September 2013 Release in Review & Release Contest

The September release has been full of some gorgeous new products and we hope the projects from the team have been beyond inspiring!  I've picked out favorites of my own, from each of the design team members, to share with you today!  Click the link next to each team member's name to see more details about the project shown here, as well as the rest of her projects from this release!  And be sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post… won't want to miss out on this month's release in review CONTEST!!!

CLICK HERE to see more from Ashley Cannon Newell.

CLICK HERE to see more from Betsy Veldman.

CLICK HERE to see more from Cristina Kowalczyk.

CLICK HERE to see more from Danielle Flanders.

CLICK HERE to see more from Dawn McVey.

CLICK HERE to see more from Debbie Olson.

CLICK HERE to see more from Erin Lincoln.

CLICK HERE to see more from Heather Nichols.

CLICK HERE to see more from Laura Bassen.

CLICK HERE to see more from Maile Belles.

CLICK HERE to see more from Melissa Phillips.

Now that you have had a chance to see all of this eye candy, how about a chance to win a gift certificate to purchase some of the amazing goodies used to make them!  


$150 PTI Gift Certificate  

for you to spend however you choose!

All you have to do to enter to win is to leave a comment answering the question below…


Congratulations, Jessica Monte!  Please send a note off to customer service and provide them with the email address you would like your gift certificate sent to!  Thank you so much to everyone else who shared their traditions!  They were truly heartwarming to read through and I even got some ideas for traditions to possibly start with my little family!  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 897 Comments

  • 1
    Victoria h says:

    We like to go for a walk after Christmas dinner- everyone we meet is super happy.

  • 2
    Liz R says:

    From the day my girls were born, every year we have bought them an angel decoration for the Christmas tree. When they leave home, they will have a special collection of Christmas decorations for their own tree.

  • 3
    Laura says:

    We have a special Christmas Eve dinner and have tea after in fancy mugs we only use at that time with our homemade Christmas cookies. Our little girls love it. We just started to do this two years ago as a special treat so we don’t have to wait for Christmas to enjoy the Christmas cookies. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • 4
    JanetG says:

    We watch Christmas movies starting on Christmas Eve and continue after Christmas dinner. Sure do love those old movies.

  • 5
    Debbie B says:

    My extended family started a tradition of all of us getting together the week before Christmas to celebrate so that individual families could form their new family traditions and meld two families into one. It started because our family was getting so large and so many young children, running here and there on Christmas day was just too hectic! Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ and that is what we do!

  • 6
    Dasa says:

    I love these cards – so beautiful! Every year after dinner we go out and have a lot of fun on the snow. We have snowball “fight” πŸ™‚ P.S. I saw I’m one of the lucky winners – woooooow I can’t believe it!!! Thank you very very very much. I can’t tell how happy I am right now πŸ™‚

  • 7
    Gabriella says:

    We sprinkle glitter on the snow or grass on Christmas Eve so that the reindeer find our house and stop. It started years ago by our preschool teacher

  • 8
    Marybeth says:

    We always hang our stockings the night before the feast day of St. Nicholas ,December 5. They are filled with goodies december 6th the next morning …not on Christmas morning. It’s a very old tradition.(German ,Swiss and maybe Netherlands ) Our girls still do this with their family’s today. It’s one I always enjoy .

  • 9
    Genevieve says:

    I get every member a new pijama so that christmas morning and day we just relax all together

  • 10
    Krista T says:

    My mom gave me and my brother an ornament every year when we were growing up, so that we would have a good start to our Christmas trees as adults. Now we are starting the same tradition with our kids.

  • 11
    Michelle W says:

    We have many Christmas traditions! πŸ™‚ On our first Christmas together, 20 years ago, hubby and I didn’t have much money, and we had a tiny tree with no angel. My hubby made an angel using a toilet roll centre, aluminium foil, and liquid paper. She’s a little ragged now, but every year she goes back in pride of place at the top of our tree in memory of our first Christmas together.

  • 12
    Dee in NH says:

    We always celebrate on the Saturday before. That way everyone can come regardless of work schedules and other family celebrations. My favorite part is the big old happy sit down dinner.

  • 13
    Margaret R says:

    Every year I make pumpkin pie – not unusual for the northern hemisphere, but we live in Australia. I made it after living in Canada for a year in 2000 and my daughter just loves it – so it is now part of our family’s Christmas tradition.

  • 14
    DebP says:

    Christmas eve, after dark, we turn on the Christmas music and open one gift. This started the first Christmas after we were married. My family always opened gifts on Christmas eve, my husbands on Christmas day, so we made our own tradition by including both.

  • 15
    Penny Peters says:

    We live an hour from Hershey, PA so every year we go there and see the lights, reindeer and Santa of course, such a pretty place at Christmas!

  • 16
    Janet says:

    We always wake up, have coffee, put a breakfast casserole in the oven, go in my parents den, pass out presents, open (one at a time) and eat the casserole, and talk about the best thing God has done during the year. Absolutely love my family and Christmas!

  • 17
    Sally says:

    One of our traditions is after church Christmas Eve we come home and take a picture of the family in front of the stockings. It started as a shared tradition with both my husband and my families when we were kids.

  • 18

    On Christmas Ever, we always go to my uncle’s house for different kinds of soups and sandwiches. I’m not sure how the menu got started, but I love going every year!

  • 19
    Karen B. says:

    We all make it a point to hang our glass bells on the tree, and it started when I was little. My brother had died and shortly after we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the little girl said “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its’ wings…” The tradition has carried on with my kids. Great release!

  • 20

    For every gift given to someone we sing a song from The Little Rascals: Merry Christmas to you _____, Merry Christmas to you. To make this Christmas turn out right we give this present to you. Each and every gift for every member of the family! It’s a hoot but it’s a tradition that we all laugh about and the kids love. Awesome collection!

  • 21
    Ally says:

    We like to go out and select our Christmas tree. Once we find him we carry him home by walking! (not driving) him home. At home, he will tell his name – this year it will be a name starting with G. This is a tradition since I celebrated my first Christmas with my husband.

  • 22
    Susi K says:

    Christmas always reminds me of a special dish my mother would make for our Christmas Eve family dinner. She would prepare well in advance for this traditional dish, making the filling and rolling out the fresh pasta. There would be many of us around to finally assemble the “Capeletti” – essentially a type of ravioli that looked like a cowboy hat! LOL I sure wish she was still around to enjoy just one more holiday dinner with.

  • 23
    Angel S. says:

    My parents and six siblings would make Tamales on Christmas eve, which takes all day, but we woke up so excited to eat them on Christmas day!!

  • 24
    Lee Cockrum says:

    We get together at my parent’s house on Christmas eve, with all the grown kids and spouses and grand kids. We have snacks and open gifts, and then have a big Christmas dinner. Then all the individual families celebrate on Christmas day in their own homes.

  • 25
    Deb Else says:

    Each year for Christmas, starting when each daughter was born, I purchased or made a special ornament for our family tree. Now since girl is grown, they had a great collection to decorate their own trees and I continue to add something new each year. And as the trees are decorated, we share our memories of the year they represent. It is amazing the memories that come back as we share!

  • 26
    Meagan says:

    Ever since I can remember we always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve and I know do that with my husband, which is unique to him because his family never did that.

  • 27
    Kristina says:

    We always read Luke 2 on Christmas morning. Not really unique per se but the reason for our season!!

  • 28
    Amanda says:

    Everyone has Christmas jammies. On Christmas Eve everyone gets clean and then puts on their jammies so we can start celebrating…movie, cookies, and the presents under the Christmas Eve tree (yes, a separate tree, little though). That way everyone is clean and ready for the next day and we get a super cute picture!

  • 29
    SueB says:

    Every Christmas Eve for the past 40 years, my sister and brother-in-law have hosted a family dinner at their home. It’s the one time during the year when we get to visit with 25 or more family members, and sometimes a friend or two as well. They have a lovely old home that their daughter-in-law decorates with fresh evergreens and live poinsettias. We all help that day and evening and contribute food for the same, exact meal every year. It’s a wonderful tradition with many warm memories.

  • 30
    Lynn says:

    We have Christmas brunch with both sides of our family the day after Christmas. It started when our children were little and it was too hard for everyone to get to all of our family on Christmas day. Everyone is less rushed and more relaxed then.

  • 31
    Michelle N says:

    After my dad died in 1998, Christmas has been different and we had to make some new traditions. One we have continued is we always have the same breakfast – sausage and cheese biscuits – something my dad made each and every year. In the afternoon, my mom and I head to the movies. It is a lot different but these new traditions mixed with the old, keep us going.

  • 32
    Sue D says:

    My mother-in-law started having a Birthday Party for Jesus on Christmas Eve before everyone headed to church. We have continued the tradition with our children and now our grandchildren.

  • 33
    Valerie C says:

    The kids have to wait upstairs while we turn on Christmas lights and music. My parents come to the morning with us. We always take a picture before the kids come down to open their presents.

  • 34
    Barb Kirkwood says:

    I plan a scavenger hunt for my grandchildren. I take close up pictures of things around the house and put them on a sheet of paper. They all have to go find the thing in the picture and write where it is. Whomever finds all the thungs wins. But everyone seems to get a prize.!

  • 35
    Mary Lou Kemp says:

    For as long as I can remember we have gathered as a family on Christmas eve for a party. Mom and Dad always had this event at their home and we had such fun eating, telling stories and exchanging gifts. As the family grew we continued this tradition and now our own children are doing the same.

  • 36

    Our favorite Christmas tradition began only about 6 years ago. We go to a local Chinese restaurant for Christmas Eve supper simply because of the movie “A Christmas Story”. We often see many other friends and their families doing the same.

  • 37
    Isabel Z says:

    Every Christmas Eve, my children receive a Christmas book and open an ornament that relates to something they accomplished that year or where interested in. Inside the book cover, we write a special note and the date. Some day when they are grown and gone, they will take these books and ornaments with them to their own homes to hopefully share with their families.

  • 38
    Jessica Monte says:

    Wow that is a Big question lol. … we have a lot of little traditions we get an ornament every year for our daughter for her tree. Oh yeah we each have our own tree my husband has his with all his encso ornaments in oyr family room in the living room stands my tree with all vintage ornaments dating back over 75 years oldto about 40 years old. My daughter has her tree with disney ornaments and ones we have gotten for her over the years. Her tree sits on the landing. We love to decorate all three trees together. …

  • 39
    Kathy W says:

    Traditions have changed over the years as location and family has changed. When my son was growing up, we always did a Christmas/holiday themed jigsaw puzzle on Christmas Eve. Now that he has grown and I now live 3 thousand miles away from him, my husband and I have a new tradition of attending a Christmas Eve service at the historic church in our village. The church has only wood heat and no electricity, so everything is acoustic and by candlelight. Here in Vermont, there is always snow, and our community bonds together at the most special time of year.

  • 40
    Jamie says:

    It started last year- my parents got me a dog and were calling her Raspberry. Everyone kept saying “raspberry” at dinner one night and we even had raspberry cheesecake for dessert. I didn’t know why they kept saying “raspberry” until Christmas. After I got my puppy at my parents I decided to keep her name; it was cute and fitting. My mom said that now we will have to have raspberry cheesecake every year!

  • 41
    Teresa F. says:

    I make my special sugared pecans for everyone! I started doing that a few years ago for table favors and now everyone looks forward to them!

  • 42

    We started with new traditions when our daughter was born. Now, the whole family (parents, brother, girlfriend, MIL etc) comes here on christmas eve. Everybody brings something for dinner and we all enjoy a wonderful feast together.

  • 43
    Tee Tee says:

    When we were growing up our family would set up a simple wooden manger scene and at some point leading up to Christmas, one of the five of us siblings would take Baby Jesus and hide him. The rest of us would search and search and if we found Him, we would hide Him all over again. This continued until Christmas Day when Baby Jesus would be brought out and placed in the manger.

  • 44

    Every year on Christmas Eve around 7pm we all get into the van and drive around our town to see all of the beautiful Christmas Lights…every year we are amazed at what we see and the kids think it is a great time!!!

  • 45
    Felicia says:

    Growing up we always looked up into the sky to find Rudolph’s red nose on Christmas Eve and while we were patiently waiting presents would magically arrive by our back door. Also because of all the excitement my mom would always make pizza on Christmas Eve. After opening up gifts we would go to candle lit Christmas Eve church services. And now that I am all grown-up we still look for Rudolph’s red nose with my nephews, but my mom does fix more than pizza. Candle light services are still beautiful at church on Christmas Eve.

  • 46
    Lisa Kind says:

    Our holiday tradition is centered around my Polish background. Our Christmas Eve dinner is very different from any I’ve ever encountered. I know it was handed down from my mom’s side of the family, but I haven’t been able to trace it much further back than that. I’ve been keeping it going these last few years, but I have a feeling I will be the last to do it. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • 47
    Pat says:

    My sister and I must watch “White Christmas” together and sing all the songs out loud (and, I must admit, badly). We have also been known to act out “Sisters”. The remainder of the family leaves the room.

  • 48
    Tricia says:

    One of our favorite family traditions is a cross stitched, nativity themed, advent calendar that I made when my girls were just tiny. Each year at the beginning of December we hang up the framed calendar and set the little carved wooden box of pieces on a shelf nearby. The box opens to reveal an assortment of tiny ornaments stitched on perforated paper – one for each day of the calendar. It is always fun to watch the calendar fill up so we can end with Baby Jesus on Christmas Day!

  • 49
    Liz (wifelady) says:

    We gather together a week or so before Christmas to eat and play games (including a white elephant gift exchange). Since my sister doesn’t get to spend Christmas Day with our family, this event let’s us all get together and celebrate. I started this event so we’d get to see her and her family during the Christmas season!

  • 50

    My in-laws always have hors d’oeuvres and cookies on Christmas Eve rather than a big dinner. I LOVE this tradition since those are typically my favorite parts of a meal!

  • 51
    Cyndie says:

    There is a street near our church that goes all out on the decorations, so we go there after attending church Chrismas Eve. An extra bonus a couple years ago was the fluffy snow that was falling (not normal for our area).

  • 52
    Jayne K says:

    Christmas morning, we all gather round the dining room table and have a birthday party for Jesus. I’ve baked a cake and we light a candle and we sing the birthday song. Then we have cake for breakfast…along with traditional breakfast food. We started this when our first son was about 2 so that our family would always (at least start the day) knowing Who it was about.

  • 53
    StephH says:

    My favorite tradition is actually the day after Thanksgiving. We all dress up and take the still-young-kids to the Teddy Bear Tea at the annual Festival of Trees! It is a huge fundraiser for our community. The is filled with dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths that are auctioned off the next day for charity. The kids get their group phots with Santa and we are entertained by live holiday themed music performers. This event always revs up our holiday excitement!!

  • 54
    Fiona says:

    My Mam and I had a tradition of making Christmas Puddings before the holidays to be given to family members on Christmas eve. It’s a fun time for remembering and preparing for the holiday season.

  • 55
    laura j says:

    each year a new handmade ornament made by my sister and I would be added to our tree on Christmas eve!

  • 56
    Kathy D says:

    The stairs in our house are half in the living room, where the Christmas tree stands. Every Christmas morning, I go down the stairs first, turn on the Christmas lights and grab the camera. The offspring have to sit on the top step for a photo. This worked great when they were small. Now that they are all adult sized (if not age!), it is a tight squeeze. They do still tolerate the request!

  • 57
    lisa m says:

    our tradition is to bake cookies which started when I was little at my grandmother’s, and now I do it with my family

  • 58
    Marie says:

    On Christmas Eve, we have the tradition of a “mandatory” drink of aquevit for everyone at the table that’s of drinking age. I, who do not like the taste of it, usually drinks it all shot-style (and it is served in a tiny shot-sized glass). We all have fun with it =) I can’t remember when it started, but it has been going on for a few years at least…

  • 59
    Heather says:

    My sister and I have always watched the old black and white Christmas Carol together on Christmas eve since we were kids. Now that we’re grown up and have families of our own, we live in different cities and can’t always be together, but we still make sure that we start our DVD players at exactly the same time.

  • 60

    We all go to my aunts house on Christmas Eve and Santa visits to bring one present to everyone! Every adult must sit on his lap too I love it!

  • 61
    Jan says:

    On Christmas Eve, we make gumbo and potato salad and watch several Christmas episodes of favorite television shows. I don’t really remember when the gumbo started – I can’t remember a Christmas Eve without it. The TV show thing started a few years ago and was my son’s idea.

  • 62

    My parents-in-law have three sons and since they all have partners, we have the tradition that esch couple prepares one course of the Christmas dinner. It’s fun and it’s an advantage that not one person is in the kitchen all day. And delicious surprises as well! πŸ™‚

  • 63
    Sharon J says:

    Usually we go out for buffet dinner on the Christmas Eve, the whole family together, enjoy the food and time……

  • 64
    Joyce says:

    I’m not sure we have a unique tradition, but every year I host the women in our family for a cookie bake and share, we end the day with the men joining us for dinner. Its something I have come to look forward to because its one of the only times all the girls get together.

    We also hide a pickle on our tree and the first to find gets a prize. It started when my daughter was little, but now we have to have an adult hide and a kids hide. Its so funny to watch the adults trying to find it for a 2$ prize. Some of those photos are a riot.

  • 65
    sue t. says:

    Not sure how it started but, our stockings are always hung from the door to our bedroom. We open them first before going downstairs for the “real deal”. I think it started so my parents could sleep in a bit longer, but I continue it to this day!

  • 66
    Jen a says:

    I’m not really sure how it got started but my husband claims he doesn’t like Santa and plots to capture him every year. The kids in turn plot to stop him from his evil plan. They even write Santa letter warning him about their dad=). Last year he cut up some red velvet with a Christmas morning story that he almost got him…by the seat of his pants=)!

  • 67
    Dana W says:

    We don’t do anything unique, just the same same year after year

  • 68
    Diane Hover says:

    The kids are grown now and gone, but we have a BIG family Christmas here and started to hire a Santa that is like the “real thing” when I had to gone a party and couldn’t believe how much like Santa he is, real beard and everything…there are 18 grandkids here and have included 2 others that are in need, and I LOVE seeing their little faces as they sit on Santa’s lap and I get a few 100 pictures each year to work with…Santa has been coming so long that he gets to see the kids growing up and is as amazed as we are…a totally fun, bring a tear (or 2) to your eyes kind of day!!

  • 69

    Our holiday tradition that we do every yr is to make/bake Pizzelle Cookies & other cookies. They are an Italian cookie made on a special waffle like machine. They are flavored with Anise. I share the cookies with family & friends.
    “Sunshine HoneyBee”

  • 70
    Richard says:

    Every Christmas eve, we fry up codfish cakes and latkes. The codfish is a tradition passed down from my Portuguese relatives; part of the feast of seven fishes. Only the codfish cakes survive…
    The latkes are for the jewish side of the family. We’re not jewish, but we love the latkes and the oil is already hot…
    It’s our one night of the year to eat fried food!

  • 71
    Sara P says:

    We have a box of Whitman’s candy every year. It started when my great-grandfather was still with us. He loved chocolates–but only certain ones. He would poke a hole in the bottom of them to see what kind it was. My mom got him a box of Whitman’s one year and after that he swore he only liked Whitman’s. So from there on out we always have Whitman’s on Christmas Day.

  • 72
    Nadia Kendall says:

    My Father had 9 siblings, so we would have a very large Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandmother’s house. He had 6 brothers and 3 sisters. My uncles are all over 6′ tall and 2 are NYPD officers.

    As teenagers, my sister and I were asked to bring our current boyfriend over to “meet” the family. Little did they know it was a Kendall initiation to see how well they would fit in and also to see what their intentions were while dating us. At some point after dinner, my dad and uncles would take our boyfriend outside and grill them with questions. If they were really lucky, it would only be questions – sometimes it turned into a WWE match (it was safe/harmless). I’m happy to say that 20 years ago, my husband passed the test :).

  • 73
    Marlene says:

    We bake a traditional Norwegian Christmas Bread (Jule Kage) which is served for breakfast – delicious!

  • 74
    Candy says:

    we had stockings that were hung on the fireplace that magically filled up for Christmas morning! My sister and I continue the tradition for each other, and the other family members as well. some of the best presents find their way into the stockings

  • 75
    Julie G says:

    Every Christmas Eve we go to Church as a family. After, we drive around and look at Christmas lights. Then, we come home and the children open a present from me (Christmas pj’s!). And we eat sausage, cheese and crackers for dinner! It’s a tradition that just snuck up on us! If we would leave anything out, the wee ones would let us know!

  • 76
    Mary M. says:

    My uncle spends all year coming up with funny things to put on our place cards for Christmas Eve. You’ll never find your name on your placecard. We go around the table and read our cards. You start dinner off laughing.

  • 77
    Amy r says:

    We can only open our stockings before breakfast. That was how my parents did it, and that is how we do it in my house. I am not sure how it got started. Maybe to keep the kids from waking everyone up at the crack of dawn?

  • 78

    Growing up, with 4 ancy kids, my mom always let us pick out one gift to open on Christmas eve. We always had so much fun getting that “sneak peek” of Christmas, that I’ve continued that with my family & let my little boy do the same thing.

  • 79
    Melissa says:

    We get each of the kids a Hallmark ornament for Christmas each year with something on it that means something to them at that point in time and we make an ornament for the tree each year. I’d love a set devoted to making homemade ornaments with your kids.

