View Full Version : Curiosity is getting the better of me !

November 10th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Or as my husband tells me I am just being nosey!
I am interested to know what your traditions are in your homes when your preparing for Christmas.

I lived in Germany for a number of years and saw there that 6th December (St Nicholas's Day I think) seemed to be the day for present giving.

Here in the UK we start by putting our tree with decoration on them from 1st Dec onwards and they stay until after the New year - the latest day they can stay till is the 6th January. Over the last few years it has become popular to light outside our homes with Christmas lights.
On Christmas Day we exchange gifts and our traditional dinner is Turkey.
We make a fruit cake and put marzipan and royal icing on the top decorated with Christmas novelties. Another must around this time of the year is mince pies which we can serve with warmed with cream or brandy butter.

So as already said, I am "curious" to know what your traditions are.

November 10th, 2013, 12:06 PM
Well heck! I will jump in here...I live in the US...the ozarks to be exact....we put our tree up anytime AFTER Thanksgiving. As far as actual celebrations....my family Christmas with my siblings is usually not on Christmas...it's a weekend or two before..,there are around 75 or more of us and it's quite the undertaking. Pooooor mom!! On Christmas Eve, after work...as I work every Christmas Eve...we host a crab leg dinner for our immediate family, my mom, and any friends or coworkers who don't have a place to go at Christmas. Christmas Day we usually have a honey baked ham with just the kids and mom if she hasn't been invited else where. She used to spend her Christmas morning with my sister and her family before my sister passed away...of late my brother has been inviting her there. It's a tough holiday for mom she always say "if I come to your house Christmas Eve" I laugh and tell her it is a standing invitation...not to wonder whether we will have it or not...just plan on us, we will be there.

November 10th, 2013, 01:26 PM
My husband is not a big Christmas fan. He thinks most holidays have become commercial opportunities for corporate greed.
I, on the other hand love it. He is adjusting.

We usually have a living tree, so it can't come inside until very close to the holiday. If we bring it in too soon and then stick it back outside, the shock will kill it. Usually the 22nd or 23rd is the day.
I make hubby put up lights on the house. Em & I bake cookies and other delights and we take a tray of them to each of our neighbors.

Christmas Eve used to be the gathering time for my step-dad's family, but that has drifted to between Christmas & New Year's. We are now free to attend evening church services. Christmas morning is always spent at Mom & Dad's so they can see the grandkids open presents. We catch up with Mom's family on New Year's day. So we pretty much drag Christmas out for a whole week.
This year it sounds as if my In-laws will be staying with us for the holidays. That ought to be interesting.

November 10th, 2013, 01:58 PM
Now that my parents are gone, the holidays have changed for us. When our boys were little, my folks would come from Minn. to wherever the air force had sent us. We celebrate on Christmas eve...We go to church, have dinner-what it was depended on if my oldest son was playing(he's a professional trumpeter now)at one service or two or three. The we would come home, read Luke 2-even though we had just heard it in church, then we open presents. Christmas day was stocking stuff, I usually made fresh cinnamon rolls. Then we have a big dinner of sirloin tip roast on the grill, mashed potatoes, gravey, peas, lefse from my aunt, salad of some sort, and some decadent desert that sets your teeth on edge.

I usually make around 70 dozen cookies and bars for the holidays. I go through around 10-15 lbs. of butter...but boy are they popular.

Now one son is in Italy, the other will be spending christmas with his in-laws. So it will be just the hubby and the dogs for us this

then we

November 10th, 2013, 02:07 PM
It doesn't seem to matter where in the world we all live, Christmas is spent with family isn't it?
This year for the 1st time we are travelling to my daughters, she lives 120 miles away (180km). I know that I will probably end up cooking most of the meal but I really don't mind as long as we are with family. My Mum will be with us as well, she is 83 and has recently been diagnosed with Dementia, so its important to us to have her with us.
On Boxing Day we are spending the time with my son and his family, its certainly not going to be quiet with Grand daughters about but I wouldn't change it at all !

