06 December 2016

A Tradition Swap...

Originally posted in 2009

In our house we have developed several family traditions regarding Christmas. 

The Christmas List - This tradition was started in my husband's family.  There were seven kids and not a lot of money for Christmas.  So they made their celebration about the quality of the gifts and not the quantity.  So here is how they did it (and the way we continue it).

Everyone is required to write out a Christmas List that is at least one page long (both sides of a lined paper sheet) with wishes.  Those that do not provide enough wishes are 'given' wishes by Mom and Dad.  These would include things that you REALLY don't want for Christmas such as a jock strap... for one of our daughters.  I'm sure you get the idea.

The rules of the list are always the same. You can put ANYTHING on the list and encouragement is given to include things as small as paper clips and as large as a Lamborghini.

The fun part about this for everyone involved is that you can translate any given list however you want...so if you are not VERY specific...well let me give you an example:

Say you ask for a book but do not specify a particular one, then anything in the shape of a book is fair game. Such as book ends that look like books, a picture of a book, wooden letters that consist of the letters BOOK...etc.

I think you get the idea. Believe me, it becomes very difficult to decide just how to word your list when everyone is trying to get you what you listed without 'getting what you listed'. :o) Obviously we do not do this with EVERY item on your list as that would not be any fun at all, but just enough to make it interesting.

One year, when my husband was a teenager, he asked for a scope for his rifle...he got a bottle of Scope mouthwash. His father asked for a Blonde...and got a Barbie.  One of our daughters asked for nail polish, so I bought a bunch of large nails and painted them with nail polish.  Believe me, you can get quite creative.

The Pickle Ornament - Each of our children have a pickle ornament that is put on the tree after they go to bed on Christmas Eve.  My husband and I 'hide' them.  The child on Christmas morning that finds 'their' pickle first, gets a special gift.  Last year it was a $25 itunes gift card.  The rest get a different gift IF they can find their pickle.  Last year it was a $10 itunes gift card.

Stockings - You may NOT get out of bed before 6am or you forfeit your stocking.  (and you may NOT wake up the parents until 7am) When you get up, you may open any gifts in your stocking.  I usually have a lot of odd, small items I collect throughout the year such as funny pens, pencils, hair accessories, erasers, earrings, chap stick, socks, small games.  I think you get the idea.

Feel free to steal these ideas and post back links of your own tradition in my comments. I think I will try to do a post with all of them, kind of like a cookie swap.... I'll do a Holiday Tradition swap. :o) Starting Tomorrow Night I'll leave a SHORT message at the top of my page listing links to all the traditions I receive.  Have fun!!!!
QOTD: "Hold on to family traditions that instill love and joy into the hearts of your loved ones. Create traditions that bind with love, respect and laughter. Quietly and peacefully put to rest those traditions who's time has gone." Lemon Stand


  1. We don't do much of any Christmas traditions but I like the list. Please do detail as I think that sounds like something I'd like to try.


  2. I'd be happy just to have my husband enjoy Christmas...that'd be a tradition I'd like to see started.

  3. We have a few Christmas traditions in our house. Christmas Eve is always a meal of curry and we try to invite people who don't have families around - my dad grew up in India and this was his family's tradition.
    Christmas day is the roast turkey meal (a lot of Aussies go for a cold meal with seafood wince it's usually 100 degrees out, but with two English parents, we always had a full roast). And there is no opening of Christmas presents until after Christmas lunch is eaten and cleaned up. Naturally, we all helped clean up as kids to get to the gifts faster. My parents say my brother and I never complained about having to wait all day to open presents, and now I think it's a great way of drawing out the fun of the day.

