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Mom2Deacon
12-15-2008, 09:23 AM
We have an unusual tradition that got started a few years ago. We go out to or order in Chinese food. Alex's friend's parents ran a Chinese buffet that was open on Christmas day and he insisted we had to go. That is how it got started. The funny thing is though Alex is not a fan of chinese food. He will only eat the sweet and sour chicken.

--Sara

Beach bum
12-15-2008, 09:33 AM
My family will only eat appetizers on Christmas Eve, not a full meal. Who knows why?

I love the Chinese food thing, it reminds me of the Ralphie movie, A Chirstmas Story!

bkfkmc
12-15-2008, 09:56 AM
Our kids can't run to their presents first on Christmas morning. They have to come pile in our bed and wake us up first. Then we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with candles in a pan of brownies. After this they can open gifts (after we have gone ahead of them with the camcorder and camera). After gifts, we have eggs and toast for breakfast followed by brownies!

Mom2Deacon
12-15-2008, 09:59 AM
Our kids can't run to their presents first on Christmas morning. They have to come pile in our bed and wake us up first. Then we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with candles in a pan of brownies. After this they can open gifts (after we have gone ahead of them with the camcorder and camera). After gifts, we have eggs and toast for breakfast followed by brownies!

That is one of the best traditions I have ever heard!! Awesome!1

--Sara

frizzyrazzy
12-15-2008, 12:09 PM
this started when I was little - we'd all gather at the top of the stairs and wait for my father to check to make sure Santa had come, or worse, that it was so early we'd catch Santa in the act (because inevitably it was something like 4am when we'd wake) Of course, during that time he'd start the coffee, turn on the christmas lights, get the camera and we'd all be practically screaming for him to move faster.

So once my daughter got old enough we started this in our house too. The kids wake us up, and then dance around at the top of the stairs until we check.

Also, Santa doesn't wrap presents at our house, and I'm not sure if that's strange or not and mom and dad never give toys.

bkfkmc
12-15-2008, 01:03 PM
That is one of the best traditions I have ever heard!! Awesome!1

--Sara

Thanks! I wish I could take all the credit. My husband grew up singing Happy Birthday with the brownies. On Christmas Eve, we always go to the candlelight service at church at 8pm. When we get home, we take pictures by the tree. Then each child gets one gift to open-chosen by me so it will be a "small" one. I was always allowed to open a gift on Christmas Eve when I was a kid.

Beach bum
12-15-2008, 01:25 PM
We had friends who always made a birthday cake for Jesus. I think it's a wonderful tradition, so that the kids realize there is more to Christmas than Santa. Remember what the first 6 letters of Christmas spell.

Lee
12-15-2008, 01:40 PM
We do the open presents on xmas eve thing also!

On the Christmas Eves my kids are with their Dad, when I pick them up on Christmas, I always tell them Santa didn't come - my youngest freaks out...I say - well, when I left, the stockings weren't filled, and there were no new presents! And of course, when we get home, the tree is filled! True Christmas Magic! (Can I just say - having them there in the AM to watch the joy on their face is amazing, but having all Xmas morning to stuff stockings and load presents - rather then doing it in the middle of the night - PRICELESS!)

Mom2Deacon
12-15-2008, 02:23 PM
We do the open presents on xmas eve thing also!

On the Christmas Eves my kids are with their Dad, when I pick them up on Christmas, I always tell them Santa didn't come - my youngest freaks out...I say - well, when I left, the stockings weren't filled, and there were no new presents! And of course, when we get home, the tree is filled! True Christmas Magic! (Can I just say - having them there in the AM to watch the joy on their face is amazing, but having all Xmas morning to stuff stockings and load presents - rather then doing it in the middle of the night - PRICELESS!)

A military friend who lived down the hall from us in Denver had me go into her house while they were at Christmas Eve to put out all the presents. STBX created a note from Santa and put it on their tree too. She said it was one of the best surprises the kids had.