November 10th, 2013, 02:53 PM
As Eileen said in her initial post, we celebrate the 6th of December Santa Claus here in the Grand Duchy too. But that is mostly small kids. Usually they get some toys and chocolate, but only as long as they believe there is a Santa Claus. So once they don't believe we celebrate Christmas, with gifts and cookies and other goodies. We go to church Christmas eve and have dinner after that with the whole family. The whole lot (our children with their kids) sleep over. Next day we have a nice brunch before they all go back to their homes or in-laws.
After that DH and I relax for the nex whole week, but I love it.

November 10th, 2013, 03:18 PM
Our family Christmas has evolved over the years, too. Now that I'm living at Mom and Dad's, it will probably be just the three of us on Christmas day. Unless we are able to invite sailors - we are hosting two on Thanksgiving - young guys who can't go home for the holiday who serve on a nearby base. Christmas dinner is planned though - individual filet mignons! Christmas eve is dedicated to 9pm candlelight service and finishing wrapping presents - we open all gifts on Christmas day.

November 10th, 2013, 03:42 PM
It is heartwarming to read the traditions and they do seem to always be wrapped around family. Fantastic. Ours is too although we celebrate when the time allows. I have three daughters of which two are nurses so their time to celebrate varies and there have bgen times we dont all get together until after the holidays - sometime in January. But since my middle daughter has Lily we do celebrate with at least her on Christmas day.

Skype and facetime are our best friends since the rest of the family is in NJ. I hate the cold so I dont go up during the winter so we just do a lot of phone time with the rest of my huge family.

I agree the holidays have become to much about stuff. So we do try to take moments to reflect on our blessing throughout the holiday.

November 10th, 2013, 03:45 PM
In Spain family parties take place both for Christmas and January 6th -that is the day young kids get their toys (brought during the night by the Three Wise Men: if kids haven't behaved properly during the year, they get coal in their shoes instead!).
We normally have dinner on Christmas Eve with my family, and then lunch the next day with my in-laws. Traditional menu includes cod served with baked cauliflower, and roasted cockerel, as main courses after a generous variety of shellfish. Then there are lots of sweet things, some home made and some bought. The most typical ones are almond recipes of Muslim origin (nougat, marzipan), funny enough, recycled for a Christian holiday!
New Year we very often party outdoors. We may have dinner at home, but then walk to enjoy the fireworks. Another Spanish tradition is eating twelve grapes as the clock strikes midnight -one each time the bell tolls. It is supposed to give luck for the following year.

November 10th, 2013, 03:50 PM
Well here in Canada my family starts our Christmas celebration the first week of December by heading out and cutting down a tree. My daughter loves this part and we make this a special day. I make sandwiches, hot chocolate and bring Mandarin oranges. Just as my parents did when I was growing up. We bundle up in our snow gear and spend hours looking for just the right tree. We also bring a toboggan to play with. A few days later we decorate out trees. I still use the old lights and have to have 3 or 4 twinkle lights and bubble lights. It connects me with my childhood and wonderful Christmas memories. We celebrate Christmas Eve with family. This year it will be DH's side as last year my family came. I bring out the baking and supper is more of an appetizer feast. We play traditional board games and attend Candlelight service. We still put up stockings even though every one is grown now but that is part of the fun on Christmas morning.
On Christmas morning we open gifts and I bake Christmas Eve cinnamon pull aparts just a we get up, to enjoy with our morning coffee. We will watch vintage Christmas movies and later have a turkey dinner. We also have Turkey on Thanksgiving but in Canada that is in October and one can never have enough turkey...lol .The 26th is also a holiday for us. It is called Boxing day. At one time it was when you boxed up all your leftovers and gave them to the poor now it is a made rush at the stores. Like the American's black Friday. I hate all the commercialism that is associated with Christmas and try to keep it as traditional as I can.

