Holiday Traditions

Whoa, 6 days until Christmas?  Where did the time go…because I still don’t have all my shopping done.  Add in the fact that not only do I have to Christmas shop, but I also have three family birthdays coming up including my mom’s on New Year’s Eve and my younger twin brother’s on the 6th!  And I’m not one of thoe that gives the person a combined Christmas and Birthday present, that’s just no fun!

Anyways, I thought I would talk about my Holiday Traditions today!  I know we all have different ones, so I’d love to hear about them!  Here are some of mine!

1. The holidays are all about baking.  Since I was a little girl, my Mom would get together with my aunts and grandma to bake different cookies and pack them together for other family and friends!

Since I’ve grown up, moved away and my grandma is gone we don’t get together like that anymore but I still give out cookies to my friends when I can!

 

2. The Christmas Angel. My mom, err, the Christmas Angel, has been giving me a new set of PJ’s every Christmas Eve since I can recall. They used to be handmade, but the past few years I’ve started to notice tags..lol.  Still something fun to get the night before!

 

3. Christmas Eve with Dad’s family.  Every year we travel to a Great Aunt or cousin’s house to see all of Dad’s side of the family.  We have the typical dinner together, where I will always be designated to the children’s table (even the cousin that’s married and has a child sits there! haha!) but now we can drink, so it’s a little more fun. Haha.

When we were really young, or until we were about 20, we all had to get in front of the family and open up a gift in front of the whole family.  I have never been a fan of it, but now I have a bunch of younger second cousins so they get to be embarrassed instead of all us post college graduates. Thanks goodness!

4. Christmas Day Schedule!  When I was a kid we used to wake up way too early to get my parents to let us open our gifts.  Now we have a tendency to sleep in and take our time, but the order of festivities is always the same.  First, we get to dump out our stockings and see what “Santa” brought, then attack the kitchen for breakfast, which always includes Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (though this year I’m going to try these!).  Oh, and my brothers always have a contest to see who can eat the Ding-Dong in their stocking the fastest.  Pretty funny, since I video tape it too.

After we’re all full, my Dad sets up the video camera, passes out all the presents to each of us, and all the kids open theirs first!  We talk to the camera to the people who have given us our gifts too…usually saying something to embarrass ourselves.  My Dad then opens all his gifts and my Mom goes after him; best for last, right?  The rest of the day is spent visiting my neighbor Grandma and her family who comes over for Christmas breakfast, and playing with our new toys, or now a days electronics and stuff.   Oh how times change.

 

5. New Years Eve and Day!  This is a combined celebration for our family since it’s my Mom’s birthday!  She likes to think everyone is celebrating her birthday, and we go along with it…bringing cake, presents and drinks, since it is New Year’s Eve of course!  We try to stay up until midnight and then crash immediately afterwards to get up the next morning for our Japanese New Year celebration at my Mom’s brother’s house!  We eat all the traditional Japanese foods and do that side of the family’s Christmas gift exchanges.  We talk and hang out before heading home to start the New Year off on the right foot!

  

 So tell me about your holiday traditions!!!

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11 Responses to Holiday Traditions

  1. Love all your holiday traditions! How fun! Especially love all the holiday baking! It’s nice that you still give out cookies to your friends!

  2. P.S.
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  3. I want to hear more about the Japanese new years traditions!!! we always wore the same pajamas christmas eve (since it was just 3 girls living in our house) and they always matched for our christmas morning photo…pink santa hats and all! haha new years for us is pork tenderloin, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. although i am not german, in central PA it is considered bad luck if you dont eat this on new years day. i still make it even though i tried to sneak in mashed yams last year! they never specified what type of potato ;-)

    • Melissa says:

      Haha, we basically just get some really really good mochi and sushi and pig out! If my uncle (who is from Japan) is there, the food is ever better and I die of a food coma! haha!

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    I loved reading about your traditions :). Plus it’s neat how you guys celebrate the new year with both cultures and with your mom’s birthday! I always felt bad when people’s birthdays fell on a holiday or the day before or after, it was like their birthdays just got lost in the festivities somehow :(.

    One of our traditions… and it’s kinda goofy… is to get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and watch the movie The Christmas Story, just because that’s what they eat in the movie, haha.

  5. I still sit at the “kids” table sometimes too and I’m 28! Nothing makes the kids table better than some booze though :)

  6. Katie says:

    I love family traditions! My mom used to give me and my dad matching flannel PJ sets, too. I miss those!

  7. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing this Melissa! I love reading about how other people celebrate the holidays and it certainly sounds like you have a lot to celebrate at this time of year!!
    I hope you are having a great lead up to Christmas and if I don’t get another chance, Merry Christmas to you and your family, happy birthday to those celebrating and a very happy new year :)
    I am totally stealing your idea for a post today and blogging about some of our family traditions :) Hope you don’t mind?
    :) Amy

    • Melissa says:

      Yay! I can’t wait to read about your family traditions! It’s always fun to see what other people do this time of the year!

  8. This is such a great post! And it has definitely inspired me. It’s such a good feeling to look back at a list and cross things off! Good for you Melissa :)

    I think I’m going to make one for 2012. Thanks for the spark!

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