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OT: Holiday Traditions

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Trematode, Dec 6, 2012.

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  1. Trematode

    Trematode

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    Does anyone do anything special over the holidays? If so, what is it? What traditions do you partake in? What is always a part of your holidays?

    This is just a fun thread to get you thinking past exams and about your break. Hopefully it will create a warm fuzzy feeling in everyone who takes part.

    As for me, this year is going to be completely different. This is my first time not being home for 3 weeks. I live with my boyfriend friend and I work Christmas Eve. We have not decided I'
    if we are going to have a tree. We are still trying to figure out how we are going to see both of our families, who live 2 hours apart.

    For the last few Christmases, I have been the one who wraps most of the family gifts and stocking stuffers. I usually put music on and spend the afternoon or evening wrapping gifts. I find it very relaxing. Every year I have to try and wrap a Toblerone bar for my dad (It is not as easy as it looks! Especially the triangular shaped ones)

    Lately, two of my grandparents have been spending the holidays with my family. We usually try to travel the hour to see other relatives.

    One of my grandmothers has been making homemade chocolates every Christmas since I can remember.
    They are fantastic!

    Who is next? :D :D :D
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  2. EngrSC

    EngrSC

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    Every Christmas we watch Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase, such a funny movie :laugh:

    My husband and I were debating about getting a Christmas tree and hanging Christmas lights but decided not to. We're kind of grinchy ... we just feel like Christmas is so artificial these days :(

    But we always spend time on Christmas with 3 sets of families. We see my dad and step-mom, my mom and step-dad, and his family. It usually involves us getting up at 4 am and not getting to bed until late that night. Every year it's an exhausting day for us!
  3. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet So long, and thanks for all the WW Gold Donor

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    I used to always work on christmas eve and christmas day (as a kid and adult).

    Have had take out chinese food christmas eve almost every year.

    woo hoo, holiday spirit!
  4. Frozenshades

    Frozenshades KSU c/o 2017! Gold Donor

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    Most of my extended family lives fairly close so we normally all meet up a couple times for the holidays (we had like 27 people at my parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner and a few more came for desert!). We normally have a joint birthday party with all the fam for me and my cousin who is two weeks younger (so as of right now I am 21 and she still isn't :smuggrin: ) and my mother's and one of my aunt's birthdays are also in December. The family always gets together in the evening on Christmas eve to eat together and exchange gifts. A big group usually goes out to dinner on New Year's Eve too. And then we always do a white elephant gift exchange after New Years :laugh:

    Makes me glad I'm able to spend as much time with my family as I am, and to see how close everyone is.

    One of our classics too, hah. There are several we watch every year, though I think my favorite might be A Christmas Story.
  5. skittles12

    skittles12 UTCVM class of 2014

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    My favorite too! We always have it on for Christmas Eve. Usually my extended family gets together and exchanges gifts. We have a big lunch and then appetizer-type stuff for dinner.

    One of the things I like best though is the baking! Cookies, cakes, pies--everything! I have a couple of my grandmother's recipes that are especially treasured. They bring back memories every time.
  6. orcagirl

    orcagirl NCSU 2016

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    On Chirstmas Eve we watch Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story. My grandma usually makes seafood chowder (it's so good). We eat it in bread soup bowls and have salad. Then we open some presents and have dessert. I don't get to go home this year so we'll be doing along distance Skype Christmas.
  7. scb44f

    scb44f MIZ c/o 2015

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    No real traditions here other than spending it with family. This year we are spending Christmas with my husband's family and then a few days later we are headed to spend time with my immediate family. I need to talk to my grandma, but I imagine we will stop in on the way to and from my husband's family's house, since we drive right by.

    My sister is dating someone who has 2 kids, and one of them will be spending the holidays with my family so we are excited to buy fun presents for once!
  8. Frozenshades

    Frozenshades KSU c/o 2017! Gold Donor

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    Drool. Yes! My mom always makes dozens upon dozens of various kinds of cookies each holiday and they're so good. Definite favorite is the peanut butter hershey kiss cookie :D
  9. heylodeb

    heylodeb UC Davis c/o 2015 :)

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    I'm not sure how Christmas is going to work this year. With my seeminly incresing health issues, I just haven't had the energy to do all the "normal" things....other years - SO many traditions!