--Sara

musicjunkie
12-15-2008, 02:37 PM
My kids get stuff from various 'people'
The fanny fairy brings them undergarments
Jack Frost brings them new hats and gloves(or longjohns or whatever the 'winter' need may be)
The tooth fairy even throws a new tooth brush in their stockings
Elves leave them little trinkets too:p
cuz I'm weird like that:D

danismom79
12-15-2008, 02:43 PM
Also, Santa doesn't wrap presents at our house, and I'm not sure if that's strange or not and mom and dad never give toys.

So they just have stuff un(non?)wrapped under the tree?? I'm so tempted to hand my daughter her stuff without wrapping it. I'm just not in the mood this year. And it's only a couple of small things. I don't need to be wrestling with a big tube of wrapping paper for that.

frizzyrazzy
12-15-2008, 03:15 PM
We wrap the gifts that WE give, so they do have things to unwrap but those things are never toys. But Santa nicely displays all the new toys, out of the boxes, all put together, all set up ready to play with. It's like they come out of the north pole and out of Santa's bag all fully assembled. lol. So before christmas they see all the presents from mom and dad all wrapped and waiting under the tree but then on Christmas morning they see alll Santa's presents.

My parents have always done this. And I know only a few other people who do. But it is so much easier than having to wrap two sets of gifts. And dh and I just sit there for a few hours watching the kids go nuts with their new toys. Then we'll eat some breakfast and then open gifts.

Lee
12-15-2008, 03:19 PM
Geez - talk about lucky! I wrapped some stuff in bags last year and both my daughters said I jipped them! How dare I minimize their unwrapping experience?

Barbzzz
12-15-2008, 04:23 PM
I think our Christmas tradition is a lot like Sara's -- we go out for Chinese food each and every Christmas eve. I've personally been doing it since I was a baby, as it was a tradition started by my father's parents when he was a child growing up in NYC. So, maybe going on 65 or 70 years or so if you count my Dad's years.

Even though we're here in Ghana, Chinese food is everywhere, so I'm happy to report that next Wednesday night, you'll find us enjoying some fried dumplings and sizzling beef in black bean sauce. I can't wait! :D

twicker1
12-15-2008, 05:07 PM
I never can remember if it was my mom or dad's family that started it, but this is our tradition - boxes for Santa. My dad would bring home a medium sized, plain cardboad box and we decorated it, and put our names on it, for Santa to fill with presents. Sometimes my mom would cover the outside with butcher paper so you could see our drawings better. Then, Santa always used really pretty paper for our presents. One pattern for me and a different one for my sister. On Christmas morning, our stockings were in front of our boxes. And we always ate sausage balls for breakfast.

On Christmas Eve, we always opened one present. Pajamas. My parents always got my sister and I matching pajamas. We are 33 and 29, and still get pajamas from our dad to open at our own homes. Now, I get pajamas for DH and both of the boys. (I usually get myself some too, because Daddy doesn't pick out the best pjs.) :)

kierbabi09
12-15-2008, 06:58 PM
We have to walk down the steps, on christmas morning, in age order, the youngest going down first. That was all good and great, until my younger brother got to be a foot taller than I am:rolleyes:

We usually get our christmas tree in early december. We go to a christmas tree farm and cut our tree down ourselves. Well, even now that my two oldest sisters have kids and are married, we all gather at our (mom& dad)house and decoreate the christmas tree on Christmas Eve. We have never done it on any other day.

