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Christmas and Family Traditions

Updated on July 15, 2013

Christmas Tree

Our living room at Christmas
Our living room at Christmas | Source

Introduction to tradition.

Everybody's got them....traditions that is. Some start centuries before you're born and are passed down from generation to generation, some you bring with you when you get married, and some you start when you start your own family, but, no matter where they come from, everyone's got traditions. Wikipedia says "A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society". Of all the seasons, and all the traditions, Christmas is the season with the most traditions.

You may not even realize they are traditions, they may just be "things" you do every Christmas. You know the famous, "in my house" sentence? In my house we'd never have an artificial my house we open presents on Christmas Eve....those "in my house" sentences and the like...tradition!

The Christmas Tree

It seems many of our "Christian" traditions are rooted in Paganism. Evergreens were used in Pagan homes throughout the year. Boughs were hung over doors to keep evil away. The Druids used these boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. But, the Christmas tree as we know it seems to have originated in Germany. A legend says Martin Luther first put lights on the tree when he was preparing a sermon and saw the stars shinning through the evergreen trees outside.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had their portrait painted in front of a decorated Christmas mention of how or why she had the tree, but her popularity spurred the popularity of the Christmas tree. Speaking of trees, did you know the first Rockefeller Plaza tree was 'erected' in 1931?

Now, almost everyone has a Christmas trees. The new debate is real tree or artificial tree? There is much to be said for both sides and the argument will continue until something new comes along, like a better way to make an artificial tree or a way to grow a tree without having to cut it down....who knows!

When my kids were young we always had a real tree and we always went and cut it down ourselves. We don't live that far from any number of tree farms. It was a family outing day, sometimes with friends and their families, and we would come home and have hot chocolate and cookies. It was a great time but oh I hate the cold! One Christmas it was snowing, beautiful but coooold. After that I started pimping for an artificial tree and the kids were getting know where this is going. Then, we went from one tree to two, on up to eight, so a real tree was out of the question.

Decorating the tree has always been a family event at my house. The whole family, and whatever friends wanted to participate, would set aside an afternoon to decorate the tree. Everyone hung ornaments on the tree to the tune of Christmas Carols playing on the radio or a CD. Lots of laughs and getting in each other's way, but lots of fun. When we were finished we all had hot chocolate or eggnog with Christmas cookies. We drink a lot of hot chocolate and eat a lot of Cookies at Christmas.

Christmas trees

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Picking out a tree.Cutting a tree in the snowThe snowman treeThe Victorian tree.The woodland treeThe Santa treeThe tinsel treeThe Barbie treeThe angel tree
Picking out a tree.
Picking out a tree. | Source
Cutting a tree in the snow
Cutting a tree in the snow | Source
The snowman tree
The snowman tree | Source
The Victorian tree.
The Victorian tree. | Source
The woodland tree
The woodland tree | Source
The Santa tree
The Santa tree | Source
The tinsel tree
The tinsel tree | Source
The Barbie tree
The Barbie tree | Source
The angel tree
The angel tree | Source

The Angel Tree Topper

I know you're shaking your head and saying, "in my house we have a star on the top of the tree"...but the angel tree topper is a tradition, even a classic! "Angels we have heard on high...sweetly singing o'er the plains." It is believed that is what prompted the angel on top of the Christmas tree, angels proclaiming the birth of Christ to the shepherd's...angels in the sky.

You've always thought the Christmas tree and it's decorating began in Germany but did you know that is where the angel tree topper originated as well? In addition to the angels proclaiming Christ's birth some believe the angel was placed on top of the tree to ward off evil spirits.

Along with the angel many households had the youngest child place the angel on top of the tree after the entire tree was decorated. We did that for a while but it was often dangerous and a bit scary. While one parent is holding the little one up to put the angel on top of the tree, the other parent is running around trying to keep the ornaments from getting knocked off the tree, or the tree itself from getting knocked over. Its a nice tradition but too fraught with anxiety.

Grandpa's Christmas Cookies

Grandpa making Christmas cookies
Grandpa making Christmas cookies | Source

Christmas Cookies

Nothing says Christmas like a bunch of nicely decorated cookies. Here's one for the Dutch! It is said that the Dutch brought Christmas cookies with them to America in the 17th Century. Cookie cutters (or biscuit cutters if you prefer) came from Germany in the late 1800's to early 1900's and have been a staple of Christmas cookies ever since.

