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'Tis the Season - Reflecting on My Family's Christmas Traditions

Updated on June 7, 2011

My family is big on traditions. We tweak them every once in awhile, add a few new ones here and there, but for the most part, they remain the same.

The Christmas season begins in our home around the first of December. That's when we (we being my mum and myself, we share an apartment) put up the tree and the rest of the decorations. We drink egg nog and listen to the Boney M Christmas Album (originally released in 1981, before I was even born - we still have it on cassette, I think it might be time to buy the CD!).

Then come the Christmas movies over the next few weeks. It's not Christmas without A Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the Santa Clause trilogy, A Garfield Christmas, Elf, and many others.

Christmas Eve is our main family celebration. I can't remember when it began - probably 2002 when my oldest nephew was born - but every Christmas Eve, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew come for dinner and to exchange gifts. This year is extra special because it's my youngest nephew's first Christmas (he'll be about 10 and a half months at Christmas).

Our Christmas dinner table, 2009
Our Christmas dinner table, 2009

Every year until 2009, my mum did the majority of the cooking while I did the cleaning and setting of the table. In 2009, I took an interest in cooking and started cooking all the meals in our house, so I cooked Christmas dinner for the first time. Over the past few months, my sister-in-law and I have started cooking and baking together and I have a feeling a new tradition will begin this year - two crazy girls in my small kitchen creating Christmas dinner. The menu doesn't vary much from year to year, with the exception of last year when my sister-in-law was pregnant and constantly craving my homemade macaroni and cheese, and the fact that we had ham rather than turkey because the turkey didn't work out so well on Thanksgiving. This year I can see an elaborate menu being created for a feast of epic proportions, complete with a variety of mouth-watering desserts.

Before and after dinner, we often watch a Christmas movie or two and then open gifts.  My older nephew's reactions when opening presents is one of my favorite things about the night - he's always so grateful for everything he gets, and exclaims over every little thing, telling us how much he loves it, and us.  I can't wait to see my baby nephew opening his first Christmas gifts, and I have a strong suspicion that like many babies, he'll be far more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper than the actual gifts. 

Every few years we try to add in new traditions because we want to keep it interesting for the kids.  My sister-in-law and I have been talking about making gingerbread houses together, which I can see becoming a new family tradition.

Our Christmas tree, 2009
Our Christmas tree, 2009

On Christmas morning, it's just me and my mum. I have to admit, I really don't like Christmas day. My dad died when I was ten, and my mum and I have spent many Christmas days alone since then. My dad used to go all out for the holidays; he was like a big kid and he loved decorating and cooking and Christmas shopping. Holidays were always a big affair in our home, and have never been the same since his death, even though we try to make the best of it. One of our Christmas morning traditions is egg nog French toast, a recipe of my dad's and a tribute of sorts to him.

I can see these traditions carrying on forever, changing slightly over the years as our family grows, but staying true at the heart of things. I've always dreamed of creating traditions for my own family when I'm married and have children of my own - stockings hung by the fireplace, cookies and milk for Santa, tucking my children in and reading them The Night Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, my two favorite Christmas stories. I can't wait for shopping, parades, pageants, visits to Santa, playing in the snow, caroling and all the wonderful things that come with family Christmases and turn into traditions over the years. For now, I'm happy with the traditions we have, and feel blessed to have such an amazing family to share those traditions with.

This Hub won a HubNugget!

On the 22nd of December, this hub received a HubNugget in the Holidays and Celebrations category. It's really exciting for me, since I've only been a member for 5 weeks and since this was one of my first Hubs. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, I really appreciate the support and recognition!


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    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you megmccormick! I certainly do cherish my family Christmas traditions, they're so special and they really do make our lives meaningful.

    • megmccormick profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      Congrats on your HubNugget nomination and cherish those traditions, it's what makes our lives meaningful. Welcome to HubPages.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      SweetMarie, Traditions are what make Christmas so special and I thought your hub so nice. It sounds like you have the day all figured out for this year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for the comments, Klena and Pamela!

      It's funny what you don't really think of as traditions but then when you stop and think about it, you realize you do them every year, so they really are traditions.

      And you're right Pamela, Christmas doesn't seem quite right without them!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      We have some of those same traditions. It seems Christmas isn't quite right without the traditions that make it special. Congratulations on you Hubnugget nomination.

    • Klena profile image


      8 years ago from England

      What a great hub, Sweet Marie, and thank you for sharing your traditions with us :)

      It's also made me think of all the things my family do together around the festive period that I never thought of as traditions but they really are, and I'm looking forward to doing them again this year :)

    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for the comments, Just Ask Susan and ripplemaker! I love hearing about other people's traditions. Traveling sounds like so much fun ripplemaker, I'm sure it has been a real adventure! Merry Christmas to you both! :-)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Sweet Marie, our family tradition in recent years is to travel for a few days somewhere. Yay, it has been an adventure of sorts! :)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination.

      To visit the Hubnuggets: click here

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Enjoyed reading your hub and wanted to say congratulations on being nominated. Christmas traditions are great and sad that sometimes they get lost over the years. We try to keep ours going. On Christmas Eve we always gather in front of the TV and watch movies, eat, drink and have merry times. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Oh and Good luck!

    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you so much, elayne001! I've always wanted to go caroling, it looks like so much fun, such a sweet, old-fashioned thing that I imagine would really get you in the Christmas spirit.

    • elayne001 profile image


      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I think Christmas traditions are great. We do the Christmas Eve pajama thing and watch movies on Christmas night - an we go caroling in the neighborhood - I could go on, but just want to thank you for sharing your traditions. Congrats on the nomination and good luck.

    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Rosie, and thank you for the comment! I hope you and your family do start up your old Christmas eve tradition next year - it's something to look forward to and enjoy, as I'm sure you know!

      I read your hub and really enjoyed it - thank you for pointing me in that direction! :-)

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hiya SweetMarie, oh this is such a sweet hub. I love traditions and I'm sure yours will continue forever and ever if you let it. My family also had Christmas eve get-together when the kids were small but had stopped 3-4 years ago. But this year, my sister and I are talking about reviving it next year, as we already made plans this year. Great hub! I'm giving it thumbs up.

      Congratulations for having this hub nominated as a Hubnugget Nominee. A much deserved nomination.. I wish you all the best.

      My hub "The Day I Became Jennifer" is also nominated in the Gender and Relationships category. I would appreciate your reading my hub and I hope you like it.

      Have a nice day,


    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the comments, Wendy and oceansnsunsets, and thank you for the welcome, Wendy! I love Christmas movies, we haven't started yet, but I expect any day we'll be getting them out! Many blessings of the season to you both! :-)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Marie, you have a lot of fun family traditions! Just the other night we watched Elf, and we always look forward to the many different Christmas programs. Thanks for sharing your fun times at the holidays!

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 

      8 years ago from Maryland

      First of all Welcome to Hubpages. I enjoyed your hub. We watch Christmas movies as well. We already started and will continue on up until Christmas. I'm joining your fan club. :)

    • SweetMarie83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Landry 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Amanda! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I loved sharing family Christmas traditions.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this artical~


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