What are some of your family’s Christmas tradition? Christmas crafts? Food? Where you go? Please post anything and everything about Christmas!!!:D:D:D
Our town has an annual tree lighting, parade, downtown festival with ‘snow’, bounce houses, food, Santa, shopping, carriage rides, caroling, door prizes, ect. This is around the first week of Dec.
This month, we’ll go into town to Westberry Park for a live Nativity (annual presentation, awesome) with Roman soldiers, animals (in a petting zoo and for effect), grains and other foods of the time/area. Everyone involved is in costume with full props. There’s caroling here, too. Also hot chocolate and the Birth story from Matthew.
About a week or 10 days b/f Christmas our family goes to Days of Creation Christmas Tree Farm to get our tree. We’ll have a hay ride, get a free ornament. Sometimes hot chocolate. We’ll visit the animals on display there, too.
The two smaller towns in our county have caroling around the town trees, prayer and Bible readings with refreshments after.
We’ll decorate our tree, update our door wreath, put out a few things around the house and yard. (can’t do much though with a 4 yr old around, lol)
Our church will have a decorating day, our Sunday School will have a party (for just our class).
We’ll attend our Cantata, and maybe a handbell performance or another concert at other churches.
Christmas day we have a light breakfast, open gifts, and then later that day we wander around to other family get togethers.
We sometimes go out of town for other fun things too. Jekyll Isand has a great celebration and tours, and we always go to Okefenokee for Santa, train rides, lights and fresfreshments.
There’s a lot going on actually!
This will be our first Christmas with our LO so I’m looking for ideas as well.
With my family, growing up, we’d always go to my dad’s parents for dinner and presents on Christmas eve and my mom’s parents would come over for lunch and presents on Christmas day.
The only tradition my husband and I have, that we started since our very first Christmas together, is watch the Nativity Story and go to midnight mass (even though it was the only Mass we’d go to all year :o) But, it’s something I want to continue with the kids.
This movie was The Holy Spirit pretty much yelling in my ear to revert back to the faith. That’s why it has a very special place in my heart.
With me, it’s going to Mass and then preparing for when my relatives arrive. By around noon, it’s more like a party.
As a military family our Christmas traditions have evolved over the past 37 years. Even more so since we’ve been empty nesters for the past 6 years.
For the past 10 years or so my Christmas season starts with attendance at the annual reading of “A Christmas Carol” – a food bank fund-raiser.
Then on the second Tuesday in December it’s the annual Carol and Lessons evening organized by the Ministerial Association and hosted by a different Christian Church each year. That one I attend with friends if I’m not representing my own parish as a reader.
I don’t decorate or do anything around the house until about a week before Christmas - too early and I’m sick of it before the 25th. Usually decorating is the Sunday or Wednesday before Christmas depending on how early in the week Christmas happens to be.
DH & I try to take in a concert of Christmas music, this year we’ll be seeing a great Newfoundland trio “The Once”.
Of course there is the Advent Penitential Service that I usually help prepare &/or read for since I’ve got to prepare my soul as well as my home for the big day.
On the big day we go to Midnight Mass then take a drive around town to see the decorations. Go home for hot chocolate and gift opening then bed. In the morning Santa has filled the stockings and we open those while having our first cup of coffee. Then we’re off to friends’ home to watch their grandchildren opening presents. We spend the day with them – breakfast (to which I’ve brought the obligatory cranberry cinnamon buns) and an early dinner. That tradition started 8 years ago when their granddaughter was born – they’ve since become our surrogate family, and we share all holidays with them since we’re far from our own. This year we were thrilled to have their oldest child ask us to be her daughter’s godparents (OK, godmother and Christian witness).
Last year we had our own grandson and drove for 7 days (there and back with snow storm) to spend Christmas with him and his parents (DD & SIL). DS 1 & 2 + DIL joined us to meet their nephew. We plan to go there for Christmas again this year but this time we’re flying and the uncles and aunt aren’t going to be there.
The special foods over the years have been limited to three: meat pies (a remnant of my Acadian family’s tradition of that as the traditional dish at the Réveillon, the big family party after Midnight Mass), cranberry cinnamon buns and MIL’s Scotch Cookies, which are better than my Mom’s.
