We get together as a family on Christmas as much as possible. My husband is Polish and they have lovely Christmas Eve traditions involving a meatless dinner... supposedly a "fast" but plenty of seafood, pirogues, etc. In recent years my brother has a partner whose Italian Christmas Eve "Feast of the Seven Fishes" (more like 23) has trumped us. His mother is a fabulous cook.
I always bake and decorate cookies with my son, who's now 16.
We have the creche (nativity) that my parents have when I was growing up. We get a real tree and I have a collection of (too many) nautical ornaments. We put lights up outside and I like to get some real evergreen roping for the front railing and a wreath for the door.
We participate in the Giving Tree at church. Also give gifts to my son's teachers, the mail lady, tubs of cookies with bows on them for the trash and recycling guys. It's a hoot to see them find them and wave thanks.
I have a small Christmas village that has grown by about one item every couple of years. Each year I make sure that all our visitors and their children are labeled on people when they visit. They enjoy it once they discover they are part of the story. I use the smallest font on a label maker to do this and also customize the company names on the buildings and street signs and our back yard skating rink on the lake. My husband has really started to get into this in the last couple years and helps me to set up the tiny lights.
Our traditions are fairly recent in the making (or at least some of them).
Mostly it is just getting together with my parents, step niece and her family. The day is flexible as scheduling with my niece (she's a nurse and often works the holidays). Sometimes we get together on Christmas Eve, sometimes Christmas Day, and sometimes earlier/later in the week depending. We eat a meal, exchange presents, tell the Christmas story and sit and talk. Then pictures are taken and sometimes games are played.
We have in the past several years started spending part of the Holidays on a cruise ship with my MIL and her husband, either for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.
what kind of traditions do you and your families have for Christmas/Chanukah.? We usually had a menorah and on the first day of Chanukah, we would give my daughter one of her gifts. This year there is no menorah...but she did get a gift.
Usually my parents come over on Christmas Eve for dinner and gift exchange. And then, if we got done in time we would go to church. Last year I even got my daughter to go with me. I hope she does again this year.
Beyond that? No traditions. Other than letting people pick and buy their own gifts....yeah. pretty pathetic. It's easy to see how the holidays are difficult for people. Maybe we need to have a thread to avoid a blue Christmas as well. I think I'm going to start one right now.
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