November 10th, 2013, 04:38 PM
Our Christmas is pretty much the same as your's. I like to put up the tree and decorate the first weekend of Dec. A lot of people put up decorations before Thanksgiving..I'm sure some have already started. But I like to keep the two holidays separate. It all comes down by new year . We have been going to daughter's house for Christmas breakfast to watch Kiefer (grandson) open presents and have breakfast. Then son and daughter's family come to our house for supper and exchange gifts.This way the kids can have time with new presents and go to other family during the day. We try very hard to keep the real reason...Christ.. in mind all day.

November 10th, 2013, 06:12 PM
Traditions have changed over the years as some families grew while others got smaller and some family live near while others are a big distance away.

Christmas season begins for me the first Sunday in December when I met my brother and sisters at our parent's grave site to say some prayers for them and other family members who have passed, we lay an evergreen blanket and sing a short version of Silent Night asking that they 'Rest in Heavenly Peace'. We and any of our children who came then go to lunch as our Christmas Get Together.

In recent years DH and I have spent Christmas Eve with DS#1 and family and DIL made a 7 Fishes Dinner, and Christmas Day with DS#2 and family at his DD's condo where she and her BF made dinner. Until a few months ago DS#3 lived in CA, but DH and I did spend Christmas there a few years ago. Now that he will be living closer we need to start a new tradition.

Years ago before our son's families grew they all would come to our house on Christmas for a dinner of ham, yams, potatoes, veggies and lots of Christmas cookies for dessert. Or they would come on Christmas Eve, we all went to 5pm mass, back here for dinner. Presents were opened and oohed and aahed over. The kids waited for Santa to arrive driving down our streets on top of a brightly lit fire engine, he always stopped to visit the Fire Chief who lives across the street from us. If DH and I are home on Christmas Eve we always keep a watch out for Santa.

We put our tree or trees up around December 15. Years ago we all went to pick a fresh tree but nowadays DH takes out the artificial ones, but the presents are put under them just like before. Used to make tons of cookies to share with everyone but down to just a few dozen, neither DH or I need all those goodies hanging around for us to nosh on.

I like the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Years, think I give it a try this year.

PS: Other than online ordering of steaks for DSs and families and a little decorated tree for a friend I limit my Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving, have to order the items early as they are limited. I never shop on Black Friday. That's when I go to my cousin Toni's Soup and Sandwich Party. I also like to keep the holidays separate.

November 10th, 2013, 06:24 PM
As with everyone else, our Christmas traditions have shifted as the family has grown and live so far away. We live in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks. We like to put our Christmas trees up Thanksgiving weekend so we can enjoy them for the maximum amount of time. Some years we put up both trees - one is a wildlife tree and the other is a white tree with white/cream and crystal ornaments. My husband was a bachelor until I married him almost 6 years ago, so he's thrilled with the Christmas trees and everything else that goes along with the holidays.

We host a holiday open house in mid December for our friends and neighbors. On Christmas Eve our traditional meal is lasagna. Afterwards we attend a candlelit service at church where the congregation sings carols and the Christmas Story is read. Then it's back home and we open the gifts in our stockings. Christmas morning begins with homemade cinnamon rolls and a light breakfast. Next we open our gifts. This year we have Dottie and Sweet Olive to share our Christmas with. Dinner is ready about 2 in the afternoon and it's normally ham or prime rib and all the trimmings.

I do a lot of baking and cooking for the holidays. I love to bake and DH and our friends and neighbors love the results. The most important thing I make is a birthday cake for Jesus. This used to be my daughter's favorite part of Christmas and we still do it every year. Yes, we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! He is the reason for the season in our home.

November 10th, 2013, 06:29 PM
Our Christmas celebrations begins on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when my 2 daughters and I do all our Christmas shopping in Des Moines. We fight the crowds and swear we won't do it again the next year...but we always do! :lol: At my house we put our Christmas tree up on the first weekend of December where it stays till New Years Day. We usually have Christmas at my house at dinner time and the men are all sacked out on our couch and chairs by mid afternoon. This will be the first year our two granddaughters will be without their dad so it'll be hard on them but we'll help them make the best of it and they'll be fine.

