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susieSA

Christmas

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Yea yea yea....

I know it is barely November...

But considering that Christmas stuff is already in the shops I got wondering about how different people in different parts of the world celebrate Christmas...

And what family traditions we all have to celebrate Christmas...

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Since my husband and I separated/divorced ten years ago, my family is split each Christmas Day..one year the kids spend Christmas Eve and Boxing Day with me, and Christmas Day with their dad, the next the rota is reversed. Fortunately, the kids are with each of us for at least the morning on Christmas Day as they've spent the night before with one of us, and don't go to the other parent till lunch time, so we both get to see them for a little time that day. For the remainder of the holiday, I usually visit my parents/sister's houses with my kids on one of the 'big' days, and sometimes visit friends' houses on others. Occasionally I have had group gatherings at my house over the holiday, for parties, but not so often these days as I like a quieter, family time together more nowadays (I'm getting old and boring, lol!).

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I think that this Christmas will be the quietest for us this year. We have always had family around. Now that we are in Idaho the nearest are about 700 miles away. We are having most to our house for Thanksgiving. Also late December is not the best time to travel with the Idaho/Utah weather. Probably just be the two of us cuddled up under a blanket by the fireplace. Hmmm, wait, that doesn't sound so bad after all. :):)

Ben Raines

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this is just our family tradition lol

We have an advent calender, with 25 drawers each with a Christmas related story and activity and of course a chocolate. We also have an advent candleholder, until the 24th and the 12 days of Christmas we just decorate the porch with these items on a table to signifie Christmas is coming.

My daughter has just decided she would like to pretend Santa exists this year so: On the 23rd we will be putting out the glass of milk, mince pie and carrot for Santa - as we have a magic tree that arrives that night with the presentsm (the tree is ivory with silver lanterns), we decorate our tree morning of the 24th, put presents underneath it and then we ice the Christmas Cake, prepare our main meal and make mince pies, all of us then we have a long walk unless weather is very bad and everyone takes a nap, we have our main Christmas dinner (usually stew and dumplings, chocolate trifle and lots of nice stuff to drink we make cocktails), we often have friends to this, then we go for a either a Christingle service or midnight mass (Christingle is a children's service they get an orange which symbolises the world, a red ribbon round it is the blood of christ, 4 jellytots or monkey nuts represent the fruits of the gospel in all 4 corners of the Earth and the candle in the orange is the light of Christ). Then we come back and open presents, have a mince pie (I make jam ones for the kids) and hot chocolate and go to bed.

Christmas Day is Jesus' Birthday the Angel or Santa on top of the tree is changed for a star, and we read the nativity story, then depending on the weather we either make little boats or scrolls with our 3 promises or presents to Jesus, if weather is good we walk to the river and let them go and have a picnic if its bad we have our picnic in the front room and then let balloons go outside with the promises tied to them. We then come in watch Queen's speech, have a birthday tea for Jesus in the evening with a birthday cake,

The other days of Christmas are just holiday season we have a nice New Year and enjoy Daddy being home

We take our tree down as is traditional on the 6 January I try to take my children to an Epiphany service (when the wise men come to see Jesus) or tell them the story.

-Charley

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I think that this Christmas will be the quietest for us this year. We have always had family around. Now that we are in Idaho the nearest are about 700 miles away. We are having most to our house for Thanksgiving. Also late December is not the best time to travel with the Idaho/Utah weather. Probably just be the two of us cuddled up under a blanket by the fireplace. Hmmm, wait, that doesn't sound so bad after all. :):)

Ben Raines

sounds great Ben!! my ideal Christmas

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Sounds like a great plan Ben ;)

And Elgama, do you mind if I loan a few ideas from you? ;)

Almost every Christmas has been different for us since being married... With moving countries, making new friends, having a baby etc... hehe...

I am not sure what we are doing this year.... I do know that hubby will be meeting his half brother this year who he has never met before.. So that should be exciting.... Also some cousins for little dude to meet....

Christmas for me has meant different things for me during my life.. Depending on where I was in my life....

The most important part for me right now is for my son to grow up knowing what Christmas is really about....

(We didn't do the Santa thing when I was growing up - but I know hubby did so we might do that for a few years.. )

This year I plan to decorate the tree (hubby puts up the tree & I decorate) with little dude... We didn't get to do that last year....

I grew up with this big gold ball on the Christmas tree... Kinda a family airloom... And a few years ago it was passed down to me... So I am really excited for my son to grow up with that memory too...

And Pushka... You "getting old and boring"... NEVER!!!!