    Christmas music is not allowed to be played until after Thanksgiving. Then it must be played 24/7!! Normally go get the tree the weekend of or the weekend after thanksgiving (depending on travel). I decorate the entire house (boxes and boxes of decorations. a lot. of. decoration.) and then we have a "Tree Lighting Celebration" where we have a group of friends over and decorate our tree. Every year, my husband and I take a picture of us hanging up our "First Christmas" ornament together.

    Our Christmas tree always have a name and it is decided during the Tree Lighting. Last year, it was mostly decorated by people who are Jewish so we named it "Dreidel" :laugh:

    On actual Christmas day - my entire extended family has a tradition where you have to be the first person to say "Christmas Gift" when you see or talk to someone for the first time. Cellphone caller ID has sort of ruined the fun since it was rather hilarious to answer the phone all day "CHRISTMAS GIFT!!!!!" and have random people on the phone who had no idea why they just got yelled at.

    When we were kids, Jesus wouldn't be put into the manger in the nativity set until after we went to bed on Christmas Eve. We would go running to the nativity set Christmas morning to double check that Jesus was ACTUALLY born. My mom would also hang a ton of candy canes on the tree so when we woke up in the morning - it was covered in candy canes.

    Every year for Christmas, we get a new ornament that has some significance to something we did or accomplished that year. So almost every ornament on my tree has a story and a history behind it. <3

    Lastly, before we opened any gifts, we would all sit around the tree, eating monkey bread, and listen to my dad read the Christmas story from the book of Luke in the Bible.

    SO - the last thing that Christmas is in our family is about the gifts or the materialistic side. My family doesn't really celebrate any other holidays with near as many traditions! Whenever people say that they don't celebrate Christmas because it has become too materialistic. I say: Create your own Christmas! Make it about family or friends, love, important things in your life, celebrating surviving most of the year! Just because society is moving it in one direction you don't have to follow the trend!
  10. EngrSC

    EngrSC

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    There needs to be a drooling smilie added to the collection :thumbup:

    My dad makes the bessssstt apple pie. Mmm ... can't wait!
  11. DVMDream

    DVMDream Gone, Adios! Gold Donor

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    Every year my sisters, myself, mom, dad, and aunt would go to my grandma's house where we would decorate Christmas cookies (these were the ones that got left out for Santa). We would play Christmas music, have lunch, my dad would put up the Christmas lights for my grandma and the rest of us would decorate the tree and the inside of her house. This would usually occur about a week or so before Christmas.

    Christmas Eve was spent at my grandma's house. Where we would all get together for dinner, talk and enjoy each others company. For the past few years, we have made it a tradition that after Thanksgiving all of the names of the family get put into a big hat, each person draws out a name and then on Christmas Eve you tell everyone what makes the person special, your memories of them, etc, etc... you can get a gift for them if you want, but it is mostly to tell how special that particular member of the family is to you. There have been many "gifts" made over the years... My sister made a DVD with video and pictures and things on it for my other sister. There have been full scrapbooks made with memories, quotes and pictures for other people. It is really a great way to reflect upon how much someone really means to you.

    Christmas Day tends to get shuffled around to various different places... whether it is at grandparents' house, aunt's house, our house... it really varied. When I was little, mornings were spent opening gifts, eating cinnamon buns, and playing with my sisters. That has changed so much now. Most of us aren't even around on Christmas Day.. Christmas Eve is a much bigger celebration. We usually have a large dinner with the entire family on Christmas Day, just hang out with everyone.

    I definitely miss making the Christmas cookies that was always fun, that hasn't happened for quite some time. I also don't think we are doing the family name thing on Christmas Eve since the majority of us were away from home on Thanksgiving. But, Christmas Eve will still be the biggest event this year as that is when all of the family will be able to be together (probably around 30 people) all hanging out having dinner and chatting, playing games... it shall be a good time.
  12. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    Deb, that sounds so amazing :) I agree 100% about making your own Christmas traditions! I can't wait until I finish school and D and I get a place that we can decorate out the wazoo, haha.

