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Christmas Traditions


jscarbor
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i've inherited, from my in-laws, a tradition of using these british "poppers" or somesuch before dinner. i don't know what they are, but they have a little toy inside, and a paper hat, which is meant to be worn throughout dinner. i'm usually the only one who does that, though.

after how much wine, tommy? :raz:

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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wow-

when we were kids we always got to open one present christmas eve as well - it was the new nightgown our mom had made us. we watched channel 3 out of hartford where they would have bulletins from NORAD tracking santa on radar(our uncle at that time was in the air force). we were allowed to open our stockings but not disturb our grandparents or mom before 7am. pop always did the cooking - usually eggs and bacon. i remember one year we saw a mouse running along the baseboard - pop wouldn't set a trap - he said everything had a right to enjoy christmas. the next day was another matter.

when johnnybird and i married and moved to texas(marital advise - move as far away from both families the first year you are married) we started our own traditions. beginning 1 december we set aside 1/2 hour every day to open our advent calendar and any cards we receive that day. the tree is turned on and we put holiday music on the tape deck. we still do this. since we are the ones furthest away we always travel we don't celebrate our holiday till we are home - usually new year's eve.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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ever since i can remember my parents would drag my brother and i on a hike every thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. it was a great way to put activity into such gluttonous days.

i haven't met many people who do this-- the trails are usually deserted so we would go to the really popular places and enjoy enfractured solitude.

"The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom."

---John Stewart

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Traditions eh...

We usually go to a carol service on Christmas Eve, purely so that I can make myself grumpy thinking about how cold and dark it is here, and how nice and warm it would be back home in New Zealand! The Christmas trees there have a warm, summery, resin smell, not a sharp, camphory smell. Instead of listening to stretched tapes of Japanese versions of unfamiliar American Christmas songs at the supermarket, I would be being happily deafened by the Samoan choir doing the rounds of the neighborhood on their bus, 44-gallon kerosene can drums doing good service at every stop!

When I was a kid, Santa not only ate Christmas cake (he always got the first piece) and drank ginger ale sitting out on the terrace, his reindeer left hoofprints all over the grass. When my parents moved out of their home into a small apartment, Dad reached up into the rafters of the basement, and brought down the small wooden "hoof" that he had carved many years before.

My own family seems to have sprouted traditions too...the stockings *must* contain a roll of carton tape and a pineapple!

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Leaping linzertortes! I can't forget the second annual round of this Holiday Tradition. Must get my way-behind the rum ball butt to the Recipe Archive and whip up three cubic yards of Jaymes's Caramel Corn!

This year I won't allow my brother Ian to stand beside the can and eat the entire contents in the course of half an hour. He says it's the perfect pairing for sambuca--and- scotch coffee.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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This post is long, sorry. I have a big family, Xmas season is a big deal.

Funny, MOST of my family holiday traditions involve food. I have to work on getting these Thanksgiving five pounds off my ass so that I can put them back on next week when I head out to Phoenix for Xmas with the family.

The first thing that happens is that my mom & dad pick me up at the airport and immediately my dad insists that I simply must go to eight million parties given by people I've never met, because we're all invited and they're just DYING to meet me (largely because my doting father exaggerates my accomplishments greatly). Usually we argue about that for a while and I compromise by going to a few of them (hello? I'm out there to see my FAMILY AND FRIENDS, not to hang out with people I don't know!).

Then, my mother and I drive each other crazy by doing all of her shopping, all of my shopping, and looking for a tree three days before Christmas. :wacko: She's just informed me that she's breaking this tradition, her brother is in town overnight and he's HELPING HER BUY A TREE TODAY. I may cry. And not only that...mom discovered online shopping and all of her Christmas stuff is bought. What on earth will we fight about??? :laugh: We still have MY shopping to do, but I only have to go to Barnes & Noble (for the nieces and nephews, I am auntie who giveth books), Pier One Imports (they make nifty serving trays and dishes to put baked goods on) and the grocery store (I bake for Xmas, as you'll see in the next paragraph).

My best friend of 18 years comes over (this year she'll have new baby in tow) one whole day, and we bake cookies, honey cake and lemon bread, make candy (she has some fantastic sugar-free candy recipes for my diabetic dad), drink, eat and gossip all day as our present to each other.