  • 80

    My parents’ anniversary is on the 24th, so we celebrate their anniversary and have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve together.

  • 81
    Kris says:

    That would be Eggball! At Easter we play ball with the colored Easter eggs after dinner. You hit the egg with a big plastic bat used every year for the game. The team in the field has to find the biggest remaining piece of egg and tag (i.e. smear) the runner for the out. This game is even more fun if it’s raining. I have no idea how we started this tradition but we are well known for game!

  • 82
    Dgolly says:

    Our crazy Holiday tradition is at Thanksgiving. Since my daughter was 4 her Dad and her comb through the black Friday flyers and go in search of free stuff. It is usually m&m’s and such, but they have a great time doing it.

  • 83
    Colleen F says:

    I guess this is not so unique, ut I too bought special ornaments for my two girls…now they are grown with three children each and I continue to buy ornaments for the grandkids…sometimes with their name and year painted on it!

  • 84
    Allison L says:

    Every year I purchase a new ornament for each of my 3 children so at a point when they have their own tree, they will have a wonderful assortment of memories to decorate it!

  • 85
    Leigh Penner says:

    We have an advent box that sits on our piano. I try to add notes or treats to it every day…. a few years ago, we started focusing on things we could do as a family, (movie nights, game nights, decorating Christmas cookies, etc.) but we also started looking outward at what we could do for others in December.

  • 86
    Sherry says:

    Since both sides of the family live in town, running around on Christmas Day became much too hectic. Now, my side of the family celebrates sometime the week after Christmas. It is a relaxing time and the kids still have something to look forward to after Christmas Day..

  • 87
    Debbie Archer says:

    My children (now adults) were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve, and that present was always their Christmas pajamas. All of the other presents were saved til Christmas morning. This tradition was started when I was a child and we opened one present on Christmas Eve from my grandfather – always pajamas.

  • 88
    Jill Norwood says:

    We have many Christmas traditions! One of my favorites is baking traditional cut-out cookies with my son and anyone else that wants to help (cousins, neighbors, etc). We bake the cookies one day. Then we decorate the next with almond butter frosting and lots of sugar sprinkles! They are sampled on baking day and when being decorated but then we freeze the rest and they are only eaten on Christmas Eve at our huge Family gathering. And my son chooses a few to put out for Santa to eat too! It is definitely one of my son’s favorite traditions! Thanks for all of the wonderful new products! It is such a beautiful release!

  • 89
    see mary stamp says:

    Of the many things I think of as our family Christmas traditions the one I think we’ve never missed since being together is hosting my hubby’s parents for our Christmas dinner of honey baked ham, scalloped potatoes, my mother-in-law’s fruit salad and Christmas cookies with brandy ice for dessert. Love all of this month’s products.

  • 90
    peggysue says:

    My father grew up in Germany where he celebrated St. Nicholas Day. We hang up stockings on December 5, not on Christmas Eve, and the kids would wake up to find presents in their stockings the morning of December 6…just little things but it was so very special because in their school no one else celebrated this holiday and it helped them feel unique and special. I hand stitched an elaborate cross stitch design on each of their stockings so their stockings are home made. Even when they went to college I would make sure to send a package that would arrive the beginning of December to celebrate St. Nicholas Day.

  • 91
    Lisa Harris says:

    Ok, my apologies for this being a little long-winded….

    As our family has grown up and grown larger, fitting everybody’s family celebrations into one day was starting to make my mum and I feel more like air traffic controllers than anything else! Juggling everything just got to be too much. Fortunately, I come from a very small family who enjoy each others’ company but tend to celebrate things a little more quietly. Our size means we also don’t have to worry quite as much about scheduling eighteen people around one dining room table at one set time.
    So to save our juggling act (we were running out of plates and oranges to toss up in the air..;) we decided to try a slightly unconventional approach and celebrate two Christmases. ‘Little Christmas’ is celebrated late Christmas morning as family start to arrive in from all over the continent. We spend a pleasant couple of hours together before my girls rush off to be with their other loved ones (and their loved ones, etc, etc) for the remainder of the day. On December 26th (Boxing Day), which is also a holiday here in Canada we celebrate ‘Big Christmas’ when everyone can be together for the whole day, open gifts, enjoy wonderful food and treats and just be in each others’ company without worrying about what time anyone will be coming or going. It is a fun, joyful and yep – relaxing day. Aaahhhhhh.
    The other awesome perk? Year after year now, we have the benefit of savouring that awesome feeling you hold in your heart at Christmas and I think that makes us the luckiest family alive.

  • 92
    Cheryl says:

    We do a ridiculous Christmas card every year. We haven’t taken a serious one since about 1999. It all started when we had our kids spell out “Joy” with their bodies, then we moved on to “Love” and “Peace” when more kids came. When the sixth one came, we did a Brady Bunch grid. We’ve been backwards, had luchidor masks on, and last year we had stunt doubles. So I think with that new picture die, Ihaveto figure out how to make a magic slider car with some kind of ridiculous overlay…

  • 93
    Renee V. says:

    Years ago I heard about the special pickle ornament and purchased one to hide in the Christmas tree. The kids love looking for it and getting their little gift after it is found.
    I have to tell you that I love this release and everything in it! I’m so looking forward to the holidays!

  • 94
    Peggy Sue says:

    We always have our special yummy punch for Christmas. My Grandmother made it for her grandchildren. Now I make it for my grandchildren.

  • 95 says:

    We go to the movies each year on Christmas Day. Love this months collection!

  • 96
    Marcie S. says:

    We open brand new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear!

  • 97
    Betty H says:

    We like to wrap at least one gift in 3 or 4 boxes. So it’s a giftwrapped box within a giftwrapped box, etc. We do it in memory of my dad. He got such a kick out of it the first time we did it and would laugh until tears rolled down his face. Every year he would laugh as if it was the first time he saw it. Too funny.

  • 98
    Donna M. says:

    The sweetest little paper dove made by my son while in 1st grade always goes on my tree. It’s worn with love, but packed very carefully when not being used. My son is now 33 yrs old, with kids of his own, but I cherish the memories of when he made this, & was so proud.

  • 99
    Titta says:

    Every year, my parents, sister and nephew come over to our house a few days before Christmas Eve to help us put up and decorate our Christmas tree. Afterwards we all eat pizza and chocolate mousse I’ve made myself. This tradition started the year I bought my first own home and finally had room for a proper Christmas tree.

  • 100
    Kate Temple says:

    On Christmas Eve, we have a wine and cheese party after going to evening mass. It is a chance for us to be together to anticipate the coming of our Lord. We also watch a cute little show that retells the story of Jesus’ birth. We started doing this several years ago and it is my favorite holiday tradition!

  • 101
    cynthia says:

    We do not have any family near that we Celebrate Christmas with. We got tired of sitting around all by ourselves so we pack up and go camping at Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
    We love waking up in the morning listening to all the little kids screaming and laughing. Since at home everyone is in their homes you don’t get to hear all the excitement. But when your camping most everyone is outside and you really get to share in everyone Christmas Experience. Its wonderful and my boys love it and can’t wait to until they have families that they can share this with .

  • 102
    Kristen V says:

    We would all gather Christmas Eve at my grandparents house and my grandfather made vegetable soup and oyster stew. Family gatherings were very important to my grandparents and that is why I carry on this tradition today.

  • 103
    Amy says:

    Our countdown consists of fun activities to do as a family…..sometimes gifts but most often baking together, fancy red velvet pancakes, tour of town & holiday lights — just a lot of moments to spend together during the busy times. I simply love taking that time out of each day just for those who I hold dear to my heart!

  • 104
    Lea Ann H. says:

    Each year, we purchase an ornament for our daughter that represents a highlight of the year that just passed. We started with an ornament for her first year, celebrating her joining our family through adoption. She’s old enough now to help pick out the ornament each year, and the time we spend reflecting on the year’s happenings and sharing stories is priceless.

  • 105
    Barbara T says:

    Our Christmas tradition is actually to spend the day in our home. Christmas eve and days leading up to the holiday are spent with friends and relatives

  • 106
    Morag says:

    Christmas breakfast was always big in our house. A huge English breakfast with (in my childhood mind) crazy things like blood pudding, mushrooms and fried toast…. We opened our stockings before we are but no prezzies until it was done! It is a sweet childhood memory that took on a bigger significance as we got older and got married… suddenly family members chose to go to the ‘out-laws’ for Christmas dinner meaning the family was not together. So we started making breakfast the time when our family got together, freeing up everyone from the guilt of deciding where to celebrate. These days although we are more spread out, whoever is around still enjoys an English breakfast although as adults we’ve added a little champagne to our orange juice!!

  • 107

    On Christmas Eve, we all get to pick one favorite food to have. Something we each don’t get to have often but looove! I don’t even know how it got started. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win!

  • 108
    lisa808 says:

    We always make Trifle for dessert. It is a lengthy process, but it is so yummy that it is definitely worth the work. I don’t really know how or when we started this. Thanks for the fabulous new release and chance to win a gift certificate.

  • 109

    I buy my two kids a new Christmas ornament each year so when they get married they will each already have a wonderful coolection of memories to start their own Christmas traditions with. I started this tradition because when you start your own home there are so many items you need and when the holidays come you are busy buying gifts for family and friends that Christmas decorations are sometimes the last thing you think about. Plus no matter where my children move to when they get married I know they will have these wonderful memories of Christmas when they were young.

  • 110
    Birgit says:

    A tradition at our home is that the Christmas tree arrives one day earlier – so on the 23rd of December. It is braught by angels and they leave a letter of `the ChristkindΒ΄ as we call it here in Austria. In this letter the Christkind (Christ child) praises you for beeing a good child and writes that it will come back with presents the following day.
    It`s a nice Tradition because for us Kids it meant beeing excited two times. Once because of the angels and the tree and a second time because of the christ child and the presents.

  • 111
    Gabriela Duclos says:

    We have a few… First we celebrate on the 24th. We all get together and have a big dinner and open presents. Santa still comes the next morning… And he always brings pie. Wrapped up and ready to eat! We eat the pie and open more presents. Love the holidays…also love the cards you have all made. Great release!

  • 112
    Amanda Smith says:

    We have a rule that the kids wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning. We have family spread out and every one is welcome to come to our house and see our girls open gifts on Christmas morning but we don’t travel for Christmas.

  • 113
    Sue in Grapevine says:

    We put a sweet potato on our tree.
    My husband’s relatives came to Texas, from Germany, in 1847. They had the tradition of a Christmas tree, but no money for ornaments. They decorated a tree w/apples & sweet potatoes, so we remember them w/our tradition.

  • 114
    Jen Carter says:

    As kids we always opened up our Christmas stockings the night of the children’s program at church. Sometimes that was a week before Christmas, sometimes on Christmas Eve, but we always knew when the program was over we would be going home and getting our stockings. We’ve continued that tradition in our home with our kids.

  • 115

    A bike ride early on Thanksgiving morning – my husband & I started doing this when we had our first T-day when we were unable to travel to see family & it’s stuck ever since, great way to burn some calories before the big meal.

  • 116
    stampyblock says:

    We all get together for a fancy meal (tx to my wonderful Mom) and open our gifts on Christmas Eve and then go to midnight mass (it is always so amazing). I know it isn’t very unique but very special to us. And as we have all grown up and had families of our own it has been wonderful because we can all be at home for Santa on Christmas morning. I love it and it started so long ago I can’t say how it started. Thanks for bringing up thoughts of wonderful memories!

  • 117
    Debra B says:

    Years ago I saw a tree skirt in Family Fun magazine with cutout felt handprints sewn on. I bought a plain red tree skirt and had my 2 boys place gold paint handprints on the skirt. Every year I have them add their handprints. They’re teenagers now, but still play along and place their HUGE handprints on the skirt. I love looking back at their tiny handprints from years ago.

  • 118
    Lynn Hardy says:

    I was raised by a mother whose religion did not permit us to keep Christmas or Birthdays at all. Consequently, since I left home when I was 21, I have always loved Christmas time and try to observe as many traditions as possible to make it nice for my family. I got my first ever Christmas tree when I was 21 and had my own place. My Grandmother cried, as she said she’d always felt bad that my sister and I hadn’t had a Christmas before, and she sent me some of her old decorations for the tree. I have a set of five elves, all dressed in little felt outfits and with pipecleaner arms and legs that belonged to Grandma – and although they are very shabby by now, they always sit amongst the branches of our Christmas tree each year and remind me of my lovely Grandparents.

  • 119

    Our family tradition is an Italian one that my grandmother taught us. We make petunis, which are basically fried dough stuffed with provolone, tomato sauce and escarole. They are a lot of work, but SO delicious!

  • 120
    Dolly says:

    We are slowly building traditions I can’t think of any that might be considered “Unique” ahead of time I do December daily so we do a gingerbread house (or last year a kit kat house), letters sent to Santa (love getting a letter back!) New pajamas for Christmas eve. Cookies for Santa, Reindeer food on the lawn (as well as celery and carrots with Santa’s cookies). A special ornament every year. Christmas eve with my sister as her husband is Danish.
    They may not be unique but they are many and growing!

  • 121
    Kathy V. says:

    We celebrate Christmas day the way it is meant to be celebrated. We go to church to worship and to praise and honor the NEW BORN SAVIOR. And that is how we will always celebrate Christmas.

  • 122
    Cammy says:

    We have two Christmas trees – may not sound all that unique, but one is filled with lots of colorful and dated ornaments. The other is green and gold – for the Green Bay Packers – our family’s favorite NFL team. When I was single, I had a Packers tree and had been telling my husband I wanted one. Well, Christmas 2011, our tree was dying within a week of decorating and it was before Christmas. We purchased a new tree and a second tree stand, as we needed to have the new tree drop in order to decorate. So with the addition of at second tree stand – it sounds silly right? – we started the tradition of two trees.

  • 123
    Keri H says:

    It always depends on the weather or where we were stationed, but hubby and I always liked to either walk or drive through the nicely decorated neighborhoods to see all of the pretty lights. We would then come home and turn off all of the lights in the house, except the Christmas tree, and enjoy a cuppa warm cider while enjoying our own twinkling lights.

  • 124
    Nancy Penir says:

    So many traditions for our family at Christmas! The best is on Christmas morning. All of us together, one of the older children is chosen to be ‘Santa’, the one who gets to pass out each gift. The honor is photographed with his/her cousins and siblings with the santa hat, and a great big grin! It has been a tradition each grandchild looks forward to!

  • 125
    Bobby says:

    For the last 15 years, I have made Christmas ornaments for my grandchildren. I have done a wide variety of things and now that the older two are out on their own, they have something to decorate their own tree.

  • 126
    Jodi e says:

    One tradition is salsa day. We give to friends, neighbors, and co workers containers if salsa. It is so festive looking and well received after many sugary treats. We make several gallons each Christmas.

  • 127
    Suz-EQ says:

    The kids always enjoyed putting out cookies for Santa and carrots for Rudolph. Pretty much my favorite was mini gingerbread houses using pint milk cartons for the houses in our little village ……

  • 128
    Robin Funge says:

    After presents with the kiddos we go to friends of ours house for a morning visit before coming home to make the Christmas dinner. Always love that relaxing little visit before we are all busy with the dinner and the family start arrive!!!

  • 129
    Annette Snyder says:

    We have a big dinner on Christmas eve so that we can enjoy Christmas day and relax! The kids even put on a little Christmas production!

  • 130
    Emily says:

    Love this release!! Each Christmas day, the whole family goes for dim sum … it’s a way for us all to get together and exchange Christmas wishes and just catch up with each other.

  • 131
    Lona H says:

    We make sure to hang a stocking for each of our pets. It’s amazing how those dogs always know which ones are theirs!

  • 132
    Tina kucinic says:

    We make a Birthday Cake for Jesus every Christmas. The tradition started when my oldest son was a baby and we wanted to teach him that Christmas was a birthday celebration for Jesus. He is 23 now and we still make a birthday cake every year.

  • 133
    Kim Edsen says:

    We are a family that celebrates the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th with a small gift found in special ‘boots’ that morning. A German tradition, I believe that I’ve celebrated since I was a child and celebrate with my children now.

  • 134
    Janet Zeppa says:

    Our family is quite musical so not only do we say Grace before our Christmas dinner but we sing our grace. Love hearing the lovely voices coming together!

  • 135
    Jane says:

    We have started a tradition with our daughter of spending a Sunday afternoon just before Christmas of decorating a gingerbread house each, which we then put on display over Christmas. We have lots of fun, they look pretty and make the house smell all Christmassy.

  • 136
    S. Molinari says:

    We don’t celebrate ‘the holidays’. But every year in late fall or early winter, we have a huge bonfire with family and friends. There’s lots of good food and great music! Good times!

  • 137

    Well my dad was born on the 24th Christmas Eve, so as a Family we have always celebrated our family Christmas on that day and then we all go to Midnight mass and then spend the night at my parents house and wake up to see what Santa clause has left!! Now that we all are married Nd have children it is a pretty HUGE affair and their are now 20 of us that spral out and spend the night laughing and giggling until we awake Christmas Morning to the stocking and the presents brought by Santa clause!! It’s still my FAVORITE Time/tradition of the year!! Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win!! πŸ˜‰

  • 138
    Josie Dee says:

    I have 11 siblings and we all have been in band or choir as kids. My youngest sister would help with music at our church and since1985 we have been the choir at the 4:00
    Mass on Christmas Eve. We come from miles away to do this, and it really is a special way to start Christmas.

  • 139
    Kristie Goulet says:

    We have always let our kids open one present Christmas Eve. My mom and dad used to let us as children and we carried it on with our kids.

  • 140
    Alanna says:

    We visit a steakhouse each Christmas Eve. I’m honestly not sure how it started but it’s something we look forward to each year.

  • 141
    sano says:

    My sister and I make cookies and take them to everyone that does a service for us during the year and for our neighbors! Helps bring cheer to us all!

  • 142
    Maureen L. says:

    My girls and I always hide a giant pine cone in the Christmas tree and play “find the pinecone. It started when they were fighting over who got to put it on the tree so I said I was going to hide it. We kept doing it every year. Whoever finds it gets to hide it the next time.

  • 143
    Sara Spencer says:

    Each year on Christmas Eve morning my family wakes up to Christmas music and gets a breakfast tray in bed together with a wrapped magazine and a chocolate. I think my grandparents started it when my dad was a kid. He did it for me an day siblings when we were kids and I continue to do the same for my children. πŸ™‚

  • 144
    Laura I says:

    I make a big, fancy (for us) family dinner on Christmas Eve which we enjoy on special Christmas dinner settings. Then we each open one Christmas gift. We do this because every year we travel on Christmas day to my parents’ home. I want my children to have some time to enjoy Christmas without rushing through gift opening and jumping into the car right away. Christmas Eve is just as important as Christmas Day in our home.

  • 145
    Susan T says:

    So many traditions but my favorite is making my Christmas cards. I have been making cards ever since I can remember. I have always been big on handmade things. I felt like it was my gift that I gave to everyone who would receive my cards. I send about 100+ and my children help with the design. We never have sent picture cards. I always liked to be a little different. Envelopes are hand addressed and embellished too. Some years I wonder how I ever did it but I always manage to get them done. In the early years I would make them so they could be used a ornaments on the tree…which brings me to my next favorite tradition, making ornaments for the tree. Love to put up the tree and remember the fun we had every year. So many cherished moments. Thanks for asking. PS love this many possibilities!

  • 146
    Barbara Martin says:

    My extended family gathers at my parents’ house a few weeks before Christmas for “Cookie Day”. We bake and decorate about 25 different kinds of cookies that we give to our friends for Christmas. The tradition started when I was a child and my grandmother and mother would gather to make gingerbread which my siblings and I would deliver to all our neighbors. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas cookies!

  • 147
    Kate aka stinkydudette says:

    For as long as I can remember, we would always gatherfor my grandma’s birthday, regardless of where we are in the world. It’s always a reunion of sorts, and I love it!

  • 148
    Hannah Mize says:

    We always eat a special meal of sausage rolls and Mac and cheese for Christmas Eve.:)

  • 149

    I have a Christmas mail list that grew over the last few years to over 120. I started to write Christmas newsletters which started off as a photocopies of a typed letter (over 30 years ago) to a double sided colour A4 newsletters. Many of my relatives and friends overseas look forward to my Christmas News when they receive my cards each year. It’s nice to go and visit friends and see my newsletter pinned on their pin board or their fridge.

  • 150
    Pat Q says:

    At Thanksgiving, we each write down what we are thankful for, then put all of them in a cup. We take turns picking out of the cup, then trying to guess who wrote each one.

  • 151
    Diana K says:

    Ever since the first grandchild was born, I make photo ornaments for our Christmas tree each year. I do a “year in review”, using pics of all my little sweetie pies, and choose a different theme every Christmas.

  • 152
    Marcie Rhys says:

    During the good years (life has been a bit rough lately), we have our extended family with us for the afternoon and dinner on the 25th. For 30 years this meant our adopted family (they had a bazillion relatives far away, and we had no relatives but the four of us!). Now that we are older and have no blood relatives, my husband and I have our newly (last thirty years) adopted relatives (Jewish and Christian) over for the day. I just bask in the love and peace of our dear friends.

  • 153
    Lynne says:

    We don’t have any young children in the family right now and over the years we have realized we all have so much. So for the last few years we have taken the money we would have spent on each other and donated to a favorite charity.