Love hearing all your plans!

November 10th, 2013, 06:48 PM
This is fascinating! I wish it wasn't so late and that I could stay up and tell you about our traditions, but it is, and I can't! :D Hopefully tomorrow.

I will say this though: Live trees ftw and Christmas Eve is the time to celebrate! ;)

November 10th, 2013, 07:19 PM
I am also in Canada and this is how we celebrate in our household. It is the Christmas eve service at the church. A little visit with my mother-in-law. Christmas morning is gift opening with whomever is here. Christmas dinner at my mother-in-law's where we all bring something. She cooks the turkey and makes the gravy. I can't make gravy like she does. This year we are doing a gift exchange with other members of my husband's family. Boxing day is an annual fondue at my sister-in-law. New Year's Eve, we have a seafood fest at our house. All of these are family only events. YUM!! New Year's day is usually a football event around here too.

November 10th, 2013, 07:26 PM
Christmas for my family has evolved as well. This will be the 21st year without my Mom. Also we have grown so much it's almost impossible for all of us to get together. We usually manage a lunch at my Dad's before Christmas. Gift giving fir the kids, food, decadent desserts, and music. My Dad will say the blessing and after we eat, brother pulls out his guitar and we sing Christmas songs. My family's favorite is O Holy Night..we have the harmonies perfect LOL.

As for my immediate family; I am starting a new tradition this year...DD and BF, DH and I will have a low country boil, watch movies, play board games, simply enjoy each other. My Dad will come to this if possible and anyone who doesn't have plans. I will also have a few dozen of our family cookies. I have a recioe for a german sugar cookie that goes back 6 generations that I know of. This is Christmas with Mom. If I had a nickle for every cookie I've made, I'd be rich. When i was a child this is what my family gave as gifts, cookies, fudge, candies..we baked the whole month of December. Now I keep it to one small batch of the sugar cookie.
Christmas morning will be a big breakfast of eggs, grits, bacon, fruit, and french toast. We will exchange gifts and simply love each other. We do a call to my oldest daughter in Tacoma, on speaker so we can hear DGD open gifts. In the afternoon, we go to my best friends family for dinner. They are our second family

November 10th, 2013, 09:46 PM
Well here in Newfoundland we're basically 1/2 Canadian and 1/2 British/Irish/Scottish so our traditions include a bit of both worlds, and probably a few things we came up with on our own lol

We usually decorate around December 1st, some decorate earlier (even November 1st! Too early for me!) but in my house we've always decorated on December 2nd because it's my birthday! Not sure why we picked my birthday as decorating day, but it's stuck lol We put up a tree, stockings, little decorations all over the house, and lights in the windows. No lights on the outside of the house as I am too sick to do it myself and I have a husband who is afraid of heights (even though he is 6'8" lol). But lights in our windows make it festive enough for me :)

Then December 23rd is something we call "Tipp's Eve", or more commonly Tipsy Eve, as in the day you go out and get "Tipsy". Then we have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as usual, Christmas Day is usually a huge turkey dinner with family. And December 26th is Boxing Day, but it is still a holiday here in Newfoundland and all stores are closed. You can shop online for the 26th, but the huge sales here begin on the 27th instead. I kinda like it that way because everyone gets an extra day to spend with their family after the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day.

New Year's Eve is usually a night to party and celebrate the last night of the year, and New Year's Day is traditionally another huge turkey dinner. In our family, because we get all Turkey-ed out, it's Chinese food instead! And all of our decorations stay up until January 6th, or "Old Christmas Day".

