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Holiday Traditions
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I'm sitting here with two lowly stockings hung by the fireplace and a 3 foot (fake) tree with five piddly decorations...that's the sum total of our holiday festivities thus far (yes, I'm saying 'holiday' and not 'Christmas' because ours is an interfaith household). I've done no holiday baking, we've listened to no Christmas carols, nothing. Other than getting the gift shopping done and shipped to family members we're not really in any type of holiday spirit and it's bugging me this year. In part our lack of holiday excitment is due to the fact that Q4 is the busiest time of year for both my husband and me so by the end of the day we have little energy left for holiday hoopla but I'm still feeling a little like an unhappy elf right now.

So what I want to know is do you and your family have any fun pre-Christmas/Hanukkah traditions that help you get in the spirit before the big day(s) arrive? I imagine it's a little easier when there are kids in the house and they're full of wonder and excitment but it's just hubby, me, and some four-legged family members so do you have any recommendations to help bring some holiday magic into our household?


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Last edited by: lilpups: Dec 19, 11 17:51
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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We made cookies with Liam's cousins yesterday, I tried all new recipes and the egg nog cheese cake bars were favorites. We have some friends who go scuba diving every year at some great new place. When Liam gets a little older, we are going to spend more time giving to needy families during the holidays. One last idea: do a training camp, swim the 12 days of Xmas, something like that.

Or you could sneak over to Spokane and I'll see how you can hold your liquor. :-)
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Re: Holiday Traditions [trailbait] [ In reply to ]
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Did someone write "Spokane" and "liquor" in the same sentence? ;-) J/kidding haha. It would be a mess hee hee (watch out for Erika, she's a machine!)...

Traditions, you have to make your own... for us, Xmas dinner is a big deal for the FOUR (ok five including the dog) of us. We tired of the huge family dinners, so for us, we have a major feast for the small family and try to do something different every year (turkey, lamb shanks, osso bucco, duck, whole stuffed salmon, ribs, you get the idea). But it's small and important for us. Besides that, I grew up Dutch so it was Sinterklaas and the Szwarte Pieters and the note in your shoe before going to bed... chocolate letters and roasted ham... Kate's dad's family are Icelandic so it was roasted grapefruit halves and linzetorte (the Icelandic equivalent, I can't remember the name) and doughnuts for Xmas morning breakfast....

Food is an easy way to do a tradition. Another way is to do something, an activity. Plant a tree in your yard; help a neighbour with something; go for a 25mi run.

Every Dec I do my running + drinking challenge, and every year I get closer to my goal of 200mi of running. For me, that is a tradition too.

Lots of options. Focus on what's important to you. Let the rest go by.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Holiday Traditions [trailbait] [ In reply to ]
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Or you could sneak over to Spokane and I'll see how you can hold your liquor. :-)

LOLOL

In answer to you question, listening to Christmas music usually gets my holiday spirit going, but after spending 6 hours making crepes last Saturday and listening to slightly off tune local theater people including a soprano/operatic like woman singing carols, I wanted to kill someone. Mostly myself. I a bit Scroogie this year, and mostly looking forward to New Years!
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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We make plates of holiday treats and spend Christmas day delivering them to the people who make our community safe/our lives comfortable and are working on Christmas Day:@ the hospital, emergency services, farmers, etc

The kids feel real good about doing this and look forward to it every year
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Re: Holiday Traditions [WellWhyNot] [ In reply to ]
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WellWhyNot wrote:
We make plates of holiday treats and spend Christmas day delivering them to the people who make our community safe/our lives comfortable and are working on Christmas Day:@ the hospital, emergency services, farmers, etc

The kids feel real good about doing this and look forward to it every year

That's so noble of you!!! My kids and I make cookies the weekend before (last weekend) and pass them to our neighbors.
On Christmas my goal is not to change out of my pajamas. We watch Christmas movies and get chinese take out.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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despite having done most of my baking, i wasn't feeling christmas-y until sunday - my dad buys tickets every year for the whole family (mum, dad, my husband and i) to ross petty's christmas pantomime.

strange as it may sound, there's nothing like men in drag, bad puns and toronto political humour to get me in the holiday spirit!

we also dropped off our annual donation: i buy one toy for each one of my coworkers (small office), and donate it to the salvation army's christmas toy drive on their behalf as their christmas gift from us. i send out an e-card (which i still need to do) letting them know a donation has been made in their name.

if you really want something to fulfill you, go volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen or even offer to help wrap the donated toys at your local firehall or salvation army!

cheers!

