Holiday Traditions!

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Uneasy Goat

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Alrighty, here goes: Anthro/Furry (not a genre, but something I might join an unfamiliar genre for), Slice of Life, Romance, Horror (Gorefest = <3), Sci-Fi (Enjoy the world, but I'm not going to play something where the story is so airtight that I've got no freedom), Medieval Fantasy (Something akin to Song of Ice and FIre), Dungeons & Dragons-esque Fantasy
So... this is not a thread for people to bash Christmas, not a place for people to throw pity parties for how much their lives are terrible around this time of year, not a thread for people to talk about how much they hate Christmas music. It's not a place to hate people who love Christmas or convince people who hate it to love it. This is not a place to be mean-spirited or rude to one another due to different holiday traditions.

(Now that I've gotten everything that it isn't out of the way...)

This is a thread for people who love their families and their childhood/modern traditions to talk about what they think makes it special. This is my 4th Christmas in a row where I'm missing my family, but my first Christmas without my wife. I've been in the military for 4 years now and I'm deployed at the moment. This means that all the family traditions in general have been non-existent for the last year and Christmas is the time of year where it all starts to really hurt. I miss my family, but I can take solace in how exciting it will be to finally get home and be with them again. I want to talk to y'all and see what you love about Christmas holidays (and holidays in general for that matter) because it's just a warm and fluffy feeling inside and it would be nice to have that.

So for me, our Christmas holidays are always filled with family get-togethers. Presents are really reserved for the kiddos, the real gifts for the adults being the kids screamin' and hollerin' as they parade their new toys (and more often than not, break said toys as they're running with them). Our family, aside from a few stragglers, live entirely in the same city within 5 minutes of each other. We get together every Sunday for a family dinner and once my grandmother passed away a few years ago, my mother and her sisters and brothers did everything they could to keep the spirit of family alive.

We all think about the ones we've lost over the years, the uncles and aunts, mothers and fathers, but we've never truly been sad for them. They're with us every year, every time someone makes the Pineapple Upside-Down cake that Grandma used to make (same recipe) and when we pop in the White Christmas VHS that we watch EVERY YEAR as a family.

To me, I think that our tradition to maintain the family gathering, to keep up with everyone and send out Christmas cards with our silly little dogs on them... It means Christmas to me. It's everything about the holiday I enjoy, and it makes all the other stress go away... even if it's just for a little while. I miss home, I miss Christmas, but I'm not angry. I'm just happy that I've got something to look forward to next year!

Now to you, dear readers, what about Christmas makes it special to you? Doesn't have to be Christmas, doesn't have to be with family, doesn't even have to be with someone at all. I just want to know that I'm not the only one who loves this season and all it brings with it.
 

Spaceguitar

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I look forward to the Airing of Grievances, followed by the Feats of Strength.

It'll be a Festivus for the Rest-of-Us!
 

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So... this is not a thread for people to bash Christmas, not a place for people to throw pity parties for how much their lives are terrible around this time of year, not a thread for people to talk about how much they hate Christmas music. It's not a place to hate people who love Christmas or convince people who hate it to love it. This is not a place to be mean-spirited or rude to one another due to different holiday traditions.
Hurray positivity!

*smiles menacingly at anyone who tries to buzzkill*

My family has a few traditions that I really love:

1) my mom and I always bake butter tarts together! Lots and lots of them, we are hungry canucks!

2) presents appear under the tree starting Dec 10th (day after my birthday). Not every day, but steadily enough. As a kid, this explained for me how Santa visits every child; some of us get an early stop!

3) my family all goes to church on Christmas Eve. I'm not religious, neither is my dad or my brother, but I love the atmosphere and the singing. My moms church does more than just a sermon, so it's nice :3

4) after church, we go home and play (non-video) games together. Usually something along the lines of hot potato where there's a prize.

5) we all get to open one gift on Christmas Eve

6) on Christmas morning, my brother always scares me awake, then we go wake my sister by singing 'we wish you a merry Christmas' as loud and obnoxiously as possible
 
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Lil Pom

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Oooh, this is awesome. Christmas is my second favorite holiday!