Our neighbors, a 1/2 Jewish, 1/2 Greek family, have a Hanukkah party right before Xmas every year (whether or not it actually falls that week--they schedule it so their kids will all be there). We all hang out and talk and eat and play with the kids, my dad makes the latkes and tells the story of Hanukkah and lights the candles and sings the prayers. I've been informed that this year, that duty falls to me...both my dad and my brother will be rehearsing "Noises Off" that night and can't make it. Anyone want to go over the Hebrew words to refresh my memory? I know the tunes. Last year my brother and his girlfriend and I started another tradition...we went caroling around the neighborhood after the party, which was actually a big hit out where my parents live, so I'm hoping we can repeat it.

On Christmas Eve, we used to go to a tamale party at yet another neighbor's house, but a couple of years ago we started staying home, making potato soup and hot cider or mulled wine and decorating the tree that night...which is much more fun and means my mother at least has the OPPORTUNITY to go to bed before 5 am on Christmas morning if she wants to.

Tree decorating tradition: several years back, my older brother found a pig hand puppet and put wings on it and it has now become the angel at the top of the tree.

Tradition once tree is decorated: that howling sound you hear from the living room is my mother's cat, Mewsetta. It means that once again, she has killed the little stuffed chicken ornament, and is carrying it around waiting for someone to come in and tell her what a wonderful brave hunter she is.

All during Christmas eve, now that we're ostensibly grown up, we sneak around filling each others' stockings and covering the cat's eyes so she can't see what we put in hers. Funniest stocking stuffer ever: the year my younger brother said he needed socks, mom was a tad distracted and brother ended up with something like 25 pairs of socks in his stocking and nothing else. I found out about Santa, by the way, by finding a picture of my brother in law putting together the Barbie convertible Santa left me that year. In order not to hurt my parents' feelings, though, I pretended to believe until I was, I think, twelve. Am I a good daughter or WHAT?

Christmas morning, we get up 10-ish, have cinnamon rolls, coffee, juice and lemon bread and open presents with the sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. They all go home to nap around 1pm, and Mom, 24-year-old niece, sister, sister-in-law and I hit the kitchen and start cookin' (yes, I know I said I don't cook. I do chop, clean, mix, stir, cheerlead and make the cranberry sauce). Usually, by 4pm, things are well enough in hand that we can force mom to take a nap (she loves to stay up all night) and have one ourselves.

6-7 pm or so, the family and whatever friends we've invited this year all show up, and we eat the big traditional dinner--turkey, etc.--around 8 or 8:30. Then we sit in the living room with our pie (and whipped cream) and coffee and talk until 1 or 2 am. Then my niece and I do the dishes (recent phenomenon: 24-year-old niece is currently living with my folks while she gets her shit together and she is a demon housecleaner) and we all go to bed. Incidentally, the iron-clad rule at my family's house is ABSOLUTELY NO FIGHTING ON HOLIDAYS, and mom will nail you with a wooden spoon on the behind if you break it, even if you're 50.

The other tradition is that the day after Xmas I have pie for breakfast. Don't you? :wub:

K, officially shutting up now.

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Our xmas was always a combo of Danish and "American" -- we celebrated on Christmas eve at my grandparents with our main Christmas meal but only opened our gifts from our grandparents -- Santa presents came on Christmas morning. We had a more casual dinner on Christmas Day. My grandma tried to get us interested in julenisser but we much more focused on what Santa would bring.

Dinner is roast pork with red cabbage and rice pudding or a caramel ring for dessert (of course with almond hidden in it).

My husband is from England so now we blend Danish and English -- mostly meaning that we wear silly paper crowns during Christmas Eve dinner :o)

Actually, that's also added mashed carrots and turnips and roast potatoes to the meal. We open all our gifts on xmas eve but sometimes have a small gift exchange on xmas morning. Christmas day meal is a juelbord - basically a cold table with pickled herring, curried shrimp, salmon, meats, cheeses, etc. Oh, and some aquavit...

Here's a question for all of you: We traditionally eat roast pork with red cabbage and every year I ask for the cracklings left on. Apparently this is very difficult for American butchers -- last year I convinced the butchers at Bristol Farms to tie cracklings onto the pork loin and that worked okay but it still wasn't the same. Any suggestions?