This year I'm starting a new tradition, every night in December The Giant and I will sit down and watch a different Christmas movie. I have LOTS of them that I've gathered over the years and it's a good excuse to spend some quiet time together :)

November 11th, 2013, 12:50 AM
Like many our family traditions shift as to who's around when! We've a fake tree with the lights on and decorations that stay on under a bag in the garage LOL When my grandson comes during his Christmas break, he brings in the tree, takes the bag off and plugs it it. Our 4 cats LOVE "low" hanging dangles so there is a birdhouse with bells on it for them to swat at. I open canned treats then wrap them so our cat "kids" can join ripping presents. Not that they don't like to try and untie any Bow before hand.

Standing Rib Roast with garlic crust I found an Emril recipe that was great about 4 years ago. DH makes Yorkshire pudding and this is our new tradition with the oldest grandson. He now asks if we are going to make "that Garlic Steak thing :-)

Oldest Grandson and I spend a day making Candy Mice (like the photo below), and deliver them to the Tucson Animal Pound workers to thank them. It is one of our special traditions, and the workers look forward to seeing us every year. Last year we were 1 day late and it made my grandson smile to hear how they were watching for us and thought they missed us!!

We make an Army of these - 4 jars of Cherries with the Stems on, Love the Cherry Cordial Hershey's kisses that are now in the Stores for heads. He picked out the best set of Almond slices for ears, I melt the chocolate and off we go Take a while to let them just get a little hard to push the face onto the body and ears to stick in. After cooling, dot icing for eyes They are cute, and tasty. I posted a recipe on the Hershey's candy website btw


Christmas eve this year, we'll drive to my parents home, hold hands singing the divinity. Christmas Eve is my mother's Birthday (I know that suq's right!!?) so we all make sure there is 1 Birthday not Birthday combo Christmas for her. Then it's up at 7 am for the younger ones.

We watch Miracle on 34th street every year. My daughter hasn't been with us for 13 years, and my husband boys and grandkids all live up in Wisconsin or Minnesota, We visit them during the Summer but haven't spent a Christmas with those grandchildren yet. I hope when they get older we can fly a few of them down here to enjoy

Kelly F
November 11th, 2013, 12:58 AM
I usually wait until at least after Thanksgiving to put the tree up. Then it goes down before I go back to work from Christmas vacation, Jan 1. (Depending on my laziness).

We do not have any outside sockets so no outside lights. But I usually try to put the tree near a window.

We open one gift Christmas Eve and the rest the next morning,

Hubby is not a an of ham or turkey, so we have varied foods, sometimes fried chicken for him. Ham or turkey for the rest.

I always have to have lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie.

A few years ago we started making gifts for Christmas along with some store bought stuff. That has been fun.

November 11th, 2013, 01:36 AM
Here in South Texas we make snow angels in the yard and snowmen from the newly fallen snow, and then get on our sleds and race down the hills. I WISH!!!! :icon_rofl:

When the kids were at home:

It's all about family for us. We set up the tree Friday after Thanksgiving and decorate the house. Then we go to the riverwalk downtown and watch them turn on the lights.

During the month, we go to a town in the hill country and look at the lights and their nativity. We also go to a local neighborhood that goes all out in decorating their homes. We make a bunch of cookies. They go to neighbors in tins, and parties at school and work. My favorite cookie is the rosette cookie. It's a Scandinavian thing - a deep fried cookie similar to a funnel cake. It's so much fun and they are yummy.

On Christmas Eve, we have tamales made from scratch by a neighbor (sometimes we go over to her house and help make them). Then we go to church for the candlelight service at 11pm. The last song is always Silent Night, and we all light candles and sing in the dark without any music. It's beautiful. Back home, I let the kids open one present for Christmas Eve.

Santa's presents are NEVER wrapped. Presents from family are wrapped. This really was nice when they believed in Santa. We have cinnamon rolls and then pack up and visit with our cousins. It's a big pot luck dinner (we eat at noon) with ham, turkey, and venison. Pies are big with us - chocolate, coconut, pecan, pumpkin and my mom's lemon meringue (very tart). We drink sweet iced tea (what else is there??? hehe)

On New Years Day we eat black eyed peas for good luck. I make it with bacon.