Nothing says Christmas's coming like cookies in the oven! The smell fills the house and warms your heart, oh and your belly starts jumping up and down saying, "I'm getting a Christmas cookie, I'm getting a Christmas cookie."

By way of tradition, many of the cookie recipes used year after year, are handed down to family members, year after year. Some people buy Cookie Cookbooks to find more varieties, some use the same tried and true recipes every year, some try one new recipe each year. Then there are cookie exchanges where everyone brings their cookies and leaves with some cookies from each participant. The list goes on. Christmas cookies are a definite part of Christmas.

In my house, my husband is the Cookie Man...what makes it so special is, he doesn't cook. The only thing he cooks is Christmas cookies. Years ago when I was making Christmas cookies with the kids he kept watching and saying, "My grandmother used to use more flour on the table", or "My grandmother did this..." He used to make cookies with his grandmother (surprise). Not being one to step on someone's traditions, I turned the cookies over to him, right then and there. He was in his glory and so were the kids. Now my grandchildren call to ask when Grandpa is going to make cookies!

Opening presents

Grandchildren hard at work opening presents
Grandchildren hard at work opening presents | Source

Christmas Presents

Christmas presents, or Christmas gifts if you prefer, are said by some to have originated in Ancient Rome when Roman Pagan's exchanged gifts...some thought it was a ritual tied to the sacrifice of children. The process later evolved into everyone giving gifts.

St. Nicholas was said to have given gifts to the poor and was especially fond of giving gifts to children. And, of course, we are all familiar with the 'gifts of the Magi'. Stories of Santa Claus and the good old 'merchandising' business, have brought gift giving to a new level and it has continued thus since the 1800s, but seeing more growth I would say in the 1900s.

So here we are shopping for Christmas gifts probably half the year. Looking for just the right gift for the right person. While we are gift giving though, in the spirit of Christmas, it is a good time of year to remind people to give to the poor and help others less fortunate. So the presents we give to our families are complimented by the "presents" of money, food, and whatever else we can give to those in need.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is 'celebrated' throughout the world. Did you know in Australia Christmas Dinner is served cold because Christmas is in the Australian summer? Or that in the Czech Republic Christmas Dinner is eaten on December 24 and consists of fried carp and potato salad? Do you remember the Cratchits dinner was goose? In spite of the many variations, the good old turkey is the main dish of choice in many countries, with Prime Rib becomimg a popular menu item in the United States as well.

In 1685 American's were eating oysters, stewed broth of mutton bone, a breast of veal, a swan roast, a turkey roast, a pastry of venison....a little different fare than we have today with our string bean casseroles, mashed potatoes and sweet potato pie!

We used to eat our main Christmas meal on Christmas Day but it was such a hassle preparing a big meal when I was trying to watch the kids open presents. Then, as the kids got older they wanted to visit with their friends on Christmas Day. So, to solve the dilemma for all, I moved the main meal to Christmas Eve. The entire family comes and we sit down to our big Christmas Dinner, followed by a multitude of desserts. On Christmas Day we reheat the leftovers and have a glorious buffet for whoever is present to eat with us!

Other Christmas Traditions

I didn't mention Santa Claus because he is so obviously a Christmas tradition! What would we do without stockings and cookies and milk if there was no Santa Claus...."Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." From Sinterklass to St. Nicholas, to Santa Claus.

What about Christmas stockings, mistletoe, yule logs, holly, poinsettias, candy canes, Christmas cards and our newest tradition, Christmas Movies! Really, what Christmas is complete without "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Christmas Story" not to mention "The Bishop's Wife" or "Miracle on 34th Street", but I think that's a story for another time.

I hope you've enjoyed sharing some Christmas traditions and I know you have many of your own. Please leave a comment and share some of your Christmas joy!

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Its Christmas Time

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Nativity SetShowing off Christmas giftsPlaying games on Christmas night
The Nativity Set
The Nativity Set | Source
Showing off Christmas gifts
Showing off Christmas gifts | Source
Playing games on Christmas night
Playing games on Christmas night | Source


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Audrey. There's nothing like Christmas to bring out the good in people and bring families together. I hope you too had a wonderful holiday and have a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2014!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      I also love tradition! And thank you so much for sharing yours--I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to a wonderful new year!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks moonlake. Grandpa's still making Christmas cookies with grandchildren. My granddaughter, home from college, called and asked if they could make Christmas cookies and of course the answer was yes. Thanks for the votes and Merry Christmas.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub and photos. Grandpa's cookie making, decorating the trees. I liked all your trees but I loved the the Victorian tree. Beautiful voted up and more.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Oh Tim the pleasure is all mine! I am thrilled to read your lovely comment and would gladly heat up the cocoa for you.