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We all congregate at my parents' house in Scotland for Christmas - by all I mean my M+D; my brother who lives in Malta; his 'not girlfriend'; my aunt + uncle from Glasgow; and my cousin Isobel (their daughter) who lives in Toronto. A few years ago my mum and my aunt (who are sisters) had breast cancer and were having chemo - please don't worry - all fine now, and they have regular checkups - so my cousin and I volunteered to cook Christmas lunch. That has been our Christmas tradition since then - Isobel and I locked in the kitchen from 10am with a bottle or several of Sauvignon Blanc, cursing the brussels sprouts, basting the ham, mashing turnip, generally steaming up the windows, occasionally emerging from the fug to ask one or other of the mothers how to make bread sauce/gravy/custard... of course we know perfectly well how to, we just like to make them feel indispensable. Isobel and I bond like crazy (I only see her once a year and she's like the big sister I never had); my brother carves, the not-girlfriend washes up, and all's right with the world. Can't wait. I'm heading up there on Saturday morning and I'm happy already.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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cry.  And not only that...mom discovered online shopping and all of her Christmas stuff is bought.  What on earth will we fight about???  :laugh: We still have MY shopping to do, but I only have to go to Barnes & Noble (for the nieces and nephews, I am auntie who giveth books), Pier One Imports (they make nifty serving trays and dishes to put baked goods on) and the grocery store (I bake for Xmas, as you'll see in the next paragraph).

Online shopping is just the best thing in the world! And have you seen the jewelled napkin rings at Pier One? They are going to be perfect on my Christmas table this year :smile:

Here's a question for all of you: We traditionally eat roast pork with red cabbage and every year I ask for the cracklings left on. Apparently this is very difficult for American butchers -- last year I convinced the butchers at Bristol Farms to tie cracklings onto the pork loin and that worked okay but it still wasn't the same. Any suggestions?

Can you ask the butcher to cut it fresh for you and leave it on?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Growing up in Australia, our Christmases were always in hot weather and when I was achild we still had a traditional hot dinner! Usually back in the 1950's it would have been chicken, pork and roast lamb. With smoked ham. The evening would be cold meats (cold cuts) such as any of the left over roast meats and the ham. Lunch would have been hot christmas pudding and in the evening would have been a trifle for dessert. As the years went on, we added things such as turkey, pavlova (a merengue filled wwith cream and topped with fruits YUM!!!) and finally the dawn of the 1970's we started to break with tradition and have seafood lunches and summer type foods (mind you, we were usually cooking in the hot kitchen for days ahead anyway!) Many Aussies today spend the day at the beach or eat outdoors.

We had a big pillow case at the end of the bed and we knew that Father Christmas (Santa) had been to our room.

When my children were small, I let them continue to decorate the tree......one year I found my youngests pacifier, a piece of toast, one of her shoes etc

I used to tell my kids that if they woke up in the morning and their tummies were feeling a bit 'funny' and that if they got an orange in their stocking and a book with anything mentioning Christmas (or I would select an item they would find in their book) that they had obviously been so good, that Santa had taken them to the North Pole to play with the elves and meet everyone. For their good deeds, Santa would let them pick an orange from the magic tree. The end result was, after other parents joined in,that at one stage about 15 of the neigbourhood kids all turned up at dawn carrying their oranges and telling tales of wonderous adventures in the snow with Santa!

When my son (now 22) called from Australia on Christmas Eve he mentioned the oranges and said he had been sure every year that he could "smell" the North pole in the orange and was sure that he remembered being there hahahahha.

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When my dad was still living we always went there for Thanksgiving, usually my three brothers, and their families also. The year he died we decided that we didn't want Mom to spend the Xmas holiday alone so we would all spend it with her. Because of circumstances (we all live in TX, but spread around the state), that evolved to having a full family get together in January, after the rush of the holly season was past and we could enjoy a day together. There are 16 of us now, including children. So for about 20 years we have all traveled to one house (this year it's our place on the 17th) and share Xmas.

We draw names at the end of our Xmas each year to each be secret Santa to one person. Of course the kids still get from everyone, and we all give little stocking stuffers to everyone. We just couldn't give that up.

Since we have all been feasted on Turkey and ham throughout the season we usually have a different theme every year for dinner, with everyone contributing to the feast. The theme is usually chosen by whoever will be hosting. Last year we did Italian, lasagnas and all the goodies; this year it's seafood.