Every year, I let the kids pick an ornament off the tree for their own. I have a box for each kid and it's put into that box and added to the list. When they move out and have a tree of their own, they will get that box of ornaments from home.

But now that the kids are grown and moved away, it's just me at home. I don't decorate much, if at all. I still go to church on Christmas Eve though, and then to my cousins on Christmas.

One thing, my new son-in-law was shocked that we had a fake tree. He was raised in Colorado, and they always had a live tree. But we never have. My sister is allergic to cedar and other pine trees, so we've always had a fake tree.

K. McEuen
November 11th, 2013, 01:46 AM
Here in South Texas we make snow angels in the yard and snowmen from the newly fallen snow, and then get on our sleds and race down the hills.

The above was all that showed in "What's New." I saw it and thought "What is Carol smoking?"

November 11th, 2013, 02:01 AM
The above was all that showed in "What's New." I saw it and thought "What is Carol smoking?"
teehee. just checking to see if anyone reads it :)

November 11th, 2013, 02:48 AM
It's fun reading about the different traditions. I like to get my tree up right after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28th) Then I start playing Christmas music. Outside and inside lights go up. Last year I went to my sister's to help her make lots of cookies for the neighbors. Christmas Eve day (the 24th) my son and his family come to my house in the morning and we open our gifts to each other. Then we go to my sisters house on and have our big dinner. Usually it is Turkey and dressing, gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and sometimes yams and my sister makes some great dinner rolls. After dinner we open all of our gifts to each other. Then have pumpkin pie and apple pie with coffee.
On Christmas day I usually stay at home by myself. My son invites me over and I go there in the morning but usually leave before my DIL's family come in the afternoon. They want me to stay, but I like them to have that special time with her side of the family. My sister spends that day with her in-laws and my brother does his thing at his home.
Love this time of year!

November 11th, 2013, 03:24 AM
hehehe Carol maybe we can travel back up to Missouri and roll in the snow??? Not in Tucson, nor in south Texas, and rare I bet in Albq! Snow angels, thank you had forgotten about them!

Coleen I love your tag line :-)

November 11th, 2013, 04:04 AM
My husband is not a big Christmas fan. He thinks most holidays have become commercial opportunities for corporate greed.
I, on the other hand love it. He is adjusting.

We usually have a living tree, so it can't come inside until very close to the holiday. If we bring it in too soon and then stick it back outside, the shock will kill it. Usually the 22nd or 23rd is the day.
I make hubby put up lights on the house. Em & I bake cookies and other delights and we take a tray of them to each of our neighbors.

Christmas Eve used to be the gathering time for my step-dad's family, but that has drifted to between Christmas & New Year's. We are now free to attend evening church services. Christmas morning is always spent at Mom & Dad's so they can see the grandkids open presents. We catch up with Mom's family on New Year's day. So we pretty much drag Christmas out for a whole week.
This year it sounds as if my In-laws will be staying with us for the holidays. That ought to be interesting.

I agree with her husband. It's ridiculous the amount of traveling I did as a child to go see everyone, and it still continues now-my mother in law hasn't realized that her son is 36 and no longer has to be there Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, yet she insists every year that we give up our family time for hers.... I'd rather just skip the stupid holiday all together.

I only put up a tree to appease my husband and one child still living at home.
I would prefer to go to the deer lease for the week before Christmas and the week after.

Helen McD
November 11th, 2013, 04:13 AM
We don't bother doing any decorations or presents - we just enjoy the time off work together but we do eat turkey and ham dinner Christmas day - there is just the two of us so it's not worth the effort and we have no family here they are in the UK (we live in Ireland) - plus we don't have the money - we are struggling to pay bills

Andrea F
November 11th, 2013, 04:59 AM
Itīs fun to read through all the traditions. For us, christmas is all about family, too.