Edited by susieSA

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Use what you like lol - for me Christmas should never be a huge amount of expense or energy it should be fun for all - growing up my Mum always did steak and chips instead of a traditional Christmas dinner.

our compromise with Santa is that we do Santa but Ellie is also aware he is not real - we explained he is like a character in a book and its nice to believe he is real, but he isn't, but that some children believe he is and not to say anything. She says she wants to pretend he is real - but I still wanted to do what my parents did and open presents on Christmas Eve at midnight (or when we get back from mass) - so we came up with the magic tree lol also means Christmas is simply Jesus' birthday.

We also try to do the 3 gifts the kids get one big gift each and then sweets and a book. Richard and I have yet to have bought each other something lol we have never been able to afford it before this year, I want to spoil Richard because my friend Stephen always makes sure I have loads of presents.

-Charley

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1.My parents always taped off the entrance to the living room with a sign that said "nope" until Santa came, and after he came they'd change the sign to " Go for it!" and so we'd periodically sneak out of bed and check the sign. Sometimes it would be at like 2am..sometimes later. My parents were so worn out but had a blast. Then we'd always open presents with the lights off next to a freshly built fire and Christmas tree glowing!!! :)

2. Instead of a big Christmas dinner, we always had a huge Christmas breakfast!

3. Opened a present on Christmas Eve. NOT pajamas. Whatever present we felt like opening.

4. My husband and I have done love letters for eachother for our stocking gifts every year. It's my favorite gift every time :)

Umm if I think of more I'll post haha I know these aren't unique but I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! I've already posted my christmas playlist on my blog!!! TKA

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Charley, I love the way your Christmas celebrations sound..I used to attend Midnight Mass occasionally at Christmas Eve, one year I took my children to the local Children's Mass at 6pm on Christmas Eve, where they placed the figure of Baby Jesus into the nativity scene at the front of the altar, my son was only 5 at the time and asked when it was time for Jesus to join us in the church, lol!!

I used to tell my children that we couldn't open any of the gifts beneath the tree until after Father Christmas had spread his magic dust over them when he called on Christmas Eve/Morning, it kept them happy for a few years, lol :)

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We're going to get a tiny Christmas tree and decorate it with tiny ornaments. ;)

Our apartment is not big enough to accommodate a larger tree, but at least our tree will be real. Everyone I know is getting fruit cake (rum-free, obviously) for Christmas.

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1.My parents always taped off the entrance to the living room with a sign that said "nope" until Santa came, and after he came they'd change the sign to " Go for it!" and so we'd periodically sneak out of bed and check the sign. Sometimes it would be at like 2am..sometimes later. My parents were so worn out but had a blast. Then we'd always open presents with the lights off next to a freshly built fire and Christmas tree glowing!!! :)

2. Instead of a big Christmas dinner, we always had a huge Christmas breakfast!

3. Opened a present on Christmas Eve. NOT pajamas. Whatever present we felt like opening.

4. My husband and I have done love letters for eachother for our stocking gifts every year. It's my favorite gift every time :)

Umm if I think of more I'll post haha I know these aren't unique but I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! I've already posted my christmas playlist on my blog!!! TKA

All of this is too cute! ^_^

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I'm the kind that doesn't really care about Christmases and birthdays. I do put up the tree every year only because my mom asks (pesters, rather?) me to.

Go to church in the morn, then in the afternoon, the extended family either comes to my house, or we go to an aunt's place for dinner. That's really about it.

I suspect when I get my own place, I'll either not have a tree, or only have a tiny little dinky desktop one.

I do, however, enjoy the occasion to get presents for people :3

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We always have the kids vote on christmas eve dinner. (they pick an ethnicity italian, mexican etc) Then I cook a big dinner. They open their gifts to each other on christmas eve, and pajamas that I have made. Last year we all had zebra ones. Christmas morning I make cinnamon rolls and we open the mass of gifts I have bought. (I usually have a theme for each kid) Then we put it all away and they play. I put out cold cuts and snacks for the rest of the day. We watch movies etc. My h takes the whole week off and we sled, play etc. My kids each pick a day of what they want for the menu for that week. It is one of their favorite things. I love to cook. My favorite, favorite time of year. I remember when I moved in with my foster family. It was the first time I remember getting gifts like everyone else got. I was treated the same as the others there. It was one of the best memories I have from childhood. My foster/adopted/mom made sugar cookies and candy. They made me feel like I was one of them. My tradition in their honor is to do the same for whoever we have at christmas. It has been so fun.

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All of this is too cute! ^_^

Agreed - those are great! What wonderful memories and traditions that everyone has!

In my family, we always had breakfast before we could open our presents. My mom will fix pancakes spelled out as our names (Some of us are very lucky to have long names!) Pancakes taste so much better when you are eating your name! :P

We always read a story - a children's book and alternate who reads it year by year. It is a special book that doesn't necessarily have a Christmas theme, but just a story with a lesson.

Those are the only two things I can think of that are a bit unique.