We gather about late brunch time on a chosen Saturday, munch on some goodies, have coffee and visit for a couple of hours, then we really eat about 1:30 or so. :biggrin: After that we all crunch together in the living room around the tree and one plays Santa, wearing the big Santa hat and all. Each present is handed out and opened one at a time, showing to all or passing it around. We all get to ahhh! over what everyone has been gifted with and thank the person. Then we eat desert and visit some more. If we can hold it we do the munch on leftovers for a snack in the evening. The next morning we all get together for brunch, hugs all around, and say goodbye as we leave to travel home.

We try to keep the family grievances down to a small nuclear warhead. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 9 months later...

After Dad died, Mom became "Santa" and would fill the stockings on Christmas Eve after everyone went to bed (she buys little stocking stuffers/knick-knacks throughout the year and uses a drawer in an old dresser in the guest room to stow them in...on Christmas Eve the drawer gets emptied). One year we all realized that Santa never put anything in Mom's stocking. The next year, Mom woke up Christmas morning to find her stocking overflowing with little gifts from "Santa" and that tradition continues to this day.

Many years ago Santa used to always put foil wrapped chocolates in our stockings. Once full, the stockings were too heavy to hang on the mantle so Santa placed them on the bricks in front of the fireplace. On Christmas morning, my oldest brother decided we should have a nice roaring fire in the fireplace. You can see where this is headed. The stockings were too close to the hearth and all the chocolate in the stockings melted and coated everything else inside. :shock: Lesson learned!

Our big famliy dinner is on Christmas Eve. We traditionally have Prime Rib :wub: with horseradish sauce, baked potatoes as well as some sort of veggie. Mom also started the British "crackers" tradition and they're always fun, especially when we all put our crowns on.

We don't open gifts until Christmas morning. Stockings are raided the minute you step into the house. We wait to open presents until after breakfast. Usually breakfast is some sort of egg casserole that my mom has put together the night before and has put in the fridge. She also started making "Monkey Bread" so we'd have something to nibble on while we opened gifts. You make it the night before, like the egg casserole, and in the morning it's risen and is ready to pop in the oven.

Thanksgiving is a whole other post!

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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It's hard to believe that the Christmas season is almost upon us once again. :blink: I have started my shooping and next week all the lights and decorations come out and start to go up. It takes me about two weeks to decorate the house, so I have to start early.

This year I'll be doing a ton of baking for gifts, mostly because I'll have enough time this year. And I'll be ordering my Prime Rib from the butcher soon.

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. :wub:

Hmmm, I never did make that Yule Log last year. I think I need to go buy an early present for myself. A jellyroll pan. :biggrin:

......but then I'm a sucker for presents.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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My family was large and extended.

At least two weeks before Christmas we would go and get the tree and we would trim it and put up decorations that night,while listening to classic Christmas songs. Think Nat King Cole, Judy Garland etc.

The week before Christmas was filled with cookie making. My mother always made tins & tins full of cookies. Peanut butter, oatmeal, molasses, chocolate chip, sugar, wedding cookies and bourbon balls. These were all packaged and sent out to various family members. Of course we kept some for ourselves and holiday guests.

Tradition was always that we had a big dinner on Christmas Eve with my stepfathers family. Oh I used to love that when I was young. His mother was a good cook. Very traditional Christmas foods; ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potaoes, gravy, green beans, homemade rolls and 1-2 pies or cakes.

On Christmas morning, after a special breakfast, it was off to my fathers side of the family for a family reunion and more food. My grandmother was a very good cook and would always have a new dish or two. But we always had cheese pie, her homemade spicy garlic dill pickles, turkey, mashed potatoes and pecan pie. Everyone would catch up, eat good food and open their gifts.

Later in the evening we would go to my stepmothers family gathering. More food, more presents and a chance to see everyone. They always had steamed shrimp, glazed ham, swedish meatballs, cheese platters and lunchmeat platters.

By the time Christmas was over everyone was stuffed and we had plenty of leftovers.

Ever since my stepfather passed and my mother remarried, we stopped having dinner with his family. I really do miss that. And him.

Now we get our tree the week before Christmas and decorate it while listening to Christmas music.

But I kept the Christmas Eve tradition going. Now I have my mother and her husband and my (almost) in-laws over for dinner. Not a formal sit down dinner though, it is more of a cocktail party. You never know what to expect on my table. Sometimes it is spring rolls, sometimes it is meatballs. I never have the same menu twice, unless a special request is made. Everyone eats, chats and opens their gifts. We all have a good time and I really look forward to it every year.