On Christmas Eve, we will put the tree up and hubby and sons are going to decorate it with Christmas baubles and lights. In the afternoon, we will go to my sister #1 because she is the one I grew up with and who has the smaller children now. We will eat very traditional (at least for our family) sausages and potatoe salad. Thatīs what we ate for all our lives on Christmas Eve. After that we will go and look if the "Christkind" (no Santa here on Christmas) brought any gifts for the kids and they will open them. Santa Claus comes on December 6th, but he doesnīt bring any gifts besides of chocolates or very very small toys for the younger children.

This year is the second year that we will go to my sister #2 after that in the evening and my sister #3 will be there, too. Our dad has passed away a few years ago and last year in October their mother passed away, too, so Christmas is also a bit of a sad time for the two of them and itīs nice to have the whole family around. (Sister #1 is not related to sisters #2 and #3, that makes everything a little bit more complicated.)

On the first Christmas day (25th) we go to sister #1 again and bring a cooked/baked goose with us. She cooks one as well, we are always a lot of people to feed. December 26th is a holiday here as well and that day my other two sisters and I take turns with cooking, which will take place in my kitchen this year because of their (new) small condos.

The week between Christmas and New Years Eve is usually a free week for us without work and I really enjoy the quite time with DH and the boys.

November 11th, 2013, 06:36 AM
Wow I really didn't think I would get such a response to the "curiosity" ! Thank you all

Its fascinating reading all your traditions.

As a child I remember going to Midnight mass on the 24th Dec and as we walked up the road to church either Mum or Dad would have forgotten their prayer book so had to go back home to get it - I never realised they were getting the stockings out for our return home so we could open the small gifts inside them and we used to have hot chocolate and then bed. The parcels under the tree which Santa brought always appeared after we had gone to bed. I think our parents thought we may sleep in later but it never happened, we opened presents while bacon sandwiches were being made by Dad.
The day was always spent with other members of the families, usually at least one set of Grand parents. Boxing Day was spent visiting the other set of Grand parents and usually met up with Aunts and Uncles with our cousins. I remember them being happy times, lots of fun and laughter and we always sang Christmas Carols around the piano.

I will be travelling to spend time with my family - I have 1 son with 2 Grand daughters and 1 daughter who has a step daughter and her own daughter.
I have also started giving my Grand children a new Christmas tree decoration each year so that they have something to remember me by when I am no longer with them.

I work as a florist and just love this time of the year to be creating lots of festive items. I am at the moment mossing and backing wire wreaths ready for adding the greenery on in the coming weeks, My sister in laws love them as I give them one each as their present. I normally do an evergreen arrangement for over the fireplace when we decorate the house and put the tree up.
It's a busy time for me but I wouldn't change it for anything!
I will put photo's on with the decorations I've done.

A few have mentioned "black Friday"- can you tell me what this is please.

November 11th, 2013, 07:55 AM
Eileen...Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when the holiday shopping madness begins. Many stores open their door at midnight or shortly thereafter and offer outrageous bargains if you are determined to fight the crowds. Basically, it's the first official shopping day of the holiday season. I don't go near the stores on Black Friday.

November 11th, 2013, 12:18 PM
Our adult children started decorating our yard several years ago. Each year their gift to their Dad is another outdoor decoration. Let's just say that a glow from our house can be seen by the Space Station. With the front yard completely full, the back yard now is full of Deer ( the lighted kind).

November 11th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Thank you for the explanation, I hadn't heard that before. Our sales always start on Boxing Day and people are mad enough to queue outside from the early hours in the morning. After all the shopping done prior to Christmas the last place I want to be early on the 26th is in a queue!

Eileen...Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when the holiday shopping madness begins. Many stores open their door at midnight or shortly thereafter and offer outrageous bargains if you are determined to fight the crowds. Basically, it's the first official shopping day of the holiday season. I don't go near the stores on Black Friday.

