Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let's Talk Tradition

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve, poppets! I think it's time for a holiday-themed Audience Participation Day, don't you?

Yes, of course you do. Because you think what I tell you to think, OBVIOUSLY.

So! Let us speak of holiday traditions. When I was growing up, my family's Christmas went like this: Christmas Eve we got to open all the gifts from out-of-town relatives. Since we were a military family and never spent the holidays with any extended family, there were usually at least gifts from my grandparents to open. Then, greed momentarily satisfied, to bed we would toddle.

On Christmas morning there were stockings to dig through. Incidentally, Santa always brought my family quite a lot of chocolate, but here, Santa tends to stuff my stocking with things like nuts still in their shells and dried figs. Is Santa trying to make me eat more fiber or something? And where does that fat dude get off trying to non-verbally lecture ME about nutrition? Punk.


Right, so . . . stockings first. Then we would open all the gifts. All at once, if you will remember our previous discussion of this practice. Christmas breakfast always included monkey bread*, which was made with the biscuits in a can for maximum processed, soft unwholesomeness. Because really, if you're going to cover the biscuits in a pound of butter and sugar, does it really matter if the biscuits under the candy coating are less than wholesome? No.

And then we would have a big dinner in the afternoon with ham and things. Plus, there was church in there too. Which probably deserves more than just a passing mention at the end of this list, as the religious thing is actually the origin of the whole Christmas celebration, rather than monkey bread. Although you could totally have a religious moment with monkey bread. All that sugar could induce holy visions, I'm pretty sure.


Your turn! Tell me what you always did for holidays growing up. Or what you do now. Which would be a different post for me entirely.

* Wikipedia, that font of all totally accurate knowledge, tells me that monkey bread is also called "pinch-me cake." I find that hilarious, for many reasons.


Phoo-D said...

We would get to open one gift on Christmas Eve (usually new pajamas) and read the Christmas story before going to bed. For several years later in childhood we would also go to a Christmas Eve church service and have a big potluck 'family' dinner with the neighbors since we had no family in town. Christmas morning involved a sugary breakfast treat and taking turns opening the gifts one by one. There was never a huge amount of gifts so this wasn't as painful as it sounds! It prolonged the fun for us instead. Then we would have a more hearty breakfast (eggs, ham, etc.) before spending the day engrossed in whatever toys/books/video games arrived that year. Dinner was always a special occasion with a red tablecloth and candles.

Aunt Krissy said...

We ALWAYS opened gifts on Christmas Eve. My folks did that when they were kids. (I'm told that it's more of a Scandinavian thing) Also Santa came to us first as we lived in AK and you know, the North Pole was just up the road. Christmas day was the big dinner, ham and lot of sides and also ALWAYS Cranberry Pudding. The pudding was a a heavy cake that you then poured a butter/cream/sugar sauce over it,then the cake became soft and pudding like.

Anonymous said...

Two traditions: When we were young, my father drove around Denver after Christmas Eve church service so that my brother and I could see the Christmas lights on the houses. After we were adults and I was the only one to fly home for Christmas, we went to a movie on Christmas afternoon to fill the hours between presents and dinner. I remember both traditions fondly. Mary in MN

Rae said...

We would have a new pajama present from Santa by the bed on Christmas morning, stockings always came first, and presents were opened one by one. Though I think my mom started our present tradition so she could write down everything the kids got and from whom... That way we could spend the rest of the morning writing thank you notes. No simple notes either. We had to write letters. :)

Alicia said...

Christmas Eve: Dad's family. Christmas Day: Mom's family.

Still do that, more or less.

Brian and I usually end up opening the presents we got for each other early, partly because we can't wait so see the joy on the other person's face, and partly because the mess is easier to clean up if you open presents over a couple of days.

Haley said...

Actually, most Christmas traditions have their roots in the pagan Winter Solstice, not religion, since Jesus would have been born in May and it was a while before the Catholic heads decided to put it in December.

Anyway, we used to open gifts from immediate family on Christmas Eve night, then all the other gifts on CHristmas morning, but now, we open everything on Christmas night, since that is when my brother and sister-in-law come over. We have been changing things up a bit since all of us kids are adults now.

rls said...

We always went to my Grandma's house in IL. My dad is one of 10 kids, so they would alternate - every other year, Christmas at Grandma's would be on Christmas Day, and the other years it would be the following weekend. As you can imagine, there were (almost literally) dozens of cousins with whom to play, and since Grandma and two bachelor uncles ran a dairy farm, there were baby kittens and calves to play with, and a haymow to play in, and chores to "help" with. Not to mention lots and lots of food to eat. After dinner all the "girls" (my aunts) would clean up while the men sat around the long tables and played cards while we kids divvied out the presents and then sat around in agony waiting for the grown-ups to be ready to open presents. I miss it.

Daisy said...

Monkey bread! I don't have any biscuit packages in the fridge; I wonder if I could make it using Bisquick? Monkey Bread would be a great Christmas morning breakfast.

FinnyKnits said...

This is rather late to the game, but since I didn't have Christmas growing up, and since Bubba and I are completely non-religious now but really like to legitimize drinking and eating naughtily, I make his favorite dinner (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy - only once a year), we exchange booze gifts (a new kind of gin for me, new bourbon for him) and we go on a drunk evening bike ride to make fun of our neighbors' decorations because we are Evil.

Christmas Day, we ski.

It's the best.