Want to add a few new traditions to your families upcoming holidays? Here are a few of my favorites.
Christmas Tree Search Party-
My family drives up north about an hour to go to a Christmas tree farm where there are horse rides, bonfires, apple cider, hot cocoa, smores, tire swings and lots of other fun activities. (They have beer or whiskey for the men in my family). It's great fun to watch tipsy family members tease each other and argue over what tree is better.
The Christmas Pickle-
It's rumored that Germans brought over this goody. A Pickle Christmas Tree ornament is hidden some where on the Christmas Tree. Who ever finds the pickle gets the prize (at least that's the rules my mother goes by). Our family prize is always a gift card. Some families though say that it represents the persons good fortune for the upcoming year.
Gingerbread houses (Ew!)
I have never enjoyed ginger bread so my mother always let me make my house with graham crackers. Waaayyy better (thanks mom!). One might think that building gingerbread houses is silly when you're no longer 10. I beg to differ. When Rach and I were 17 and 19 we made fabulous little love shacks... I mean houses. Some great memories always come from trying to sabotage another's work. Done with sisterly love, I assure you.
The Festival of Lights
"Get in the car!" Mother was always so patient. Another great thing my family does is load up in the car with whatever snacks we have made (fudge or popcorn balls) and set off to see what neighborhood has been deemed the most amazing place for Christmas lights displays. It's really cool to see how creative people get and guess how much their electric bill is.
Hanukkah is celebrated in a great way. People light a candle to remember the great miracle their God provided them with when they had no oil to keep their lamps lit. The lamp they had stayed lit for 8 days. So every night for 8 days in a row they light one of the candles with the help of a 9th candled the shamash (helper). They also love to fry food during these 8 days to celebrate even being able to have oil.
My family goes to midnight mass. Pretty much so we can stay awake (hyped up on coffee and ridiculous amounts of sugar) and open a few presents before exhaustion over takes us. (When I say us I mean the adults.)
Movies are beyond important in our family. It's how we get the kids to sit down and shut up while we cook. I'm kidding...al though I did hear my grandmother say that when I was younger. My favorite is A White Christmas. My mom loves all things Charlie Brown. I'll just make a list for you:
A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th street, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Santa Clause (Tim the Tool Man Taylor), Elf, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and It's a Wonderful Life.
Dear Santa Letters. How cute is this? I'm going to do this when I have my own children.
I think that's all my family does. Share your family traditions for the upcoming holidays below.