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What are your Christmas traditions?

edited December 2010 in Everything Else
I was reading about Christmas traditions on Wikipedia, and it got me pretty interested - what sort of christmas traditions are about where you are? What do your families get into? Anything cool you used to do as a kid?

It's quite similar here to the UK and US traditions, except for a few details.

First of all, it occurs in the middle of summer here, so there is less snow playing and carrying on, because generally, there isn't any. Experiments with sand fights on the beach in the place of snowball fights were a gritty failure.
We don't generally have fireplaces - since in most places, it doesn't really get cold enough - but the places that do have them, stockings are meant to be hung from them, and most people I know without them hang stockings on bedroom doors or from walls, doors and windows near the tree, if they're hung at all.

Of course with the childeren, Food and drink is often left out for santa, usually some sort of sweet food for santa(unless your parents are filthy hippies, or new agey sorts), carrots for the Reindeer, and A beverage of some sort. While milk is acceptable, because of the heat, a curious substitute has arisen - Liquor. It's perfectly acceptable and reasonably common to give Santa a beer, dram of whiskey, or some rum. Pre-mixed rum and cola are also coming into favor recently, but NEVER alco-pops, because Santa isn't a slutty teenage girl anywhere except in my fonder dreams.

Rather than a Christmas dinner, Most families will have a Christmas lunch where all the family gathers around at a family member's place, and the usual niceties are exchanged along with gifts of varying quality. Vast amounts of food - usually Hams, Roast poultry(mostly chicken and ham), Kangaroo is gaining a small amount of popularity but is far from common, steaks, snags, seafood, salads, followed by confections of varied sorts and delciousness. Fruit mince pies, Boiled fruitcakes, Plum Pudding, Pavlova, cheesecakes, jelly(inevitably in the flavors of "Immediately dissapears" red and "Is there any jelly left oh nevermind" green) and similar sort of things are common, as is consuming roughly enough booze to put the children of the local liquor store's owner through college three times over.

Despite there being no snow in the majority of the country, snow decorations abound, for reasons nobody really understands. We have a lot of Australian style christmas songs, which normally involve lyrics about christmas in australia, or are australian-theme modifications of existing songs - you can find a list here, but most of them are fucking terrible.
However, I could suggest A few somewhat better ones.
As a bonus, some we were listening to while sorting out the Christmas joints this evening -

I'd suggest you'd not put those on at work. Unless you work somewhere cool. Or you work somewhere shitty, and you don't want to anymore.

TV is hardly worth discussing, since we don't take ratings in the summer, and it's mostly re-runs, but you will tend to get christmas specials and such of whatever shows are being re-run, along with Christmas movie. Oddly, This year, we had Going Postal by Terry Pratchett on TV, and I didn't see Die Hard Anywhere, which is very unusual - though at my local JB hi-fi, they had a rack with a bunch of DVD copies of Die hard on special(among others) As "Christmas Favorites".

However, Boxing day, It's fucking on, son. Both the Boxing Day test cricket match and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race are immensely popular on Boxing day TV. Other boxing day traditions include arguing, and remembering why you generally only see your family a few times a year for a reason.

Christmas lights are big here, with the council running Christmas Lights Bus tours, which roam around a number of areas, with most cities holding city-wide Christmas lights competitions. Carols by Candlelight are televised, and a grand Christmas tradition. There is also the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, which is the largest of it's kind in the world, however, we shan't discuss Adelaide, because Fuck Adelaide.
Also, there are special events for tourists at Bondi Beach, with large barbecue events and gimmicks like Surfing santas.

Religiousy sorts do religious sort of things. I don't really know what those involve.


  • We do Christmas at my Aunt's house on Christmas Eve and Christmas day is spent opening presents, watching the Disney Christmas Day Parade, and eating dinner with my Mom's boyfriend's family.