Tricia22
12-15-2008, 07:04 PM
Every year on my dad's side of the family, we have a different theme for our Christmas gathering. This year, since we're starting to finally run out of ideas, we're doing "mafia" with Italian food. In the past, we have done Mexican, with enchiladas, Italian with lasagna, northwoods with chili and soups, French with French onion soup, Swedish with I can't remember what, etc.
So every year, we have a different kind of dessert, and if it's an ethnic theme, we'll each choose names of that ethnic origin to go by for that day... it's silly and fun, but hey... we never get bored with the same foods every year!

hold48398
12-15-2008, 07:14 PM
The only special Xmas tradition in our house is one that has been passed down for generations in my DH's family! It is called a "Dummkopf" (German for little dummy). Everyone gets 1 Dummkopf present: It is a small, inexpensive gift wrapped in loads...and I mean LOADS !! of newspaper and taped with duck tape! The fun is in the un-wrapping of it! It usually turns out the size of at least a football or two but inside is nothing but a pack of gum, or a hair clip, or a candy bar etc. It's my girls' favorite :)!!!
:D

sam1nat2
12-15-2008, 07:15 PM
Every year on my dad's side of the family, we have a different theme for our Christmas gathering. This year, since we're starting to finally run out of ideas, we're doing "mafia" with Italian food. In the past, we have done Mexican, with enchiladas, Italian with lasagna, northwoods with chili and soups, French with French onion soup, Swedish with I can't remember what, etc.
So every year, we have a different kind of dessert, and if it's an ethnic theme, we'll each choose names of that ethnic origin to go by for that day... it's silly and fun, but hey... we never get bored with the same foods every year!


I like this, I think I may steal this!! We do appetizers on Christmas eve while we open presents, just our family. My kids are so in to traditions, I think I'll tell them we are going to start a new one!!

We also track Santa on norad, anyone else??

TerpSteph
12-15-2008, 07:18 PM
We wrap the gifts that WE give, so they do have things to unwrap but those things are never toys. But Santa nicely displays all the new toys, out of the boxes, all put together, all set up ready to play with. It's like they come out of the north pole and out of Santa's bag all fully assembled. lol. So before christmas they see all the presents from mom and dad all wrapped and waiting under the tree but then on Christmas morning they see alll Santa's presents.

My parents have always done this. And I know only a few other people who do. But it is so much easier than having to wrap two sets of gifts. And dh and I just sit there for a few hours watching the kids go nuts with their new toys. Then we'll eat some breakfast and then open gifts.

This is exactly what we do and what my family did when we were kids. The boys wake us up and the three of us wait at the top of the stairs while Bill checks to see that Santa came, turns on the tree lights and music and readies the camera. My boys love to watch the old videos of their reactions to favorite presents. :)

Tena
12-15-2008, 07:26 PM
Our traditions are alot like Michelle's. Santa always brings his gifts unwrapped and put together. Those from us are always wrapped. My kids are now 20 and 16 and they would be SOOOOO disappointed if Santa didn't come. So come he does every year! LOL. They love the surprise of going to bed and getting up to gifts that were not there the night before. Oh, and Santa is the one to fill the stockings too.

I do let them open one gift on Christmas eve. PJ's! I have done this all of their lives as I wanted pretty pics for Christmas morning.

Mama Belle
12-15-2008, 07:26 PM
1) Each year we hide a pickle ornament on the tree (it is a very small pickle ornament -- about 3/4") and whoever finds the pickle ornament first wins a special pickle ornament present ($5 or less). We usually do this when we put our tree up. Each year we rotate who hides the ornament and brings the gift.

2) The kids (which for us means just Samantha) get to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

3) We do the waiting to open presents thing too. Stockings can be opened right away, but presents have to wait until after everyone has coffee and something to eat.

4) Every other year we do a movie on Christmas Day and then do game night on Christmas night (adults only--lots of drinking is usually involved). This started because Samantha spends every other Christmas with her dad and we celebrate our Christmas with her either early or later (this year its later, we're counting on some wicked sales). So when everyone else is at home cleaning up wrapping paper, putting toys together, etc. we're off relaxing at the movies. Surprisingly there are quite a few folks at the movies on Christmas Day. It is actually a really fun way to spend a day that I'd rather be spending with my daughter. Mission accomplished.

Mom2Deacon
12-15-2008, 07:27 PM
There is never anything under the tree before Christmas morning here either.

