Our Family Traditions

Old and New Traditions from around the world.

Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby suzysnowflake » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:01 pm

One tradition we have is every Christmas I make pajamas for my kids and giftbags. That is always their Christmas Eve present. They are getting older, my youngest is 11 but I have three grandsons that I have carried on the tradition with.


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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:17 am

Oh, Suzy, what a lovely family tradition! Thanks for sharing it with us. :D
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:56 am

Noel+ wrote:
Christmas Evening service
Cookies, hot cocoa and bedtime prayers


I love your routine. What do you do at Christmas Evening Service?
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:51 am

This will be my 3rd Christmas in Sweden, so our family traditions are still forming. The Swedish Christmas season kicks off with Santa Lucia on Dec. 13 where young girls dress up in white gowns, red sashes, green wreaths on their heads with candles, and serve coffee and saffron buns to their parents in bed at 4 a.m. Usually schools have a Lucia program and there is one on TV.

Swedish christmas decorations are very subdued compared to the US. They usually only consists of electric lights in the windows, very similar to a Jewish menorah, and stars hung in the windows as well representing the Star of Bethlehem. Swedes do not decorate their Christmas trees until Dec. 23 when it is a family affair. By American standards, the trees are almost bare. Mostly decorated with Swedish flags, electric lights resembling candles, a bit of garland and a few balls in swedish colors, and a spiral on top. My husband remembers the awful icicles we also used in the US. The tree stays up until Jan. 13, St. Knut's day, the official end of Christmas.

At 3 pm Christmas EVE Donald Duck comes on TV. This is a compilation of Disney snippets that has been shown to Swedes since at least the 1940's. Before TV it was shown in the movie theaters every hour. Swedes across the land sit down in front of the TV and watch Donald Duck, then 'Santa' arrives while dad is conveniently out buying a newspaper, to deliver toys to the children in person. After presents have been unwrapped, dinner is served.

The big meal is served on Christmas eve with the traditional Swedish smörgåsbord. It consists of meatballs, prins sausage (like little smokies), a sort of fish gratin called Janssen's temptation, and all sorts of breads, cold cuts, cheeses, etc. The main feature is the Christmas ham, which Swedes insists on covering with a sort of breaded mustard crust. (yuck).

Midnight mass is the main church service. Then there is short night, a return to church at sunrise for Julotta followed by a breakfast of Christmas pudding (rice pudding), and collapsing in bed. The rest of the day is spent resting and eating leftovers, which you eat until New Year's.

I'll post more about our personal adaptations later. My goal this year is to make enough room in the apartment for a Christmas tree.
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:07 am

jwlundgren wrote:
Noel+ wrote:
Christmas Evening service
Cookies, hot cocoa and bedtime prayers


I love your routine. What do you do at Christmas Evening Service?


We enter the church with lit candles, singing.........the children perform, the bell players perform, a short reflection on the importance of Christs' birth, and then we worship again. Midnight communion.At the end we blow out all our candles together.

It is a huge blessing and a beautiful way to start Christmas Eve!
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I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year! Charles Dickens
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:12 am

Noel+ wrote:It is a huge blessing and a beautiful way to start Christmas Eve![/color]


Ah...I thought you returned to church on the evening of Christmas Day and wondered how that service was different from either midnight mass or christmas morning worship. Thanks for sharing.

The first year I was in Sweden, my husband was sick Dec. 24-26. :razzberry: Merry Chrstimas and Welcome to Sweden. I sat on the couch, watched midnight mass from Rome and cried. Last year, we went to midnight mass (my first as it was not part of my previous tradition) and it was beautiful. We haven't made it to Julotta yet, MAYBE this year. :snowwow:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:33 am

jwlundgren wrote:
Noel+ wrote:It is a huge blessing and a beautiful way to start Christmas Eve![/color]


Ah...I thought you returned to church on the evening of Christmas Day and wondered how that service was different from either midnight mass or christmas morning worship. Thanks for sharing.

The first year I was in Sweden, my husband was sick Dec. 24-26. :razzberry: Merry Chrstimas and Welcome to Sweden. I sat on the couch, watched midnight mass from Rome and cried. Last year, we went to midnight mass (my first as it was not part of my previous tradition) and it was beautiful. We haven't made it to Julotta yet, MAYBE this year. :snowwow:


Life happens even at Christmas. Last year my Mom was dying and so we all stayed home with her. We watched Christmas communion, took it with her, and made our last memories.