1. We have a big bash with some of my childhood friends. I always come back and chill with the family for the week or two (depending on how much time I have) and so do two of my friends. We've been having Christmas parties, complete with all sorts of silly games, that make it super fun. My favorite is unwrapping a gift that's wrapped in all sorts of tape - with oven mits. You have ten seconds and then pass it aroundthe circle of people. It's insanely hard, but totally fun, and there's always a really great gift on the inside if you win.

2. My mother's side of the family is super French, so getting to bake tarts and, bien sur, une bouche de Noel (yule log) is always really fun.

3. The long, drawn out present-opening ritual. My family drags it out for hours. We open stockings, eat a massive brunch, and then begin opening gifts. One person at a time. Some may think this to be torturous, but it's how I've grown up and I loooove it.

4. Watching The Santa Clause. We don't watch terribly many other Christmas specials, but this one is ALWAYS on, so we've made a little tradition out of it. Usually with chocolate or caramel popcorn.

5. Decorating gingerbread houses, as cheesy as that is. My great-aunt has been sending my brother and I kits since we were tiny. Despite the fact we're much older now and he's going through his 'everything is lame' phase, we still get them. And, though he'll deny it, we have a smashing time.
 
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Minibit

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The long, drawn out present-opening ritual. My family drags it out for hours. We open stockings, eat a massive brunch, and then begin opening gifts. One person at a time. Some may think this to be torturous, but it's how I've grown up and I loooove it.
Mine too! I like it much better than all-at-once. We usually have one person who sits nearest the tree choose a gift and say 'this ones for mom from dad!' Or whatever it is, and then it gets opened and there's a hug and thank you and depending on the gift you try it out/on, and then the next

It makes everything feel more appreciated, you know?
 
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Lil Pom

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Mine too! I like it much better than all-at-once. We usually have one person who sits nearest the tree choose a gift and say 'this ones for mom from dad!' Or whatever it is, and then it gets opened and there's a hug and thank you and depending on the gift you try it out/on, and then the next

It makes everything feel more appreciated, you know?
Ahhh! Yes, that's exactly it! And I love the feeling of handing people their gifts, especially when it's one I'm excited about giving. That's my favorite part of the holiday.
 
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Spaceguitar

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THE YULE LOG.

I need more of that in my life, period.

But there's this:


So I think I can make do.





I have issues with my family, but we certainly do try. Particularly with new traditions. I'm actually looking forward to building new rituals and traditions with my own family someday. I like the idea of stretching out the gift-opening one at a time, of mixing in brunch, and just making a long, chillax morning of it all!
 

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my favorite tradition is a community card exchange! Sadly some years I am unable to organize it because of busy real life stuff. Like I missed the chance this year. D: But I have been doing them since before Iwaku even existed. And will prolly keep doing them for many years to come!
 
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We have a nativity set that my great-grandmother made that gets set up early in the month, but the manger is left empty until midnight Christmas Eve. (At this point our personal religions don't matter, it's a tradition) We always stay up to put the baby in the manger. Also, we have a Christmas Eve present, it's always the same thing every year and something I have continued with my son. We get new pajamas every Christmas Eve. :)
 
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Minerva

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3. The long, drawn out present-opening ritual. My family drags it out for hours. We open stockings, eat a massive brunch, and then begin opening gifts. One person at a time. Some may think this to be torturous, but it's how I've grown up and I loooove it.
We do it like that as well!

But we don't have all that big a family, so it takes about two, three hours with stockings, breakfast and gifts total.
 

Icystorm

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My family has Christmas Eve at my parents house and we open gifts. Then the next day we open more gifts and eat at my grandmas.
This is the first year I can remember where it will be different. Christmas Eve will still be spent at my parents, but my grandma did not want to do that much cooking this year so the rest of my family is going to my aunts and I am going to hang out with my boyfriend's family.
 

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Ok, this is what I usually do:

I usually spend all day on Christmas Eve using the NORAD Santa Tracker. I have done this since I was little, and it never gets old. I don't remember when it started, but I still do it.

Then at night, we go to Church. I give a reading at the service, and then we go home.

After that, I get home, do whatever, then go to sleep.