--Sara

Mama Belle
12-15-2008, 07:27 PM
My kids get stuff from various 'people'
The fanny fairy brings them undergarments
Jack Frost brings them new hats and gloves(or longjohns or whatever the 'winter' need may be)
The tooth fairy even throws a new tooth brush in their stockings
Elves leave them little trinkets too:p
cuz I'm weird like that:D

I super duper love this idea. We already do presents from the elves and Rudolph and stuff, but the tooth fairy and Jack Frost ideas are very cool. I may be stealing that this year.:o

Gomod71
12-15-2008, 07:53 PM
This one made me think!

My dad always tries to get creative in how he wraps at least one gift. He uses macaroni boxes, empty toilet paper tubes, wrapping paper tubes, oil filter boxes, whatever he can find. Then he puts driveway stones (pebble size) in it so it rattles, usually wraps it with duct tape and old racing magazine articles, racing paper articles, etc. Sometimes he uses comics if in a pinch. It's always been a guess what's actually in the package.

My brothers always try and to make you think using the gift tag. For instance, if a present is say Mario Kart the present is addressed to Jeff from Donkey Kong or if it's something diabetes related it could be to Jen from Mary Tyler Moore. The goal being to make the receipient think about the gift before they open it.

Now I'll have to think if we have any more strange things!

lil'Man'sMom
12-15-2008, 08:15 PM
We have an unusual tradition that got started a few years ago. We go out to or order in Chinese food. Alex's friend's parents ran a Chinese buffet that was open on Christmas day and he insisted we had to go. That is how it got started. The funny thing is though Alex is not a fan of chinese food. He will only eat the sweet and sour chicken.

--Sara

We are also Chinese food eaters on Christmas. We do a small brunch around 11:00 then order Chinese for 6:00. I love the fact that I do not have to cook... Merry Christmas to Me!

lil'Man'sMom
12-15-2008, 08:17 PM
There is never anything under the tree before Christmas morning here either.

--Sara

Do we live in the same house?????;)

lil'Man'sMom
12-15-2008, 08:22 PM
Oh yeah, Santa only brings one gift to each child in our house plus their stockings.

samheis
12-15-2008, 08:32 PM
ya'll have some neat traditions. we go to my mom's house every-about 30 of us-and exchange dollar gifts. lots of fun-gets really creative coming up with special gifts for $1 for each person.

frizzyrazzy
12-15-2008, 08:46 PM
We also track Santa on norad, anyone else??
We track Santa. It's really only for the very young - even last year Ian said something about it not looking "real". (I had to tell him that was just because they were satellite pictures) Back in the mid 90's it was better because you just saw the "blips" on the radar. They weren't trying to capture "images" of Santa, so IMO it was more realistic for the kids. But we love it every year.




My dad always tries to get creative in how he wraps at least one gift. He uses macaroni boxes, empty toilet paper tubes, wrapping paper tubes, oil filter boxes, whatever he can find. Then he puts driveway stones (pebble size) in it so it rattles, usually wraps it with duct tape and old racing magazine articles, racing paper articles, etc. Sometimes he uses comics if in a pinch. It's always been a guess what's actually in the package.

My mom always does this too. The boxes are always the oddest thing.


Oh yeah, Santa only brings one gift to each child in our house plus their stockings.
This is what a friend of ours does. Her kids have only grown up getting one present from Santa and so that's all they expect. The mom figures they get enough from the relatives anyway so what they ask Santa for should be what they really really really want.

bgallini
12-15-2008, 09:05 PM
There is never anything under the tree before Christmas morning here either.

--Sara

Same here.

Another thing that may be strange is we have lasagna for Christmas dinner.

RosemaryCinNJ
12-15-2008, 09:16 PM
Same here.

Another thing that may be strange is we have lasagna for Christmas dinner.

Oh no not strange...Im from an Italian family..always lasagna on Christmas plus an antipasto (huge one) and a spiral ham and all the sides that go with lasagna and the ham..Mangia Mangia!

