One of my favorite aspects about the holidays are the traditions associated with them! Whether it’s opening new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve, or festive caroling, traditions give the holidays a warm, familiar feeling. Scroll down to read some of our favorite holiday traditions!
Jennifer Schaerer, Editor in Chief: An advent calendar was always a big part of our Christmas tradition when I was growing up – it seemed like December 1st was the official start to Christmas because we could start putting the advent ornaments up on the calendar blocks. To this day, I’ve got too many advent calendars to display so I have to rotate them from year to year. I do put up two every year, though – one for my son and one for my daughter. That way there’s no fighting over who gets the treat each day!
Kerri Miller, Managing Editor: My father is from Denmark so of course, many of our family Christmas traditions are Danish. We met as a family on Christmas Eve to eat dinner, have rice pudding, sing carols, open presents, and end with coffee, cookies and cakes – in that order. One of my favorite traditions is the rice pudding. Several whole, pealed almonds are hidden within single servings of pudding and whoever gets the almond gets a prize. The first person to find the almond always wins the marzipan pig, which is a symbol of good luck and fortune for the upcoming year. In our family, it’s good to be a kid because it pretty much guarantees you’ll end up with an almond in your pudding. Glædelig jul!
Cath Edvalson, Trends Editor: Each year at Christmastime, my family goes on a special quest for a new ornament for our Christmas tree. It began in 1986, the year my oldest daughter was born, and has continued each year ever since. Not only is it a fun way to spend time together as a family, but it makes for a beautiful Christmas tree full of many memories. Because my husband and I moved to New Hampshire in December of last year, were unable to pick out our yearly ornament with our daughters, but this year they are both coming “home” for Christmas, and we’ll be going on our 25th ornament shopping trip all together–one of our favorite ways to spark the spirit of the season.
Susan Opel, Creative Editor: As a wee child, I remember memorizing bible verses and songs for the Christmas Eve Children’s Service at my church in Michigan. Telling the good news of the birth of Jesus was one of my favorite parts of the season! The nativity scene that sits in a prominent spot on the piano in my house is a reminder of what it’s all about.
Holly Mills, Graphic Designer: Disclaimer: I do not consider this a favorite holiday tradition. However, the rest of my family does (and now so do my co-workers!) and sometimes you just gotta’ role with the punches.
One year, when I was little, my parents thought I was being a bit of a handful and decided to teach me a lesson. Traditionally our Christmas mornings would begin with opening stockings. This particular year as the stocking distribution began my stocking couldn’t be located. My parents feigned confusion and my Mom went looking for it. Meanwhile I waited on the edge of my seat, body riddled with anxiety, watching my sisters gleefully tear through their stockings. Finally, my mom returned with a lump of coal. She said I was bad that year and Santa decided I didn’t deserve a stocking and left the coal for me instead. With coal sitting on my lap my lamenting began and my parents laughter grew at what they saw as obvious entertainment. They let me suffer a few more minutes until they were satisfied with my misery and did, in fact, replace the lump of coal with my stocking.
Twenty plus years later my family still thinks this story is hilarious. And every year I receive some type of gift from a family member revolving around coal and that fateful Christmas when I was taught Santa truly knows who’s being naughty or nice.
Kelly Smith, Editor: One of my favorite holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses with my grandma and cousins. When I was younger, my grandma would bake enough gingerbread so that each grandchild could make their own house. And while it sounds hectic, I know she loved having all six grandkids making simultaneous messes masterpieces in her kitchen.
Holly Anderson, Editorial Intern: I don’t like pickles. But on Christmas morning, that attitude changes! Every year, the first of us kids to find the pickle receives an extra present! I’m proud to say, I’ve found it many times over the past few years. However, my older brother Ben conceded last year that he’d never found the pickle! Maybe I’ll show a little Christmas mercy and let him win this year! Then again, maybe not!
Courtney Smith, Senior Editor: One of my family’s funniest holiday traditions is the live re-enacment of the nativity scene. I’m not even sure how the tradition started, but my older brother would play the role of Joseph, I would act as Mary, while my younger brother played the baby Jesus. It’s a wonder none of us became professional actors. The tradition has since ceased, probably because baby Jesus hit a growth spurt and Mary could no longer carry him, and because Joseph decided that wearing a sheet and play acting with his siblings wasn’t really his cup of tea, but the memory will live on forever. Especially when we have pictures like this!
Thanks for joining us! What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?