On Christmas Morning, I get up, put on clothes I can slide in as fast as I can, kill some time until it hits like, 8:00, and then slide into the Living room in the hallway. Do a unique twist every year too.(though, at my grandparents two years ago, I gave myself a nasty rugburn that way sliding on my chest down their carpeted stairs. /Lesson Learned.)

Then, I look around the tree at what Santa has brought me. (Yes, I'm 16 and I still believe in Santa. Sue me.)

I then wake my parents up, and you guys heard the rest.

This year, I'm forgoing Church, and eating dinner at my girlfriend's house. Her grandparents are coming in from Korea, and I'm eating authentic Korean food, so that should be exciting.

Everything else will probably remain the same, though. So yeah.
 

Jorick

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My family doesn't do anything super special now that everyone is old enough to not need the Santa stuff. The one tradition that remains is we open gifts from one person, then those from another person, and so on. Instead of one person opening all their received gifts in one go, all the gifts given by one person are opened at the same time.
 
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Uneasy Goat

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Alrighty, here goes: Anthro/Furry (not a genre, but something I might join an unfamiliar genre for), Slice of Life, Romance, Horror (Gorefest = <3), Sci-Fi (Enjoy the world, but I'm not going to play something where the story is so airtight that I've got no freedom), Medieval Fantasy (Something akin to Song of Ice and FIre), Dungeons & Dragons-esque Fantasy
My family doesn't do anything super special now that everyone is old enough to not need the Santa stuff. The one tradition that remains is we open gifts from one person, then those from another person, and so on. Instead of one person opening all their received gifts in one go, all the gifts given by one person are opened at the same time.
That is really cool! I've never thought of doing something like that.

I appreciate all the responses :D It helps to see so many people with their holiday traditions and it's all getting stored in my mental bank for when Kai and I have kids of our own.
 

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All I can think of is getting more videos of my now 3 year old cousin handing out the presents to everyone.

We had this one time Grandma was filming it... While it was her gift being given.
So when the cousin walked up to Grandma she walked out of the camera view, causing Grandma to back up to get her back in view.

This ended up confusing my cousin who suddenly started running after her desperately. XD
 

Uneasy Goat

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Alrighty, here goes: Anthro/Furry (not a genre, but something I might join an unfamiliar genre for), Slice of Life, Romance, Horror (Gorefest = <3), Sci-Fi (Enjoy the world, but I'm not going to play something where the story is so airtight that I've got no freedom), Medieval Fantasy (Something akin to Song of Ice and FIre), Dungeons & Dragons-esque Fantasy
All I can think of is getting more videos of my now 3 year old cousin handing out the presents to everyone.

We had this one time Grandma was filming it... While it was her gift being given.
So when the cousin walked up to Grandma she walked out of the camera view, causing Grandma to back up to get her back in view.

This ended up confusing my cousin who suddenly started running after her desperately. XD
This reminds me of Christmas when my little cousin who was 6-7 at the time (currently 19... where the fuck does time go?) and he was so proud to be old enough to pass around presents. He was handing them off and running back to the tree and he picked up the present that "he" got for our Uncle and as he dropped the present in his lap he goes, "Here's your salad spinner, Uncle John."

We've had that joke since then, every year when we're handing out presents Uncle John will "get" a salad spinner and I can't wait to see the new kids at Christmas and find out what their new adorable additions are to the holidays.
 
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Grothnor

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Pre-Christmas Activities
Our family goes to a dollar store to buy gifts for everyone. Usually we end up buying random garbage for each other to get a laugh. Overall, good, silly fun.

My mom makes at least two batches of Christmas chex-mix (or "gook" ['oo' as in look] as our family calls it). About half of the first batch gets packaged to give to the extended family, but the rest gets to be eaten by us.

We get two boxes of Dunkin Donuts for Christmas breakfast.

Christmas Stuff
  1. Wake up and, once everyone's awake, open our stockings.
  2. Eat our doughnuty breakfast.
  3. Open presents.
  4. Lounge around all day and play with our stuff, or otherwise do whatever.
We've done this in this order for around 20 years or so.

Post-Christmas Stuff
We go to visit our extended family (mother's side) a few days after Christmas for a second Christmas. We deliver the gook then and mostly eat and hang out for pretty much all day before heading back home.
 
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