Mom to S&S
12-15-2008, 10:00 PM
Our strange Christmas tradition started when I was in high school. My sister and I and a couple of our close friends who we've known our entire lives would meet up at night after doing the family thing. We would drive all over town in search of the tackiest Christmas light displays. After that, we would head to the Waffle House for dinner (the only thing that was open on Christmas back then). It is still one of my fondest Christmas memories. We are all now grown and married and none of us live there any more, but when we are all in town for the holidays, we keep the tradition alive and all of our kids get a big kick out of it now too.

kodasmom
12-16-2008, 08:05 AM
We also do the one present the night before thingy....always a pair of PJ's. My stepdaughter (24) called me the other night to find out when we were having our "night before Christmas" presents. I laughed my head off! She loves this tradition.
We also have the kid's wait on the stairs until we are ready with our camera and coffee. They hate it, but love it at the same time.
In our house, when we open presents, the youngest one starts with one present, then by age, the next one opens one present. My dh said that this year we should start by oldest to youngest........

Mom2Deacon
12-16-2008, 08:28 AM
A tradition that has lasted 4 generations are what we refer to as bed presents. Instead of the opening up one present on Christmas Eve, we wake up on Christmas morning to a present on our bed or near it. We are allowed to open it right then and there. When I was younger, I would open them at 3 a.m. It was always a stuffed animal or pj's. But my grandmother had this, my father did this, i did this and now my kids do this.

--Sara

Beach bum
12-16-2008, 08:34 AM
We are a Norad and Pickle Family too.

We also read the book Santa Mouse. It's how Santa goes to an empty house and all that's there is a mouse. The mouse gives Santa his cheese he was waiting to eat himself on Christmas Eve. The end of the book reminds you to leave cheese for Santa Mouse. So along with cookies and beer (don't ask) for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, we also leave cheese for Santa Mouse. Funny, the cookies, cheese and carrots only get a nibble, but the whole beer is gone by morning:D

Is it illegal to drink and drive a sleigh?

Mom2Deacon
12-16-2008, 08:39 AM
We are a Norad and Pickle Family too.

We also read the book Santa Mouse. It's how Santa goes to an empty house and all that's there is a mouse. The mouse gives Santa his cheese he was waiting to eat himself on Christmas Eve. The end of the book reminds you to leave cheese for Santa Mouse. So along with cookies and beer (don't ask) for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, we also leave cheese for Santa Mouse. Funny, the cookies, cheese and carrots only get a nibble, but the whole beer is gone by morning:D

Is it illegal to drink and drive a sleigh?

ROFL!!! I love it.

--Sara

shekov
12-16-2008, 12:19 PM
I suggested we leave beer for Santa this year but the kids were horrified:eek:

Santa ALWAYS puts at least one piece of fruit in our stockings. I don't know when that started but my mom said she always got fruit. It does give us something to snack on while opening gifts:)

Big Hair Momma
12-16-2008, 12:47 PM
We have a three gift rule in our house. Each gift represents a gift the wise men brought baby Jesus. It breaks down as a gift of need (clothes, new watch, etc) a gift of education ( a book, computer game) and a gift of fun (toy, ipod, etc). Also, Santa doesn't bring us gifts. He only brings the stocking stuff. We let the little children who might not get anything have our Santa gift! ;) Each year we adopt a family in need and deliver our Santa gifts to them. It's great fun.

My kids do a gift exchange with each other. We draw names to see who's got who. It can't be a bought gift, it has to be something you make or a gift of service for your sibling. They've been very creative this year!

momtojess
12-16-2008, 12:49 PM
We have to change our tradition this year, or tweak it alittle.

On christmas eve, we always pig out on snacks, and play family games. Then we track Santa. Once the kids have talked to Norad and Santa in in North America, usually on the eastern coast, they will head to bed with a christmas movie (usually The Santa Clause). The grown ups clean up alittle, and we make a breakfast casserole (that is what has to change since celiac, but I have a new recipe with potatoes instead of bread, so it will work out). I always have to "run to the store" for something (AKA go to my office to get santa gifts). Once we are sure the kids are sound asleep, we unload my car and go to bed.