    I think our biggest tradition revolves around the tree. We always, always, always get a real live tree and we (me, my sister and my dad) always, always, always argue with my mom because she wants the "small" (5-6') trees and we want the giant ones (10'+...one year we had a 12' one!) I think that's our biggest Christmas tradition, arguing over the tree :laugh: We also always go to get it at night, which has something to do with my mom's best friend's tree hunting tradition which is now ours.
  13. equineconstant

    equineconstant Purple & Gold 2017

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    I love Christmas traditions! I'm basically the official present wrapper at my house--I wrap everything that isn't for me. My dad usually gets a big box with like 8 rolls of wrapping paper and bows and ribbons and gift tags and I get to go crazy making everything really pretty. :D

    Decorating the tree is a big deal too. We do lights on the outside of the house, but the tree is the best part. We have a dancing Santa that plays Jingle Bell Rock so we basically have it on loop for at least the first third or so of the tree decorating. I usually wear a Santa hat throughout decorating. Then after the tree's all decorated, we all sit in the living room with the tree lit up and have First Eggnog (eggnog may be drunk before First Eggnog, but it doesn't count). It's also kind of special because there's no food allowed in the living room except for First Eggnog and Christmas breakfast (and cookies for Santa, of course!). Every year we make a bunch of sugar cookies with cookie cutters and make them really pretty with sprinkles and sugar and food coloring...and then very few of them get eaten. :laugh: Throwing away last year's cookies is practically part of the tradition. I usually make some chocolate cracked cookies too, and if I do they always get eaten.

    Christmas generally happens at my house, with my mom's parents and sometimes her brother coming to visit. We all go to mass on Christmas Eve and then go out to dinner someplace nice. Since I have a much younger brother, we also get to do the fun traditions like leaving out milk and cookies and sometimes a note for Santa, and crumbling Shredded Wheat onto the lawn for reindeer food. Then once my brother's asleep, my sister and I help pull out all the presents from "Santa" that were hidden away and eat the cookies and make "snow" bootprints with baby powder.

    On Christmas morning, I make a special breakfast, like a quiche or eggnog muffins (my mom used to do it, but I've taken over). When the guests get there/wake up, present unwrapping can begin! Everyone makes a prediction about what time we'll finish unwrapping presents. My dad cooks a turkey or a ham and we have a bunch of sides and stuff--basically like another Thanksgiving (or Easter, when I used to be home for Easter), with sandwiches for dinner from the leftovers. Other than that, the day is just filled with playing with our new presents and board games and hanging out with family. It's the best. :love:
  14. Frozenshades

    Frozenshades KSU c/o 2017! Gold Donor

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    Blasphemy! Christmas cookies don't survive until February if I have anything to do with it :laugh:


    That sounds really nice, DVMD. I think it's known that family appreciates each other, but there's nothing like a good gesture to go the extra mile to really show them.
  15. EngrSC

    EngrSC

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    Hmm ... can I come spend Christmas at your house?? :idea: You guys know how to celebrate Christmas!!
  16. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers Penguins are jerks. Gold Donor

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    So here's the real question - is it presents on Christmas Eve, or presents of Christmas Day? Or a combination of the two?

    Solid vote for Christmas morning here. Though apparently there are weirdos that open them on the Eve.
  17. EngrSC

    EngrSC

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    :laugh: I vote Christmas morning
  18. DVMDream

    DVMDream Gone, Adios! Gold Donor

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    Both. Some family is around on Eve but not on Christmas Day and some family is around Christmas Day, but not Eve. Just depends on who is going to be around when.
  19. BlackDog17

    BlackDog17 AVC c/o 2017

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    We do both. We've always done food and presents with my Dad's side of the family on Christmas Eve, then presents just among us (me, my brother and my parents) on Christmas morning, then presents with my mom's side of the family in the afternoon on Christmas day, then dinner with everyone all together at our house that evening.

    It's great spreading them all out because there's always more opening to look forward to! Really, the unwrapping and the surprise of seeing what people picked out for you is the best part. :D
  20. prevetdreamer

    prevetdreamer ... c/o 2018?...

