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Traditional Pursuits

There are a lot of things we see most often in December, like caroling, potato latkes, mistletoe, mulled wine, eggnog, and returning gifts. What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Answers (240)

  • My favorite thing for Thanksgiving and Christmas is the smell of scallions and celery and chicken livers sauteing in a pan of butter while the parade is starting. That smell through the house brings the promise of stuffing and turkey and a warmth that you can't find at other times of the year.

  • Baking sugar cookies and decorating them.
  • Gift giving! I love shopping for gifts for people and finding just the right one and giving it to them. And I'd totally lie if I said I didn't like getting gifts - even if I think my family could or maybe should put a little more thought into mine like I do theirs instead of getting me what THEY think I should have or wear or whatever. I especially like shopping for kid's presents. My other holiday tradition favorite would be the Christmas/Yule tree. I love the lights and ornaments.
  • My favorite holiday tradition would have to be when we gather together as a family and read the Bible (the Christmas story) before we do anything else. Its very important to me and very, very special.
    The second favorite is a childhood tradition that I grew out of: The Santa Door....wrapping paper taped to the bedroom door so my brother and I could burst through it Christmas morning...for parents, this was smart! Excellent for making "peeking at gifts" impossible.
  • This is going to sound ridiculously ridiculous....my favorite tradition of Christmas involves the mobilizing of furniture. To fit people and presents at my grandparent house each christmas -- on christmas eve we have to move all of the furniture, creating a semi cricle of couches chairs and loveseats. We also carry all of the presents from my grandparent's room to the living room. I don't know, it's something about the lighting, the way everything looks, only once a year (on my most favorite holiday)...the tree, the presents, the people. I just love moving the furniture!
  • It use to be waking up to the smell of the turkey cooking on Christmas morning. Now, I think it is going to turn into seeing what new treat my oldest is going to bake. Last year it was a Black Russian Cake (yummy), this year it was Paula Deans Caramel cake (OMG!! It was AWESOME!!! And he made it from scratch! He had help of course, he is only twelve after all but still...yummy) Just to fill you in, he has wanted to be a chef since he was about nine years old. He will sit and watch Food Network with me whenever he can. He wants to open a restaurant some day and call it "Mammie's" (that is what he calls my mother in law). Things have changed so much since I was a child and loved childish things. Toys and clothes and silly little trinkets don't mean the same things to me now. All I really look forward to is time with my family. It is hard now. My dad is gone, My Grandmother is ill and right now it looks like we are going to lose my husbands grandmother in the next couple of days. She hasn't eaten in two weeks now. I think that is all for now.
  • my favourite festive traditions are being around people i love, opening the presents in the morning, and going to church in the morning.
  • My favorite holiday tradition, family oriented, was probably waking up Christmas morning and having Captain Crunch, alongside other food items.  My dad loved Captain Crunch so I guess as a joke my mom would wrap some up every year as "gift."  Eventually we just started having it with our breakfast.  It was insisted that no other time of year we were allowed Captain Crunch, just Christmas morning.  It was our thing and no one else I know could say that they had that sort of tradition. 

    Where as things are different this year, I'm not so sure it will be a family tradition anymore..  But it was nice while it lasted.
    Also, getting the Christmas tree was also another favorite, but it was too bland a response.

  • (1) Decorating cookies w. the gang.
    (2) Watching Christmas Vacation many times.
    (3) Deliberately not watching The Christmas Story (though it plays 10 times on Christmas)
    (4) A holiday drink at Raleigh Times or The Borough (let's make this happen?)
    (5) Putting on the tux on December 31 for NYE

  • My favorite holiday traditions are with my family. Before I went to college, it was tradition for my dad and I to pick out the tree. (Now he picks it if I'm not home). Then my grandparents would come over, and we would all decorate the tree together. There are a few traditions that began before I went to college that still continue. On Christmas Eve, my grandparents come over and everybody opens one gift. Then on Christmas morning, we open the rest of our gifts in round-robin style. We always try to make it through the Christmas-morning gifting without eating, but someone invariably gets hungry around ten-thirty or eleven, so we break for coffee cake. Then we all eat dinner in the afternoon, immediately followed by taking naps - dishes are left for last. And then we pretty much spend the rest of the day talking and watching tv. Sometimes, we'll play cards too - Spades is our favorite game. Also, I wanted to mention something that didn't start as a tradition, but has sort of become one by accident. On Christmas morning, my dog lays in the middle of the floor, waiting patiently. She always knows when it's Christmas, and she know that if she's patient enough, she'll get a gift - usually a bone or a treat wrapped in tissue paper. And she really does dig through the paper to get to her gift. We also hang a stocking for her, usually with chew sticks or dental bones. What are your favorite holiday traditions?
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