  • 154
    Rita says:

    When I was a kid, my mom filled a gift-wrapped shoebox with craft supplies for each of us kids. Our boxes were placed around a small Christmas tree in the family room on December first. All month long we created handmade ornaments, home decorations, and small gifts using the supplies in the box. Only handmade ornaments were placed on this small kids’ Christmas tree. I still have the round table we worked on all our crafty projects. Hours of fun watching holiday movies and crafting. Every year, the boxes were filled with interesting items that we could use any way we wanted. I continued the tradition with my students when I was teaching in elementary classrooms. The kids in my class decorated their holiday boxes with their families traditions and I filled them with crafting goodies. The tradition is going strong; the nieces, nephews, and grandkids love their holiday boxes.

  • 155
    Linda K. says:

    As family and locations continue to change, about the only thing that seems to remain constant for the past 40 years is that we always have lasagna on Christmas Eve. It began when my Mom went to work outside the house. She could prepare it in advance and freeze it, ready to cook on Christmas Eve. Now I continue the tradition.

  • 156
    Aussie Emma says:

    We play a game called toss the reindeer. A game we invented one fun Christmas. It’s a game of lots of laughter and cheering. Great release!

  • 157
    Val P says:

    Every year I either make or purchase ornaments for each of my grandchildren and put their pictures in them and put them on my tree. I have 5 grandchildren and have been doing this since 2004 — needless to say my tree is filled with beautiful pictures. When they get married, I plan to give each of them their ornaments for their own Christmas trees. Val from IL.

  • 158

    We always watch a movie on Christmas Eve – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Elf. The boys continue to enjoy this family time together.

  • 159
    julie webber says:

    We serve cherry pie at Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin–go with the favorites.

  • 160
    Renee V. says:

    For Christmas Eve, my daughter gets to open her presents from the family and then we put out the milk and cookies. On Christmas Day, she opens her Santa presents, and the adults all pick their favorite dish to make and get going on baking/cooking. The rest of the day we veg out, eat and play with toys πŸ™‚

  • 161

    Our biggest celebration is Christmas Mass … my grandparents remembered their grandparents sharing it with them!

  • 162
    Tasha H says:

    Each year we play Spoons or Apples to Apples at least once between Christmas Eve and Day. We also take goofy versions of the main serious picture to frame an put up the next year.

  • 163
    Aimee Grey says:

    When my youngest daughter was 7, she asked if our family ( grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) could draw names for gifts. However, you could not buy a gift. It had to be a gift of time or something you made. We’ve continued this tradition ever since. My daughter is now 12. It has been wonderful to see what thoughtful and unique ideas everyone comes up with. We’ve had anything from a picture drawn by a 3 year old and a snowman made out of Legos, to a car wash and chocolate covered bacon.

  • 164
    Lee Anne says:

    We bought a Charlie Brown Christmas jigsaw puzzle many years ago and put it together on Christmas Day. We’d take turns working, while others were napping or playing with new toys. We’ve done that every year since then, and it is a fabulous holiday tradition!

  • 165
    Erin says:

    We have a very large family and find that Christmas activities can sometimes be very busy and the time goes by so quickly that we don’t have time to just be together and remember how lucky we are. We decided a couple of years ago that Christmas Eve was ours and we have a quiet dinner together and then go downtown for a walk around the Parliament buildings (we live in Ottawa, ON Canada). There’s usually hardly anyone else around and if there are they’re like us *Ü*. The buildings and grounds of Parliament are always covered in beautiful lights and it’s nice to be out in the cold quiet of winter, holding hands and remembering the important things.

  • 166
    Kelly Braund says:

    Every year I buy or make an ornament for each of my 3 kids that reflects something they liked, learned or were involved in that year. It might be a sport, activity, club or a favorite cartoon!

  • 167
    Andrea says:

    When we moved into this house, we startet buying our christmas tree at the local forestry. They make a camp fire and sell also other goods like their own honey.
    It is our tradition on Third Sunday of Advent.

  • 168
    Jeannie L says:

    My sister & I started preparing Christmas Eve’s dinner about 10 years ago. The dishes were all home-cooked and was completed with a bakery-bought yule log. It has been this way since for every Christmas.

  • 169
    Judy Stiles says:

    A new Christmas tradition that we started last year in our family is the Christmas pickle. A decoration in the shape of a pickle is hidden on the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, the first child who finds it is given an extra gift from Santa Claus. The grandkids had so much fun with this new tradition!

  • 170
    Jamie Greene says:

    We set up our tree every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving:) Other things change year to year but the tree always goes up that weekend!

  • 171
    Tanya says:

    We may not always be together for Christmas but wherever we are we always have blueberry pudding with rum sauce. It always makes me feel closer to home when I make it.

  • 172
    Lisa says:

    Santa always put new slippers outside of the bedroom doors for our kids, that had a few small packages in them-a small snack (like a granola bar) & a couple small activity/toys (a mini puzzle, yoyo, etc-often dollar store items) that kept the kids quiet in their rooms till the agreed upon (still very early) waking time & ensured they had cute stuff on their feet for Christmas morning pictures too. They are now in college, but still look forward to their new slippers-& much less fun treats inside them! Of course, keeping them in their rooms past 5am isn’t an issue any more either!

  • 173
    JoAnn H says:

    We have Ralph the house elf arrive usually Dec first and check on kids behaviour for Santa. Then all month he moves through the night to head back to the North Pole to report with all the other house elves and reports back to a new spot each night. The kids love waking early to find him each morning.

  • 174
    Denise C. says:

    My kids are now grown but this tradition is still strong….. we always have an “Appetizer Party” (now a cocktail party) and then decorate sugar cookies. Some years we we can’t all be together but the tradition continues.

  • 175
    CassieT says:

    We have a funny tradition of passing on a gag gift that originally wasn’t meant to be a gag gift. My grandmother bought a deer shirt for my father for a fundraiser without actually seeing the shirt. My dad is an avid hunter, so she thought he would like it. It turned out to be a ladies sweater with a pinecone dickey. When my father opened it, my grandma was hysterical with laughter at the sight of the shirt. We all went with it. My grandma passed a few years ago, but we have kept this ‘tradition’ going and now each year an unsuspecting recipient gets the shirt.

  • 176
    Anika F says:

    My entire family will attend an evening mass on Christmas Eve together. Then we go to my aunt’s house and have her famous homemade cocoa while waiting for midnight. Then we eat dinner and open presents and in the midst of all the chaos of wrapping paper and ribbon, Santa Claus magically leaves present for all the little kids.

  • 177
    Dee says:

    Growing up we never had a lot of money so my mom and I would bake treats to be given to our friends and neighbors. We’d look through recipe books for new recipes to try(no Pinterest back then)and then decide on 5 or 6 to bake. To this day, I love trying new recipes during the holiday season. I’ve found that people really do enjoy the home-baked items that to this day I give as gifts.

  • 178
    Cindy says:

    When our boys were little, we would open stockings first thing when they woke up. Then we would have a special breakfast before opening up presents. It was our way of stretching out the fun of Christmas morning.

  • 179
    Barbra says:

    Just making the time to spend with family and friends. There is only my hubby, son and I. Christmas ends up being very quiet with a few friends and family.

  • 180
    Cathy Santie says:

    Christmas Eve has always been the day that my entire family (5 siblings, their spouses and all their children as well as my family) celebrated Christmas at my Dad and Mom’s house. Unfortunately, my Mother passed away almost 11 years ago. Christmas Eve’s are a little different, but we all look forward to them, as we rotate between each other’s home. Now, we have added to the family with our children’s spouses and boyfriends/girlfriends. It’s getting to the point where we may just have to rent a hall for Christmas get togethers! πŸ™‚

  • 181
    Rebecca M. says:

    I force both of my college aged children to watch all of the old Christmas specials on DVD every Christmas Eve – Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy – all of them! We’ve even introduced a few of the newer specials like Olive the Other Reindeer. It’s something as a child I looked forward to all year long and my brothers and sister and I would anxiously await their broadcast on regular TV. Of course that was back in the day when there was one television for the entire family, we got three stations and a on some days UHF was broadcasting clearly enough to say we got four.

  • 182
    Celia Smoot says:

    Every Christmas Eve we watch Its A Wonderful Life. The movie is just a great reminder that family and love is the greatest gift.

  • 183
    loricabo says:

    We have purchased quite a few ornaments when vacationing and of course all the ornaments my children have made through the years. I try to make a night of decorating the tree – complete with hot cocoa & snacks. As we take turns selecting an ornament, we spend a few minutes cherishing the memories that particular ornament brings to mind.

  • 184
    Carol Wilson says:

    We decorate our tree on Christmas Eve, sharing the history and memories attached to each ornament– there are quite old & treasured glass ornaments from my mother; yarn and pipe cleaner “elves” my husband and I created together our first Christmas; salt dough ornaments made when our daughter was a child; and now the sparkling creations from our grandchildren’s hands. As a final touch, we throw–not place strand by strand but, yes, throw– the tinsel icicles on the tree!

  • 185
    Cindy O says:

    We go to midnight service on Christmas Eve. It was something I grew up with, and still very special to me. Love the beauty and celebrating the joy of Christ’s birth.

  • 186
    Greta H says:

    My folks always put a card with some money in it on the tree in addition to our presents. I honestly don’t know how or why that started, but it was always fun to find the cards which would be partially hidden in the branches. Love all the DT projects!

  • 187
    Colleen C says:

    Every Christmas my family sings The 12 Days of Christmas song. It is absolutely hilarious because no one in my family can carry a tune at all. The tradition started one year when my Mother read about this tradition in a magazine or saw something on TV. Once my Mother gets set on an idea – there is no dissuading her at all! My family is rather large so two to three of us sing each part. We all hope we don’t get one of the lower numbers (first day of Christmas, second day of Christmas, etc) because that means we will be singing the whole song many times over. Someone usually videos this part of our Christmas festivities and we have years of hilarious renditions of The 12 Days of Christmas. Priceless!

  • 188
    Nancy G says:

    Each year after Christmas dinner we would open gifts and then go to everyone’s house to see their trees. This started when I was in my teens and I am the youngest out of six and now my oldest sister is in her sixty’s. Ouch!

  • 189
    Jan says:

    We have pancakes and homemade applesauce on holiday paper plates for dinner Christmas Eve. It all started when my mom shared a newspaper article written by an old science teacher of mine saying how her family did this. We thought it was a great idea, too! It’s a fast, easy meal that can be expanded or made smaller, depending on your numbers with quick clean-up–important when you’re trying to make a church service! We come home to Christmas cookies, eggnog and gifts.

  • 190
    Alyssa S says:

    Every Christmas Eve we share a wonderful meal of Alaskan king crab legs. It started because my mom wanted to ensure that we would want to stay home for the holiday! ha

  • 191
    Sheryl B. says:

    We always eat soup on Christmas Eve and always eat by candlelight. I can remember growing up and having soup at my grandparents’ house and we still do it every year!

  • 192
    Sandy Vincent says:

    From the very first Christmas we were married, we have always purchased a new ornament for the tree with the year printed on it. Quite often the ornament will represent a big happening in our lives from the year (new baby, new dog, new house, etc.) It’s fun to pull them out each Christmas season and remember the past.

  • 193
    Vicki A says:

    We have a couple of family traditions. Our first tradition started with our first Christmas as parents. We bought a new ornament each year for our our son and daughter. It is fun to see and enjoy the ornaments every year. Our second tradition is for Christmas Eve I always make an Italian dinner, usually stuffed shells. Our third and final tradition, so far, was started by our daughter-in-law. After our in-law and out-law Thanksgiving dinner, before dessert, we have a Christmas ornament exchange.

  • 194
    Leora says:

    We eat grape jelly meatballs at Chanukah! Sounds terrible, but really delicious. My mom started the tradition. Her grandchildren, whom she never got to meet, all love her recipe and the tradition!

  • 195

    We have more than one, depending on who is celebrating with us. My favorite is when my Brother & family from Texas visit. We have our own Candlelight Service. There are 18 of us plus 2 little ones. My Brother reads from the Bible and we sing a couple of songs. All with lit candles. Magical!
    I LOVE Christmas! Thanks for letting me share.

  • 196
    Margaret C says:

    We do Secret Santa stockings for the adults. We have a small amount of money set, and the family take turns to organize it. It started the year everyone came to our house for the first time, and it’s snowballed from there. I think it’s the last that some of us look forward to the most, and it’s certainly generated a lot of laughs over the years!
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • 197
    Kristii says:

    One of our favorite traditions that we have started since our children have all grown is to have a soup supper with all of the inlaws so we don’t have to make our kids choose whose house to go to on Christmas Eve. It has worked out very well and we have been blessed beyond measure each and every year!

  • 198
    Tina B. says:

    We have a family a Christmas Cookie Decorating gathering that’s been going on for 2 generations. The participants decorate sugar cookies. After the decorating, judges choose cookies according to silly categories. Awards are given, pictures taken with the cookies, winner and award. The grand prize is a tacky decorated spatula.

  • 199
    ruth says:

    We make every dish we have for Thanksgiving completely from scratch!

  • 200
    Julie says:

    Our family has been so blessed-we don’t exchange gifts anymore-instead, we give community service or complete a humanitarian aid project together on Christmas Eve.

  • 201
    Sarah M. says:

    We celebrate Opposite Day with an “un-birthday” party for my husband, since that is his birthday.

  • 202
    Karen Ramsey says:

    We have huge homemade stockings that we fill to the brim with all kinds of goodies we have collected throughout the year. We gather on Christmas morning and after we have breakfast, we “unwrap” our socks. My Mom and I love this even more than opening gifts.

  • 203
    Terry says:

    Each Christmas Eve afternoon the family assembles luminarias to place around the back patio to be lit once early evening arrives so we can enjoy the flickering lights during our dinner.

  • 204
    Gerry Smith says:

    We attend Christmas Eve service then have dinner. We try to have an odd number of fish dishes. The seven fish are an Italian custom. Then we open family gifts, saving all Santa’s gifts for the morning…after he delivers them!

  • 205
    F Bond says:

    As we have travelled and collected many ornaments (retired military), we have a tree from tiny to large in every room- each with its own theme. The best tree is the one with the handmade ornaments from children and grandchildren. I have them all and love them.

  • 206
    janelle says:

    Growing up, each year, my sister and I got to pick out a new ornament for the Christmas tree. So, our tree was a random assortment of ornaments. Each one reflecting our interests that particular year, and each one holding memories of that year’s christmas. My sister and I both have homes of our own now, and our parents say that they will give us our ornaments… but they haven’t parted with them yet.

  • 207
    Davinia Lo says:

    My favourite tradition has to be going to Christmas Eve mass and singing wonderful Christmas songs together as a family!

  • 208
    Angela NJ says:

    Each year in December, I unbox the holiday picture books that have been stored since the previous year. We’ve gone from reading to my daughter to watching her read the books to her dolls and animals and now younger cousins. Even though she’s 10, she still looks for that box of books every year, and I still love adding new titles.

  • 209
    bevyb says:

    Christmas morning always make apple pancakes with real maple syrupy…yummy

  • 210
    Lyn T says:

    We have a tradition of Making a birthday cake for Christmas Eve and singing happy birthday to Jesus. It stated when I was a child. My sister and I were the only children in the family for 9 years. When the next baby’s came along, it was a fun way we could explain the meaning of Christmas to them and involve my sister and I (Children get to blow out the candles for Jesus). It stuck and we’ve continued to do it(whether there were children or not). 30 years later, we are getting babies again, who will love to blow out the candles!! I love Christmas!

  • 211
    Anna says:

    We get together at my in-laws in France. Christmas Eve is the time to eat and drink. We normally have 4-5 course meal. But last year, we were so full that we skip the main course and went directly to dessert.

  • 212
    Pamela A says:

    It’s just the two of us and we moved away from family 25 years ago so no real “traditions” that we follow, but I love to have the house look it’s magical best and watch all my favorite old Christmas movies-year after year. I never get tired of seeing them over and over.

  • 213
    Diane says:

    We read a Christmas novel every year followed by reading Luke 2 from the Bible every evening and end with favorite Christmas Carols. By the end of December (and especially now) all of us can quote Luke 2 from memory.

  • 214

    I have a stocking for each member of the family with their name embroidered on it. We didn’t have stockings growing up so this is a tradition I started with my own family. After all the presents under the tree have been unwrapped, the stockings are emptied out last. My son told me that of all the things about Christmas, he looks forward to his stocking the most! That made me laugh.

  • 215
    Janis in ID says:

    We have a couple pairs of ridiculous cheap foam reindeer antlers that fit on the head like a visor cap, given to my kids years ago by my Mom. We keep them in with the Christmas ornaments and whenever we decorate the tree, we have to wear the silly things! lol…. Fun, though! πŸ˜€
    <3 J

  • 216
    MMillar says:

    Each year we participate in a community effort to see that every child has a gift to open on Christmas morning. There are so many opportunities all around every year to be a part of “angel trees” and we find it a marvelous tradition! We are given the details about the child such as first name, age and gender and a
    wish list from the child from which we can purchase appropriate gifts. Then we wrap the gift or gifts and deliver them to the angel tree sponsors who then get the gifts to the children.

  • 217
    Diana F says:

    We always go to Christmas Mass to a church downtown. It is not our parish, but we started going there as a matter of convenience at first (the time of the mass was right) but then when that was no longer an issue we still to this day continue to go there on Christmas Eve.

  • 218
    Lori Cullen says:

    It is not unique but we always bake and decorate sugar cookies for Santa and put them on a mat that my older son decorated.

  • 219
    jeannine says:

    my mom has bought each of us a Christmas ornament since we were born. she then started the tradition w/ the grandkids & great-grandson. she gives them to us every Thanksgiving after dinner. thanks.

  • 220
    SisterSue says:

    Every year I purchase or make an ornament for each member of my family and add it to the bow of their present. I truly enjoy the search for the perfect ornament each year to match their personality or achievements. I already have great ideas using this PTI release, I can’t wait to make them!

  • 221
    Natasha Kara says:

    We don’t have any traditions but its never to late to start one right πŸ˜‰

  • 222
    Denise E says:

    We have tons of holiday traditions, but the one constant for my whole life is that Christmas morning, after we pass out all the presents to each person (the youngest child in the room does it), then my dad reads the Christmas story from the big family Bible (Luke 2) and we pray. Then we begin opening gifts, one at a time, youngest to oldest, and keep going around the room so everyone can see what everyone gets. It wouldn’t be Christmas morning without that routine!

  • 223
    Wendy Hoff says:

    I started when the kids were little letting them each open a present a day a couple days before Christmas. They love it and appreciate one gift at a time more than a dozen at a time.

  • 224
    Craftyfield says:

    Every year we are celebrating Christmas with family far away from home and try to minimise our luggage! So when we became parents we decided to hold our own adult Christmas festivities on New Year’s eve just the 2 of us (and the presents of course!).

  • 225
    Carol b says:

    Though my children are adults now, I still have them come down the stairs on Christmas morn so I can take a picture as if they were seeing the presents under the tree for the first time. This started when they were young and I have the photos through the years.. Corny, I know but I treasure it.
    Carol b

  • 226
    Ruth G says:

    My mother in law is genius when it comes to creating traditions, whereas I sometimes feel that I was raised by wolves and just don’t have a clue how to create a tradition. Anyway, when we go to grandma and grandpa’s for Thanksgiving, we arrive somewhat early and grandma has put together gingerbread houses (from Wilton kits) and has all sorts of icing and goodies to decorate the houses with and the grandkids get to decorate their own house however they please. It is always a fun thing to photograph and I think the kids really look forward to doing it!

  • 227
    Karen Haman says:

    I guess it isn’t so unique seeing lots of folks do this, but my mom always bought ornaments every year for us so when we left home we had a good start on our own tree. I do the same for my girls (and actually so do a few people – so their tree might be quite full when they leave the nest!).

  • 228
    Mercedes B. says:

    Our holiday season starts at Thanksgiving with everyone gathering to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I can’t remember how it started, but now it helps us remember that as crazy as the season may be, at least we don’t have to deal with Cousin Eddie.

  • 229
    RedGem says:

    Our yearly tradition is for me and my boyfriend celebrate Boxing Day (Dec 26) as our Christmas. We go to my folks on Christmas Eve and his folks on Christmas Day. We enjoy this because we don’t have to rush through our gift opening in order to get other obligations (we bring side dishes)!

  • 230
    Sarah T. says:

    Christmas would not be the same without a homemade Christmas pudding, made from my Great Great Grans’ recipe.
    On Stir up Sunday we prepare the pudding and everyone in the family has to stir the mix and make a wish. Some of the ingredients are a bit weird (raw potato and carrot grated in) and getting vegetarian suet in the USA is an impossibility, but the end result is heavenly and it gives me a moment to remember my Mum (who taught me how to make it)too.

  • 231
    Natalie S says:

    My mom orders a birthday cake from our fav local bakery. It says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS”. We all sing Happy Birthday to Him, then enjoy a piece of the best cake ever! We have done this for several years and the tradition was started by my mom.

  • 232
    Nancy L. says:

    Making Mexican food! Ever since I can remember!

  • 233
    Erika H says:

    We have a North Pole breakfast on December 1st every year to welcome in the season- and our elf, Sprinkles, comes back from the North Pole! Sprinkles always brings a holiday craft for the kids to do after breakfast. We all look forward to it all year long.