I also kept the cookie making going. My kids help, but we don't make quite as many cookies as my mom used to.

Then on Christmas day after we open our gifts and have our special breakfast, we get dressed and head to my dads house. The whole family doesn't gather anymore. Just my dad, brothers, stepmom, and a cousin or two maybe. Everyone has moved and we are all spread out now. We still have a little food. Mainly we just get together and talk. Then we open our gifts and watch the kids open their gifts.

After that we head off to "Cookie Maw"s ( the kids name for my stepmothers mom; she is always baking cookies). They still have their traditional spread. Everyone talks and the kids open their gifts.

Then we head to my fiance's great aunt's house where his whole family is gathered and we have a big southern dinner. Tons of food: ham, turkey, chicken wings, salmon, shrimp, greens, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread, rolls, potato salad, grits, red beans/rice, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cakes and more. Everyone talks and catches up. The kids play outside and we normally until late.

Then we go home, lugging gifts, tired but happy. I really miss my family not getting together like we used to. Even as a child, the food and family was the best part, not the presents. My fiancee's family dinner take the place of mine now. But oh how I used to love the magical Christmas feeling. Some of that magic is lost to me now, but Christmas is still my favorite holiday and I try to make it as special for my kids as it was for me.

Today is going to be one of those days.....

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My family has so many traditions there are always some that get forgotten each year until someone protests: "where's the -insert favorite dish here-?!"

Christmas is at the family compound/farm in Tennessee where my aunt now lives in a great log house with a huge fireplace built by a relative a hundred years ago. The Christmas tree is a cedar tree cut from the property that perfumes the whole house. My uncle, mom, and I arrive at the last minute to minimize family tensions exaggerated by long stays. There are tons of open houses to go to and family and friends to visit (even these have a traditional sequence).

Christmas eve dinner is a tradition borrowed from Texas years ago: tamales! They are homemade by a Mexican friend of my uncle's and are usually pork, beef, and vegetarian spinach/cheese.

Christmas morning brings real southern biscuits and country ham (so lacking in the rest of the country). The thing I look forward to every year is a breakfast casserole done in the Le Creuset of cranberries, oats, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pecans - I am always starving waiting for the last person to get up and it is so good!

After presents are opened my aunt, uncle mom, and I go for a long walk around the property, and feed the horses and donkeys and dogs. That is followed by a nap and reading and looking at our gifts.

Hors d'ouevres include cheese and olive balls, some kind of cheese and dips, homemade spicy crackers, cheese straws, mulled cider and hot toddies. Dinner always includes tomato aspic and homemade mayo and cornbread dressing, some kind of roast, braised brussel sprouts and homemade rolls. Dessert is pecan pie from a friend in Texas who has his own pecan trees- beyond compare. If this isn't available we order pecan pie from Goode Co. in Houston (and yes, it makes great breakfast the next day).

Things always in the kitchen are: Tenn. bbq and accoutrements for sandwiches, some sort of casserole, grits, cucumber/watercress tea sandwiches, bacon, smoked salmon, coleslaw, pomegranates, ordered petit fours, my Bourbon balls, Bettie's fudge, dates filled with marzipan...

As much as I enjoy mache salads and dim sum steamed pork buns and crudo the rest of the year, I look forward to this food and all of our holiday traditions and the comfort and warmth they bring.

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Christmas eve is a "fasting" meal: oyster stew and oysters on the half shell. Christmas morning we have corned beef hash.............the dinner that day is usually a roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, the desert is a steamed plum pudding with a brandied hard sauce.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Christmas tree decorating is always done well before Christmas (and when I still lived with my parents we would go cut down a tree. Now I live in NYC and my husband and I buy one on the street), accompanied by carols and eggnog.

Christmas Eve was traditionally celebrated with my dad's family. We would go to my aunt's house and open all the presents from that side of the family. We'd have pickled shrimp and "dilly" crackers and rillettes all made by my grandmother, and dinner would often be leftovers from my aunt's holiday party, which so offended my mother she usually brought homemade lobster bisque. Dessert was always my grandmother's homemade prune cake. Then we'd go home, put out cookies and milk for Santa (or later, cookies and Scotch, which the Santa in our family much preferred!) and read The Night Before Christmas, or when I was older, T.S. Eliot's Journey of the Magi.

