaning up. Each year, I got a new book age-appropriate for him. In turn, when GD came along, I had the 2 of them in the big chair with me. Two years ago, they were 10 & 13. Their mom had found a recordable "Night Before Christmas" & they had recorded it to read to me. :thumbup: I cried, but they've "read" to me ever since. :D

  15. #15
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramajo
    they had recorded it to read to me. :thumbup: I cried, but they've "read" to me ever since. :D
    awww, that is so sweet!!! what a special time with them.

  16. #16
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    My children are spread over long distance now. Mi,Id, an here in Wa have not had them all together in over 12 years, but DH and I still keep to one tradation started when I was a child. Because Christmas day was so busy with Church, Large meal, all kinds of family and friends gathering together. We had a family only night on Cristmas Eve, no big meal,(thats what people who don,t prepare the food say, LOL)our menue is cold food only, smoked turkey summer saug, crab, shrimp, smoked oysters, Pickeled fish (my Gran father was from Denmark and loved this, it is an aquired taste,) all kinds of cheese, crackers, raw veg. and dips, cheese logs, you get the idea, we spend the nite remmembering loved ones we have lost(my Granfather has ben gone almost 40 years and I still get one pickeled fish sent to me by a friend from pikes market in Seattle every year, and evey year my kids and grands all ask how could Grand-pa-dad eat this stuff! I just laugh and my Granmother, Mom and I have a bite in rememberence of him. We talk about past Christmas, laugh, play board games, and listen for bells, and chase the kids away from picking at the gifts under the tree. All gifts go home with those who live close to be opened Christmas morning.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj
    My children are spread over long distance now. Mi,Id, an here in Wa have not had them all together in over 12 years, but DH and I still keep to one tradation started when I was a child. Because Christmas day was so busy with Church, Large meal, all kinds of family and friends gathering together. We had a family only night on Cristmas Eve, no big meal,(thats what people who don,t prepare the food say, LOL)our menue is cold food only, smoked turkey summer saug, crab, shrimp, smoked oysters, Pickeled fish (my Gran father was from Denmark and loved this, it is an aquired taste,) all kinds of cheese, crackers, raw veg. and dips, cheese logs, you get the idea, we spend the nite remmembering loved ones we have lost(my Granfather has ben gone almost 40 years and I still get one pickeled fish sent to me by a friend from pikes market in Seattle every year, and evey year my kids and grands all ask how could Grand-pa-dad eat this stuff! I just laugh and my Granmother, Mom and I have a bite in rememberence of him. We talk about past Christmas, laugh, play board games, and listen for bells, and chase the kids away from picking at the gifts under the tree. All gifts go home with those who live close to be opened Christmas morning.
    sounds wonderful

  18. #18
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    Christmas Eve as a kid was when we went to town to see Santa Claus. If it didn't snow he came to town in the back of a pickup truck with all the paper bags of fruit and candy. Then back home to discover he had already been to the house and the presents were under the tree. Took us years to figure that one out. So much fun. Thanks for the memories!

  19. #19
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    We ALWAYS spent Christmas Eve at my grandparent's house. After I had grown and was married and my grandfather had passed away (my mom and grandmother had both passed away years before) we (my family and my brother's family) started ALWAYS spending Christmas Eve at my dad/stepmom's house. Life has a way of going on and becoming more complicated. My nieces have grown and married and now have their in-law families to consider and we now have 2 married children, as well. Last year we were able to get everyone together at my DS/DIL's house on Dec. 30th. (My dad/stepmom are not physically able to host anymore, although they would still like to and my house is not handicap accessible for my brother). Who knows what we will do this year? I find myself feeling very nostalgic on Christmas Eve.

  20. #20
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    Growing up we always went to the Christmas eve church program and got a bag of nuts, fruit, and candy. On Christmas we'd get up real early to go to my grandparents 2 hours away. All the cousins would have a great time playing and sometime during the day we'd sing happy birthday to my grandpa and brother. When my grandma was still around we'd each get the most wonderful popcorn balls. I still remember her popcorn balls and her smile. With my kids we eat breakfast before they can open even one gift they used to hate to wait now they like the breakfast thing first.

  21. #21
    Super Member finch's Avatar
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    I spray paint an english walnut shell gold and take it apart and put a little note inside of it telling my husband just how special he is to me,and glue it back together,then I glue a ribbion to it and hang it on the tree.That is the special thing that I like to do for just him.Then I make candy and give it to whoever drops by.

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    Super Member coachmatthewsvhs's Avatar
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    Our presents were always placed under the tree on Christmas Eve after the kids fell asleep. (Only 1 was from Santa, the best one)After the kids moved out they wanted to "hide" in the bedroom while Hubby and I put gifts under tree... for the wow factor! Kids got married and my daughter begged me not to put the gifts out until they hid. Her husband is a High School Principle and she's a teacher. I said, "do you really expect your husband to hide in the bedroom?" Her response was priceless....... "Just this once Mom, it's tradition"!!!!! And he did!!!!!

  23. #23
    Super Member coachmatthewsvhs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch
    I spray paint an english walnut shell gold and take it apart and put a little note inside of it telling my husband just how special he is to me,and glue it back together,then I glue a ribbion to it and hang it on the tree.That is the special thing that I like to do for just him.Then I make candy and give it to whoever drops by.
    LOVE THIS!!!!!

  24. #24
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    Our children are all grown, so we decided several years ago to make our holidays exciting we would do the 12 days of Christmas. Each day for 12 days, the 12th being Christmas day, we exchange a gift. I get excited looking forward to each day.

  25. #25
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    Growing up, Christmas was very simple due to finances,but my mother was great in making us believe in the spitit of Christmas.
    For years when I was raising my famiy, Christmas started right after Thanksgiving. I have a Santa collection and that was the first to be put out,. Closer to Christmas, fresh greens were put over doorways and down stair railings. The tree was always fresh. Lots of baking and for years my children and I would make our gifts for neighbors etc. My girls still do this.
    Now times have changed. We are only home for two weeks at Christmas so I'm not too sure how much we will do this year. Next year all our kids will be here so we will go back to some of the old traditions.

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