  • 234
    Sandye Curry says:

    My husband and I with our 21 year old go to the movies on Christmas Day. We have Christmas brunch, open presents, and then go to a family dinner at 5. Since we had free time between, we started the tradition of going to see a movie.

  • 235
    erin says:

    When my brother in law joined our family we added Hanukkah to the family tradition and my kids LOVE that they get more presents and really enjoyed the history and the candle part of the traditions, and the games. This year will be our third holiday season of celebrating all traditions.

  • 236
    Lisa F. says:

    One of my favorites was when the kids and I would spend the night by the CHristmas tree…the anticiaption of opening presents was so much fun!

  • 237
    Necola says:

    Each year there is a birthday cake during Christmas dinner. It started because my birthday is a little before Christmas and can get overlooked due to all the holiday activities.

  • 238
    janet wilson says:

    We don’t have any really “unique” traditions, I suppose what makes them unique to us is how we do them πŸ™‚ My family is a little disseminated now – at various points around the globe, but we always put stockings up. Even now when my daughter is a young woman we still still have lots of fun shopping for little surprises to put in them πŸ™‚

  • 239
    Cara T says:

    Each year, my mom and I plan on decorating the whole house for Christmas on the weekend after Thanksgiving. We put on Christmas music and dance around laughing, having a wonderful time. My dad always says he isn’t helping and that we’re crazy dancing around. But after a little while, you see him sneaking in to help out a bit and laugh with us!

  • 240
    Melissa Bove says:

    Every Christmas Eve, we all go out looking at all of the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. It’s so fun getting all bundled up, with hot chocolate in our hands, walking around town looking at all of the sparkling lights and fun ways that people decorate. Now my own kids look forward to it every year. So many great memories!

  • 241
    Anne-Marie Tribbett says:

    Each year on Christmas Eve my family goes to my mothers and has Cherry Soup and some version of Raclette or fondue. My mom is Swiss and thought it would be a fun tradition to make this a Christmas Eve tradition. The cherry soup is hot and is wonderful. Our kids at first thought “yuk!” but now count on it every year. We missed it last year as my father was very ill and they are already talking about it for next year.

  • 242
    Kathy M. says:

    We have a Christmas morning breakfast of Beignets! Love this treat once a year! I can hardly make them fast enough πŸ™‚

  • 243
    Sue says:

    Every year my son and my husband help me to bake sugar cookies. We all sit down after baking and decorate them. My husband is so creative that he creates the most amazing decorations. My son has learned from him as well and is now creating beautiful cookies as well. It doesn’t matter how much older my son gets, we just enjoy being together and decorating cookies together as a family.

  • 244
    Deb Hudson says:

    Family gift exchange and the discovery of Santa’s visit happens Christmas morning. The excitement being too much we were allowed to open one wrapped present Christmas Eve. We still do so.

  • 245
    Edie B says:

    Our family loves Christmas lights. For many years we have spent one evening driving all over town looking at all of the beautifully decorated houses. We rent a van so the seven of us (4 families) can spend the evening together – usually driving all over the Seattle area for 7 to 8 hours looking at Christmas decorations.

  • 246
    Sara L. says:

    Great release guys! My family does the Christmas present game where you can steal or pick one from the pile. It’s a lot of fun and can be very interesting especially since we have to find gifts at garage sales!

  • 247
    LisaE says:

    My father and I go each year to select my Christmas tree. It started because he wanted me to get the best buy in a tree. Even though I’m married and have been keeping a home for more years than I lived in my parents home, it is still something just Daddy and I do together.

  • 248
    Pam Sparks says:

    Our oldest daughter was born on Christmas Day. We have always had two birthday parties then, one for her and one for Jesus. We celebrate with a meal together and then opening gifts.

  • 249
    Cathie says:

    We celebrate St. Nick by hanging our stockings on the night of Dec. 5th. The next morning they are filled with goodies and a special cookie! We’ve celebrated this since I was little and it was something that my grandparents always did but they left their shoes out.

  • 250
    Pam A says:

    We celebrate on Christmas Eve. Not sure how it got started but possibly a Swedish tradition. Have a big fancy lunch on Christmas Day.

  • 251

    The kids usually do some sort of handmade Christmas craft that they can wrap and give to our family and friends.

  • 252
    Kelly says:

    My husband and I have been fortunate to have travelled. We try to purchase a tree ornament from each of the places we go. Such great memories as we decorate the tree.

  • 253
    Laraine R says:

    When my 1st son was born, I started making a Christmas ornament for him every year and continued for my 2nd son. They have a large group of ornaments! Great release! Great inspiration by all!

  • 254
    Pat Ackley says:

    Our family, sisters, brothers, spouses, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends, take turns hosting a Christmas Eve party every year. We serve some of the same foods each year and play the same games, and just have a wonderful time catching up with each other. This was started by my mother and father when I was a child, so it has been going on for more than 60 years!

  • 255
    Chris K says:

    I come from a family of 8 children. Our parents are gone now, but every Christmas we still make a point of getting together – brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and their spouses and children. It makes for a happy, wonderful day enjoyed by all!

  • 256

    When my girls got a little older we started having a fondue for Christmas dinner instead of the traditional turkey with all the fixings. Since I was able to prepare most of the food the day before I had a lot more time to spend with my family instead of in the kitchen prepping and cleaning up. Dinner was a much more leisurely and fun affair.

  • 257
    Debi W says:

    In order to have just some quiet holiday time, I make a large pan of lasagna on Christmas Eve morning. Then that evening I gather my loved ones for dinner and then we watch “It is a Wonderful Life”. At first it was hard to slow down and decline other family gatherings, but many years later, it has become my favorite family tradition. It is my favorite holiday movie, and it just sets the tone for being grateful for family and loved ones.

  • 258
    Teresa Blue says:

    Every year since my first niece was born in 1982 I have made ornaments for my family. Every immediate member of my family gets a handmade ornament with their name and the year inscribed on the back. They are stitched, stuffed, paper and wood. I love seeing my families tree’s decorated with the ornaments I have made! It’s the first thing they ask for when the season begins. For those members of our family who have left us too early….their ornament of their last year continues to be put on the tree and we remember them with love.

  • 259
    Mateja says:

    We have a nice warm cup of cocoa after Christmas dinner and snuggle on the couch πŸ™‚ It’s all about love.

  • 260

    Ever since my brother and I were little we have always left a glass of sherry and a mince pie out for Santa. It’s a tradition we have carried on even though our kids have grown!

  • 261
    Jayell says:

    My kids have advent calendars where Santa’s elves leave a little treat every day. And even though my eldest is 19 this tradition still continues!

  • 262
    Karen says:

    We have a family band concert. About six or seven years ago, my BIL gave my SIL an accordion for their anniversary. That year my musical in-laws brought drums, guitars, the accordion, and other instruments and performed a Christmas concert after dinner. Since then, two of my nieces have bonded with two incredibly talented musicians who bring their instruments as well. It’s become one of our favorite times on Christmas Day!

  • 263
    Kristie H says:

    I get each family member a Christmas ornament every year. We also cross our fingers that an elf will come and visit us every year. The boys love trying to figure out where he is every morning and then really miss him when he disappears at Christmas.

  • 264
    Jacquie says:

    All of our Christmas books & DVDs are packed away each year with the holiday decor and are pulled out Thanksgiving weekend. I started this when the kids were very young mostly so the books would survive toddler handling, but also to make these seasonal and special. They live in a couple of baskets under the tree during the holiday season. The original picture books might not get read much now, but they make great decor!

  • 265
    Jeanie P says:

    It’s just my daughter and me – we spend Christmas Eve day cooking and baking. Then we spend Christmas Eve watching old Christmas movies and eating/snacking until the wee hours. It’s so much fun. We put on our PJs and surround ourselves with the all yummy foods that we made. It’s sort of our own little Christmas fest!

  • 266 says:

    We like to build a gingerbread village each year we pick a different style or theme. It may not turn out perfect but we have so much fun laughing and spending the time just together with nothing else to worry about but spending the time as a family.

  • 267
    Jessica Canham says:

    We go to the Christmas Eve Vespers service at our church and then come home to have a late dinner with lots of finger foods spread out. Christmas day we open our stocking first and then presents from Santa, Grandma, and each other. My 90 year old grandma is still with us and we treasure each Christmas we have her because Christmas won’t be the same without her.

  • 268
    diane oliver says:

    When my grandchildren began to come along I wanted them to have something special. So I passed on a tradition of the Pickle ornament a friend bought me and shared the story behind it. It was hung on the tree and Christmas morning the first child to find the pickle gets to open the first gift! hugs.

  • 269

    One of our traditions is to make bouillabaisse on Christmas Eve. We all giggle and laugh and chop and stir around the kitchen stove and enjoy a family meal together. I love the holidays because it’s a sacred time for family.

  • 270
    Holly Waller says:

    After cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner the whole family helps put the huge Christmas Village together to start off the Xmas season.

  • 271
    Connie Fisher says:

    I started buying or making a new Christmas ornament each year when we got married (actually Mom and I started when I was young making them). Since my mom is gone now, the ones we made together are so special. We now have two very mischevious cats who like to bat at the ornaments, so now I just make or buy a new decoration that they can’t destroy.

  • 272
    Leanne S says:

    Each year we make sweet delicacies formerly made by my grandmother.

  • 273
    Parker says:

    We fill Mason jars with the dry ingredients for a super dessert. Decorate the jar, attach the recipe. Then we go to all our neighbors in a 1 1/2 block span. All of them love this gift, and in particular, the neighbors that don’t have family. It warms the heart and fills the tummy.

  • 274
    Christine P. says:

    When my son joined the U.S. Army four years ago, I purchased a small tree for our foyer that we decorate with all patriotic themed ornaments. Each year since then, I purchase a couple more to add. He has missed a few Christmas days with us while he was deployed, so this is a proud reminder to all who come into our home of his dedication! I will continue to display this tree forever!

  • 275
    Karen says:

    We decorate our tree, with ornaments from our travels. we have so much fun remembering different adventures we’ve shared over the years, and the places we have been fortunate to visit.

  • 276
    Shannon Baker says:

    We have a handful of traditions here in our home. One of our more fun traditions is on Christmas Eve we load up the car, head to Starbucks. Now, since we live down here in Florida the weather determines whether we get hot coffee or iced coffee…lol. Anyway, we grab our coffee and head off to a neighborhood that is quite famous in these parts. There is a street and cul de sac that decorate every single year from top to bottom with Christmas decorations, lights and holiday cheer. It is absolutely magical. We find a parking spot, which is no small feat, grab our coffee, and begin our Christmas Eve walk. And although you can walk through this magical event on any given evening in December, on Christmas Eve Santa is sure to be present! It is magic. It is Christmas. A fabulous memory year after year!

  • 277
    Susan P says:

    One of our holiday traditions is to have a family Christmas Eve Party where we have lots of junk food and play Monopoly. It’s always lots of fun. And the last two years, since we haven’t had the whole family here on Christmas Eve, we’ve started baking and decorating a gingerbread house that evening with our daughter and son-in-law.

  • 278
    Linda R. says:

    As kids we got a “twirley” ornament that would spin fast or slow based on the amount of heat emitted from the old large Christmas lights. We had a competition to see who’s ornament twirled the fastest. Once you placed the ornament on the tree there was no moving it to get better speed. The invention of the small light strands brought the annual competition to an end. Not enough heat but less trees catching on fire πŸ™‚

  • 279
    Jenny says:

    I started a new tradition of making Christmas tags and hanging them on the tree with the other ornaments. On Christmas Eve the children pick their favorites and put them in their hope chest. Sometimes I have to make another tag or two because they all want the same one!

  • 280
    Carmen says:

    Every Year each member of my family gets a hand made ornament for their tree. My Mom started this years ago but I have taken over. Some years things have been super crazy and it ended up being store bought but this also chronicles the year and the events that occurred. As I go back through their ornaments we remember what went on that year…

  • 281
    Cindy C says:

    our Christmas tradions are watching A Christmas Story marathon on Christmas Eve, early morning wakeup with super happy kids and Blue Christmas (Elvis on the stereo!) Looove Christmas!!

  • 282
    lauraz says:

    We have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner on Christmas Day. No is Italian and it has no connection to any past traditions but it started as an welcoming meal for kids and crowds.

  • 283
    Kathryn A says:

    I gave one handmade ornament each Christmas to my son. Now that he has grown, he has a tree full of ornaments, so I am now making ornaments for my granddaughters. They are given as stocking stuffers on Christmas morning.

  • 284
    Anja curvers says:

    On christmasday I always make a festive dinner and deck the table with decorations and both granny’s come over to have dinner with us. I hope we can continue this tradition for many years to come with kids, grandkids and more.

  • 285
    Emma S. says:

    Every Christmas Eve, I would always make this special dish from a local restaurant called Chicken Christina with puff pastry and we would open one gift that night. My mom lived with us and we lived far away from the rest of the family so it was just the 3 of us. Mom passed away this year so the holidays will be hard.

  • 286

    Every year the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve night and it is always Christmas pjs. My father started this when I was a child and I have carried on this tradition with my children! Everyone always looks good for pics Christmas morning! πŸ™‚

  • 287
    Linda Wendeborn says:

    During the holidays we get donuts and hot chocolate and drive around listening to Christmas music and looking at all the beautiful lights.

  • 288
    JoAnnB says:

    On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we draw names and go to
    lunch the children are included and they really love it. We ichat
    with out of town family and it kicks off the holiday season.

  • 289
    Paula Collins says:

    I live in Maine. We have lobster rolls for dinner. We started this 2 years ago after the family fight. The family doesn’t speak to each other anymore.

  • 290
    Deborah H. says:

    We get together with my husband’s family and read the Christmas story from the Bible.

  • 291
    Rose Antonopoulos says:

    Maybe not unique but each child gets an ornament for the tree
    They’re pretty themed and cartooney right now.. But it will be a great keepsake for them and a great stash to start decorating their own trees when they’re grown

  • 292
    Maria F says:

    We like to attend Christmas Eve mass after a nice family dinner.

  • 293
    Liliana P says:

    Every year since I can remember, I think I might of been 8 or 9, it has been my “job” to put out the Nativity scene. It has always been something I look forward to and it always goes up before our tree does. Now that I have three small children they help. I take out the box and carefully pull out each little figure and pass it to my oldest and wait for each of my three children to look at it. I then start telling them the story of when Jesus was born. They ask questions and make comments, each one being patient while sister is looking at all of the details and getting all their questions answered. Once the Nativity scene is up no one, not even dad, can touch it. When it is time to put it away we do the same thing, I bring each piece, one piece at a time, to the table for the girls to take turns looking at it before each piece goes back into the box not to be seen again until next December.

  • 294
    Stella says:

    Every year my husband’s parents give him a hallmark ornament. They’ve done this since he was a toddler. Our tree is decorated with these memories.

  • 295
    Krista W says:

    The first Christmas we were married my husband bought two silver cones to hang on the tree, one for each of us. He is a stickler about not opening any present early, but these new cones were to appease my love of presents. He said that anything that ‘appeared’ in the cone could be opened that day. Yippee!! It is fun to see the little gifts peeking out of the cones and it adds to the magic of the season.

  • 296
    Cyndy G says:

    Christmas Eve we all pack in the car to drive around looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations. It started because I had to work Christmas day when the boys were little. I’d say I wasn’t feeling well and lay on the couch. They’d come home all excited, wake me from the couch, and see Santa had come!

  • 297

    My family always takes a walk on the beach on Christmas Day. It started when we moved to San Diego in 1999. We do it because we can!

  • 298
    Carol says:

    When my girls were little, we wanted to celebrate Christmas Eve in a special way. Because time is limited due to church, choir, and bell choir responsibilities, we have a “picnic” in front of the fireplace, with just appetizers and snacks. The “menu” has become pretty standard each year because each girl has her favorites, but the girls are in their twenties now, and we still come home to celebrate this way. During the picnic, they were also allowed to “choose” one gift to open, but it was always the “Family Gift” which was a game.

  • 299
    Leticia Landers says:

    We get together the night before and watch CHRISTMAS movies with a cup of hot cocoa, and on CHRISTMAS morning we have a big breakfast together.

  • 300
    Mindy says:

    We put on our favorite Christmas music and play it loud while decorating the Christmas tree. Gets us in the holiday mood.

  • 301
    Nita K. says:

    We have family movie night. We choose our favorite movies and make our favorite snacks and get together with my mom and sister. It all started with my mom and me and Home Alone. We loved to watch that movie year after year, so it became a tradition. Now, we get to share it with my kids.

  • 302
    Debbie P says:

    Old tradition: Each person has a stocking that hangs from the mantle. On Christmas eve all the family members sneak to the living room and fill up the stockings with small items. On Christmas morning (while still in our pajamas) we go around the family circle and pull out items one at a time and see what the Christmas elves left for us. My new tradition: Since both our girls have homes of their own now I have started making a special tree ornament for them each year.

  • 303
    Marisa says:

    Our family has to guess what their gift is before opening it at Christmas. Hints are given if you get stuck and booby trapping is fully acceptable LOL! It is a great way for people to slow down and think about what you have received and for the giver to be acknowledged in a deeper way πŸ™‚ Great fun!

  • 304
    Kathleen Swafford says:

    We always have beef tenderloin for dinner on Christmas Eve – just something a little different from the turkey we’ll be having for the next week!

  • 305
    Sonia says:

    My family celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. When I was a little girl, I had trouble concentrating on eating my dinner because I knew that once we finished eating, we would open presents. I began to ask for fondue on Christmas Eve, thinking that it would be a less formal, smaller meal & opening presents ASAP!
    Since then, fondue is our family’s Christmas dinner πŸ™‚

  • 306
    Ruth Allmart says:

    We have a few but one of my favs has to be the addition of Christmas crackers on the table (not the edible kind, the paper ones that snap when you pull them and have a prize, joke and party hat inside!). I try to find ones that will coordinate with my table decor that year and the kids LOVE to pull these before dinner. I try to get a few boxes so we can do this a few nights over the holidays πŸ™‚

  • 307
    Cindy Thompson says:

    Ever since my first child was born I purchase each member of my family a set of legos for Christmas. We all sit down and build are sets as a group and if someone gets stuck on one someone else can help out. This started because it was something everyone age could do together as a group. We have carried on the tradition even as one gets married and others become adults. It is a wonderful group activity where we laugh and share ideas and togetherness.

  • 308
    Sarita says:

    Every Christmas Eve after dinner we all go outside and take turns hitting a piΓ±ata. The children go first then any adult if they want to. My husband and I started this tradition 17 years ago when we first go married.

  • 309
    christi says:

    well ours is a little comical. years ago when the kids were younger i got a goofy Christmas album. so we started to play that as we hung up ornaments and decorated the house. we played that for years and years and after hanging ornaments we would have peppermint stick hot tea, it became our tradition. when the boys moved away i made sure they had their own goofy Christmas album. to carry on the tradition.

  • 310
    Carol B says:

    The first year my husband and I were married, we were very poor, but wanted to give everyone something for Christmas. I lucked into a wonderful chocolate fudge recipe that we have perfected over the years. We made small gifts of fudge for everyone then and 35 years later are still doing every year. We didn’t do it one year and got lots of grief for not doing it, so that’s our yearly tradition that we enjoy immensely!

  • 311
    Emily h says:

    Well i married two years ago so my husband and I are still defining our traditions. One tradition that is now mine because of my husand is going to his 94 year old grandmas for christmas eve dinner. Her house is very tiny and she has a lot of family. It is so packed. People can hardly move but grandma just loves it. πŸ™‚

  • 312
    conny says:

    Our tradition: we go to church at 6 in the evenings. After church weΒ΄ll got to the cemetery to my parents grave to light a candle. At home weΒ΄ll eat Vienna sausages with potato salad. ItΒ΄s the same procedure as every year. And then finally there will be the gift giving.

  • 313
    Anne Hartschlag says:

    The first Christmas after we were married my mother-in-law gave me dishtowels. Every year she did that and I finally asked why. She wished me “May you always have dishes to dry, if you have dishes to dry that means you have food to eat.” I have continued that tradition with my children and grandchildren. I have never known anyone else who has done that.

  • 314
    Lyn says:

    Santa arrives at our house on Christmas Eve to distribute presents – in person! He has been doing so since I was a little girl and has continued every year even though we are all adults. His santa suit has become a little thread-worn over the years, and his height and weight, as well as the color of hair peeking out from under his cap, but it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without him arriving, and everyone taking a turn for pictures on his lap. One of the most precious photos I have is the one of all the grandkids with “Santa” – my dad’s last Christmas.

  • 315
    Annette P. says:

    We always buy a Christmas ornament when on vacation, and that newest ornament gets the prime location on the Christmas tree.

  • 316
    Sarrah Penington says:

    We sing happy birthday to Jesus because after all it is HIS birthday!

  • 317

    When I was growing up, we always had oyster stew before midnight Christmas Eve service. As we had our own family, the kids did not like oysters, so we now have clam chowder before church.

  • 318
    Maureen P says:

    when setting up our nativity scene Dad would always leave baby Jesus hidden behind the manger and only bring him out Christmas morning. I do the same with mine now πŸ™‚

  • 319
    Nicki Scheck says:

    We always celebrate Christmas with one side of the family the Saturday before Christmas so that everyone can see their other families on Chrsitmas Eve or Christmas Day! It works out really nicely!