The adults usually wake before the kids (I think they sneak down in the night to see what santa brought, then go back to bed), get coffee brewing, etc. Then we put the casserole in the oven. We hand out presents (my kids each had a wrapping paper of their own, so it isnt too hard to pass out) and we take turns opening gifts, so we can see what everyone gets.

We always have honey baked ham and yummy fixings for a late lunch/dinner around 3, and then snack on left overs the rest of the evening.

momandwifeoftype1s
12-16-2008, 02:08 PM
Since we're from Chicago area originally, we always ship Lou Malnatis pizzas for Christmas Eve dinner. Yum! We open our stocking gifts on Christmas Eve.

I don't know if this is strange or not, but I know that my husband thinks our present opening tradition is pure torture. All of the grown-ups sit in a circle so everyone in the family (extended family too) can see each other. The kids acts as elves to find presents for everyone. They hand out one gift for each person. We start at one end of the circle, and one person at a time opens their gift and ooohs and ahhhhs as they open their gift. This continues until we are around the circle. We then take a break for champagne/mimosas, potty, etc. The elves hand out another round of gifts and we repeat the process. The present opening takes about 3-4 hours. Especially irritating to my husband is the fact that my mom saves her gifts and cards from her birthday (at the end of November) to wait to open in front of everyone.

We have one silly gift that we wrap up to surprise another family member with. It was a dud present that we had to keep circulating for fun. It's a ceramic flower pot decorated as a clown face. It's hideous.

StillMamamia
12-16-2008, 02:17 PM
So along with cookies and beer (don't ask) for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, we also leave cheese for Santa Mouse. Funny, the cookies, cheese and carrots only get a nibble, but the whole beer is gone by morning:D

Is it illegal to drink and drive a sleigh?


We also leave a beer for St. Nicholas, which is celebrated here on December 6th. But our St. Nick has a driver for his horse and carriage:D

shekov
12-16-2008, 07:41 PM
I forgot to mention one family tradition that I will let die.

Oyster Stew on Christams Eve.

It's warm milk and butter with oysters floating in it. BLECH!

Tigerlilly's mom
12-16-2008, 10:09 PM
We have a couple of traditions, one goes back to when my dad was a kid and had braces - we have steak for breakfast! (guess my dad and his brother couldn't eat steak with their braces, so his parents let them eat steak on Christmas morning as a special treat), growing up we ALWAYS had steak for Christmas breakfast and my parents still do, and now I do it with my family too!

The other tradition we don't do every year, but as often as possible, is that my husband, kids, and my parents will go to Edaville Rail Road on Christmas Eve (it is basically a train ride through cranberry bogs with tons of light displays there are also a few rides for the kids there) there are NO lines on Christmas Eve, so it makes it even more fun!! Then we head back to our house for Chinese food. My parents are gone by 8 then the kids put their pjs on, put out Santas cookies, carrots for the reindeer, and spinkle the reindeer food outside, then it's pictures in front of the tree and off to bed.

dqmomof3
12-17-2008, 07:35 AM
We always do cheese fondue and chocolate fondue on Christmas Eve. We invite friends and neighbors and all enjoy it together. Each person brings a little something to dip into it, we put it all out on the table, and we dig in. Yummy! Occasionally we will do it on New Year's Eve instead of Christmas Eve (like this year, since we'll be traveling for Christmas) but we always do it!

Lisa P.
12-17-2008, 11:06 AM
Strange?

Well. . . .
My mother and brother got into the habit of surprising each other with places they could hide small toy rats. E.g. my brother taped one one time to the inside of the toilet lid so when it was raised the rat bounced out at her. Christmas, a rat usually winds up in something. . . .

Thanks for reminding me, I better get on that. . . . .