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    My family has a ton of christmas traditions! My mom's side of the family has a party a couple weeks before christmas where Santa visits. Christmas Eve is spent at my parent's house, my sister's families and sometimes my brother's come over for a soup dinner and a christmas program. After they leave, my parents and I open our christmas pajamas (new pair every year!) and wrap last minute gifts. Christmas morning we unwrap our presents, then head over to my maternal grandmas for brunch, then to my paternal grandparents for dinner. My dad always makes this killer crab dip... YUM! The day after christmas is my favorite day of the year, so if I'm not working I like to stay at home and spend time with the fam.

    My cousins and I are all really close, so the past few years we've gotten together before christmas to go out to dinner and exchange gifts. It's fun to have something special just for us. I've also started baking christmas cookies on christmas eve, since we never did when I was growing up. I usually do the classic sugar cookie with frosting, but I think this year I'm going to do some different ones. I'm also making almost all of my gifts by hand this year! Mostly because I'm poor, but it's been fun so I think I might make this one a tradition of my own.

    The holidays are always pretty busy, but so much fun!
  21. KitCat

    KitCat 2018 hopeful :)

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    We do both as well, presents and delicious food x2 :) different this year is im getting wisdom teeth out dec. 19 :eek: and playing piano at xmas eve mass...im pretty much making myself do it (I have horrible stage fright) so hopefully all goes well on both accounts :)

    Sent from my MB612 using SDN Mobile
  22. bbeventer

    bbeventer Illinois 2016

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    Our only tradition is family bickering.... yay holidays.
  23. tropictuco

    tropictuco Auburn c/o 2017!

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    For my whole life up until two years ago, my grandmother was always here for Christmas. I have strong associations with her and Christmas. Two years ago, she died two weeks before Christmas. So many of our traditions were based around her that we didn't know what we were going to do. So on that Christmas Eve, we were making dinner, and we didn't get started until way too late and it was 10:00 pm and we hadn't eaten yet. If my grandmother had been with us, you can be darn sure dinner would've been on the table by 7:00. Right around 10:00, as we were putting the finishing touches on everything, my brother broke the faucet off the sink. Totally unintentional. The four of us just collapsed into fits of laughter for a solid 2 minutes. It was the perfect outlet for all the stress and pain of her not being there. I don't even remember how the dishes were cleaned without the faucet...

    Anyway, for those of us missing loved ones, I think of this time a wonderful time to remember them. But it's important to start new traditions too.

    Wow that's melancholy...the decorations are all up and I'm missing her a lot I guess.

    Anyway, here's my favorite tradition: mantel-decorating! I've gotten to do it by myself ever since I was tall enough, I guess. My mother was very close to my great-grandmother and has all of the dolls and quite frankly junk that she used to decorate with. I cram it all onto the mantel and it's a different arrangement every year.

    Then my dad and I awaken the Santa Claus dolls (two sets of Mr. and Mrs. Claus), unwrap them, and arrange them. Every few years, my mother and I strip them and wash their underwear (we think it'd be pretty uncomfortable to have moldy underwear!). But we keep my brother and Dad away from the dolls during the whole process because 'boys aren't allowed to see them without clothes on'. I still don't think they actually know what we're doing...just that they're not allowed to see whatever it is...It's pretty silly but really fun.
  24. Kpowell14

    Kpowell14 Mizzou c/o 2017

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    Christmas eve for us is spent with my dads side of the family.. We eat amazing food... Play dirty Santa.. And play the game Spoons and assorted board games... . And there is a lot of alcohol involved..wine, beer..... My cousin made Apple pie "moon shine" last year.. I'm not a big drinker but the apple pie stuff was really good... Then sometimes the sober ones go to midnight mass at our church... ( is midnight mass on Christmas eve done for denominations other than Catholics?) so Christmas eve is always a fun time! ( I know this makes my family sound like a bunch of alcoholics, but we just like to have a good time lol )

    Christmas morning has been the same since I was a little kid.. Wake up, do presents and dad makes an amazing southern breakfast..

    Then off to my Nannas house for lunch and more presents.. She always gives everyone a pair of pajamas among other things, but the PJs are the best :D
  25. BlackDog17

    BlackDog17 AVC c/o 2017

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    Dare I ask what this is?
  26. Trematode

    Trematode

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    I have Bailey's chocolates in my fridge from last Christmas. Hahaha.