-mistress k

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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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Our family traditions aren't quite so noble as some others listed here, but they're ours. My Dad & I always go shopping on Christmas Eve. This ranges from the ohmigodwhatthehellarewegonnagether for my Mom to the last-minute stocking stuff & socks. We always have ridiculous stockings full of crap - princess bubble bath, hideous lip gloss, socks, toothbrush covers, bubbles....our Christmas laughs. After shopping we hit a local joint for oysters on the half shell, pizza & beer (mom is sometimes invited to this portion of the evening). We usually get home to watch "It's a Wonderful Life". Mom jumps on my bed Christmas morning, we make a huge breakfast BEFORE we open presents & then we just hang out. It's a small family so we don't do huge dinners, but we typically end Christmas on the dock watching the sun go down as a family with wine.

I've driven through blizzards & spent 24hrs in my car to make it home for that shopping trip & that beer with my Pops. I also make peppermint bark to hand out to friends/family...but that doesn't really get me in the spirit so much as I just like the treats.

AW
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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I bake. And bake. And bake. When the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie magazine comes out each fall, that's when I get started with my Christmas spirit. I love to try new recipes, and always throw in some of the old favorites. Have made just under 40 dozen cookies (8 different recipes so far) in the last few weeks...most of which go out as gifts to friends and coworkers, or get brought to parties. Batch of brownies just out of the oven. I streamline the baking where I can...making batches of dough to put in the fridge one day, then baking the cookies the next. Cookies made early go into the freezer, where I have remarkable self control.
A lot of the baking is done with Christmas music in the background. I have about 15 Christmas CDs.
Tree was put up 2 weekends ago.

Luckily, I've been off work since Dec. 9, so I have had more time than usual.

good luck, and Merry Christmas! and happy holidays to the non-Christmas folks!

p.s. childless and single, but have a big family, mostly local and it will be my first Christmas with new BF.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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Reading with interest as I'm starting over this year with my Christmas traditions.

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Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Holiday Traditions [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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The beauty is you can make Christmas whatever you want it to be!

My family doesn't have any hard a fast traditions (David's does.)

We may head to warmer climes next year which would be great.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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Ding ding! I like this one. ;-)

AP

------------------------
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Holiday Traditions [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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QRgirl wrote:
The beauty is you can make Christmas whatever you want it to be!

My family doesn't have any hard a fast traditions (David's does.)

We may head to warmer climes next year which would be great.

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Re: Holiday Traditions [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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I absolutely agree with everyone that Christmas is what you make of it and my family in particular has some very strong holiday traditions but we don't live near them. Just feeling a little down this year because between work being absolutely crazy for B and me and then with me flying out on Thursday to spend four days with my family (B staying behind for work) I kinda feel like we've been going full steam and I'll crash land into the holidays when I get to Wyoming. I can only blame myself, and it's one of my New Year's resolutions for next year, but I didn't take any time to create any traditions that would help B and I to get into the holiday spirit in advance of the holidays. It's just that when work is really busy (especially after a few years of not being busy) and there's no kids in the picture it's just easier to work until you're drop dead tired and then really, who wants to f*&k with putting up the tree and untangling the lights? ;)

Like I said, this is something I now realize I need to change for next year. Though I am looking forward to starting new New Year's traditions...and that future drink with trailbait!


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Last edited by: lilpups: Dec 20, 11 14:48
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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I leave early tomorrow for Kansas to see Dad, Bro, Nephew and BRAND NEW BABY!! She's 5 weeks old a totally darling. I told Dad we'll be stopping at Costco to buy some veggies and Greek yogurt and eggs so I can cook him up some healthy food. Christmas dinner will be at my nephew's new house.

Coffee shop runs and sitting in by the fire and watching football, basketball and the Food Network are highlights. :-)

This is Harlie. Can't wait to meet her.