November 11th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Our Christmas traditions have changed a bit over the years as the kids grew older and I'm sure will change as they start their own families, but here's what our family does here in Indiana:

We used to hang out lights, put out the nativity scene, put out the big blow up santa and snowman in the yard, but as the kids got older and older (they're now 16, 20 and 23 and all at home for now still) we have eased back on outside decoration. One year we went all out and had everything in the yard, the house all lit up on the outside, and about 6 huge bushes along our property line all lit up.....our electric bill was quite large that year. The last couple of years we haven't done any outside lights and probably won't this year.

On Christmas Eve we go to my mom's to exchange presents there and my sister and her family plus my stepsister and her family are all there. My mom used to cook a large meal but the little kids never want to eat so now we generally have ham sandwiches, veggie plate, and some desserts.

I am usually in a tizzy after we get home Christmas eve and am still finishing wrapping a few presents. I always hold back 'santas' presents and put them out after the kids are in bed---and even though they're older we still hold to Santa bringing presents and if they say santa isn't real then I warn them that santa won't bring them gifts then....I have them pretty well trained on this :-)

After everyone's in bed I will put out the stockings for the boys and santas presents. Christmas morning used to be 5am or so when the boys were little and would wake us up to open presents....however, now it's usually 8 or so and my youngest still will usually wake everyone up. For the last several years when the kids woke up I would call my dad/stepmom who live a mile down the road and they would come down to swap presents and watch the boys open their gifts. However, my husband suggested last year that we go down there on Christmas morning to make it easier on them which is probably what we will do again this year.

For food on Christmas I almost always make a ham, green bean casserole, rolls, deviled eggs, stuffing and have a couple pies....not as elaborate as Thanksgiving but a good amount to last a couple days.

Oh and our tree used to go up the day after Thanksgiving, but now it's usually sometime within the week after Thanksgiving. Due to the gifts and extra space we almost always take the tree down later in the day on Christmas Day. This year I'm looking forward to having some homemade Christmas type items as well around the house like table runners, napkins, pot holders, etc.

About 2 weeks prior to Christmas my mom, my sister, and my oldest son's girlfriend meet at my mom's house and bake cookies all afternoon and then we all divide them up. We usually each have 3-4 different batter's made up or planned and take turns making cookies, decorating and spending time together. This gives us all a huge variety of cookies/fudge/puppy chow/snacks for the holidays and yet we each only had to make a portion of it, plus it's great family/girl time.

I also end up making different holiday candies and cookies whenever I start getting in the holiday spirit. Lately I've been thinking about it a lot so I am sure in the next week or two I will dig out my candy making supplies and molds and start making some candies to also pass out for the holidays......I was thinking of making some of those fabric boxes and putting my homemade candy/nuts/brittle in them and passing them out as gifts as well.

November 11th, 2013, 01:46 PM
I don't think it is nosey.... it is sharing traditions! I enjoy hearing what others do on this wonderful family day.
I used to host my family christmas, but things changed over the years for many reasons and now.. instead of completely hosting about 40 people, I am doing nothing! I used to do all food...2 meats, 2 potatoes, 2 veges, 2 breads, 2 salads and a buffet of baked goods that would put any "all you can eat" buffet to shame! I loved doing it to. But the first thing that happened was.. I noticed I was doing all the work! I didn't exactly mind, until I realized I was the only one in the kitchen working and everyone else was in the living room visiting and I was missing out on all that! No one even offered to help! Then they'd all leave, take food with them... and leave me with all the clean up! So I started assigning foods to people to bring. Now at least they had to come in the kitchen to drop off their food and I'd start a conversation with them and next thing you know, we were all visiting in the kitchen! Then one family moved away and this one moved away and next thing I know it was just me, my brother and my sister and I was theonly one with kids! Then it dwindled down to just me and my 2 kids and their 2 kids and then they had multiple familys to deal with caz of the kids and divorce and now...for the second year in a roll... just me and my husband and he is NO FUN at holiday time. Del Taco prepared our christmas lunch last year, might as well keep the tradition going!