    We used to open one present on Christmas Eve when I was growing up. The rest we would open on Christmas morning.
  27. Kpowell14

    Kpowell14 Mizzou c/o 2017

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    Everyone brings a wrapped $10-15 gift.. Then numbers are placed in a hat.. 1-X ... #1 gets to pick a gift and open it... Then #2 has the option to steal #1s present or open a new present... Presents can be stolen 3 times then they are "dead" and cannot be stolen again.. If someone steals your present you can either steal someone else's present (except not the one just stolen from you) or open a new one.. it is super fun!! There is always one or two gifts that everyone wants and get stolen until they are dead.. Last year I ended up,with a gift card, so I was happy lol

    ETA: there is normally about 20 of us which makes it even more entertaining.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  28. Trematode

    Trematode

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    That is an awesome idea!

    Edited: botched that on my phone lol
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  29. BlackDog17

    BlackDog17 AVC c/o 2017

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    Ahhh, so like a Yankee Swap but somewhat less polite. :laugh:
  30. tropictuco

    tropictuco Auburn c/o 2017!

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    Oh and also my brother and I must be the best children in the world. We're 26 and 23 and we still get presents from Santa. :)
  31. Kpowell14

    Kpowell14 Mizzou c/o 2017

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    I have no idea what a Yankee swap is lol... I'm from Nashville, Tn :laugh:
  32. BlackDog17

    BlackDog17 AVC c/o 2017

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    Basically it's the same idea. Everyone gets a number. #1 chooses a gift from the pile, opens it. #2 chooses a gift from the pile, opens it, then decides if they want to keep it or swap with number one. When you open your gift you can swap with anyone else who has already opened theirs. At the end #1 gets to swap with anyone they want. There's no limit to the number of times the same gift can be swapped, so often times if there's one really good one it will change hands multiple times before #1 finally claims it at the end. :laugh:
  33. Kpowell14

    Kpowell14 Mizzou c/o 2017

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    Ahhh gotcha lol essentially the same thing
  34. Frozenshades

    Frozenshades KSU c/o 2017! Gold Donor

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    My family does a similar thing with a big group. It seems like it just has a lot of different names. I've heard Dirty santa, Yankee swap, Chinese auction, White elephant gift exchange, etc.
  35. washbucket

    washbucket UC Davis c/o 2017

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    Mom's family: Jewish, mostly secular
    Dad's family: Catholic, mostly lapsed

    We celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, the former with a bit of religion, the latter with none at all - it's just about family, decorations, and having fun. We do have some traditions, mostly for Christmas since growing up I was usually in school during Hanukkah, so that was pretty much just light the menorah and eat a lot of latkahs (oh man fried potatoes in any form are good but I love me some latkahs).

    For Christmas, my mom and I read A Child's Christmas in Wales to each other, sometimes with others joining in. A whole bunch of us, with various guests every year, read The Best Christmas Pagent Ever out loud. I usually recite most of the first chapter from memory ever since high school. There's usually at least two people crying by the end of the book, largely because we try to end on me or my mom, and not to brag or anything, but we are both unequivocally good at reading out loud. We always have a tree, and stockings filled with candy and office supplies and band-aids and batteries and such - stockings are for edibles and useful items, for us. We always have some presents "from Santa" even though neither I nor my older sister ever believed in Santa. We all still pretend that the stockings are from Santa too, in a sort of tounge-in-cheek way.

    This is the first year that I won't be with my family for Christmas. My SO and I are going to be with his family, because we have to go get his pet ball python (his parents have been looking after the snake since my SO started college - no pets in the dorms), and we have to drive. It's about 4000 miles round-trip, so there isn't really time to go there and back before Christmas or after Christmas, we have to have Christmas in the middle. I guess I'll find out what Christmas is like at his family's house! But I am really sad I'll be missing Christmas with my family, especially since my sister is in the country this year (she was in India for a few years).
  36. wolfspeaker

    wolfspeaker SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Same here, only there is no take-out chinese food. :( Too small of a town. I just make my own meal.

    Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. I'm usually always working. Can only stand to be with my family for an hour or so anyways, so it suits me. I'd rather get the Holiday pay, so I volunteer for shifts. :laugh:
  37. Trilt

    Trilt NCSU c/o 2016 Gold Donor

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    Same here - one gift on eve, all the rest with Santa's in the morning.