Turkey and the traditional trimmings are on the menu but often accompanied by something curried, a nod to my weekends with an Indian family while I was in nursing school almost 40 years ago when regular food became too bland for me. I’m over the bland thing now but still enjoy a frequent curry and adding a curried cauliflower and potato or cabbage and potato dish adds just that nice little bit of spice to the traditional meal.
Now that I have a job at a performing arts centre, my December also includes many school concerts since the local schools rent our facility and we sit in on the shows, er, supervise the venue.
This will be my last year of celebrating a ‘broken-up’ Christmas season. For the past 5 years I’ve been in the Middle East for the first half of Advent and then flown home for the other half and Christmas itself. So, for the past 5 years my Christmas traditions have been those of my youngest daughter and her husband and extended family.
I don’t do any decorating in my apartment other than to have an Advent wreath, which only gets half used This is because I fly back after New Years’ Day and it would be just too depressing to get back and have to take down decorations that were not part of my Christmas celebration.
On the morning of Christmas Eve we make sure the house is clean and tidy and I read the story of the Nativity from a book that was mine as a little girl. It has the most beautiful illustrations, the story is a little advanced for the present ages of the children, but can easily be shortened and the illustrations allowed to tell the story until they are a little older. I always read this to my children on Christmas Eve.
We have lunch together on Christmas Eve, as soon as SIL gets in from work (self employed fruit and vegetable wholesaler, so most of his work is finished on the 23rd). After lunch it’s time to put the tree up and everyone helps, from the very youngest to granny (although I do a fair a amount of photographing too)
While we decorate the tree we talk about the fact that we are putting this up for Jesus’ Happy Birthday and will be going to church this evening. Once the tree is done, the little ones have an afternoon sleep and their elders bath ready for Midnight Mass (which is actually around 8pm for reasons of safety). After a finger supper, two cars of people head off into town from the farm for Midnight Mass - the rest of the family will go to the 8am Mass on Christmas morning. Usually the little ones are asleep or nearly so when we get home, those who are awake join their elders in the kitchen for a warm drink and something special my daughter will have made, before being put to bed. Once they are safely in bed, the fun starts and DD and I bring all the gifts out of hiding and place them under the tree and we all go to bed.
She has continued my Christmas tradition of having an assortment of snacks for ‘breakfast’ anything from cut up fruit, cheese, crackers, fruit mince pies, home made biscuits, cake, etc. This meal is eaten while presents are being opened. The other tradition she has kept is that only one present at a time is opened so that everyone can share the recipient’s joy. She sits next to the tree and hands out the gifts, something she started when she was a teenager.
Once all that fun is over, the living room is cleared of all the paper and each child’s gifts are placed into a gift bag (usually a big one that I get for just this purpose), the children are dressed and we go out into the garden for some fresh air and fun. South Africa, note, so it’s lovely outside.
Either we all go to the main farm house for lunch and have the family come to us much later for ‘pudding and coffee’; or we have lunch at out own homes and everyone comes to us for the pudding and coffee. Interestingly, the family tradition adopted from SIL’s family is to have lunch (meat, vegetables, etc) then clear away, wash all the dishes, tidy up and pudding is had at ‘afternoon tea time’.
During the morning and afternoon there are visits from various members of the extended family to deliver gifts and see their niece and nephews, cousins and godchildren
This year we will stay at ‘home’ as DD will be 2 weeks and 2 days away from delivering her fourth child - anyone who wants to see us will have to come to us. She is planning a simple meal that can be made well ahead.
Next year, when I’m living back home I plan to introduce some traditions of my own, quite what I’m not sure, but it will certainly involve me and the grandchildren doing some shopping for parent gifts, making gifts and decorations and doing some special baking.
We bake lots of treats, mainly cookies and fudge. We spend the Sunday after Thanksgiving cleaning and putting up the decorations while an after Thanksgiving Chili is cooking in the crock pot. If it is also the first day of Advent (which is often true), we celebrate that at dinner.
Both of my children’s birthdays are during the Christmas season. My daughter’s first birthday fell on the first day of Advent 2 years ago. So we did the big party the day before and had a tiny cake for after dinner the day of.
My daughter adores the Christmas tree, decorating it and putting the angel on top always excites her.
I carry a special coin purse with us when we go to the store. I give my daughter 1 or 2 coins to put in the Salvation Army buckets. We also go through the old toys and donate them to charity.
We have Santa, but that is only for stocking gifts. My husband’s family is German, so they celebrate St. Nicholas day by giving candy to the kids. It is a bit confusing to my daughter. But I am of the mind, when she asks I’ll explain.