  • 320
    Julie Call says:

    I grew up with real Cinnabons every Christmas morning for breakfast (especially since it’s also my sister’s birthday and her favorite), but our more fun tradition has been a new one over the past three years.

    We exchange names for gag gifts with all of my siblings, in-laws, and parents and have a $5 limit for funniest surprise present. We send all the kids downstairs to play, and have a blast with the hilarious and rare adult humor with the fun personal gifts. My favorite was a new colander for my mom that would work better than the (horrible) old one she owned – my sister bought her a solid bowl!

  • 321
    Wendy Gould says:

    My grandmother always put a nut in the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. The person who got the nut on their plate got a special prize. Us kids were so excited every year to smear around our mashed potatoes to see if we were the lucky winner. I have no idea how this started, but I think it was something that my grandmother did when she was young. She’s been gone for several years now, but I intend to resume this tradition for my little ones when they get just a bit older and I don’t have to worry about them choking!

  • 322
    Noreen says:

    We pack thermal mugs of hot chocolate and warm fleece blankets and go for a “sleigh ride” (in our car) to see Christmas lights and displays around town.

  • 323
    pamela says:

    We don’t really have family traditions for the holidays, but we would always hang up our Christmas cards along the fireplace or our window in the living room as decorations. It was also the best decor as it we all love looking through them. But this has changed a bit since less and less people do snail mail πŸ™ Hopefully this release will have our family do more snail mail this year!

  • 324
    Kelly says:

    Every year my Mom would give my brother and I a new Christmas ornament and when we moved out she gave them to us to decorate our trees. Now when we decorate our trees I give my children an ornament to add to their collection.

  • 325
    Pat8 says:

    We have a small Nativity set that we put up each year. Even though the children are grown and gone (4 of them), I save this decoration for the first time they are all here and they put it out, carefully unwrapping each piece. Whoever finds the baby Jesus is the “winner” and gets an extra Christmas cookie! This tradition still brings laughs and friendly sibling teasing. It’s almost time to pass this tradition on to the grandchildren!

  • 326

    Every year, we all get new Christmas pajamas… My parents started the tradition with us as children, and we carried it on to our children πŸ™‚ We also take holiday pics for our cards every year while picking out our Christmas tree.

  • 327
    Kelle Williams says:

    I seriously cannot believe that it’s time to start thinking about the Holidays already! I’m totally over the hot summer weather and ready for fall. This weekend has been unseasonably cool and rainy and I’ve gotten to spend a ton of time in my studio…I’m loving it and looking forward to more weekends like this. Anyway…prior to meeting my husband, I wasn’t at all familiar with lefse. His Norwegian family is from a small town in Northeastern Montana in an area that’s known for lefse. After learning that I was a lefse novice, his family set out to teach me. Our first Christmas together (while we were dating) his mom made a double batch of lefse dough and we spent an afternoon rolling. My husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law showed me all the rolling essentials and my father-in-law manned the grill. Seven years later, we still roll lefse every Christmas day, between opening presents and Christmas dinner. This past year, we brought in some more newbies and taught my mom and step-dad how to roll. They’ve always enjoyed the fruits of the lefse labor and this year they got to help with the production!

  • 328

    I don’t know if this is so unusual but it’s one of our traditions. At Thanksgiving we always try to invite folks who do not have family in the area to join us for dinner. It started when we moved away from home and didn’t have family in the area. Now we always have family : ) Thanks for the chance to play!

  • 329
    Leslie B. says:

    Each year I pick out new pjs for each family member, wrap them up and then on Christmas Eve that is the gift each of us open before heading to bed. Then everyone has comfy new pjs to get a good nights sleep and it makes for great pictures on Christmas morning;)

  • 330
    Nora says:

    The year before my mother died, she decided that she was going to buy us an ornament for each of us so when we moved out, we would have enough to cover our Christmas tree. Not realizing she was sick, this never came to be. However, me and my sister decided that we would carry on the tradition and give each of our siblings an ornament every year. Twenty years later, we are still carrying on this tradition. I always have fun being on the look out for the “perfect” ornament to fit my two sisters and my brother. In fact, it has been so much fun that we are now carrying on with the nieces and nephews!!

  • 331
    BeverlyBL says:

    Nothing unique but my mom used to buy a tree ornament for everyone and we got to open that as an early present. Now I try to find interesting ornaments for my grandkids.

  • 332
    LaFaunB says:

    In our family, everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve… Surprisingly everyone finds new PJs. πŸ™‚

  • 333

    On Christmas Eve, I have brand new pajamas for each boy to wear. Once they have those on, we all hop into the car with our hot chocolates in hand, and we drive around town to see all the lights and decorations. Our area has some serious lawn decorators, so the boys really enjoy stopping from house to house to see what each house comes up with. This tradition came about because I used to do similar activities as a kid, and since I enjoyed it so much, I’m hoping I can offer that same joy to my sons. Thanks again for the opportunity to win!!

  • 334
    Shawn Wenrich says:

    We go out to dinner for Mexican food after Christmas Eve service. I’m not sure how it started as this has been my husbands family tradition for many years.

  • 335
    Cheryl says:

    Each year we hang paper snowflakes from the ceilings around our house. It all started when my son was three and we watched the movie Elf!! He love it so much that we wanted to create some of that magic for him. We have decorated with snowflakes around the house ever since πŸ™‚

  • 336
    Sue A says:

    When my kids were smaller we all went walking around the Streets on Christmas Eve together to look at the Christmas lights, then we would go to my Mum and Dad’s and drink lots of Poppy’s Punch and eat lots of Chrissy goodies. We would then wait till Midnight and wish my Mum Happy Birthday! Her name is Noelene Dawn as she was born on Christmas morning! We’ve always had Mum’s birthday pressies first and then everyone else’s for Christmas after our hot traditional baked dinner. Hopefully I will have some Papertry Ink Goodies for me under the tree this year!!

  • 337
    Elizabeth S. says:

    When I was a kid we were alloed to open one gift of our choosing on Christmas Eve and I carried it over with my own children. Now that they are grown and have families of their own they use this tradition to give their kids Christmas pajamas.

  • 338
    Jean R-T says:

    We get together at my brother’s on Christmas Day. My mother, who is 92, gives money now, rather than buying gifts. However, she does give each person a bag filled with a variety of fun or funny items, which can include toothpaste, snacks, or items from the dollar store. It has become a touching tradition.

  • 339
    Rosemary D says:

    ever since I was a child my family has always had our big holiday dinner on Christmas eve. after dinner dad would take myself and my siblings out to see all the decorated houses. when we got home all the presents were under the tree and we got to open them. we still carry on the tradition of having dinner on Christmas eve and opening up gifts.

  • 340
    Donna Garvin says:

    Our family gets together Christmas Eve and open family gifts. So that my daughters can go to inlaws Christmas Day. This way the kids don’t have to worry about which family they are going to be with and don’t have to rush and visit everyone on Christmas Day. Then my husband and I get up at 5 Christmas morning and go to my youngest daughters house to watch her kids open Santa as they are usually early risers and are up by6. Then we rush to my oldest daughters to see my other grandkids get up and see what Santa brought. This usually works out great as her kids don’t usually wake up until 8. So far I have been able to be present to see all of the excitement and joy of all four of my grandkids each year.

  • 341
    Teresa B says:

    We always have friends and family over Christmas Eve for appetizers and drinks. I wrap a gift (a lottery ticket)in several boxes, each completely taped with packaging tape, we roll dice if you get snake eyes it’s your turn to try, sounds easy enough…not with big bulky gloves on!! We have soo many laughs playing this game and everyone looks forward to it.

  • 342
    Helen F. says:

    My Christmas tradition started when I met my husband, 22 years ago. I would buy an ‘old fashioned’ ornament (Wooden sled, Santa, Snowman, Train, Sleigh, Reindeer, Angel, etc)and attach it to one of his presents ~ it was added to the tree. Sadly this will be my third Christmas without my dear husband, but I have continued the tradition of buying an ornament for him then hang it on the tree.

  • 343

    I don’t know how unique this is but every year I make homemade cinnamon buns for the kids to eat on Christmas morning. They are monster sized and they are only served up here on Christmas morning.

  • 344

    We play a special Christmas music CD each year as we decorate our tree. It is something that I did as a child and I’ve continued the tradition with my family. Another special tradition from my childhood is that the kids get brand new holiday pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear to bed.

  • 345
    Robin Mayfield says:

    We celebrated St. Nicholas Day early in December by letting the kids open their stocking gifts. One of the really fun things we did with the stockings was to hide them and each child could not help another. We have 4 kids. The hiding of the stockings got more challenging as they got older.

  • 346
    Annett says:

    My mom’s familiy comes from the netherlands originally. for the dutch St. Nicholas day (6. Dec.) is the day in the holiday season when Family and Friends exchange presents and not on christmas. christmas is celebrated for the pure reason with the family coming together, going to church and having a great diner together – no presents. We have taken over this tradition as we believe it’s good for the children not to see Christmas as the “presents feast”.

  • 347
    dina says:

    We always ask for forgiven each other and have dinner together.
    After that, family photo shoot is a must.

  • 348

    I have always like Advent Calendars so when the kids were really little, I found one where you take little felt ornaments out of tiny pocket and hang them on a felt tree. The kids always remind me get it out. My son was born in an even year and my daughter an odd year so they know which days are theirs to hang the ornaments.

  • 349
    Robin in Washington says:

    Each year we play party games, i.e., toss a ball into the laundry basket, bingo, picture search, puzzle races, etc. We have a small crowd, ages 10 – 88. Lots of fun.

  • 350
    Darlene Plotinski says:

    Our family tradition really started out as a fun little joke for the kids when they were little. They always got to open their stockings that were hung at the end of their bed first thing “before: waking the parents up (not that we weren’t already awake and waiting LOL). Just to mess with them a bit a handful of large walnuts and other nuts, still in the shell, plus the addition of a large fresh orange was always added to the toe of each stocking. It helped out the parent cost of the gifts by taking up a bit of room in the stocking with something that wasn’t a wrapped gift. It was also healthy and they hated it. Every year the impression was given that Santa may have run out of the stocking stuffer gifts and those walnuts and orange probably came from Rudolph. Santa and the herd would never disappoint the children on Christmas!

    My children are now doing the same thing to their children and enjoying the AWWWW not again! statement early Christmas morning.

    We love to hear the stories on Christmas day (shared on Skype) from both our adult kids and our grandchildren. It’s the best “gift” we could ever have by hearing them tell us their version of the stocking stories for that morning.

  • 351
    Meghan says:

    We make a new homemade ornament to put on our tree every year. We have very few store bought ornaments on our tree. Decorating the tree with these precious ornaments is always a walk down memory lane!

  • 352
    Linda says:

    Every year each child would receive a special ornament that would represent some activity, interest or accomplishment that had happened that year. I know this isn’t unique but they felt special when they hung their new ornament on the tree, and again when they were older as their collection of ornaments were gathered for them to take to their home.

  • 353
    Judy says:

    Every Christmas I would bake 6″ gingerbread boy and girl cookies and decorate them with the name of each family member. My family looks forward to receiving their own ‘special’ cookie, especially the little family members.

  • 354
    Jennifer Sessions says:

    When my first daughter was born, my mom started buying her an ornament every year. That lasted only a couple of year, she sort of forgot, so I picked up the tradition and let my kids pick out an ornament every year. I tag each one with a date so they can see what their interests were as they grew.

  • 355
    Audrey says:

    After everyone opens their gifts on Christmas morning, we have a huge brunch. It started many years ago when the entire family was able to get together and now we do it with our own family.

  • 356
    Kim P says:

    The kids like to gather in one of their bedrooms until we give the ‘ok’ for them to come into the living room where they can see the tree (lit and with gifts under it) and their stockings. Recently we’ve put a Dvd of a fireplace on the computer and we lay their stockings on the computer desk. (closest we can come to hanging them on a mantel!)

  • 357
    Lori McConlogue-O'Shaughnessy says:

    We have a somewhat unusual holiday tradition- as my kids grew up and relationships changed, we started a tradition to refresh for the upcoming year- we call it a Burning Bowl. Everyone writes down 3 things from the past year they want to put behind them- we don’t share or discus them at all. We then take the scrapes of paper and burn them so they are gone for good. Then we take 3 scraps of paper and write down 3 things we want to accomplish- it can be something like” put more money into savings” to “genuinely smile at 3 people every morning for a week” or “write 3 of my blessings down every night before bed” We then fold them up and plant them in the ground so they grow (if it has been too cold we compromise and plant them in a flowerpot!) one year when my kids were cynical high school students I almost forgot until they all started asking ” when are we doing the bowl- I could really use it this year!”

  • 358
    Linda S. says:

    I know some families just have a free for all opening gifts on Christmas, but we start with the youngest and go to the oldest and open one gift at a time. I want to be able to see everyone open their gifts and their expressions. And after all that work and preparation it makes the holiday anticipation last a little longer instead of being over in a flash….

  • 359
    Rose Grage says:

    My husbands large family all live in different states, getting together almost never happens. Our tradition started over 30 years ago. To help ease the loneliness that always comes especially at Christmas, we have a conference call at exactly 7:15 a.m. central time, Christmas Day. This year we are all finally using skype, so now we will be able to see, laugh and cry together. Not to worry, the tears are mostly for joy. Darn, now I’m going to have to fix my hair.

  • 360
    Wendy says:

    We have a traditional Swedish dinner on Christmas Eve and each new generation gets exposed to unusual foods from a time gone by.

  • 361
    Amy Kolling says:

    I think our holiday tradition started when I was growing up. Every year we would get a new Hallmark ornament that was picked out by my mom. Now that I have kids, we start our ornament shopping in July when the new Hallmark ornaments become available. It’s become a tradition to go pick out our ornaments!!! Then the real beauty is to see them all on our tree every year!!!

  • 362
    conil says:

    Not very unique but, I cook for days, then the adults open gifts late on Christmas Eve after all Santa’s gifts have been assembled, the children open them in less than 1/2 an hour on Christmas Day…then a big Christmas brunch that took 3 days to prepare gets eaten in 15 minutes to eat. Love it, just as much as yours and your DT’s creations.

  • 363
    Marsha S. says:

    We have a Christmas dinner every year with family at one family member’s house. This tradition has been going on for a number of years. It’s always lots of fun!!

  • 364
    Harriet Skelly says:

    My family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas with our best friends on Christmas eve. We became good friends when our girls were 2 years old and they are now 23 years old. I make potato latkes as part of the dinner to celebrate Hanukkah and we have Christmas cookies for dessert. Then we swap gifts. Even though our daughters are grown and live away, they still come back for this special celebration.

  • 365
    Pat Whitley says:

    Our family is grown, with households of their own, but we still love to give gag gifts and “blame” Santa. We also put out stockings each Chritmas and everyone fills with fun stuffers!

  • 366
    Cele Schaffer says:

    Since childhood Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve. So our tradition was to all get in the car with dad (all moms have to stay to help Santa!)and ride all around the town looking at the beautiful Christmas lights. When we returned Santa had found us and we would open all our gifts. On Christmas morning we opened our stockings which were of course hand stitched by Grama.I have such great memories of those family times…

  • 367
    Cheri Weston says:

    I grew up in a very small town in upstate NY. Each Christmas Eve our church had an 11:00pm service and everyone in our famiy attended. There were 4 of us children and as we began leaving home and making our own way in the world, often settling in places far from our little home town, we each found churches where we lived that had 11 pm Christmas Eve service. This tradition is now part of our children and grandchildren’s Christmas Eve traditions.

  • 368
    Lauren A. says:

    I don’t think we really have a “unique” family tradition…we all go to midnight mass at 8pm though. LOL. It started when my son was born. He is our only child and the only grandchild (so far) so he kind of rules our world…in a good way. πŸ™‚


  • 369
    Marsha says:

    When I was out of my childhood years, my mother and I decided to start a new tradition just between mother and daughter. Through the years, we always looked forward to attending the midnight mass celebration at our church on Christmas Eve. Our new tradition was to return home from the service, sit in the living room, light up the Christmas tree (which always stayed lit from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day). We would then each pick one special gift to give to each other on Christmas Eve (which in reality was Christmas Day). Writing this message brings back all of those special memories of time spent with my mom.

  • 370

    A few days before the holiday, we make a large batch of Bulka/Babka, a recipe handed down from my husband’s Polish grandmother. We all enjoy this on Christmas morning (and also make this in the spring, around Easter time!). Soon it will be my turn to take over this tradition as my MIL has been doing it for many, many years!

  • 371
    Diana cook says:

    Every year a week before Christmas we. Get together to make tamales to eat when we would get home from midnight mass which is when santa would come ( while at church) we would then open presents. And stay up most of the night to a lazy christmas day

  • 372
    Gina Kozuch says:

    Each year on christmas eve my mom would always give me and my 2 sisters new pj’s to wear for santa, she still does it today and she is 80 years old, I now do it for my son and daughter-in-law and my three grandchildren, it is a holiday tradition that will always be in our fsmily

  • 373

    We go to the swimming hall the day before Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve is when we celebrate x-mas here)It’s really nice because we almost always have the hall to ourselves and on our way home we stop at our favorite pub for GlΓΆgg (gluwine). It’s a wonderful start to the holidays and I Think it began one year when we wanted to go the gym but it was closed.
    Thanks for wonderful inspiration and for the chance to win.

  • 374
    Becky P. says:

    I do an advent calendar for my kids each year. It started because I wanted to do something crafty during the holidays, and now I try to create (craft) a new one every year. My kids love it, and this year, I am going to include an activity for each day.

  • 375
    Kathy Grimsdale says:

    As kids, we always got a new pair of PJs from my Grandparents for Christmas. Now my Mom does the same for my niece and nephew.

  • 376
    Marge Penley says:

    We always have homemade German Braid bread and hot chocolate after we open our gifts. This started when my husband was in Viet Nam and has continued since 1968.

  • 377
    Janet W says:

    We always went to Midnight Mass on Christmas eve. This was quite the treat to get to stay up that late when we were young. Even now, remembering the drive down silent streets, brings back many beautiful memories.

  • 378
    Donna Cala says:

    We are lucky to live near an area in Brooklyn, NY called Dyker Heights where the homeowners pay design firms to decorate their homes for Christmas. The homes are all close together and the decorations are over-the-top. We visit every year after the 25th and eat dinner at a locally well known restaurant called Spumoni Gardens. Festive and fun!

  • 379
    Sarah Seals says:

    I’m sure it will sound strange but my family doesn’t have any Christmas traditions. We just make sure to we all get together for dinner. When I was a kid we always decorated the tree together while listening to Christmas music & making cookies! It was so much fun!

  • 380
    Connie Pruitt says:

    We like to get in the car and drive around town looking at Christmas lights.

  • 381
    Priscilla from CA says:

    After a lot of Christmas cheer on Christmas night, we’d go out carolling in the neighborhood. I don’t know which was louder: our singing or our laughter!

  • 382 says:

    We go to Midnight Mass and after we tour the town and look at all the Christmas lights…it’s all about family and this special day!!

  • 383
    Jane Ulness says:

    My Dad always read the christmas story out of the bible after we had dinner and before we opened packages. My guess is that my mother wanted us to calm down and remember the true meaning of Christmas!

  • 384
    Jeni says:

    We don’t really have any traditions yet. Now that we have a son, I definitely hope to start some.

  • 385
    Nancy says:

    We always have a special meal on Christmas Eve, and open our presents. No matter how old we are, we always read “The Night Before Christmas.”

  • 386
    Laura says:

    One of our traditions is that we get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. This gets the kids excited about the next day, but then it also keeps them entertained with that one gift, instead of just dropping it and moving on to the next.

  • 387
    teresa says:

    A few years after I married my husband, I started took over the Christmas cards making chore. They were store bought before. Now friends and families are expecting my hand made cards each year.

  • 388
    Felicia says:

    Our tradition started about 5-6yrs ago loving how homes were lit with Christmas lights. So with our little ones in tow we would pick a night to drive around near and far to various neighborhood Ooooing and Ahhhing at the Beautiful Light creations that everyone has done to their homes. Now some of the older kids make it a point to find another new house to add to our route that we haven’t seen before…it’s the best bonding 2-3hrs we spend together and end it with Ice Cream at our local DQ.

  • 389
    Debi Lowery says:

    Waking up early, putting cinnamon rolls in the oven. When everyone was up, we enjoyed the warm rolls and then on to the presents, we everyone around. Looking forward to starting new traditions with our new grandson.

  • 390
    Jan Stephens says:

    I color code the grandkid’s gifts. Bailey gets purple, Jack gets blue, Bently has red and Braiden has green. That way, the don’t have to ask if a present is theirs. They know. I started this tradition as soon as Bailey was born. It made sense to me.

  • 391
    Deepa M. says:

    Our family is only able to get together once a year, which occurs around the holidays because that’s the only time everyone’s vacation time coincides. Every year for as long as I can remember, we will all pile into the car on Christmas Eve night and drive around several different neighborhoods and look at all the christmas lights on peoples homes (quite a few homes go all out in their lights!). Then we come home and make hot cocoa and watch a movie on TV before going to sleep. It’s a fun tradition that has continued over 30 years – I’m already looking forward to this year’s holidays after this release!

