Christmas Traditions!

  1. Merry Christmas (especially those of you who are working tomorrow),

    I just wanted to share some of our Christmas traditions and maybe hear some new ones.

    One thing we always do is go up to the high country a week or two before Christmas and cut our tree. Every year we have a few more folks come with us (this year we had 32 people). We build a fire and have hot chocolate for the kids and cook something. If there is enough snow we also go sledding.

    One other thing we do is invite someone (or 2 or 3) for Christmas dinner who has no family near them. We give them some type of job and they feel right at home.

    My kids started a new tradition a few years back and we have continued it. We each buy a gift for a stranger. We don't know who it is for until we see them. There is no criteria. You buy the gift first and when you see someone you think might enjoy it you hand it over. It's fun to see the reactions when someone gets a gift from a stranger.

    Got any traditions? Share them here.

    -Russell
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   Marianne518
    This is a great idea!!

    My family has several Christmas traditions. Our most important one is on Christmas Eve we celebrate the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. I don't quite know the whole meaning behind this celebration, but we have been doing it for as long as any of us can remember. This year we had bakala, shrimp, scallops, tuna, salmon, smelts, and flounder. We also drink lots of wine!!!

    Also, my entire family including brothers, sisters, their spouses and children, and some other relatives will all attend Midnight Mass tonight. We usually go about an hour before mass so we can enjoy the beautiful Christmas music.

    Tomorrow, we are pretty low key and just sit around and eat most of the day!!!

    I can't wait to read about more traditions. Merry Christmas everyone....and be safe if you will be on the road at all in your travels.


    Marianne
  4. by   Mkue
    Hello,

    I was raised Catholic/Italian too, we didn't do the Fish Feast but it sounds wonderful.

    What we did do which is kind of silly but my sisters and I would eat tons of my Mom's cut out Christmas cookies all day Christmas Eve then we would go to Midnight Mass, which actually starts at 11:30 pm. It was so much fun.

    We are grown now with families of our own and I make the cookies for my family, needless to say I don't eat them all day on Christmas Eve, but it was fun back then.

    Merry Christmas Everyone !
  5. by   semstr
    Ok, here we celebrate "heiliger Abend", that means holy night.
    It starts on the 24th as soon as it gets dark, about 4 pm now, the familie comes together at oma's place and we drink hot chocolate and eat her christmas cookies (the very best!!) and sing songs. then about 6pm the "christkind", christchild, brings the presents. Nobody ever saw this child, but as it leaves a little bell sounds, the children are allowed to go into the room where the christmastree stands, also brought by the christkind and the (real) candles are lit.
    We sing silent night and one of the children reads the bible, the Luke evangelium, and so it happened ...............
    Then everybody embrases each other and wish merry christmas and (thank God for the kids) the presents are opened.

    After that we prepare the food together and eat baked fish (no idea what this fish is called in English, here it is called "Karpfen"), potatosalad, green salad, and a special salad "Sellerie" (no name for that either)
    Desert is a hazelnut-Parfait with hot cognac-cherries. (delicious!!)

    We drink lots of very good Austrian wines with the food and talk and tell stories.
    The children eat and as soon as they are ready, may go and play with their new things.

    Mostly we go tho midnight mass, but when it is too cold or the children are too tired, we go the next day.

    O, I forgot, for the children there is a childrensmass on the 24 th at 3 pm, here the figures for the christmascrib are brought in and placed in the little chapel, with a lot of singing and happiness.

    So all in all, it is a real family afair, very homey and easy going.

    Each year though on the 24 th, there is a big charity-program nationwide and, either you give money or you go there yourself and help. Here they help disabled children, families who lost parents or came into trouble losing their housing, whatever.And of course the refugees get a good part of this money.
    This year, at this moment, this charity got almost 80 million AS!!

    So I am blessed and I know it!!

    Have a great christmas yourself!

    Take care, Renee
  6. by   flowerchild
    A heartwarming thread for the holidays has been revived.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALLNURSES!
  7. by   aus nurse
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    Merry Christmas (especially those of you who are working tomorrow),
    -Russell

    Oh my lord

    I nearly had a heart attack:chuckle Was reading this thinking *****..Xmas TOMORROW... date 12/24...what happened to me?..have I been in a time warp?

    Then, whew...finally noticed date being 12/24/01

    flowerchild, you messing with my mind
  8. by   cactus wren

    Now my first impression was that RUSTY had "lost' it.....!!
  9. by   Audreyfay
    I was wondering what tradition he was celebrating tomorrow? Thanks for pointing out the date. I just thought I was ignorant about traditions of other customs/religious sects!
  10. by   tattooednursie
    LOL I thought maybe I was loosing it.

    My Christmas tradition is : Decorate the day after Thanksgiving. Start putting presents under the tree as we buy them . . . Shake, rattle, and roll them until Christmas morning. Open them, but we usually see whats in the stockings first of all

    This year is going to be a bit different though. I gotta work Christmas. so were doing it Christmas eve.
  11. by   rebelwaclause
    In the 12 years I've lived in this house, I've never put up any Christmas decorations.. Probably because this time of year usually brings mixed emotions for me.

    But his year - I vowed to celebrate what I truly believe the reason for this season is about - The birth of my savior Jesus Christ.

    I purchased a tree and decorated it. The first that has ever seen the inside of my living room. I felt like a kid picking it out and watching the decorations form it into a glittery, lighted wonder.

    Your cards (I STILL sit in amazement over this "project....Whew Vegas and everyone who participated!) decorate the mantel of my fireplace.

    PS...Rusty?...Wow! You started this thread almost a year ago?
  12. by   emily_mom
    We always go to mass on X-mas eve at my church (hubby is Catholic too but has different church). Brings back lots of memories of childhood. Sometimes I cry when I think of my Mom, but it's a tradition so I'd never miss. We then go to the in-laws and have dinner with them and open gifts. I sure will enjoy opening that Avon lip gloss and Home Interiors candle (the only surprise is the scent).

    We have Christmas at our house on X-mas day since Mom has passed. We have a pretty small family (g'ma, g'pa, Dad, 2 brothers, 2 nephews that come and one girlfriend and us). We open gifts and then play with all of Emily's things. We end pretty early b/c it's a long day for all.

    Makes me think of more work...house looks like a tornado....


    Happy Holidays all!!! Will think of all of you working those days. As a Nurse Tech, I don't have to work holidays since technically I'm not on staff....neener neener neener!!!!

    Kristy
  13. by   altomga
    :kiss My family usually will just be together in the house eating off the prepared "snack trays", we don't have a big dinner on X-mas Eve. The kids are allowed to open 1 present that night before they go to bed. We normally ready "twas the night before Christmas". We simply put..spend the time together. After the kids are asleep the "grown-Ups" get to open their goodies!! This way come X-mas morning it is all about the children and watching them with anticipation. With 3 kids it is fun watching each one of them with the expressions of excitement they get on their faces as they open a box with something they wanted to desperately! It is not so much a tradition, but simply enjoying the moment of being together as a family and partaking of such a special moment in your childs life.

    I wish everyone a Merry Christmas; even if you have to work Like I do this year :angel2:
  14. by   baseline
    Yep....a momentary headscratcher.....its late and I really thought I had completely lost track of time. Rusty you are a teaser!

    There have been alot of changes in what the "traditions" are now that my Dad has passed on and we have all moved on with lives of our own...but Mom and I have taken to having shrimp cocktail and clam chowder on Christmas Eve followed by some ice cream and cookies.

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Christmas Traditions!