I can't wait to put the tree up, but I will let the Turkey have his day first. :D

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Every year since my children were born I have bought 3 Christmas tree ornaments. One for each child. I try to find something that represents each of them. When they get married or leave the home they will get to take their ornaments with them. That way they have a start for decorating their own trees away from home.

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Guest GhostRider

wow...so many interesting and great traditions!

Some of the things that my family did is that we always open up one gift on christmas eve. Then Cristmas morning my brother and I would wake up the folks at the Great Hour of about 3am. then..off to nanas and papaws for more christmas fun.

Also since we didnt have a fire place, for years my parents put up a cardboard fireplace so santa could come. We would gather around it and Dad would read the Christmas story form the Bible. And also of the time that He arose. For as my father put it "Without Him Being born here on earth, He could not have died for us later on. WE learned a valuable lesson around that cardboard fireplace. They still have it and gave it to my brother not long ago to carry on the tradition with his sons.

Another for years we would go to my uncles firehouse for the annual party. My brother and I would sit on santas lap and thank him for the candy cane and small gift. Not untill YEARS later..like 25 or so..did we find out that it was our own father. To carry on that tradition. I got to dres up as santa for my nephs one year. Mom and dad drove to tennessee and I followed a few hours behind them. I got there long after the kids were put to bed. I changed in the garage and very quietly tip toed to the tree. My brother was filming "Santa" from a "hidden location" and on que i made a bit of noise..out of the corner of my eye i see 2 little heads pop around the corner. In "Ho Ho's" voice i say...hmmm...i wonder if they are up? Never seen the youngest move so fast (he had just turned 2 at the time)! it was priceless to see the look on thier faces. They scooted off to bed so fast it woke up the whole house. To this day they never figured out how Unka got there right after Santa.

This year. We are hoping to have all the family together. will be the first time in many years. Will be noisy with all the little ones. but well worth all the family together for a much needed family portrait.

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Oh man that is just too cute GR... hehe

I can't remember this but always heard about it & have a photo as proof...

When we were still in play school my dad used to dress up as the Santa....

Now my dad has black eye brows so for us not to recognise him he used to put on sunglasses & cotton wool on his eyebrows... Totally fooled us...

My dad has dressed up as the Santa for Primary for years.... Had to do the same thing for his eye brows - all the kiddies know my dad... The funny part was the dog not recognising my dad when he left home dressed as Santa....

Now my brother dresses up as Santa for the Primary Christmas party... We joke and say that it has now been passed down.. hehe...

We were hoping to be with family for Christmas... This will be little dude's first Christmas in SA... But due to a few things we won't be able to make the trip...

But I am totally planning on making memories of our own...

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We couldn't leave our rooms Christmas morning until my dad came and brought us out, which was never before 9am. I can't tell you how many seconds I counted trying to pass the time from way early in the morning when I would wake up until my dad would come get me to open presents all those years!

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Every year since my children were born I have bought 3 Christmas tree ornaments. One for each child. I try to find something that represents each of them. When they get married or leave the home they will get to take their ornaments with them. That way they have a start for decorating their own trees away from home.

My mom did that too for my sisters and I and kept a list by year of all the ornaments we received as gifts. I treasure those the most and know that your children will as well. :)

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Well, my parents are both gone, and my wife's parents are dangers to our children, so keep that in mind before you poo-poo our tradition:

We mock.

We don't mock Christ's birth. But we mock the holy living heck out of commercialism, meaningless traditions, and the veiled hypocracy we see around us.

Remember: Light minded = Mocking sacred things of God = big no-no.

Light hearted = finding humor and joy in the ups and downs of our mortal probation = critical coping skill.

We sing parodies of Christmas songs. We twitter and dare each other to make this Christmas, the one where we send out Christmas Cards with our bare bums prominently displayed. We see people in public places doing things and thinking thoughts and having conversations, and we MST3K the scene until tears are running down our faces and our sides hurt. We watch Jim Carrey's The Grinch who Stole Christmas, and revel in his attitude and actions.

And if ya don't like it, Pucker up and kiss it, Whoville!

LM

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Being born LDS, I never took much stock in mass or Christmass. Not only that, but it was drilled in very early that Christ was born in April, NOT December, and the whole Christmas deal was a Catholic Plot. That's on my Dad's side.

My Mom's side was just off the boat from England and it *was* a big deal. Christmas pudding (with a sauce that included liquor as an ingredient). Big meeting at the Grandparents. Gifts. Stockings.

It was the stockings that got me out of the believing game and into the skeptic game. The Chirstmas Eve when I was five, I counted the number of oranges in the fridge. Next morning, I counted them again AND the number of oranges in Chirstmas Stocking toes -- a family tradition. I could add. And was starting to be able to think.

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