As for Christmas itself. This year I’ll have to work Christmas Eve, which I’m pretty upset about. I celebrate with my family that day. Christmas Day we celebrate with my husband’s family depending on who is holding it (some of his family lives too far away for us to go).
My husband always had a specific coffee cake on Christmas Day. His dad now stops by early on Christmas Morning to give us the coffee cake. We have yet to get the recipe from them.
I think we might put up our Christmas tree tonight!
We’ve had the same wreath for 19 years now, and we all pray the Advent together every Sunday, as a family, just before bedtime. Because we have a ton of family and friend gatherings, we normally like to reserve December 24 for mass, and also just for the family for a family dinner, opening Christmas presents in our presentable clothes. Afterwards, we’d all dress up to our pj’s, and just chill by the Christmas Tree, with our pjs, hot chocolate or peppermint tea… then, of course, there’s my dad with his coffee.
I love Christmas! This year will be exra special because I have regained my health after a very serious burst brain aneurysm and a month in the hospital. Praise God!
Our family enjoys decorating our house, participating in the Giving Tree at church, and seeing a production of Dickens Christmas Carol at a local theater.
We also have a tradition of making a huge tray of baklava and then visiting friends and relatives with a homemade gift of baklava. People tell me that they look forward to it which is delightful.
I always send Christmas cards and the cards must have a nativity scene because it is beautiful to remind every one what the season is really about.
Merry Christmas to all here at CAF!
I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, so we have both a tree and a menorah.
As my children don’t observe Hanukkah, we do gifts at Christmas (they will partake of the latkes, though! ). My late husband’s family opens gifts Christmas Eve night, so we celebrate that with them. Before my daughters had “significant others” in their lives, we did a quiet family gift exchange on Christmas morning. But now they have other families to celebrate with, which they have to do on Christmas Day, since Christmas Eve at my sister-in-law’s is pretty much a standing tradition.
So I spend Christmas Day alone, but never lonely. I visit my horse at the farm where he’s boarded and bring him apples and carrots, read the Holy Megillah, and enjoy some peace and quiet.
We goto the Nutcracker every year.:clapping:
My husband buys a roll of gold $1.00 coins and each time we pass a Salvation Army/homeless person/ charity we give a coin.
Our church has a prayer tree where we write our prayer needs on a card; next week we pick someone else’s prayer request and pray throughout advent for them.
We watch: “The Nativity”, “Roodolf the Red Nosed Rain Deer”, “Mirracle on 34th Street”, “Scrooge”.
Advent wreath (2 weeks) => trimming for Christmas: outdoor lights, tree, nick-knackes.
I pick up violin again and torture ppl with Pachabell’s Cannon in D, and Christmas songs.
We’re still trying what’s comfortable for Mass. Children’s mass is nice, but too crowded. Night mass is in way of parents dinner. Morning mass is hard to get to … We’ll figure it out.
Nana & Bam-Bam ( my husbands parents ) have an Italian Christmas Eve dinner & Christmas Day Ham & a consumer gluttonistic tree full of presents for the kids. Then we spend the next three months figuring out where to put all the stuff they buy for us & giving away what we’ve outgrown.
Christmas trimmings do not come down until at least February 1!!! Preferably March 1
Oh, you should come to my nutcracker! I am the doll, a snowflake, a flower, and a Arabian atendedt:) Merry Christmas!
I just started this thread to gather Christmas recipes.
Please post any special Christmas recipes that you wish to share! Especially “cranberry cinnamon buns!”
A nice tradition is the Jesse Tree. My daughter has a clock that counts down to Christmas. They also have the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf. My sister’s tradition was not to put Jesus into the scene until Christmas night.
+4 Sundays of Advent: Mass, Vespers & Benediction
+Feasts of Saints Nicholas (6), Ambrose (7), Immaculate Conception BVM (8), OL of Guadalupe (12), Lucy (13 & dies natalis), Thomas the apostle (21)
+Simbang Gabi (Mass of the Gifts) - 9 days novena of Masses in the early morning or evening in preparation for Christmas; A venerable Filipino & Hispanic/Latino tradition
Dec 15-23 or 16-24
+Solemn Midnight Mass aka Misa de Gallo aka Misa de Aguinaldo
+Noche Buena feast w/ family & friends
+Solemn Mass of Christmas