Now that I'm married, when we have our folks visit for Christmas, Christmas Eve is spent with my FIL. We have a fairly simple dinner and exchange gifts with him.

Christmas morning we wake up and have stockings and coffee first thing. Then down to the Christmas tree and open presents with immediate family. (Now my folks and DH's mother). After presents, it's breakfast of pancakes and gravy. It's not Christmas without pancakes and gravy. An old family tradition, and don't knock it until you've tried it.

We usually go to Church on Christmas morning, when it's not particularly crowded (after the midnight masses on Christmas Eve) and the service is usually very traditional. Then home to cook and clean in preparation for Christmas dinner -- roast beef, garlic potato gratin, and some green, with steamed persimmon pudding and hard sauce for dessert. My mom's family always came for Christmas dinner and we did presents with them then, but now our celebration is smaller, and it's just my MIL and my parents again.

Edited by Amuse Bouche (log)
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A tradition in my southern-italian/sicillian family has been the making of Crustella, a special xmas cookie.

Rather labor-intensive, and I don't know if anyone except us still makes them.

It starts w/ a stiff dough. It definitely has eggs in it. You roll it out pretty thin. My dad actually uses a pasta machine (the rollers w/ the crank). Then you cut thin strips w/ a pastry wheel.

Here's where it gets busy. You sit down w/ a strip and some egg white and pinch little cups into the strip of dough. Then you spiral the strip around itself, forming a rosette full of these little cups. We'll often spend an afternoon just forming the dough, w/ dad or pop-pop rolling it out , and Nanny (RIP), mom and I sitting and making the rosettes. There's usually conversation or menu planning going on...

Then you deepfry the rosettes. They turn golden and crispy (you could eat them now. w/ some powdered sugar on top..).

Then you fill the rosettes. Melt honey, and a little blackberry or grape jam. Mix in finely chopped toasted walnuts (sometimes there's peacans, sometimes almonds, and very occasionally black walnuts). Then this sweet, nutty mixture gets spooned into the rosette shells. Those little cups hold the yummy goo.

Eating them is crunchy, rich and sweet. They keep forever, and we usually hide away a tin for summer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This year we hope to start a tradition of having a seperate tree for are 18month old son and adding a Christmas picture of him to the tree every year. Sounds cool now but I wonder if it will be embarassing to him when he is older? And does it really matter?

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traditions, well, we usually celebrate st lucia day, saffron buns, coffee, candles, it's a nice calm moment in the run up to christmas.... we go to midnight mass, come home, say our goodnights and get some sleep...

we dont have a traditional christmas meal, I make danish pastries, breads and buns, each person has a special place setting made of gingerbread with their name on it, there is fruit, yoghurt, porridge, cold meats, cheese and marzipan hearts.... after breakfast/brunch we go to the morning service, then in the afternoon we relax around the house, watch a film and have a light supper, soup and rolls, maybe a pie for pudding.

oh, we have a huge, shared christmas stocking, we open that before breakfast, useful and useless gifts for the whole family! my personal favorite from last years stocking was a wind up walking brain, lol.

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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  • 11 months later...

One tradition my family has started that has made the holidays easier on everyone is that we don't exchange gifts between the adults. It really has taken out the stress of Christmas. The last few years we had done a drawing at thanksgiving where we got 1 person to buy something nice for but it kind of got to where everyone asked what the person wanted and went and bought it. i guess this year a few thought that was dumb since you could buy whatever the person buying for you was going to buy anyway. I don't like the change for a couple reasons but finally relented and let that faction of the family get what they want.

Edited by jscarbor (log)
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Our family has gotten so big that we now do a Secret Santa for all the adults. It's no fun not getting anything at all. :smile:

This year, however, Christmas is going to be very strange...there will be no children present, as many individual families will be scattered about. I have simultaneous feelings of glee and bah-humbug about this.

However, said dynamic does allow, for the first time ever, for me to do a proper six-course plated dinner for the fam, as the group will be of manageable size.

So they might be bored to death, but *I'll* be excited. :biggrin:

Edited by Jennifer Iannolo (log)

Jennifer L. Iannolo

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Home of the Culinary Podcast Network

Never trust a woman who doesn't like to eat. She is probably lousy in bed. (attributed to Federico Fellini)

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