      I pray the spirit of Christmas stays alive in the hearts of all men and definitely do my best to keep it so!

      Have a happy, holy and Merry Christmas my friend.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      5 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Hmmmm . . . Christmas traditions. I like them and this article reflects how comforting and familiar those traditions may be for us all. I really appreciated this hub, especially all the different trees, as memories did stir a tad and then came alive as the radio chimed in with a song. Synchronicity?

      A very well presented hub Mary! I must say of most I really liked the style of your chosen genre. I felt I was sitting at the dinning table talking over a cup'pa cocoa. Thank you for helping to maintain the spirit of Christmas with this article and, too, igniting it on this Sunday morn with only four days to go . . .


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Dear PS, thanks for the angels and thanks for reading and enjoying my humble hub. I so agree with you, family time is the best!

      dghbrh, what a lovely compliment to all of us. Do we set such an example that makes you think? Thank you for that. It's all about love my friend and that is what Christmas brings out. Thank you for the wishes too. I hope your Christmas Day is joyful and full of love! Thanks for the vote and share.

    • dghbrh profile image


      5 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      I am Hindu but every Christmas i thought why I am not Christian and this hub is making me think this are amazing in this one. Loved every bit of it. The photographs are so beautiful as well. Thank you for sharing this one.

      Wish you all a very Happy Christmas from across the oceans.

      Votes up and shared.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      You know, no matter how often I read of these Christmas traditions I never tire of them. It is just a part of the whole Christmas time celebration for me.

      You shared in such a lovely way so many of the most special moments. The family time is the BEST!!

      Angels are on the way to you and yours this morning ps

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Loving the hugs and blessings Rolly. To me it's all about family and love! That's what makes us appreciate the season.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Mary... a delightful look into your memories, very well written. Treasures such as the ones you have shared make the season so very enjoyable...

      Be Blessed as always... Hugs attached

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you DDE. My favorite part is being with family also. The fireplace going, Christmas music playing and my family around me.

      I laughed when I read your comment loveofnight. We once had a tree we had to tie to the wall. Out in the open, at the tree farm, it didn't look that big..until we tried to get it through the door! Once we managed that we too had to tie it to the wall to keep it upright.

    • loveofnight profile image


      5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      My mother would never stand for an artificial tree in her house. Evert year my brother would go to the tree farm to chop one down. The tree trunk was always bigger than the stand so we would be forced to use a bucket to prop it in and the tree was always so tall that it touched the ceiling. And if that's not enough we always had to tie the tree to the wall to keep it from falling over.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Christmas and Family Traditions this is such a beautiful hub for this festive season all included about the festive season are so true my favorite is being with people and enjoying the happy moments

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Carol. Yes, though it was written a year ago it still holds true today and probably will for generations in our house! Glad you enjoyed.

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 

      5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      I see that this hub was written almost a year ago, but of course it is still relevant today. I like the way you point out how other people around the world celebrate their Christmas. The video gave some nice points for decorating also.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted up and interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Mutton bone, swan roast and I have to admit pastry of venison don't float my boat. Sorry turkey, you're the way to go. Thanks for the comment and smile Millionaire tips.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      There are indeed many traditions for Christmas, and we adapt them as times change - thank goodness. "oysters, stewed broth of mutton bone, a breast of veal, a swan roast, a turkey roast, a pastry of venison" doesn't sound appetizing at all, except for the turkey.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      My dearest Frank, I am so glad you enjoy the spirit of Christmas. I am happy to share with you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Hey Til, Im not Christian, but how I do love celebrating their holidays Im quick to get my Christmas on because it is indeed joyful.. thanks for allowing me to share in this hub you are simply awesome

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      May God grant your wishes Unknown.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      6 years ago from Neverland

      all i really want for christmas is a tree, a home and a complete family...

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Though you miss it Brett, its part of your memory and your children's memories. Thanks for sharing!

      Kathleen, you are so right! Each year I gave each of my kids a Christmas ornament. They were kept in their own boxes. When they got married I gave them their box of ornaments to start their own tree....the circle of life!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      My children used to make gingerbread houses, so I always had a village of them on my dining room table. As they started leaving the nest, my youngest son took up the tradition of making one, piece d'resistance house. Last year he got married, so this was my first year without a gingerbread house. His wife offered to send him over, but I told her it was her tradition now. That's what traditions are for - passing down to the next generation.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      6 years ago from Asia

      A great hub with a lot of worldwide history/facts ... very interesting. I thin our traditions were things like opening stocking presents was ok while everyone slept (probably so dad could get some rest lol) and the famous Christmas ham ... god I miss that!