This year I hope your Christmas Eve/Christmas Day follow your dreams!
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:56 am

Noel+ wrote:Life happens even at Christmas. Last year my Mom was dying and so we all stayed home with her. We watched Christmas communion, took it with her, and made our last memories.


I'm so sorry. It's hard to lose a loved one at the holidays. My grandfather died on Dec. 22 about 15 years ago. The first year is always hard, but then new traditions emerge and it gets better. Praying for you!
:snowwow:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:11 am

This year, more than ever, I am so grateful for last Christmas' memories. They are a comfort and bring joy.
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:29 am

Beautiful avatar!
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby sugarcookie » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:08 am

My family's holiday tradition begins with putting the main tree up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. I usually put the foyer tree up about a week before Thanksgiving. I don't decorate the exterior until the day after Thanksgiving. Once the tree is up, I play Christmas music, preferably the classics, often. I wrap up some gifts and put them under the tree. We enjoy watching Christmas movies and specials throughout the holiday season. We bake Christmas cookies, attempt to make gingerbread houses, (key word, attempt) drink hot chocolate, shop til we drop, and enjoy each others company. On Christmas Eve, we don't open up a gift but we usually watch A Christmas Story or another movie, and hang out in the family room together. In recent years, I've opted not to cook for Christmas since my mom always cooks. This year however, I'm planning to cook. My menu will include garlic & herb turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, some sort of green vegetable, cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese, rolls, cranberries, apple pie, and sweet potato pie. ( I love sweet potato pie) This is my traditional Thanksgiving menu as well. On Christmas day, we wake up bright and early, open gifts while of course listening to Christmas music, and have a wonderful time. Wrapping paper, boxes, empty packages, those wire twisty things that come with most toys, are strolled all over the place, but there's a smile on every face. We then head to my mom's house and exchange presents, and hang out with the whole family....and eat some more. We usually will get a good card game going a while later...that's always fun. At the end of the night with full bellies and feelings of joy, we head back home. We tinker around with our gifts a bit more, and then finally nestle in our warm beds and say good night to all and to all a good night.
Christmas is the most magical time of the year.

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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:14 am

Thanks for sharing your holiday traditions with us sugarcookie. So many have us parallel traditions in our families that it is a comfort & joy to know we're all celebrating! :smilecc:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Jolly O'Leary » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:14 am

Swedish Thanksgiving is fast approcahing. It is the 2nd Sunday in October. I found a recipe for 'almost thanksgiving chicken' on recipezaar.com I think I will use. American Thanksgiving comes at the same time as an SCA event for us, so most likely this is our 'thanksgiving' this year. What are our Canadian brother sand sisters serving this year?
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:59 pm

This American family is having a traditional dinner BUT low-sugar, low-fat healthy too. Thank goodness for Splenda.

Is your menu completed yet? :holly1:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby SimplySarah » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:25 pm

My daughter is two this year and it has been fun passing down the traditions that I used to do as a little girl. Cutting down a real Christmas tree, making Christmas cookies, the advent calendar, etc. It has really made this year very meaningful and fun. It brings a whole new light to Christmas
I asked for a maid for Christmas and I got a new vacuum.
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:42 pm

SimplySarah wrote:My daughter is two this year and it has been fun passing down the traditions that I used to do as a little girl. Cutting down a real Christmas tree, making Christmas cookies, the advent calendar, etc. It has really made this year very meaningful and fun. It brings a whole new light to Christmas


Yes, our children let us see Christmas again through the eyes/heart of a child. Your passing down your family traditions enriches her life. Thanks for sharing them with us! :D
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby kiwidogy_max » Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:15 pm

On my way home from my parents' house, I always pass my grandmother's home. Every time I am taken back to when I was a child, spending so much time with my grandmother. I miss her so much and cherish all of the memories that were made in her home, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love you Neena!! :scene:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby erika » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:35 am

Our family tradition is usually became a family reunion, we spend our Christmas together with my auntie and also my cousins, my auntie and my mom usually cooks a super yummy food that they prepared for us. We usually have some games during the Christmas eve and also singing and dancing, I'm so excited for this upcoming Christmas, this is the time for giving and also to have a family bonding.. :smilecc:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby Noel+ » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:25 am

Thanks for sharing your traditions with us erika! :smilecc:
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Re: Our Family Traditions

Postby erika » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:00 pm

Your welcome :smilecc:
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