    No real traditions here. This is the first year in four that my father (who's a marine) will be home, so that'll be nice. I've got a five year old brother and so we still do the whole Santa spiel - just making cookies and leave out carrots for Rudolph.
  38. wolfspeaker

    wolfspeaker SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I officially want to become a part of your family! Mine doesn't do much :( Last year it was me and the parents two days AFTER Christmas. No one could make it for Christmas, and no one would schedule a get-together. So they just didn't do anything. I'm jealous of the people who actually HAVE traditions.

    Reading through this thread makes me sad. :( My family officially sucks!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  39. Emiloo4

    Emiloo4 UF CVM 2016

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    :laugh: We're 26 and 24 and it's the same way. I get very sad if there's nothing from Santa :(
    He's a boss hog outlaw.

    :laugh:
  40. Trematode

    Trematode

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    My family sucks too. I am so happy I only have to spend 15 hours with my family, not 3 weeks like I did in undergrad. My parents lost all of our traditions when we did our last move. The last couple of years, I had really bad anxiety over Christmas. For 3 days, my family would do their own thing and protest if I dare ask them to play a board game or go look at Christmas lights. TV was more important. Plus, mom usually worked. Because stores were closed and friends were busy, I would spend 3 days on my laptop. It drove me batty!

    Before our last move, we would go to the Christmas Eve service and stay up until 1am with close friends of ours. There would be tons of food and board games. I miss the social part of Christmas!

    It probably makes me look like a mean person to say this. But the main reason I am more festive than usual is because I get to spend a lot less time at home (but still see my family), I get to spend more time with my boyfriend and animals, and I get to spend time with his family (who actually has traditions).
  41. that redhead

    that redhead MMXV

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    We open one present on Christmas Eve. I'd rather wait until Christmas morning, personally, but my sister is That Kid and always demanded we get to open a present:) We also still get stuff from Santa!

    When we were kids, my parents used to wrap most/75% of the presents but leave out a few things on the couches/in our stockings. We were allowed to play with the unwrapped stuff on the couch and look in our stockings but no opening until everyone was awake (which was usually shortly thereafter, haha)!
  42. Bracco Pointer

    Bracco Pointer UF CVM 2017!

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    Christmas Eve, our family's small business always throws a big party with lots of food. The night before Christmas Eve, my mom and I always are cooking fudge, brownies, cookies, salsa dip, and other goodies. On Christmas day, we open presents early in the morning, and then I usually help my mom cook all day. My mom makes the best homemade fudge. :p

    Since my Granddad passed away two years ago, there hasn't been a whole lot holding the family together - so the group has gotten smaller each year. Nevertheless, even if it's just my parents and me, we end up cooking a feast. :) This will be my first Christmas living on my own (and working Christmas Eve away from our store), so I'm not sure what we're going to do. I'm sure my mom and I will get together and cook like always, just not sure when or where.
  43. orcagirl

    orcagirl NCSU 2016

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    Most of them get opened Christmas Eve. It used to be half and half when I was little, but now we don't get as many presents. We still do Santa presents in the morning. It works out great trying to juggle multiple Christmases. My husband's family is a Christmas day family. So we would do Eve with mine and Day with his.

    We started a new tradition about three years ago where we do secret Santa gag gifts. It's pretty fun. Also my grandma has gotten my siblings and I ornaments every year since we were born (she got on for my husband last year even though we weren't married yet. He's been part of the family for a while though). She's also gotten my sister and I pj's for the past 3 years or so. I love it. About 2 years ago my family started going to Chinese buffets on Christmas day in the spirit of A Christmas Story.
  44. equineconstant

    equineconstant Purple & Gold 2017

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    There's usually one biggish present that dad puts together on Christmas Eve and leaves under the tree "wrapped" by just sticking a bow on it for my little brother to play with before the guests arrive/everyone else wakes up. When my sister and I were younger, we would get presents like that too. I distinctly remember getting bikes like that a couple of years.
  45. WolvesDragon55

    WolvesDragon55 Hopeful Class of 2018

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    We all get together and eat hog maul :D And lots of family bickering, always. My fiance and I run around like nuts to get to all the various family meals.

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