  • 392
    Lynda Marquez says:

    We have a blended family, so we have a big Christmas Day breakfast so as many aunts, uncles, and grown kids (with their kids) can come and eat and open gifts. We have been doing this for 20 years!

  • 393
    April W says:

    We have a special tradition of giving our girls new jammies on Christmas Eve. They’re always wrapped and always the one present they each get to open that night. Even though they both know what it is they still get excited! We’ve been doing it for around 10 years now. πŸ™‚
    – April W

  • 394 says:

    We play gift card games with the group instead of buying for the whole group.

  • 395
    Deb Lorence says:

    My son and I go to Colorado every year for Christmas, we started this tradition shortly after his Dad passed away. It’s brought us closer and thankful for everyday.

  • 396
    Roxann S. says:

    My most “unique” tradition includes pictures of my two daughters that I hung as ornaments on our Christmas tree. There is one for each Christmas for each daughter from birth to their senior year in high school. Now the pictures are of the grandchildren my girls have blessed me with. Each year, each of my girls still help me decorate the tree by putting their pictures on their side of the tree. I had told them when they married, they’d get their ornaments. When the time came, I just couldn’t part with them. The girls have understood.

  • 397
    jen says:

    years ago when me and my siblings were younger there were so many of us that my family decided to draw names for the person who you would give a gift to that year for Christmas. Now, most of us are married and have children of our own. We all decided that we are blessed to just have each other in our lives so instead of giving gifts to one another each family chooses a charity and gives an equivalent donation or more that we would have given as our gift.

  • 398
    jamie in MA says:

    Each December, my family visits Charles Street in Boston, at least once. The residents and shopkeepers of this portion of the city go all out, decorating with pinecones, holly, evergreens and lights. On weekends, carolers are often found on street corners and the mood is even more festive with a sprinkling of snow.

  • 399 says:

    My daughter and I decorate gingerbread houses. We started this tradition when my daughter was little and have enjoyed continuing it to this day. We are so blessed to be able to include new family members and friends each year.

  • 400
    Holly says:

    The week before Christmas, I have all my nieces and nephews over and we make small crafty gifts (stamping included for sure) and wrap them for family members. On Christmas Eve, everyone comes to our home for Christmas dinner and the kids hand out the gifts. They look forward to it every year. We don’t do any other gift exchange. The tradition began because all the kids loved playing in my craft room and most times I didn’t need to buy many supplies because I am a craft hoarder!

  • 401
    Mary GW says:

    I am new to papertrey ink and am in awe of the artists here. Our Christmas tradition was to give three gifts and no more than three. We told the story of the baby Jesus and the visits by the wise men with three gifts and it became out tradition to not receive more gifts than the baby Jesus! As the children grew they would always give us “joke” wish lists at Christmas. Gift 1. A new car Gift 2. Wide screen TV Gift 3. Motorcycle. Needless to say they have quite a collection of Matchbox cars! LOL

  • 402
    Cassie Brumbaugh says:

    Each year we have Party Crackers on the table; after dinner we all pull apart our crackers. In each cracker is a joke , little knick knacks and a gold paper crown. We all put on our gold paper crown and go around the table telling the little “corny” jokes that were in each cracker. Then we do a group picture with the gold paper crowns on. It’s so much “corny” fun!

  • 403
    Kathy J in Ellicott City says:

    One unique tradition that our family shares is we decorate the tree as a family. I sit and pass out the ornaments and my boys find a spot on the tree to hang it. It is lots of fun to remember how some of the ornatments came about.

  • 404
    VikkiCH says:

    New pajamas for everyone! Now that we have grandchildren I try to get coordinating colors/designs to make the pictures even cuter!

  • 405
    DANIELLE Taebel says:

    my family is more non-traditional. on Christmas morning we get up to open presents, and then we go to my mom’s house where she has already made vegetable soup and chili for lunch. Everyone loves it, and then no one had to spend all day in the kitchen making a fancy dinner – we just reheat soup and get to spend the whole day together.

  • 406
    Deb says:

    Our tradition started many years ago, we as a family go out carolling and looking at lights on Christmas Eve. When we arrive home there is one gift for each of us to open. Inside is traditionally pjs!(one year it was a beautiful family ring in a very big pj box.). The reason for the new pjs was I had older brothers and this way my Mother could assure they had pj for Christmas morning! This tradition is carried on through out my 10 siblings family’s and now starting with some of their children too! Oh how I LOVE traditions…

  • 407
    Sharon says:

    Our entire family gathering (brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews) is on Christmas day. But on Christmas Eve, my son and I have our Christmas time and gift exchange.

  • 408
    kristen m says:

    My husband orders a special family ornament each year…it is personalized with our names and the year so over the years the name(s) have grown as our family has grown. We put these on a special display in our foyer area so we can enjoy it each time we come into or out of the house.

  • 409

    Starting December 1st of each year My family of eight makes over 100 Christmas cards. After all the cards are made We gather for an Awards Ceremony…kind of like the Oscars. Various awards are given out for the “Most” made,Beautiful, Funniest etc. The competition has grown as the children’s skills have increased.
    We started the Annual Christmas card Awards so we could admire all the cards made..then we have a CARD Signing party so each person can sign their own name in the color pen they choose. This has been a family tradition for the past 10 years.

  • 410

    My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating our Christmas tree on December 19…my grandmother’s birthday. When I was a teenager, she was running behind one year and didn’t get her tree up; we were getting together on her birthday to celebrate anyway, so we decorated her tree as a family. It stuck and we did it that way every year after. I usually have my tree up before that now that I’m older with my own family, but I always save a few decorations to put on my tree on December 19th in honor of “memere.”

  • 411
    scrapper al says:

    As a child, we always opened presents on Christmas eve. I was always confused by the Santa stories other kids told, lol.

  • 412
    Suzanne Franz says:

    Every year I have to make little two inch gingerbread boys and girls. They have the traditional white squiggles and smiling faces but I add a little red sugar heart because according to my four year old daughter (now 22) “It’s a little heart for their little souls.” I HAVE to make them and she is still putting on the little hearts.

  • 413
    Lauren Brekelmans says:

    I don’t know how unique this tradition is but every year for the past 15 years or so I always buy my girls new p.j.’s which they open Christmas Eve and wear for Christmas morning. They are now 24 and 17 and still look forward to that one gift every Christmas Eve.

  • 414
    LorraineN says:

    Every Christmas morning we get together with my side of the family and have early brunch with gift opening. It’s fun to see all of the kiddos opening their gifts together!

  • 415
    erin mckinney says:

    Every year my girls and I make ornaments. We’ve made felt animals, inked glass balls, snowflakes, the mice with candy canes, etc. It’s a fun way to make memories!

  • 416
    Roberta says:

    My firstborn was born on Christmas Day, so we spend Christmas Eve celebrating her birthday with a nice dinner and opening gifts with her family. The next day, we reflect on the birth of Christ and what it means to us, with church service on either the 24th or 25th.

  • 417
    Laura B. says:

    When my daughters were little, it was a tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve, new PJs and then read the Polar Express. Then Christmas morning they would open up their Christmas stockings whenever they woke up. Miss the days when they were little.

  • 418
    Charmaine says:

    Growing up we opened one gift on Christmas Eve and woke up early the next day to open gifts and make breakfast as a family. I still do this. Also get out all our Christmas movies at the beginning of December and watch them throughout the month.

  • 419
    Cynthia B :) says:

    We got a stocking when our son was around 3yo. It has a reindeer holding a chalkboard plaque and every year our son writes his name on it. I take a picture of him holding it so that we can see how he and his handwriting has changed over the years.

  • 420
    Andrea r. says:

    On Christmas Eve we have a progressive dinner with all of our family. We have been doing this since I was about 8 years old!

  • 421
    SheriE says:

    We always had fondue on Christmas Eve. Always meat, and then cheeses and different fun veggies and fruits like jicama and star fruit. It’s a tradition I have continued to share with friends.

  • 422
    Sandy Kay says:

    My grandson started a tradition that we have a big chocolate layer cake for dessert on Christmas day. He saw a picture of it in a magazine and requested it, so he gets a chocolate cake at least once a year! We have other things as well, but he sure looks forward to that cake!

  • 423

    We like to boo our neighbors it started one year when a friend boo use so now we pass on the Halloween fun it even more fun when we know their a new baby in the house cause we can include a fun treat or outfit.

  • 424
    JeanFB says:

    I come from a large extended family for whom turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and all the “fixins” was the Christmas Day tradition. However, when we moved away and had our own small children, we quickly realized that we (I) were missing all the fun of Christmas morning because I was preparing a big meal in the kitchen. So we started our own tradition of making pans of lasagna and a big salad the day before Christmas. It started off as just my husband doing it, but it has become a tradition for the kids to join in, to the point where they practically make it themselves now! On Christmas day we just pop it in the oven and enjoy ourselves while it cooks. Now lasagna is the new tradition that my kids will carry forward.

  • 425
    BarbGhig says:

    This has been such an amazing release, Nichole! You and your DT have really out-done yourselves with your gorgeous creations!

    We like to spend Christmas day at home in our family, which is a tradition started when the children were young. It seems unfair to pull them away from their gifts, but we do get together with family on Christmas Eve. We have an early dinner, exchange gifts, and to Christmas Caroling. Afterward, we attend midnight Mass, which is really the highlight of the holiday for us.

  • 426
    Mary Fuller says:

    When I was a child we didn’t have much money, but Christmas was always special, thanks to my mother. She always managed to make it a special time for us. Also, we went to one grandma’s house on Christmas eve and recd. a gift and on to the other grandma’s house on Christmas day. It was definitely a special time for us.

  • 427
    Maureen D. says:

    When my children were younger, I would wrap 25 books and use the unwrapping as an advent calendar. I would add new books and take away some books every year! Unwrapping a book every day in December was SO much fun!!

  • 428
    Colleen says:

    Every year we buy a dog ornament for our daughter, since she was born, she is 29 now and we still do it, but now that she is expecting our first grandchild next year we have decided to start giving her just a special ornament every year and start the grandchild on a new ornament theme, we don’t know what yet, but we will think of something very special. Thanks for another great release, now I have to go shop.

  • 429
    LR says:

    We start the Christmas season with the Christmas parade and tree lighting downtown and a group of friends come over afterward and we have a pizza party. It started as a last minute invite and everyone enjoyed it so much, we have continued it ever since. We also go to San Francisco the day after Thanksgiving for the tree lighting in Union Square. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is spent with our family.

  • 430
    Donna says:

    My husband and I along with our 5 kids, sign our crafted Christmas card each year. We put some Christmas music on and sit around the table and pass the 100 cards to each other. Sometimes the kids add doodles or decorations to their signatures too. We have been doing this tradition for over 20 years!

  • 431
    Mo Jo says:

    My mother always put our Christmas stockings in our beds so that we could open them first thing Christmas morning without having to wake my parents up. There were 6 of us kids and I think her tradition started out of self preservation. πŸ™‚ However, I have always done the same with my two children.

    Great release BTW!

  • 432
    Luanne Ford says:

    I find that as my kids have grown, some of my traditions have changed, especially as my kids make their own new ones. But, we always have family time together, with a meal and gifts. But our first and foremost tradition is remembering the birth of a Savior for the world!

  • 433
    kara says:

    I’m not really sure how it started, but my mom has crocheted stockings for EVERY member of our family with their names on them. Everyone hangs them every year and I never really thought of it as a tradition as such, but my grandmother just passed away a few weeks ago and we were going through her things, cleaning the house for my papap, when we found theirs. My aunt insisted that my mom take them both home and hang them with ours from now on. It made me sad to know hers will be there with ours and Papap would have to see it hung, but at the same time, she can celebrate with us still.

  • 434
    Michelle Laulu says:

    We always get together on Christmas eve and open one small gift. We say it’s so the kids who can’t wait for Christmas get to open something early, but really, the adults sometimes can’t wait either!

  • 435
    diana says:

    I have given my niece & nephew handcrafted wooden ornaments every year since their first Christmas. They will have their own ornament collections with associated memories to take with them when they leave home. πŸ˜‰

  • 436
    Carol S says:

    I have a small Christmas tree and during advent each family member writes a wish for Christmas on some card baubles that I make. Other family members look to see if they can fulfill any of the wishes in time for Christmas Day. I started this after the children got too old to write letters to Santa.

  • 437
    Lemalie says:

    When Christmas comes, we head over to my in-law’s house with all the gifts. Before opening any presents, my father-in-law reads to us the Christmas story from the scriptures. It brings us all back to the real meaning of Christmas.

  • 438
    Judy says:

    We take a walk around our town to see all the lights and decorations.

  • 439
    Brenda says:

    In our home, we make tamales…A lot of work but so worth it bonding with everyone. Been doing this for generations…. hmmmm, now I’m hungry.

  • 440
    Laura Boyd says:

    We start the morning with cinnamon rolls. It’s the only day of the year we make them. We open our stockings first, then once everyone is awake we start on the gifts.

  • 441
    Karen says:

    Breakfast on Christmas morning includes Vinebrod, iced Swedish yeast rolls, so time is spent late on Christmas Eve kneading the dough and rolling out the rolls so they will rise overnight. It’s something my mother always did and is a reminder of my Swedish heritage.

  • 442
    Nancy says:

    We have many Christmas traditions, but none of them is unique to us. My favorite is cranking up the Christmas tunes and making cookies. Those yummy treats are enjoyed all through the holiday, especially Christmas Eve as we put out cookies for Santa and Christmas morning as we open presents.

  • 443
    Kathy A says:

    Over the years our traditions have changed as the family grew and spread out but having Santa come on the day after Christmas is still the favorite, we give him a break after his busy night

  • 444
    Kristy says:

    One tradition my husband and I have is giving a special treat each year, whether it
    be a extremely yummy specialty popcorn, gourmet chocolate or a nice mix of nutty snacks, everyone in the family gets a goody!!

  • 445
    Phyllis B. says:

    Our families have gone through many transitions in the past years. The one tradition that has remained unchanged is the dozens of Scottish Shortbread Cookies that I make for Christmas giving every year! It is the only time of year I make them and I have created many addicts over the years!

  • 446
    Miriam Prantner says:

    I don’t think it’s really unique, but we celebrate advent with the girls each year. They have their own wooden advent calendars (one with doors another has drawers). Inside there’s a candy and a sticker to add to a sticker advent calendar and then we read the story of little bear from the Advent Storybook.

  • 447
    AYN says:


  • 448
    Sally Gainer says:

    Nothing unque for us, but we have been married 50 years and still have shrimp and steak for Chtrstmas dinner:)

  • 449
    Marilyn in Michigan says:

    On Christmas Eve, my daughters exchange their gifts to each other. On Christmas Day, they get a Hallmark ornament.

  • 450
    Katherine says:

    We all open 1 Christmas present on Christmas Eve and then make cookies for Santa.

  • 451
    Susan H says:

    We started buying a special Christmas ornament for my children when we had our first child. When they left the “nest” they had a nice start for their first Christmas tree in their own place.

  • 452
    sandra m says:

    We have many traditions, but the best one is the big family gathering with special dinner. Everyone brings something to share – the food and company is amazing.

  • 453
    Bonnie Ellsworth says:

    Christmas stockings are hung by the chimney but found Christmas morning at the foot of your bed. I think my parents did that to keep us somewhat quiet and occupied Christmas morning!

  • 454
    Yvette E says:

    Since the kiddos were little they enjoyed Christmas breakfast at my sister’s house and look forward to the big family breakfast

  • 455
    Kris E says:

    We started watching The Polar Express Christmas Eve as a family for the past 4 years so it’s a new tradition. We also have to have hot chocolate with marshmallows during the movie!

  • 456
    lainey says:

    After Christmas dinner we all go out to take a walk to try and walk off some of the food we just ate! This started when I was young at my grandmother’s house and we’ve continued to do it every year.

  • 457
    Bernadette M says:

    I don’t know how it got started, but my husband makes buns for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner every year. He starts at 6 am to have the buns ready for dinner. It is something his father did before him. I still remember when my husband first decided to get up early to help and learn from his dad. I’m glad he and his dad got to do this together several times before his dad passes away a few years ago.

  • 458
    Kathy H says:

    My parents began our tradition of waking us up early Christmas morning while it was still dark to open presents by tree light. No other lights were on except the tree lights…oh how wonderful and magical it was! When my husband and I got married we continued my family’s tradition and now my daughter and her husband have embraced it with their two little girls as well.

  • 459
    Donna O. says:

    Since my husband & I have only been married not quite 9 years we have started some new traditions for us beyond what we’ve done for our combined 3 adult age kids. We watch some old favorite movies each year – some that go back to our childhood. We also have a wine & cheese night with our favorite wine and cheese – a just us celebration.

  • 460
    Elizabeth J. says:

    We always have cheese fondue on Christmas Eve. The tradition started with my Mom. One Christmas Eve she was frantically trying to finish sewing three Christmas dresses when she realized that she had forgotten to plan dinner. She whipped up fondue and we all loved it and thought it was super special. We’ve been carrying on the tradition for 38 years now.

  • 461
    Elle says:

    Our family tradition each Christmas Eve is after all the festivities, food, opening presents, etc., my grandmother sits down & everyone gathers around as she reads “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. The adults love it just as much as the children. The tradition started before I was born so I’m not sure how or when it started. We also sing the Twelve Days of Christmas but that’s before the reading….that takes awhile because each person or partners is assigned a day, sometimes multiple days & if you go on someone’s as you get caught up singing the song we have to start all over! It is a hoot!!!!

  • 462
    Jingle says:

    Every year we have a special family breakfast together. It began when I was a kid to give us some time to sit and enjoy one another before diving into gifts and the business that often comes with Christmas day. My Mom would make a delicious, thick french toast with bacon and we got to have orange juice mixed with soda which we thought was pretty cool to have at breakfast time! LOL! Now, my husband and I carry on this tradition in our own home, giving us that same bit of quiet time together before heading out to my parents house the Christmas festivities. It is a time I cherish very much!

  • 463
    Tracy S. says:

    When it is time to open our presents we always open gifts one person at a time stating from the youngest to the oldest. My father liked to see everyones presents and their reactions to their gifts, and there is no confusion. It takes a bit longer but we really enjoy doing it that way.

  • 464
    Stacy Simpson says:

    Years ago, my mother in law started a tradition of not putting tags on gifts. She wraps each person’s gifts in a certain type of wrapping paper. Each year we play some sort of game to find out what presents are ours. We might have to decipher a code or go on a scavenger hunt to figure out our presents gift wrap – it is SO FUN! We look forward to the game more than the gifts!

  • 465
    Holly Saveur says:

    We make a special dish grandmother already made it..then my mother and now me…….

  • 466
    Keysha Sain says:

    Well my sister and I started a tradition just a couple of years ago…. We get together on Christmas Eve with our kids (my one and her four), and we watch Christmas themed movies – starting with It’s a Wonderful Life, which is her favorite! We also watch all of the cartoons that the kids like. We pop popcorn, make cookies and donuts, drink hot chocolate and color, we play games with the kids… we make a whole night of it! We call it our “all nighter” – much different than the all nighters we had when we were in our early twenties but much more fun!! I love Christmas Eve!

  • 467
    Sharon Jaeger says:

    Our tradition is to go to midnight mass and then come back and open presents while eating lots of homemade appetizers and treats. So precious now with multiple generations!

  • 468

    Every Christmas Eve the entire family of 32 go to my parents house! It has just become a command performance, whether we have Christmas dinner together the next day or not–we all get together Christmas Eve. It is the one time of the whole years we are ALL together. It just started when we were a family of 7 and we just kept growing.

  • 469
    Jamia says:

    We don’t have any unique traditions, but were sure to all meet at one house and enjoy ALL the love and laughter!!!

  • 470 says:

    When we get together with our family (40+ people) we play BINGO after dinner with small gifts for prizes. Years ago my grandmother brought a glass alligator as a gag gift (not the prettiest alligator either)! Each year the alligator returns for another round. One year my aunt and uncle’s house was leveled by a tornado, taking everything. In the rubble was the alligator, unbroken. My grandmother is gone now, but the alligator lives on each Christmas, with wonderful memories of her as well!

  • 471
    Margaret says:

    I made a felt advent calendar years ago. It is a Christmas tree with pockets on the bottom for 24 ornaments. Every day starting on December 1st my sons would take turns putting the ornaments on. This continued all the way through college. Now that they are out on their own (one married) the decorating is left to my husband and me. I am working on making calendars for each of them. This time the tree is quilted. I am cirrently looking for ornaments to use.

  • 472
    Gwen says:

    A tradition that my husband and I began the first year we were married…and still continue to do each year is both placing a special ornament (a personalized engraved ornament that says “Our First Christmas”)on our Christmas tree each year. It’s the very first ornament that gets put on the tree. We just thought it would be something special to do each year as a tradition.

  • 473
    PJ says:

    For Halloween we always have a spooky food meal like Mummy Dogs, Witches Hair, etc… The kids love it as much as I do!

  • 474
    Clare says:

    This is not totally unique – it’s something a lot of Italian families do, and it’s the Seven Fishes tradition. Come Christmas Eve dinner, one is surrounded by all sorts of fancy seafood!

  • 475
    Anna says:

    In our family, all the adults do a Kris Kringle gift exchange and we’ve made the joy of gifts and presents be for the children. This started with the birth of the 2nd grandchild. Buying for so many adults was time consuming and a hassle to figure out what to give. The Kris Kringle exchange is done as a game which is a whole lot of fun.

