People Are Sharing Their Most Heartwarming Christmas Traditions, And Now I Want To Do ALL OF THEM
"We replaced our honey-glazed ham dinner with pigs in a blanket and fries!"
1. "When I was a kid, my parents let me and my brothers open the presents we’d gotten each other on Christmas Eve."
"It was nice because then the little things we could afford for each other weren’t overshadowed by the bigger gifts from parents and grandparents. I mentioned this to my mom a few years ago and she said that I was very sweet that I thought of it that way, but they really only did it so we’d be quiet and stop begging for the evening."
2. "My family is Polish Catholic so every year we use wafers called 'opłatki' at the dinner table."
"We each take a big square piece and go around the table to one another and break off a little piece of each other's wafers and offer our love and best wishes for the new year. It’s my absolute favorite part of Christmas."
3. "My dad doesn't like Christmas so the first year that I was home from college, I took my brother's plastic Halloween skeleton out of the garage."
"As a joke, I gave it a Santa hat, wrapped it in lights and tinsel, and hung Christmas ornaments from its rib cage. This has become the only Christmas tradition allowed in my house for the past six years."
4. "Every Christmas since my grandma passed away, my mom and I buy a nutcracker. My grandma loved to collect nutcrackers and last year when my grandpa passed away, we inherited her collection of nutcrackers that we added into our own."
"It’s our family tradition now and I when I have my own family, I’ll pass it on to my children. We also try to find a certain nutcracker that represents something. This year, my mom found a female nutcracker that’s a teacher and she said it was supposed to be me since I’m studying to be a teacher."
5. "We had always ate either honey-glazed ham or turkey with all the fixings for Christmas after the opening of the presents. But a few years back, my sister made pigs in a blanket and fries for the growing number of small grandkids."
"It also happened to be the family's Saturday night dinner when we were growing up so all of the adults started scarfing them down with the kids. We rushed to make more and no one ate the dinner food. We laughed at ourselves and kept on eating them, knowing that mom and dad would be both mortified and laughing right along with us. It's now our family Christmas meal."
6. "Ever since I was a kid, my family would make Santa pancakes!"
"We'd use fruit, bacon, whipped cream, etc. to make the pancakes look like Santa; though at times, someone would get creative and we'd end up with a Rudolph pancake or one that looked like Groucho Marx. I will do this every Christmas until the day I die."
7. "We always give a present out on New Year’s Day."
"I can’t remember how it started but I’ve done it for 40 years. It’s only ever something small but it’s to welcome the new year in."
8. "After my sister's children were born, the Christmas focus was on the kids. We lived four hours away so my husband and I stayed with my parents for a few days."
"It became a tradition for us and my parents to exchange our presents on Boxing Day (Dec. 26). Mom would have trays of hot appetizers. It was much more relaxed, a lot quieter, and we were able to enjoy it in a different way from the hectic Christmas Day."
9. "My dad's parents emigrated to Canada from Norway so I grew up with a lot of Norwegian traditions."
"On Christmas Eve, we would always gather at my uncle's house — there was always at least 30 people there! The big tradition was that after dinner, we would all join hands and go around the Christmas tree singing Christmas carols. (Yes, just like all the Whos in Whoville in The Grinch.) Some of the carols were sung in Norwegian, which I didn't understand, and there was one that, at one point, you had to grab the hair of the person in front of you and tug it. As a kid, that was a heck of a lot of fun, especially if you had an adult in front of you."
10. "My parents had a tradition of buying my siblings and me each an ornament every year and it continued until we were 20 or so."
"The idea was when we got older, we’d already have our own trees full of memories. When we all moved out, we took our ornaments with us and my parents had very little ornaments left so I took up the tradition of crafting them new ornaments every year."
12. "We always make tacos for dinner on Christmas Eve, then have a traditional Christmas meal on Christmas Day."
"My kids love the tacos more between the two meals!"
13. "We always go to see the lights at a local zoo."
"It's where my husband and I had our first date nearly a decade ago. Christmas is extremely hectic for us with schedules so we try to make the most of the little time we do have, and the zoo is the perfect thing."
14. "My husband and I make hot chocolate and watch Mickey's Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve before bed."
"We have no children and probably know the special by heart by now but it's just not Christmas Eve without it."
15. "Technically not a Christmas tradition but since my birthday is five days after Christmas, my parents have a tradition where they remove all the ornaments on the tree and add stuff they printed out for my birthday. Each year is a different theme."
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17. "My family is of Danish descent so we celebrate our Christmas on Christmas Eve."
"Every year, my grandma makes this dessert called Risalamande (which is rice pudding) and she hides two whole almonds in the dish. The purpose is to find the almonds and whoever ends up with one gets a prize, but they have to be found so the entire bowl of rice pudding could be eaten before someone finds an almond. Only a handful of people in my family actually like the dessert so it gets entertaining to watch everyone else trying to stomach the dessert."
18. "My parents' Christmas tree gives presents itself."
"They are just very small things (under $5, often a little game or something like that) and the tree 'gives' them out after lunch on Boxing Day."
19. And lastly: "My mom's side of the family lives locally so every Christmas Eve, we'd all get together and listen to my grandpa read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
"My grandpa has since passed away so now my uncle reads it. Tradition still stands that all of the kids — me, my siblings, my cousins, and even my other aunts and uncles — have to sit on the carpet and listen while it's read. My mom grew up doing it and it feels so special that it's carried on."
Submissions were edited for length and/or clarity.