    Also, it is not a Christmas withou me hearing this on the radio:
  • Surprisingly...Nothing.
    We wake up. Open presents (which has gotten less exciting as the year goes on, we tend to resort to gift cards extremely often nowadays). Sometimes we have some...Breakfast thing.
    Christmas Eve we always go to Church (expected/10), for the nice candlelight service. It's very pretty and such. We generally go to some relative's house Christmas Eve, although that tends to bore the everloving crap out of me nowadays. My relatives can be pretty nice, but...They're also completely oblivious to most of the things I would care to talk about/be around.

    So, nothing special.
  • edited December 2010
    We go over to a friend of the family's and feast. For Thanksgiving eh made a 20 pound ham and two turkeys for nine people. There's also the watching of the football. And pie, lots of pie. As far as songs go, this is the only Christmas song I grew up with.
    Post edited by Ruffas on
  • It certainly depends on the year. Things are always different when my family spends the holiday at someone else's. Most of the time, we spend Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family, since they all live within 50 miles of us. This will be the case this year. Some years we do spend it with my dad's side, but not often since they all live in California and Arizona.

    But typically, we spend Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family, just the afternoon and evening. Usually a lot of good food (banquet style), just talking with family, and then gifts. Back in the old days, we as kids would try to play any way we could. Nowadays, all the kids are adults now, so we just relax instead. Also, we used to just straight up get gifts from relatives, but in the last few years we started doing white elephant, which has ended up being a fun new tradition for us.

    And then Christmas day, the tradition had always been get up early, do the stockings, then move into the rec room where the tree and presents were. Presents were had, then we would have a special brunch. After that, we'd go to Church, come back and play with new gifts, and finish it off with a nice dinner. Today, largely the same, but not so early, and no more Church (greatest Christmas ever when we stopped doing that).

    There are some other things that we don't really do anymore, mostly because of time, also since I don't live at home anymore. Like, we don't put up a crazy amount of lights on the house anymore. We don't go to a tree field and get a real tree anymore. But most of the traditions remain. All the various decorations throughout the house, including the awesome village we set up. All the cards we receive getting taped up on the wall. My mom spending several days putting together the same Christmas puzzle every year.

    I'm just glad that on the whole, my extended family is fun to be around, so no matter what we do, every year is great in its own way.
  • 1. Get together with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    2. Eat way way way too much food.

    3. Play vijigames together until we all pass out from a food coma.

    4. Wake up some hours later and return to feasting.

    At some point, we also open presents. Mom cries.
  • I think this is my 4th year in a row performing on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.
  • Sounds like a tradition to me!

    My tradition: Eat a lot, drink a lot, be happy a lot, chill a lot.

    New tradition: Drink spirits, be awesome.
  • I think this is my 4th year in a row performing on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.
    Are you on a Christmas boat? Who wants to be on a cruise during the holiday?
  • I think this is my 4th year in a row performing on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.
    Are you on a Christmas boat? Who wants to be on a cruise during the holiday?
    You'd be surprised. My cousins go on a cruise every year at Christmas. The kids have break, so they're not missing any school, and they have a great time.
  • My tradition: Eat a lot, drink a lot, be happy a lot, chill a lot.
    This is also my tradition.
  • Drinking.
  • As a fervently committed atheist and secular humanist... I enjoy the fuck out of Christmas. It's really nice to see people being cool to each other and generally happy, you know? I flew home today and it was the easiest, most cheerful travel I've ever been on.

    My family's traditions are kind of changing. We used to do Christmas eve at my step-grandparents' house each year, but my grandmother (step, but whatever) passed away year before last, and now Christmas eve is kind of bereft of plans. Christmas typically opens with a light but very special breakfast of Christmas casserole (eggy, with sausage and other goodness) and curried fruit while we all un-stuff our stockings, and then presents, and then an hour or so of sitting around talking and playing with things. Then everyone pitches in to get Christmas Dinner ready to roll. It's a very traditional American Christmas meal with turkey and ham and mashed potatoes and peas and what have you, followed by pies. Afterwards come games, and playing with whatever everyone got for presents.