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Last edited by: trackie clm: Dec 20, 11 15:32
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Re: Holiday Traditions [trackie clm] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome! What's the driving age there :-)

Jenn: a few years ago our "tradition" was to drink as much bubbly between Thanksgiving and New Year's as possible. That was fun.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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It's probably a good think I don't drink right now.

I'm going for a Christmas hike with a friend and her family. Hiking sounds like a nice tradition to start. Maybe I'll grab some jingle bells for my pack.

Jenn - Tell B I'm up for some Chinese food for dinner if he wants :-)

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Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
Last edited by: JenSw: Dec 20, 11 18:59
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Re: Holiday Traditions [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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I ditched the family one year and spent Christmas in Port Townsend with Timmion. We had a great time.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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lilpups wrote:
I didn't take any time to create any traditions that would help B and I to get into the holiday spirit...

My sister and husband used to alternate spending Christmas with my folks or his. After several years they got really tired of the travel and created their own traditions at home (they live nowhere close to either set of parents) - and have been MUCH happier since doing so. Now they've got kids of their own, and are adding to their family traditions. It's never too late to start!


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Re: Holiday Traditions [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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not christmas (because it would destroy my parents; we're the only family they have left), but tanker and i are planning to go camping at a local conservation area for new year's. just the two of us, a bottle of bubbly (which we'll have to smuggle due to the alcohol ban ;), a campfire and nature. we just have to hope and pray and do a dance for some snow!

cheers!

-mistress k

__________________________________________________________
ill advised racing inc.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [mistressk] [ In reply to ]
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What I'd like to hear is how other singles celebrate the holiday if they don't have family nearby. It's great when you can be with family but that isn't always possible.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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I never really had any Christmas spirit at all, including as a kid, until the past two years. In 2009 I even went on a hateful freezing cold icy bike ride to the middle of Vancouver Island to spend the night in a dumpy motel and "get away from it". Last year though my boyfriends parents sent us two HUGE boxes full of what I would normally call Christmas "junk" - including decorations and a mini tree because they knew we'd never buy it. There was a massive pile of gifts, and they were all wrapped and it drove me crazy trying to guess what was inside! It turns out it was all socks, slippers, sponges and various other cleaning supplies (they even sent toothpicks). And they insisted on buying me exclusively items that were pink / fuzzy / had pompoms / sparkled (I'm 23 but clearly a little girl in their minds). It didn't matter at all what was inside the packages, it was just so cute that they had sent all this over, even though they had never even met me at the time. Even the guinea pig was sent a wrapped present. Seeing a big pile of (albeit silly) presents under our 60cm tree and pigging out on chocolates for two weeks straight is all it takes for me to get in the Christmas spirit =).
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Re: Holiday Traditions [JenSw] [ In reply to ]
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I usually go for a morning run.. I dress as christmasy as possible.. red jacket, santa hat, jingle bells and run around the neighbourhood.. not too many people out but often a few walking the dog or heading out to other christmases..

In our city they have a very large light display.. our club runs the concession a couple nights during the display.. this year we are working Xmas eve.. last time I worked xmas eve it was amazing to see all the kids out truly enjoying a wonderful light display.

Think of something fun and just absorb the atmosphere around you.. while you are immediately included you can feel the enjoyment of the kids at christmas.

Whatever you choose to do will be your new christmas tradition. Just get out and do something you enjoy.
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Re: Holiday Traditions [jimruns] [ In reply to ]
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Well, I am from Oz, so we have a really hot Christmas here. It's full of cold meat, salads, waterfights and swimming. Much of our family live nearby, so it is brekky and lunch with family with a light dinner by ourselves.

Have a really nice day everyone, regardless of where you are, what faith or religion you are or what you do.

:)
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Re: Holiday Traditions [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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My hubby and I are in a similar boat (just us and animal kids). We love to make (and eat) gingerbread men. Also he's addicted to "A Christmas Story" and luckily it's on 24 hours (TBS). We're down south and I'm originally from the north, so I really do miss the cold weather and white stuff. I find it hard sometimes to get in the spirit too.


Merry Christmas to all
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