      Shared, up, awesome, pinned and tweeted.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Cc, that is what I always pray for, a house full of love and joy...and may yours be such throughout this New Year.

      Iswaryaa,I am glad I could share a bit with you...while we may have some different traditions it sounds like there are also many we share. God bless, and have a New Year filled with new traditions, joy, and lots of love.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      6 years ago from Chennai, India

      A heartwarming hub! I enjoyed reading from the start till the end. Your photos are wonderful. I learnt more from your well-written hub.

      Here in my country, Christmas is celebrated with fervour every year. I and my family celebrated Christmas every year and had good times. This year, I decorated my home with few colorful streamers, lit many candles and had a good meal, including the rich plum cake with my family. There are other times when my cousin-sister invited me over to see her new all-decorated mini Christmas tree and I & my family attended Christmas carolling event and all.

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Beautiful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared on Facebook

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      It sounds like you have many wonderful traditions and that "in your house" it's full of joy and love. I hope you had the merriest of Christmases and that you have a Happy New Year! ;)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You are so right Rosemay...It is not easy to give up traditions.. My kids took over you it was difficult at first but now I look forward to it.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Thank you for sharing your traditions and photos. I love family traditions, but must admit to feeling a little lost when my daughter-in-law took over the cooking of Christmas dinner at her place. After cooking the Chrismas dinner and everyone coming to me for over 30 years I suddenly felt like a spare part. Now I am just happy not to have all the fuss and bother. Lol

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Every holiday has it's own celebrations Vinaya. So nice that you get to celebrate at parties with your friends.

      Effer I have a feeling you make every day special for your family. Your memories live on in your heart and mind and some of them you pass on to your children and grandchildren. May this be your best Christmas ever!

      Genna, I'm sure there is lots of warmth in your celebrations as well.

      Oh Rich, how nice of you to make your cats happy ;) Hope you and your wife have a wonderful Christmas.

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Mary - I see what you mean about being the "Queen of Christmas Trees" now! : ) Great article. We out grew our house years ago, so we suffice with a little two footer thingy my wife picked up. The cats love it as they attack it constantly, thinking it's a toy for them. Have a great and Merry Christmas!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      It is the traditions of Christmas that make this wonderful holiday so special. And we each have them and keep, in our own way. Decorating the tree in our house was, and still is, a celebration carried down through the generations. And welcoming friends and relatives to a casual open house on Christmas Eve; a warm fire in the fireplace, eggnog and warm toddies fills our home with warmth, laughter and good cheer.

      I loved this hub, Til, and your home looks lovely, warm and inviting. Up and more. :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Til....Family Holiday Traditions are what it's all about. They're so special and unique to each family. They're also what we miss so very much as the years go by, but they remain treasured memories.

      With my original birth family all departed, I sort of had to create some new and meaningful traditions for my children and grandchildren who live locally.

      Your home looks so beautifully decorated and the kids look happy as can be! It's a wonderful, magical time of year. The best to you and yours!...UP+++

    • safiq ali patel profile image

      safiq ali patel 

      6 years ago from United States Of America

      Nice on Vinaya

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      As a Hindu, we don't decorate Christmas tree, or go to Church. However, on the eve, I join my Christians and non- Christian friends for Christmas party.

      Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I so agree with you Safiq...Christmas is about the birth of Jesus but then the children....their beliefs and their joy! Christmas dinner allows us to sit down with our family and enjoy a festive, yet peaceful time together. God bless you as well and Merry Christmas!

    • safiq ali patel profile image

      safiq ali patel 

      6 years ago from United States Of America

      Nice hubs about Christmas tradition. My family keep Christmas eve special for the children. We usually get together with children in the family after dark on Christmas eve and let the kids open some of their Christmas presents late on Christmas eve.

      I personally try to keep the tradition of a Christmas dinner going to I always make sure that Christmas never passes without some festive food. God bless and happy Christmas to you. Love and peace from SAfiq.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      What a great idea Deb...I bet each of those handmade ornaments has a story with it too!

      Mary, I have a feeling your house smells great! My nativity photo is a Jim Shore but I also have a Llardo.

      Deborah, I wanted this hub to evoke good memories. This can be a difficult time of year for many and I pray they get through it and find a new happiness.