  4. Oh, and your post inspired me. I tagged you in my own Christmas meme post :)

  5. I'm going to swipe the one about getting the parents out of bed.

    Here's what we do on Christmas eve and Christmas day morning we make cinnamon rolls. On Christmas Eve,we always go to a Mass with Brass, that is held in the gym of a neighboring HS. Then we have our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Veal Parmesan and Lasagna with assorted veggies, and there must be green and black olives, because we love diversity-LOL and then some homebaked Christmas cookies for desert. We open our immediate family gifts, but Santa comes on Christmas for stockings and "his" gift. Then in the evening we go to my SIL_ and exchange gifts with my husbands side of the family.

    We must leave milk and cookies out for Santa and sometimes we put a carrot on the lawn to attract the reindeer. And we track Santa on the Norad site- my DD must be in bed asap when he is nearing ILL.

    On Christmas day, we usually have a present exchange with my side of the family. At dinner, we have a cake with candles and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus .

    My DD now has to write a letter to Santa with her wish list, since we have stopped having a breakfast with Santa (listen my DD is almost 11 and she knows the real truth about Santa and last year was the last year we did the sit on Santa's lap thing) Also there is an elf on the shelf who watches everyone and reports back to Santa on how we are treating each other.

    My oldest boy aka DH puts up his Lionel train set that he received when he was an 8 year old. Every year awe try to get him a new train thing or village thing. This year it was a skating rink.

    Did I mention the grand-poohba present wrapping day? No? My DD and I sing carols as we wrap. It is only the loudest and the best singer who has "earned" the peppermint hot chocolate, served in the Santa cup. This year we will try to make our puppy howl!!-LOL

    That's just a little about what we do for Christmas.

  6. May - I wish I could publish their Christmas lists on my blog but I sleep heavily and am very attached to the hair I have left on my head.

    Mrs. Who - BR needs to pull up his big girl panties and get with the program. (BR - quit making those hand gestures!) :)

    Wiley - OOOOhh! I LIKE the idea of not opening gifts until the chores are done! I'm usually the one who gets to clean up the mess. We have another tradition for the day after Christmas or Boxing Day... We use the left over turkey to make enchiladas.

    (And BTW, you are SOOOO going to regret giving me a meme. I can NEVER do them right. You'll see what I mean...)

    Debbie - That sounds FABULOUS! We don't normally do ANYTHING for Christmas Eve.

    Erin is 11 years old and now that she knows about Santa, she wants to leave him a beer. *roll of eyes* I bet my husband put her up to that!

  7. The grown ups always made all us kids pass Twas the Night Before Christmas around and read it aloud before we were allowed to open gifts on Christmas Eve (we opened gifts from our cousins and grandparents that night after dinner). Then we usually watched a Christmasy movie.

    This year, since I won't be with my parents for the first time EVER, I bought the Hallmark recordable version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, and I made them read it for the Captain.

  8. i don't have any Christmas traditions - i don't even want to see my family this time around.


  9. Ann M - What a wonderful idea! My kids love to read aloud to the family, but I never thought of that!

    Corvedacosta - I have many friends who really hate the holidays because of bad memories from childhood. I'm going to give you the same thoughts I gave to them. You can either be miserable through the holidays by looking backwards in your life, or you can make wonderful new memories by looking forward and finding traditions that make you happy. I truly do wish you the best of days, regardless if you celebrate the Christmas holiday or any other special day(s).

  10. When I was growing up the whole family (TONS of people - from immediate family to second and third cousins) would gather at my grandparents' farm.

    When AFG and I moved away, we couldn't do that anymore (that plane fare gets very expensive when you're knee deep in kids), so we invented our own tradition as totally opposite of the original as possible. We open presents, go to church, and eat Chinese Food. Then we play games - lately it's been Wii karaoke.

    It's simple, but we look forward to it every year.

  11. Hey Debbie! Can't believe I missed your comment. I realized after Christmas this year is that the true test of great ideas is if they are carried on by the next generation.


Contents from normal neural synapsis goes here....
Should unnatural neural synapsis occur? Take one cherry chocolate Hershey Kiss and carry on.
Should NO neural synapsis occur? Take two full strength chocolate Hershey Kisses and
try again in the morning.