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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,084
Registered: ‎06-15-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

@athenian. That all sounds wonderful, as do all the posts I've read! What is "hoppin John"?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,084
Registered: ‎06-15-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions


@OM13 wrote:

@jewelwisher

Glad that you liked my memories. There are so many more stories. I was so lucky to have so much fun to remember.


Yes, you were! I have to feel sorry for kids today who "have it all" and yet no real memories! Family times are the best times!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,572
Registered: ‎07-29-2012

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

When I was growing up there would be very large gatherings at my Grandmother's home on Christmas Day.  We would have a sit down dinner.  There is a Polish word Oplatki, which is a wafer similar to Communion wafer.  It comes in sheets about 4"x6".  

 

After everyone one was seated, my Grandmother would take a wafer, break a piece off, turn to the person next to her and make a good wish for them (individualized to that person).  She would put the piece of wafer in her mouth and pass the wafer to that person to continue all around the table.  Even we as children participated in the ritual.

 

There is a religious background to the tradition, which I will not get into here.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,736
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

I don't know how unusual they are, but some of the traditions I started with my son during Christmas were:

 

Making pine cone bird feeders on Christmas Eve for the birds. Take a pine cone, coat with peanut butter, roll in bird seed and hand on an evergreen tree in the back yard, just outside the kitchen window. The birds would decorate that tree for the next couple of days!

 

Collecting vintage and new versions of 'The Night Before Christmas' and reading it out loud every Christmas Eve.

 

Buying a Christmas ornament each year for my son, and it representing something he was into that year (one year a soccer theme, one year baseball etc.) He was allowed to open the ornament on Christmas Eve and hang it on the tree.

 

Going to the theater during the season for a Christmas play, show or symphony performance.

 

Going shopping with my son when he was young, and letting him pick out gifts for the dogs and cats, then home to wrap them.

 

Seeing Rudolph's nose outside before bed on Christmas Eve. (My mom lives next door, and she would take a red flashing light outside at a set time, and flash it on and off, and we'd see it and 'just know' it was Rudolph and Santa.

 

Making magic Reindeer food (dry oats with any colored sugar mixed in) and spreading it out in the backyard. The moonlight dances on the sugar, and gives the reindeer a path to see where to land and they eat the oats while Santa is delivering the gifts. The dog would go out with us and as my son was scattering the reindeer food, the dog was catching it mid air and eating most of it!

 

And while we have so much in the way of Christmas tradition and fun, I have to say that my son loved Halloween even more than Christmas I think. He would begin planning next year's costume right after trick or treat each year.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-08-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

@gmkbI'm going to look up Oplatki. It sounds very special and wonderful too.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 560
Registered: ‎03-18-2012

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

@jewelwisher  Hoppin' John is traditional New Year's Day dish in the south.  It's made with smoked hog jowls, rice, black eyed peas and collard greens.  As above, the black eyed peas are for health, and the rice for wealth.  These days I make it with bacon or ham, and have even used spinach rather than greens.  And the black eyed peas are canned.  I don't use a recipe, just throw it together.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,461
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Re: Unusual holiday traditions

[ Edited ]

I love having traditions!  We have a lot.  

We get our tree from a minister who lives on top of a mountain!  They're fresh cut and he comes with his wife and now their married daughter.  This couple watched our boys grow up.

 

When the boys were here, we had an advent calendar that had pockets with stuffed ornaments that attached to a tree.  Even as teenagers, they raced down stairs every morning to be able to be the one!

I have a tradition of wrapping under the tree late in the evening a few weeks before Christmas while having kahlua and cream.  DH always hides mine!

 

Christmas Eve before bed, DH and I sit with the tree on and all the lights out and discuss the last year and how we see the coming year.  

We have kahlua and cream.

 

On Christmas day after our DS and DIL bring the grand sons over we open gifts and eat German pastries.  That will change this year because my wonderful bakery closed and with all the cooking I do as gifts there's no way.

 

Christmas Day dinner is very formal.  I have handmade Christmas china and I do a centerpiece with antique silver candlesticks and antique ornaments with ribbon threaded through.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,219
Registered: ‎02-20-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions


@gmkb wrote:

When I was growing up there would be very large gatherings at my Grandmother's home on Christmas Day.  We would have a sit down dinner.  There is a Polish word Oplatki, which is a wafer similar to Communion wafer.  It comes in sheets about 4"x6".  

 

After everyone one was seated, my Grandmother would take a wafer, break a piece off, turn to the person next to her and make a good wish for them (individualized to that person).  She would put the piece of wafer in her mouth and pass the wafer to that person to continue all around the table.  Even we as children participated in the ritual.

 

There is a religious background to the tradition, which I will not get into here.


@gmkb Oh my goodness, I forgot all about the Oplatek.  We used to do that tradition on Christmas Eve at my grandmother's house before Christmas Eve dinner.  We would all take a piece of the Oplatek from my grandmother's large piece, then we would all have to break off a piece of each other's then kiss each other on the cheek and wish each other Merry Christmas.  I can't believe I forgot about this beautiful tradition.  I have tears in my eyes remembering this.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,878
Registered: ‎05-24-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions


@gmkb wrote:

When I was growing up there would be very large gatherings at my Grandmother's home on Christmas Day.  We would have a sit down dinner.  There is a Polish word Oplatki, which is a wafer similar to Communion wafer.  It comes in sheets about 4"x6".  

 

After everyone one was seated, my Grandmother would take a wafer, break a piece off, turn to the person next to her and make a good wish for them (individualized to that person).  She would put the piece of wafer in her mouth and pass the wafer to that person to continue all around the table.  Even we as children participated in the ritual.

 

There is a religious background to the tradition, which I will not get into here.


This was a tradition for me growing up as well.  I believe we shared the Oplatek on Christmas Eve before having dinner.  My parents came to the US after WW 11.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,878
Registered: ‎05-24-2016

Re: Unusual holiday traditions


@AKgirl2 wrote:

@gmkb wrote:

When I was growing up there would be very large gatherings at my Grandmother's home on Christmas Day.  We would have a sit down dinner.  There is a Polish word Oplatki, which is a wafer similar to Communion wafer.  It comes in sheets about 4"x6".  

 

After everyone one was seated, my Grandmother would take a wafer, break a piece off, turn to the person next to her and make a good wish for them (individualized to that person).  She would put the piece of wafer in her mouth and pass the wafer to that person to continue all around the table.  Even we as children participated in the ritual.

 

There is a religious background to the tradition, which I will not get into here.


This was a tradition for me growing up as well.  I believe we shared the Oplatek on Christmas Eve before having dinner.  My parents came to the US after WW 11.  


I forgot to mention that my mom's sister in Poland would always send the Oplateki in a Christmas card.