  • 476
    Janet Swofford says:

    We always have a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Who’s birthday is it anyway? πŸ™‚

  • 477
    Aunt Jane says:

    All the nieces and nephews (and now 40 years later great-nieces and great-nephews) are gathered for a trip to downtown Cleveland every Christmas eve. We take the rapid (train), have a nice lunch, do a little shopping and sight-seeing. Everyone makes the effort to be there. It’s a precious tradition for all of us.

  • 478

    My husband and I grew up unwrapping gifts differently. He unwrapped all of his on Christmas Eve & got Santa gifts Christmas morning while I got to open 1 gift Christmas Eve and all the rest on Christmas morning. We compromised so that no matter who’s family we were with the kids would have the “same” tradition. All of my husband’s family gifts & the “Christmas PJ” gifts are opened Christmas Eve. Santa gifts, parent/sibling gifts & my family gifts are on Christmas morning. It has worked out great!

  • 479
    Lori McAree says:

    Because all of our kids are older and on their own now, they all come over Christmas morning for breakfast and to open gifts and enjoy our own family time!

  • 480
    JanLee says:

    The family meets at our house for Christmas Eve party. If there is a new addition to the family I will make a ‘First Christmas’ ornament for them to hang on their tree. After the party my immediate family opens one gift each and this comes from our children begging for it when the were young and now they are adults and we still open one gift each. Each year we take a family photo of the whole family.

  • 481
    Riette says:

    My husband is Argentinian and we are blessed to have his parents and 5 brothers and their families living nearby. So we all get together for a BIG family get-together on the 24th and then spend time with our Christian family on the 25th. Truly blessed.

  • 482
    Sara Mac says:

    We always begin Christmas morning by reading Luke 2. My father always did this and now my husband does it with our children. I always loved that tradition. I was excited one year when Dawn McVey posted on her blog that her family had the same tradition.

  • 483

    I purchase a new Christmas ornament every year for each of my two boys with the ornament itself signifying something that happened that year. For example, the year they each started playing a musical instrument, they received an ornament showing their chosen instrument. They’ll have a nice collection when they leave home someday.


  • 484
    Karen says:

    We always have a family party on the day we get our Christmas tree and decorate the house. I like to take the same silly photographs every year (putting the tree on top of the car, etc.) It’s usually the first weekend of December and, to me, it marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration.

  • 485
    Carrie T says:

    When I was young, we celebrated Christmas Eve with some friends who had no family in town either. One of the parents would read “The Night Before Christmas.” This tradition went by the wayside for a while after each of us kids went our own way in life. I picked it up again after my children were born. I love that tradition!

  • 486
    Sue McRae says:

    After Christmas Eve dinner we have milk and cookies while we watch It’s A Wonderful Life. We then open gifts after the movie is over, which is usually after midnight.

  • 487
    jan m says:

    Everyone gets a gift on Christmas eve, new pajamas for photos on Christmas morning!! πŸ™‚

  • 488
    Emily B says:

    My husband and I are expecting our first little one, so were especially excited for holiday traditions that we can share in our little family. One of my favorites is decorating the tree(s) on Black Friday. We go with my family, to cut it down and then my husband and I come home, turn on some classic Christmas movies, drink egg nog and decorate the whole house for Christmas!

  • 489
    Christine N. says:

    I would say one of our most unique holiday traditions is smashing our gingerbread house with a mallet after the holidays! When my boys were little somehow I knew they would love “destroying” the gingerbread house this way. They are 13 & 17 and still love to do this. We wear safety googles and sometimes make multiple buildings so everyone can smash their own house. It makes for a fun memory and a cute scrapbook page!

  • 490
    Sue S. says:

    On Christmas Eve, we always have chili for dinner-the tradition started when my parents invited the neighbors in to share some holiday fun!

  • 491
    MissAnn says:

    When we had our girls, so many people gave is “Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments. I decided to build on that, so every year I selected a special ornament that represented something personal about each daughter. When they moved out, they had a great start on their Christmas ornaments that have a lot of meaning. Every year, they are so excited to see what goofy/funny/special ornament I find for them. As for my tree, I will still have all of those little hand-made ornaments from their early years.

  • 492
    Kristen Foreman says:

    This release was absolutely fantastic!! I love the holidays and your sets just got me that much more excited!!! So excited to get some of these goodies!! πŸ™‚

  • 493
    Lisa R says:

    When our sons were young we started the tradition of celebrating Christmas as what it was: Jesus’ birthday. We would have a birthday cake for Jesus, and we would give him presents. Each of us would write on a slip of paper what our present to Him was that year, and then we would put it inside a tiny match box decorated as a present. When our youngest was quite young and we were living in northern Nigeria, his present was to sweep the church for Jesus–so we all went off to church together and did that before the service. Sometimes the present was to spend more time studying the Bible. I still have a lot of those slips of paper and our little present boxes.

  • 494
    jackie l says:

    When I married my husband his family had a Christmas eve dinner of home made pierouge (not sure that is slept correctly) fried shrimp. Beet soup and platke we go around the room and break off a piece of the platke and give each other a special wish.. it was very started about 40 years ago.

  • 495
    betty lou says:

    Since our first grandchild was born, I have made felt reindeer ornaments for each one. I trace their hands (antlers) and a foot (head) and add a pom pom nose and wiggly eyes. I use a different color combo each year and add a ribbon for hanging. Their name and the year are written on the back. This year, I’m thinking of hanging them on the wall in chronological order to show their growth…and because I’m running out of space on the Christmas tree!!

  • 496
    Angela Lemmons says:

    After Christmas Eve service, we along with other members of our church, deliver cookies to people who must work on Christmas Eve. My husband has always worked holidays so it means a lot to us to bring a bit of joy to those working Christmas Eve!!

  • 497
    Linda Carson says:

    We have a tradition of purchasing ornaments when we travel. It’s fun to relive those special vacations each Christmas.

  • 498
    susan h. says:

    One of the adult kids plays Santa using a Santa suit I made a few years ago. My bubble used to do it but some of the older grandkids figured out who was Santa so we started having one of their parents do it. A different person each year! Love all the new products!

  • 499
    Kristen Foreman says:

    I got so excited about the release, I forgot to answer the question! Lol my husband and I have started a new tradition in our home. Every year we go and cut down our own Christmas trees! We’re originally from FL so that wasn’t available for us to do. Now with him being in the military, we love around a lot so now the option is readily available every year!!! πŸ™‚

  • 500
    Marlene O says:

    One of our Christmas traditions is to go to a late Christmas eve church service. My husband was a minister before he retired and at his church, they would have an early evening family service. After that, we would visit friends and then go to a late service at another church. We have done this for years and find it more meaningful than all the hoopla of too much food, liquor and expensive gifts that most of us don’t need.

  • 501
    michelle says:

    My mom is from Spain and since she was a little girl they always had a ” Rosca de Reyes”, which is a special big oval fruit cake that has a surprise small toy hidden inside. Whomever gets the toy finds out while eating it and will have a lot of luck! I’m 36 y/o and we’ve been doing this every Christmas since I was a baby!

  • 502
    Jenn Bishop says:

    One unique holiday tradition that I just love is the gathering at my Grandparent’s farm in rural Iowa Christmas Day after services and individual “Santa” presents for the kids. The whole family from all over the states gathers to eat homemade Oyster Stew and Chili, then gathering in the cozy living room for rounds of song, the latest ventures into music with each child, and the traditional whistling of Christmas Carols by the men (we are a very musical family!). This type of gathering started with my great-great grandparents who settled the farm. Big families have always marked my mom’s side of the family to make such gatherings large and wonderful!

  • 503
    Renee says:

    Our grandchildren decorate our tree. This started with our 1st grandson when he was about 2 (all of the decorations were in one place) and now he puts on the lights (he is 19) and the little ones (youngest is 2) put on the ornaments. Now that we have all sizes of grandchildren, the tree gets a more evenly distributed decorating! Thank you for the inspiration and opportunity!

  • 504
    KariLynn L says:

    Elfin the elf leaves Christmas pajamas for the kids wrapped up on their bed on the morning of Christmas Eve. I also buy the kids a Christmas ornament every year so that when they move out and have their own Christmas tree they will already have special ornaments.

  • 505
    Lisa says:

    We order take out on Christmas Eve..while take out is the tradition, the restaurant varies from year-to-year.

  • 506
    Kim Heggins says:

    Every year since my daughter was very little we would go to San Francisco, downtown. Just to see the store decorations and any last minute shopping. Now we have the entire family that comes along with us, so much fun to be together. We always have lunch at Lefty O’Doul’s and bring toys for the firemen’s holiday toy drive. I love that we do this as a family now.

  • 507
    Rebecca says:

    My husband and I buy each other Christmas pjs and open them on Christmas Eve. We started this our first Christmas together! We have accumulated so many pairs of Christmas pjs, I am thinking about making a quilt out of them!

  • 508
    Linda M says:

    After dinner and the gifts there is always one final present, which is the latest movie. The pillows and blankets come out and it’s time to sit or lay back and enjoy a quiet afternoon. It started with my nieces being little. It was good for the littlest one to settle down and curl up to her dad and take a nap.

  • 509
    Cherie says:

    We always try to decorate the house for the holidays together and enjoy a nice dinner afterwards.

  • 510
    Imke Ludwig says:

    Our traditional Christmas dinner: potato salad and frankfurters !

  • 511
    Anita R says:

    We open gifts and after all that, have breakfast with monkey bread! The monkey bread tradition started with my sister-in-law. I’d never had it until I was married. Yum!!

  • 512
    nina says:

    After Christmas Eve at the in-laws, we spend Christmas Day at our house. The kids open their stockings before breakfast, then after breakfast the kids open presents from us and we’ll spend the rest of the day playing a new game or puzzle, of course while listening to Christmas music!

  • 513
    Linda E (uncbballfan) says:

    When I was little, my Dad would drive us to the surrounding neighborhoods before Christmas to look at the lights and displays everyone had put up. My husband and I continued this with our son. After he went away to college and then the Air Force, the tradition continued. Sometimes it would be just my husband and myself, and other times we were joined by other family members. So much fun to ooh and ahh over everything and then pick our favorites.

  • 514
    Sandy Carroll says:

    I get one new ornament (for the shelf, not the tree). This started 30 some years ago as I bought my first to have a Christmasy thing for my desk at work.

  • 515
    Lani says:

    As soon as my children were old enough to help decorate (around three), they would decorate the house, choose special ornaments, decorate the tree, and generally make the house look wonderful. I have so enjoyed watching them grow in their ideas and talent in making the holiday their own.

  • 516
    Nancy G says:

    One tradition is that my two boys who are now in their mid-thirties immediately go to the tree to find the ornaments that they made when they were young. Said ornaments are now tattered and torn but they are the most valuable and beautiful ones on the tree!

  • 517
    debbooks says:

    I am going to describe a holiday tradition from a different holiday than you might expect. Every year on the 4th of July my family gets together. We cook out hamburgers and swim in the pool. The real tradition comes after dinner though. We all go in the house and find all the red, white, and blue hats that we can find and all the flags that are around the house and all the musical instruments (anything from a drum to a xylophone to a stringed bass) then we put on Sousa’s STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER really loud and march up and down the yard waving our flags, blowing and pounding on our instruments, and enjoying every minute of the march!

  • 518
    colleenk says:

    I have always loved a beautiful Christmas tree! I could sit for hours just looking at ours! I started buying ornaments for our kids when they were born and each year since. When they were into Winnie the Pooh I got them a Pooh ornament and put the date on the back. When they were into Barbies, they received Barbie ornaments. Now that they are all in their twentys they each have a large box to take with them as they move out and start their own families.

  • 519
    Tonya says:

    We usually take a drive to look at all the pretty lights after dinner!

  • 520
    Amy O says:

    Our families all live far away. So it is our tradition to rotate which family we spend Christmas with each year.

  • 521
    Tanya Phillips says:

    Every year we make a couple of batches of my husband’s great grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe, and put out her handmade Christmas ornaments in a glass bowl

  • 522
    Pam says:

    My entire family gets together on Christmas Day. As the oldest of 9 children, we have a rather large immediate family. My nieces & nephews are now all grown & have families of their own. We started this so long ago that it seems it’s always been this way. We have such a wonderful holiday together.

  • 523
    lesa wolfe says:

    We have Darigold chocolate milk and Hostess chocolate Donettes while we open presents Christmas morning! I don’t remember how it started, but last year we had to change our plans due to the lack of Hostess products! It looks like we are back on this year!

  • 524
    Cynthia says:

    We do not celebrate Christmas, so it’s a special vacation day for us…. we try to get a home improvement project done and then spoil ourselves with a special meal and R and R for just the two of us.

  • 525
    Chris says:

    My family’s traditional Christmas dinner is – lasagna! It all started when I was a teenager. A family whose children I babysat left homemade lasagna for us for dinner one night, and after begging for the recipe, it became our family favorite. And so a German-descended family from Kansas became lasagna-making experts! Nearly 40 years later, we still make it for special occasions.

  • 526
    voegelchen says:

    At St. Nicholas day, dec. 6th my daugther put her boots in front of the door and in the evening she will find some goodies in it. Thats a german tradition. A few days before christmas eve my husband put the lights on the tree and my girl and me are decorating the tree, and every year I get some new ornaments from my mother.

  • 527
    Shannon N. says:

    When we were kids one of our unique traditions was each time after a few presents had been added under the tree, we’d pull them all out and reorganize them under the tree all nice, pretty, and evenly distributed. It was fun, but also a bit of torture for kids and grown ups alike!

  • 528
    Sarah Thieke says:

    We always go to a tree farm and choose our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Our WHOLE family comes and we all pick out trees together. SO FUN!

  • 529
    Michele Swanberg says:

    We spend Thanksgiving in our pajamas! We even do all of the cooking in our P.J.’s! It’s wonderful and so relaxed. The best part is, you never have to unzip your pants because you ate too much turkey!

  • 530
    kathy says:

    We watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year. It started the year we were engaged and this will be the 24th year of viewing this movie classic.

  • 531
    Marilyn says:

    As solemn as it sounds, my family tradition as far as I can recall is we would pay our respects to our ancestors by taking a trip to the cemetary and then we would go for dim sum. It signifies a union within our family across all generations whether or not we have met.

  • 532
    Sandra says:

    When I was young Christmas morning was special. My sister and I had breakfast with hot chocolate and coconut cookies. Mum, you miss me.
    Sandra -Italy

  • 533
    Anne B says:

    Well I don’t think it’s unique, but we always open gifts on Christmas Eve in the European way πŸ™‚

  • 534

    We watch all the old Christmas cartoon (A Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty) together.

  • 535
    Yvonne F. says:

    Every christmas we eat meat fondue. And then we roll the dice for the gifts. If someone has a six or a one, he takes a present from under the tree and brings it to
    an other person. At a two you must sing a christmas song or recite a poem. On other numbers you have to give the dice to an other person. ItΒ΄s very funny.

  • 536
    Carolyn K. says:

    Our traditions at Christmas time start the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving with visiting a tree farm to pick out the perfect tree. The next month is spent much like other families, trimming the tree and decking the house! We look forward to Christmas morning but really enjoy the magic of the entire holiday season!

  • 537
    Sandi Roth says:

    Our family makes it a point to all get together before Christmas…one big party…at least 40 of us. It is so wonderful. WE come from all over the country to be together. We have just lost our main pillar 3 weeks ago, my husband’s father….but we will all gather and carry on and remember him. I’m sure it will be bitter sweet, but it will be as he always wanted it to be.

  • 538
    Cindy Otto says:

    Every year since becoming a grandma, I’ve hung the grandchildren’s stockings on the hall banister going down the stairs. I have 11 grandchildren now, and they are always excited to see their own personalized stocking, ready for Santa to fill!

  • 539
    Chris L says:

    My family always goes to see a production of A Christmas Carol at our local family theatre. We started this tradition because my Dad and I always found an old version of the movie to watch on Christmas Eve–when I discovered that our local theatre put on this production every year, I started taking my kids as soon as they were all old enough!

    Chris L.

  • 540
    Karen B says:

    There is a Christmas tree farm not far from us where you can cut your own tree. We have gone there for years with our children and our dog, we would find the perfect tree and our children would take turns with the saw. Our children are now grown, one on the east coast one on the west coast, our beloved Golden passed away last fall. I have come to realize that it is not the big days or celebrations that bind us together, but rather the simple quiet moments we spend making memories that sew our hearts together. When I drive past the tree farm, I always smile as I remember the simple pleasure of searching for a ‘perfect’ tree with my family!

  • 541
    Tosha says:

    My husband and I play and sing carols while collecting for local food pantry. We chose a day of the week and do this every week from Thanksgiving to Christmas, rain, shine or SNOW. He plays guitar, I violin and last year we got to add our granddaughter to the mix. She plays mountain dulcimer. Can’t remember how it started but it is a real blessing to us.

  • 542
    Marianne McGinnis says:

    About 15 years ago when I had to start sharing my married kids during the Holidays, (Christmas one year, then Thanksgiving the next) I began making a Christmas bag for each family when they visited for Thanksgiving on the off years. The bag was full of things I had made throughout the year: a pouch full of handmade tags, a be-ribboned box full of Christmas cards that I had made, other sewn or crocheted items for decorating at Christmas. That way we can have a little bit of Christmas together every year! It means a lot of work for me, but I love it!

  • 543
    tammy butz says:

    Our family gets together on Christmas Eve – in the afternoon I will have a craft project setup for all my nieces and nehews to do. This started because the kids were getting to anxious for gift opening – which doesn’t happen until after dinner and cleanup.

  • 544
    Janell says:

    Ever since I was a little girl we would have a very special Christmas eve dinner. To some it may not seem special, but to us it was. My dad and brother would make hamburger gravy and we would eat it on toast. We would eat the dinner by candle light and on my moms good china. My dad had this while serving in Viet Nam. My dad has since pasted away and we still continue this tradition today. My children also look forward to this meal every year.

  • 545
    Paula says:

    I started collecting children’s christmas stories when my daughter was a baby and now that she is older, beginning Dec 1st, we read one story every night before bedtime. I have them all wrapped and ready in a basket so she gets to pick one to unwrap, then we snuggle down and read our story. As I collect more good stories, I’ll start after Thanksgiving. We also have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve, complete with a birthday cake, a single candle, and a song.

  • 546
    Cindy in Wisconsin says:

    I spend Christmas Day with my mother. The tradition began 8 years ago when my Dad passed away. I didn’t want her to sit home alone on that day so I’ve made it a point to visit then. Otherwise, I only get to her house a couple times a year. I know she looks forward to my coming. I have children and grandchildren of my own, too, but we stopped getting together for Christmas some years back when in-laws began wanting their time, too. Now I get my family for Thanksgiving and New Years, and they spend Christmas on their own or with their in-laws.

  • 547
    Suzette says:

    Several years ago, I purchased a very cheap (and I mean cheap and cheesy) Santa suit. Every year since, I have my husband dress up in the suit and play the part of Santa, giving out gifts to every child in the family on Christmas day. Each gift recipient must also pose for a picture with Santa. The following year, each child receives a Christmas ornament with the picture of Santa and himself/herself. Of course, even the babies usually know it is really Papa in the suit, but we all still enjoy the tradition – especially me!

  • 548
    Kate L says:

    Every Christmas we have a special service at church, and then a nice and quiet dinner at home. We then do something different every year, so I guess that would be our tradition!

  • 549
    Lin F says:

    Growing up my mom always made biscuits and gravy for Christmas morning. After having my own children I continued that tradition and still do to this day. Of course our children are all grown with children of their own but I still make biscuits and gravy Christmas morning and whoever can make it come for breakfast in their jammies, some years it’s a couple of our kids with the grandkids and some years it’s all 5 of our kids with the grandkids.

  • 550
    Beth Anne Vella says:

    When I was growing up our family would attend Christmas Eve service and then meet all the other aunts/uncles/cousins at my grandma & grandpa’s house (at least 25 of us). Their home basically had one big front room (which was really only about 14’x14′). All of us would sit in chairs, the sofa, and every inch of the floor squished together while grandma passed out a gift she purchased for each and every person. After all the festivities grandma would pull out her camera with the attached flash bulb and take a group picture (circa 1950’s). The flash bulb never flashed the first time so we would all have to stay still until the burned out bulb was removed (and fingers burned) and a brand new bulb was replaced. We all laugh and laugh about those times now. Great memories!

  • 551
    Geri G says:

    Since as far back as I can remember, we sing a traditional Ukrainian Christmas carol before our meatless Christmas eve meal. I know that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents likely hum along with us in heaven above, so proud that we continued with this tradition.

  • 552
    Liz K says:

    My dad’s side of the family has gotten together on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. It started out at my grandparents’ house with their 5 boys and their families. Now it’s still at my grandparents’ house, the 5 brothers, their kids, and the great grand children! We have 4 generations together, eating tamales, rice, beans, chili con carne, and of course dessert! It’s my favorite time of the year.

  • 553
    Susan B says:

    Starting before I was born my grandmother would make chicken salad from the chicken she would boil for her dressing. We would all enjoy it on Christmas Eve after opening presents. We are still enjoying this tradtion and I’m 51 years old.