    I don't know. I don't care about the trappings - except that Fallout 3 and Bioshock and New Vegas have given me an appetite for the crooners so I really enjoy Bing Crosby and other swing-era Christmas music - but I really like how happy the holiday makes everyone in my family. Except for my asshole step-dad, though, I have an almost supernaturally happy, fun family, so I guess I'm pretty lucky in that respect.

    The day after Christmas is my eccentric mad-scientist uncle's birthday, and one of his eccentricities is being a total gourmet, so he throws great parties from his absurdly expensive wine cellar, supplemented by Chistmas leftovers. There are more games there, including a Hearts tournament, and some movies and whatnot.
  • edited December 2010
    Our family's tradition is to create fucked up sugar cookies. This year we've made two bleeding snowmen, an excited and blood spattered Christmas tree, a snowman that's been pissed on, a weeping Christmas tree, a Christmas tree on PCP, and a Christmas tree with a pile of poop on it. Photos are forthcoming.
    Post edited by Walker on
  • We usually go to my aunts house for a big dinner. Then exchange gifts. Then we get drunk as hell!
  • Went to Grandad's to have a Christmas Eve dinner with him and my aunt. Christmas day is the lazytimes, and the eating times.
  • We watch The Muppet Christmas Carol on the eve. Then we open presents on christmas day and eat way too much they entire day. This year my dad and I snuck in 9 holes of golf after dinner before the sun went down.
  • -Massive Christmas Eve Buffet at my parents' house (including my mother's Southern Ham) and having my grandparents (now just my grandma) over to exchange and open gifts with them + opening the Christmas Eve PJs. We listen to Christmas music and make jokes.
    -Grilled ham for Christmas breakfast, a Christmas morning fire in the fireplace, we open stockings and remaining gifts (usually happy cries and jokes ensue and someone ends up with bows on their head). We then watch Christmas movies or just hang out in our PJs and talk/joke for hours.
  • Chinese food. Like every Jew.
  • edited December 2010
    When we spend time in Michigan at my grandmother's, on Christmas eve we would put out luminaries, little paper bag lanterns, along the drive. We would then go to evening church, where my grandpa was a minister (the congregation always hummed silent night without the words, which I loved), then we would go home and eat Swedish meatballs and a lot of shrimp. We also lit lots of various candles.
    On Christmas morning, we had stockings, that my grandma knit for us (and my sister knit one for my grandma), and there would be oranges and little fun things in there.
    Now, when we spend time in NY or Rochester, Christmas Eve is the time of quiet sitting around at my childhood house with just my immediate family, and Christmas is a bit raucous affair with my hojillion relatives at Grandad's house. I think a lot of our traditions have to do with decorating. We have the same pine cone wreath, and my dad gets out his silver paper star with the lights in it. It is very beautiful. I remember all the ornaments we put on the tree year after year, and they all have meaning to me. We also have a pickle ornament, and before kid one who finds it on the tree gets a little present. (That is a German tradition, I think.)
    Post edited by gomidog on
  • We also have a pickle ornament, and before kid one who finds it on the tree gets a little present. (That is a German tradition, I think.)
    The whole Christmas pickle thing is Pennsylvania Dutch and not actually German.
  • For a very long time my parents used to go all out on Christmas, inviting many people over and having a big party. This was mostly due to the fact my father's birthday is also Christmas Day. It was always fun with all the family, friends, and food; but after a while, it gets old.

    Since then, my father isn't as able to do many things with his heart condition, so we've went out to eat at the same place for the last three Christmases. It's a really nice buffet restaurant and have always brought along one close family friend.

    Along with my father's disabilities, I think my parents are tired of always throwing big parties. Plus since my brother has been deployed every Christmas, they really don't see the point in having a big celebration.

    I honestly don't mind not having a big celebration. Keeping it simple is nice too.
  • Growing up, Christmas was always just for my nuclear family. My wife cannot conceive of this. For her, it must be a gnawing affair of showing an endless procession of remote relatives the unwrapped treasures o' the day.
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