      Lovedoctor, I am embarrassed to say I left out Midnight Mass! I went to Midnight Mass from the time I was 13...before that you had to stay home and go to bed, only "grown ups" could go to Midnight Mass! Now, there are fewer and fewer parishioners so our pastor did away with Midnight Mass. We're getting a new one in July and hoping he'll bring back Midnight Mass!

      Gypsy, whether we celebrate with three or thirty (people that is), we all share great memories of Christmas traditions...would love to be sitting around the piano again!

      TO ALL: God bless you and Merry Christmas!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up. Wonderful hub. Thanks for sharing your Christmas pics and traditions. Since Christmas is spent with just us three me, hubby and Sid then our traditions are small. On Christmas Eve we decorate a small, real tree, put up decorations and watch the cat bat the ornaments. lol Dinner is anything affordable at the moment usually served at 10PM so that at 12 PM when it is officially Christmas Day and Jesus birthday we have a Bible reading, I play a couple of carols on my piano and we just enjoy Christmas. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A very nice hub. My Christmas traditions include buying a Christmas tree on Black Friday every year and adorning it with pretty ornaments and candy canes. We use the angel topper not the star. No Christmas cookies during the holiday season here at home. We celebrate christmas eve dinner at my house or at my brother's. Then, we eat Christmas left overs again on Christmas Day and exchange gifts in the morning with my family. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is a tradition for us every year as well. This is the tradition for Hispanic. I was born and raised in Florida, but my roots are Cuban.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh how wonderful Christmas traditions.. and beaultful memories.. My father used to go cut our tree when we were little .. but I hate cutting trees down so I bought a artificial lighted tree years ago.. My sons used to put the tree up for me and then they grew up and got married and they have their own trees... Christmas is a wonderful time of year.. but losing loved ones this time of year is hard but the memories sure do help..

      God Bless you for this wonderful hub

      Merry Christmas



    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for giving us a look at your Christmas traditions. I start baking the Chrismas cookies about a week before Christmas and put them in the freezer. Then I make the gingerbread men, and when that smell comes from my kitchen everyone knows it is the Season.

      I enjoyed your photos. I have a Hummel Nativity set similar to yours.

      I voted this UP, etc.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      What lovely traditions. My favorite holiday tradition is "Craft Day" with my sister, sisters-in-law, and a couple of extra friends. We've been doing it for 20 years now on the first Sunday in December. We all bring a Christmas craft project for everyone to do and spend the day making crafts, having a nice lunch, and drinking champagne. Most of the projects end up being ornaments so now I have a big tree full of special, handmade ornaments.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Its good to have those memories Linda. God bless you and yours.

      Oh, Im, I'd love to have you come...we always have company around the holidays...I don't know about organized, but the rest, yes. Hope your holidays are filled with the peace and love you deserve GF.

      You are so welcome Mhatter.

      Oh Suzie I bet the greens of Ireland make Christmas spectacular. We don't realize how our "habits" are really "traditions". God bless.

      Iguidenetwork, thanks for the compliment about my living always makes me think of "chestnuts roasting on an open fire".... as long as the fire's going its warm!

    • iguidenetwork profile image


      6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for sharing information about Christmas traditions, and also for sharing pics of your home. Your living room is quite cozy and pretty. Voted up.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Such a wonderful trip down traditions lane for the holiday season!

      We have a forest of lofty "Christmas trees" next door which really makes it look amazing. Loved all your family pics and great to see Grandpa being the cookie maker, a great tradition that brought a smile to my face!

      My dad was always responsible (and still is) for doing the ham prep for our family dinner. Funny how we all have these traditions when we look closer.

      Thanks for a gorgeous article Mary, votes all the way, shared and pinned!!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you so much for sharing this. My Christmases have become fond memories.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Mary..i think i must come to your house and celebrate the holidays - it sounds absolutely lovely, loving, and festive! Just reading of your family 'traditions' is calming and brings a smile - i imagine it to be warm, loving, organized - and smelling yummy....LOL..

      All the best this holiday season - and may it be even more than you dream of, my friend!

      voting up and sharing..

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      6 years ago from Central Virginia

      Mary, I loved hearing about your family traditions and the history behind some of them. This was warm and full of love, and reminded me of the traditions our family had before my Mom had the stroke. Precious memories my friend. Merry Christmas Mary!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Curiad, you may be physically alone this Christmas but you are in the hearts and thoughts of many. Have a Blessed Christmas!

      Thanks Theresa. The memories we make last a lifetime though they may seem unimportant at the time.