  • 554
    Deb Long says:

    We give the kids one gift on Christmas eve – holiday PJs. It started when my daughter was 2 and I realized her pink pjs clashed with all my holiday patterned paper when I was scrapbooking the Christmas morning photos. This way I know exactly what colors they will be wearing!!!

  • 555
    Mary K says:

    My sister and I love to play with an art project Christmas afternoon!

  • 556
    Jane Hogue says:

    Each year after Christmas my whole extended family (sisters, in-laws, Mom and Dad, children) get together in a big lodge for a weekend eating, playing games, sledding, watching movies, worshiping together with the celebration of the Christmas story, exchanging gifts for the children and the older ones contributing to a charity chosen by a different family unit.

  • 557
    Kelli B. says:

    Each year we celebrate Christmas Eve by making handmade taffy. The kids ages 19 and 21) still get a kick out of buttering up their hands to pull the sugary treat!

  • 558

    My husband and I go for a Christmas morning snowshoe hike! We started this tradition when we moved to the beautiful mountains of Colorado seven years ago!

  • 559
    Kelly in Canada says:

    Every year for Christmas, my boys received a tree ornament as a Christmas gift. When they turned 5 and were old enough to understand, they received a mini Christmas tree. Now, at 16 and 18, part of our holiday tradition is for them to get out their little trees, put them on their bedside tables and decorate them with the ornaments they were given over the years.

  • 560
    Jan Marcham says:

    I guess the tradition that I love the most is Christmas breakfast with the family. My sister-in-law started it when her children were small so that we could be there when they opened their presents and then I continued the tradition when we had our children and then everyone came to our house. It’s my daughter’s favorite meal on Christmas. We end up staying up way past midnight getting it ready but it’s worth it.

  • 561
    Natalie Winterstein says:

    My siblings and I go out to lunch with my dad on Christmas Eve becasue it’s his birthday! It’s way to seperate his birthday from the Christmas celebration.

  • 562
    Joyce M. says:

    Well, being Jewish, Christmas can be a bit dull. But, we do what Jews all over do on Christmas–go to the movies and eat Chinese food.

  • 563
    CraftinSus says:

    My cousins and now our spouses and kids meet up Christmas Eve to play White Elephant and BINGO with our parents. This tradition started when we all started working. I made the suggestion because I was the oldest and only one working and buying gifts for everyone… Then it evolved into a fun get together naming the best gift and the boobie gift. πŸ™‚
    It’s been a tradition since 2000 and its still going strong, now with spouses, girl/boyfriends and even two more babies this year in the mix. πŸ™‚ started with 9 of us, now 18 with recent marriages and birth.

  • 564
    Carol says:

    Every year my husband or I make something homemade for our kids and save the gift giving for the grandkids. We have done this ever since the kids started there own families.

  • 565
    ssymens says:

    This was hard for me because I don’t think we do anything really special or different. Something that I do for our life group friends is make them each a set of special Christmas cards. I try to think of their different personalities and likes to create a set of 6 special cards for them to use. It is fun to work out of my comfort zone to make them uniquely theirs.

  • 566
    Sharon D says:

    Growing up, my family always opened presents on Christmas Eve. We would all go out and drive around looking at Christmas lights, and then when we got back, Santa would have come, and we’d open presents. When we were old enough to stay up, we’d go to church at midnight. So Christmas Eve was always the “magical” time for me. After I was married, my husband’s family didn’t open presents till Christmas morning, but I couldn’t bear to let Christmas Eve pass with nothing, so we started hosting a party at our house. I still love to drive around and look at Christmas lights.

  • 567
    Lizzy says:

    We have a lot of traditions for Christmas–from reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and hanging stockings on Christmas Eve, to our big family dinner on Christmas Day. Each one brings back great memories!

  • 568
    berryblue says:

    One Christmas tradition that we have is to eat fried potatoes and scrambled eggs…along with eggnog and cookies…for a late breakfast after we open our gifts. I have no idea how the tradition started…it began when I was a little girl…and we still do it when my own family does Christmas morning at my parents’ house.

  • 569
    Melissa Ladd says:

    Growing up my mom always prepared a wonderful, big dinner on Christmas day with traditional English foods. We also have Christmas crackers which is fun for everyone!

  • 570
    Shelly K says:

    We have a few Christmas traditions with my favorite being the ornaments. Each year when we decorate the tree, the kids get a new ornament..started back in the early 70’s when I was a child and I had an entire collection when I was off on my own. My kids love each story/memory that each ornament brings…a great night of memories and love!

  • 571

    As children, every year we would gather with all of our cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents and celebrate Christmas Eve in a tiny church where we would all take part in the holiday program and then Santa would come and bring us all a small gift. After, we would all head back to our Grandparents house to open gifts! So much fun! It was a long standing tradition that sadly we don’t celebrate since our grandparents have passed and family members have moved away. Wonderful memories though!

  • 572
    Candida says:

    My dear mother who passed away always made fruit bread and cakes for Christmas, with fruits she dried and candied herself. I start working in October to make the candied fruits and the breads I make at Christmas fills my home with sweet aromas and lovely memories of my beloved mom.

  • 573
    Carolyn J says:

    Being in Cape Town, it is summer, so we use a wire beaded baobab tree as our Christmas tree – for the past 3 years we have decorated it with traditional items. We are recycling & don’t kill any trees for our decoration. It misses that beautiful pine smell, but no dried needles to clean up πŸ˜‰

  • 574
    Lori B says:

    The first night we light up our outside holiday decorations is November 30th. Why? It’s our oldest sons birthday and we started that tradition the year he was one as part of his birthday celebration. Now that he has a family of his own..he does the same thing!

  • 575
    Donelle U says:

    We get an ornament from each trip or vacation room and so when we put up our tree each year we can look back and talk about our fun memories from those trips!

  • 576
    Marcia Hill says:

    My mom was one of 8 children, and we always got together for Christmas with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins…we still get together with everyone (our families have grown and we can’t hold a gathering in anyone’s home anymore because there’s too many of us! at Christmas time and it’s still my favorite part of Christmas! :0)

  • 577
    Michele Butterworth says:

    My favorite tradition was going to my grandparents home and spending the day with my aunts, uncles and all my cousins. It was a day full of good food and family! Christmas will always have a home in my heart with these happy memories!

  • 578
    Alice Golden says:

    We have an annual “Cousins Cookie Party” a few weeks before Christmas where all the cousins get together to decorate cookies or gingerbread houses. It is a relaxed occasion that everyone looks forward to – no gifts, no pressure, just spending time together and having fun. It started when the kids were little and it was getting difficult for my sisters and I to juggle in-laws and we weren’t always able to be together on Christmas Day, so this started as something for just us and it has become a favorite.

  • 579
    carolanne says:

    All of our family lives 10 hours away so when our children were growing up we were always traveling. Near my mom’s house was a wonderful bookstore we liked. At Christmas we would choose one day and go and get hot drinks. Then we would look at books and read together all afternoon. My grown children still say this is one of their best memories.

  • 580
    Viki says:

    I would say our Christmas Eve dinner is our biggest tradition. We are an Itialian family and we make homemade ghoccis with tomato sauce. I could not imagine our holiday without that. What an amazing release! Thank you.

  • 581
    Nigel says:

    We only wrap using recycled materials. Makes the excess of the holidays somewhat better.

  • 582
    Cheryl I says:

    Before opening gifts we read the Christmas Story out of Luke to remind us of the reason we are all celebrating. There is always lots of food and laughter. It’s a wonderful time!

  • 583
    MichelleH says:

    After the Christmas Eve church service, the kids ‘discover’ a gift on their beds that showed up while we were gone. It’s always new PJs. They put on the pjs, we hang the Santa key and stockings, put out cookies and milk, check NORADSanta, then pile in to our bed for Dad to read Twas the Night Before Christmas, then off to their beds. We started when child #1 was little. Now they all can read, two boys are man-sized and the king-size bed is FULL, lots of giggles as they all jockey for position. In the morning, it’s Jesus’ birthday cake with gifts. The memories of the love and the giggles are what I hope my kids take with them.

  • 584
    Sue S. says:

    When my son was 4 years old, a friend told me about The Elf on the Shelf (book and elf set). Since then, our elf “Mario” comes to our home the day after Thanksgiving and stays until Christmas Eve night to keep an eye on my son’s behavior and report back to Santa accordingly. My husband and I have a blast finding different places to hide him each night so our son can wake up the next day and find him. It is so much fun to watch him!! Amazing releases this month!! Thanks for all the inspiration and creativity.

  • 585
    QP Levingston says:

    At Thanksgiving we eat and while the men are watching football, the women are preparing for Black Friday and often we head out to a midnight sale. This started about 10 years ago at when the local outlet mall opened at midnight.

  • 586
    Kim S says:

    Every year we would take our children to go pick out their own Christmas ornament. We started this when we first got married and was collecting ornaments so it was natural when our kids came along that we continue so that when they grow up and have a place of their own they would have their ornament collection for their tree.

  • 587
    Renee says:

    I know I very rarely say it…
    but thank you for all the inspiration…
    it’s been amazing!
    I died over the photo set and die and automatically added them straight to my list…
    and then once I’d had enough caffeine…
    I realized I don’t even SEND photo cards! πŸ™‚
    So…WOW! You’re good!
    I don’t know if this is unique…
    but it’s ours.
    Christmas Eve is MY day.
    No rushing around to different homes and places…
    I slow bake a turkey and we have everyone’s favorite for an early dinner…
    then everyone gets showered and in their jammies and we open our gifts from each other.
    Afterwards the kids head to bed while we clean up… because Santa doesn’t visit a messy house…
    and watch It’s a Wonderful Life and then hubby and I sit and watch the lights tinkling on the tree before we head off to bed for our Christmas nap since we know we’ll be awoken within a couple of hours by excited kiddos.
    I’m tired…
    and there’s never enough coffee…
    but I look forward to it every year!

  • 588
    Maryd says:

    Our biggest tradition is trying to celebrate Christmas as a season rather than a “day” or and “event. For example: We have a special line up of cookies that MUST be baked each season… even if we are all watching our figures and really won’t eat as many as we make. Some are my childhood favorites (I’m Grandma – Butterballs!)or my husband’s (Grandpa — Carrot Cookies), or the kids (Pecan Tassies and Spritz)and now the grand kid’s (Cut out and decorated Sugar Cookies). It’s much more than the cookies — It’s the time together planning, baking and laughing. And then making plates to share with friends. Christmas is a bigger package than a single day.

  • 589
    Jill says:

    We have a small family dinner on Christmas eve. Each child received a new ornament for the tree, usually something they are into that year.

  • 590
    Laurie Christen says:

    When I was very young we started sharing our “high” and “low” for the year. We always celebrate our Christmas on Christmas Eve where we start with a wonderful dinner surrounded by all the family that can be here (several out of state) and enjoy food, talk and our high/lows. It can be very interesting! Then we continue with the present opening and just enjoying company and the holiday!

  • 591
    Susan Walden says:

    We have an old family tradition that started on my Dad’s side of the family. At Easter – we box eggs! We tap the top and bottom of our colored hard boiled eggs with the person next to you at the table till someone is left with an unbroken end – and declared the winner! For years my Grandpa would always win – but then he was using a marble egg-we never noticed till we were older! Ive passed this on to my kids/grandkids!
    Susan W.

  • 592
    Jean Bullock says:

    After my parents moved to Arizona, they began sending us the beautiful Arizona Highways calendar every Christmas. I look forward to receiving this every year. We had spent our most memorable family vacations in that area and now that my parents reside there, it makes the gift even more special.

  • 593
    Mitzi says:

    Going to special Chritmas church service . Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  • 594
    Amanda C. says:

    On Christmas Eve we always have homemade enchiladas and rice and beans. We are not Hispanic, but my grandparents (who are from Texas) owned a Tex Mex restaurant in San Diego in the 1940’s. They started the tradition and it stuck!

  • 595
    Susan O says:

    Besides the various decorating and food traditions, we always find one quiet afternoon in the midst of the holiday frenzy to work a Christmas-themed jigsaw puzzle!

  • 596
    Pmm says:

    We always read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve. What makes it even more special is that we read it from the Little Golden Book that I had as a child! The book will get passed to our son when he has a little one.

  • 597
    Tonia Allen says:

    We always have a fun party like Christmas Eve…all of our children are over 21, so it is a challenge every year for a fun game to keep everyone laughing and entertained! We have Barbeque and finger type foods! Then Midnight Mass!

  • 598
    Janet Mack says:

    I make deviled eggs. Nobody likes them but me anymore and no one can remember who else used to like them. That’s ok more for me. Ha!!

  • 599
    Eileen M says:

    My parents like to place a single candle(now electric) in each window. Warm and welcoming! Fabulous release!

  • 600
    Pat says:

    As parents have died and potential daughter/son-in-law have come into the family, one thing that remains the same is attending Midnight Mass together as a family!

  • 601
    Becky Carafa says:

    Growing up, we made chocolate covered candies on Christmas Eve night because there was nothing else to do, and it helped pass the time instead of dying with anticipation!

  • 602
    Julie C says:

    We open packages one person at a time, starting with the youngest to oldest, continuing until all packages are opened! My husband’s family always did this and we’ve continued the tradition with our children. Even now that our children are all young adults, we love the way this tradition brings a serene sense of pause to Christmas!

  • 603
    Becs Attwood says:

    Such a great release – really inspiring me to get started on the Christmas cards this year!

    We have a reasonably “non-traditional” Christmas, not much is the same from year to year. When we are home for Christmas my husband & I often host a “waifs & strays” meal for various friends who don’t have family around to celebrate with.

  • 604
    Susan says:

    As we drive over the bridge into my inlaw’s heavily treed neighborhood we sing “Over the river and through the woods”! We have been doing that since our children were little. They are all in their 20s now and still sing!

  • 605
    Linda H says:

    Every Christmas, I always have something handmade for my boys. Whether it is ornaments, knitted hats, quilts, or baskets, they had to be handmade by me. It means so much more to me and them, as well, that I can give them something unique. Also, my husband and I always exchange handmade cards. We still display the very first Christmas cards we gave each other when we got married.

  • 606
    Merry S. says:

    We stay in our pajama’s on Christmas Day and just relax with our kids, watching Christmas movies, and snacking throughout the day on holiday goodies. It started when our daughter was born in 97′ and we were just too exhausted to get dressed and cook a big meal, and we’ve just continued ever since!

  • 607

    When we were kids, all my cousins would come over our place on Christmas day and we have a big family get together and my mom prepared a huge lunch for all of us. I miss this time as now we all scattered all over the world.

  • 608
    Patty J says:

    Our most unique Christmas Eve tradition is the Nerf Gun battle – lots of laughs and no one loses an eye. Candlelight dinner and presents follow so we can spend Christmas Day at Church and then with extended family. I have no idea how the nerf battles begun but we look forward to it every year!

  • 609
    Maeghan Danielle says:

    We celebrate Nochebuena- most of our celebration happens leading up to midnight on Christmas Eve, so we open our presents then and have a big fancy midnight meal with ham and all sorts of sweets. It was so special to me as a kid to be able to open my presents hours before everyone else did–and to have such a great bedtime snack!

  • 610
    alicia says:

    Hi – Great NEW Stamps and Dies!! Our family holiday tradition started when we were really little. My mother would have each of us kids pick out a sock from my dad’s drawer. If we were away skiing – we would use his long woolly ski socks. Then we would put our names on each one and hang them all up over the fireplace. Santa would have them filled to the brim with treasures in the morning. Over the years, growing up and having our own families now, the stockings took on new meanings in the respect that they represent more to us because I learned to sew and I started to make Christmas Stockings out of scraps from the clothes I made my sisters and myself or favorite shirts my brother or father no longer wore over the years. These stockings were fancy and quilted and I added pieces of lace and velvet. I made them as gifts for everyone so that we could all have them to hang over the fireplace Christmas eve.
    Now, each new child born gets a special stocking made with the same scraps of fabric I have saved (they are getting bigger though) and we each shop for a special little gift to put inside. We send packages of the stocking prizes to each other if we are not all together.
    We also must be sure to have the great handmade name tags tied in place and ready – made with love by the kids with embossed images and names written in calligraphy.
    It would not be the same without getting everyone’s stocking stuffed and ready for Christmas Eve.
    Thanks for the chance to tell this story!

  • 611
    karenb says:

    We do lots of activities together as a family, including going to see Christmas lights, shopping for and decorating our tree, giving gifts to those in need, read the nativity story on Christmas Eve, a special family brunch of gingerbread pancakes on Christmas morning. We really enjoy being together. πŸ™‚

  • 612
    Barbie says:

    When my children were little we always let them play with baby Jesus from the Nativity scene. It became a game to see where baby Jesus would turn up, sometimes even months after Christmas baby Jesus would be found in one of the kids room or wrapped sweetly hidden in the couch.

  • 613
    Lori O. says:

    We live in the same household with my in-laws. Early in the morning, we have breakfast and then the gift opening begins. The hubby and my 4 kids head out to my parents house for a late lunch and open gifts there as well. My brother and his family join us too. Later that night, we’re on the road again headed to my hubby’s Uncle’s house for dinner. What a wonderful day spent with family!!!! It’s always been this way since we had kids!!!!

  • 614
    Martha says:

    We love to ride around and look at Christmas lights. Usually in our PJ’s with Christmas music playing!

  • 615
    Sera Lewis says:

    All through November, my girls and I make entries in thankful journals. Looking back over the years reminds me off how truly blessed we are… and writing each day reminds us to be grateful for the small things as well as the large.

  • 616
    Cindy H. says:

    Our Christmas holidays start the day before Thanksgiving when my DH and I go to the local nursery and pick out a Christmas wreath. While we’re there we always like to stop and feed the baby reindeer, the baby goats, lamas and any other baby animals they might be featuring that year. It’s a tradition I look forward to every year. Christmas day afternoon is spent at my DH’s brother’s house. They make dinner for the whole family and a few friends – about 25 sit down dinners! My SIL loves to entertain and is a fabulous cook.

  • 617
    Marsha says:

    Every Christmas, each of my girls picked out a new ornament for the tree. When they each had their first child, I wrapped up their own set of ornaments and passed them on to put on their own family tree.

  • 618
    Christine Sudmann says:

    Our children decorate the Christmastree – so itΒ΄s different every year. when it comes to opening the presents, its one at a time, so everyone gets to see (and to guess what it might be) what the others unpack. It takes much longer that way, but itΒ΄s much more fun for all.

    Greetings, Christine

  • 619
    Angie Hamill says:

    The only tradition that still gets followed is our stockings, no matter how old we get, there is always a stocking with at least one orange and some un-shelled nuts and some fun Christmas chocolate in it, in addition to some goofy small gifts. I love and look forward to the stocking every year!

  • 620
    Meredith says:

    Up until this year, we lived in a townhouse with a non-working fireplace. So when I found this beautiful iron, antique looking over-sized magic key with a special message, I snatched it up. It explains that even though Santa can’t use our chimney, this magic key works for him to open our front door and do what he needs to. We’ve turned Christmas Eve into a full night, where the kids enjoy their grandmother and two favourite uncles for dinner, then we prepare our milk and egg nog (Santa likes that better at our house), a carrot for Rudolph, then we go outside and spread reindeer food, and hang the key. I love Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day!

  • 621
    Judith Lenzini says:

    We have a pickle ornament that I hide every year. I never hide it on the tree! My kids are both in their twenties and I am still hiding it. The winner gets a gift card usually for Imo’s pizza. My poor son never finds the pickle but his sister usually takes him for pizza anyway! It’s always the first thing they do on Christmas morning!

  • 622
    Dori says:

    We always go go my parents house in Christmas eve and have an Italian dinner. My dad makes homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs and everything else that goes with it. Then we normally end up at a different relatives house on Christmas day for a traditional Christmas dinner. I live the holidays and all of your products! I can barely stand it!

  • 623
    KatieP says:

    The only thing I can think of it that my daughter makes the Thanksgiving turkey, simply because she is the best cook. The only other request-usually from everyone that we eat with is that I make the mashed potatoes, because I do them best.

  • 624
    lisadozknit says:

    When I was young, we would go to a candlelight Christmas service on Christmas Eve. I loved the lights and the cathedral downtown with the sparkling snow. A wonderful memory. My family continues to attend a beautiful candlelight service each year. G

  • 625
    Amy says:

    We’ve started doing a book a day for advent and I *love* it!!! Thanks for such a great holiday release this year!!!

  • 626
    HeatherD says:

    Christmas morning we always try to have a PJ’s breakfast at my parents house Christmas morning…even now that we are on our own, we’ll drive over in our PJ’s with a change of clothes for later πŸ™‚
    Another great release!!

  • 627
    Melanie P says:

    I give my son a Lenox china Christmas ornament each so so when he grows up he will have a collection to take with him to his home someday.

  • 628
    Michelle W. says:

    We have a collection of holiday books, that we began collecting when our children were born, that only come out for the month of December. Now that the kids are grown it is fun for me to get the books out and remember πŸ˜‰

  • 629
    Maryse N says:

    Every year I take the kids to Hallmark so they can each pick out a new ornament for the tree. They love doing this! I write the year on the ornament box so we can look back and see what each child was into that year.

  • 630
    Ngan R. says:

    We always have a waffle brunch on Christmas. This started one year when no one wanted to cook so we went with the easier and best crowd pleaser ever–waffles!