      Same here Nell, Mom & Dad share Santa's snack.

      How nice Grandmapearl. With visions of gingerbread....;)

      Maria, it is easy to see why we get along; a tree in every room! A girl after my own heart. Your holiday and your time this year are especially precious and may you all be especially blessed! Merry Christmas dear one.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      This is a heartwarming and comforting piece. We also really sling back that cocoa and cookies combo...what a bonus that Gramps is accomplished at his craft! We try to put a tree, of some kind, in every room...just because.

      This year family is especially important and I know you can relate...understand. Time, such a gift...the very best of all I think.

      Merry and peaceful Christmas to you and yours, dear friend.

      Love, Maria

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I loved learning about your traditions, which are essentially the same as mine! That's what binds families together, and makes the lasting memories special. My Mom used to make a gingerbread cookie for each of us, decorated to our specifications. Once baked each one was placed in waxed paper not to be eaten until Christmas day. I looked forward to those individual large cookies each year. I can still remember the taste! Voted Up and Beautiful. Merry Christmas!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Love your home in the first picture, looks so warm and cosy! the tradition that we have over here isn't milk and cookies for santa, its a hot toddy drink and mince pies! only the dad usually drinks the drink, and the mother steals the mince pies! lol! have a great Christmas!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Mary - This was an absolutely delightful read. :) We have some similar and some different traditions. :) When the children were little we went to a farm and cut a tree. My mother in law did gingerbread cookie man day for years. And since my fathers's family was Polish Catholic the big meal was definitely Christmas Eve. I love my quieter Christmas Days and the kids now grown and married can go to their inlaws with no conflicts or guilt. Lovely, lovely hub. :) ~~Theresa

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well this was fun and brought many memories. I guess I will start my own new "traditions" as a solo man this year.

      Maybe spend Christmas Eve walking the streets and sharing cookies with the homeless?

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you whonu, its all about family for sure.

      Glad you enjoyed Bill. I'm sure you and Bev will have many traditions and memories to share. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

      Oh thank you Carter! I just read about Australia but obviously no nothing first hand! It was so good of you to add that information. A very Merry Christmas to you as well.

      Jools, time to start new traditions that's all! Have a very Merry!

      I know what you mean Janine, it is just a magical time of year when all the bad fades for a while. The traditions we share are memories in the making! Have a very Merry Christmas.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Mary, I loved this article and seeing husband baking was truly just fabulous. I loved hearing how you turned the reigns over to him. I absolutely love this time of the year and always have and can never tire of hearing about the actual traditions, how they got started and how others have adapted them for their own home. Truly awesome article and have of course voted way up and shared all over!!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Really enjoyed reading about all of your family traditions Tills. We still have Christmas dinner on Christmas Day but it seems like a lot of fuss for just 3 of us! And my daughter is now 18 and a bit like your kids, she wants to go out visiting so I don't know how long our traditions will last. Have a Happy Christmas!

    • carter06 profile image


      6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Interesting facts about the traditions - our cold Christmas lunch always includes lots of fresh seafood, oysters, prawns etc ideal for our current hot climate - but I love your family tradition of your husband as cookie maker - that's just so sweet... Merry Christmas from Down under! Cheers

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the traditions; I think they are what makes this season so special. Bev and I are still establishing our traditions, and it is an exciting time in the household. Well done Mary, and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      much enjoyed this marvelous sharing of family traditions at Christmas, Tilson, and I want you to know it is so heart warming to see others who share these time honored traditions. Thanks for sharing this nice hub. whonu

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Carol, glad you enjoyed a slice of my life.

      Hawaii, glad you too, found my holiday life interesting. Oh yes, he is still the reigning Cookie King in our family ;) I wouldn't know where to start an answer and never thought of a hub about my writing. If you would like more information you can always email me or contact me on my facebook page (Mary Christiana Craig).

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      A warm and delightful hub, and I certainly hope it goes as evergreen as the beautiful Christmas trees depicted in the photos above. It was great to see some of your family traditions, and I especially loved the fact that your hubby is the Cookie Grandpa! : )

      On a side note, Mary, have you written a hub about your writing regimen? You are such a prolific Hubber that it compels me to ask about the kind of writing schedule you keep. I love learning from the best, and you're certainly, by all accounts of what I've seen here on HubPages, a terrific mentor by example. Thanks once again for sharing yet another beautiful topic.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub and thanks for sharing some of your home and traditions with all of us. Well written and great photos.


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