Second week of December, and only two weeks away from Christmas! I got to tell you, I love family and holiday traditions, so much that I am always looking for implementing more into ours. I mean it is great taking traditions forward that you had in your childhood, but how about making up new ones that fit your lifestyle & family? Sounds pretty good, right. That’s why I asked my friends & followers on Instagram to share their family traditions with me, and ultimately you, so that we can all have a read, get smile on our face and maybe even find some that we want to try and start ourselves.
Before I share all of your traditions, I let you in on how we celebrate Christmas when in Germany and then how it looks, when in Sweden.
When in Germany, our Christmas celebration usually starts in the afternoon of the 24th, with some parts of the family going to church for the nativity play, and other meet for Christmas cake & coffee. After that the kids go and play somewhere in the house, while Santa delivers the gifts in secret. You read right, while growing up we never had a Santa in person, he was always the sneaky character ? At around 5 we than get to open all the presents, with wine and beer and snacks. After that we settle down for a classic German Christmas dinner, with potato salad and sausages. That’s it for the 24th but Christmas doesn’t stop there, because we also have the first and second Christmas Day, which are the 25th and 26th for us, where we meet the family for lunch. This is actually my favorite part, as my granddad always makes goose or duck! The whole family looks forward to this special treat every year, and it’s sorely missed, when not in Germany for Christmas.
In Sweden, Christmas looks similar, but here we get to meet Santa, who delivers a present to each child on Christmas Eve, followed by more presents. Dinner on the other hand consists of a classic Christmas ham, with crisp or hard rye bread, together with potatoes, little prince sausages, Christmas cheese and a rather (weird) potato bake with sardines in it. Yes, sardines. Yukk! But hey there are some people really liking that ? But this is it! No first or second Christmas day lunch here, usually because, when in Sweden we are somewhere up north with the family to ski and enjoy the snow. Not this year though, for obvious reasons.
So instead of travelling up north or to Germany, we are going to have presents on Christmas Eve, with an intimate Christmas dinner, followed by Christmas movies (if I can convince the family) and more Christmas magic on the morning of the 25th. And yes there’ll be prosecco, bacon rolls and cinnamon buns.
Another Christmas tradition that I am starting this year is to write Christmas cards to our friends & family. I am so excited for this, as I’ve been wanting to do this forever, but never got around it. This year though? The cards are ready to be sent!
Right, now that you know about Christmas traditions, let me share all of yours! There are sure some I going to start implementing.
Christmas Tradition from Around the World
“Decorating our tree with the kids”
“Watching White Christmas on Xmas Eve, and eating pigs in blankets on Christmas Day”
“Every year my son and I, go pick out a new ‘special’ ornament for the tree. We have basic ones, but then also a the new yearly special one”
“Cozy Christmas morning gifts and then a long brunch”
“In Australia we have Christmas carols & drinks on Christmas Eve, and presents with seafood lunch on Christmas Day”
“We have always only one present to open on Christmas Eve: festive pajamas! One Christmas morning we then love fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast!”
“Trifle. I have to make a Trifle every year or there would be anarchy! Every part home made”
“My family was Danish, so our Christmas was on the 24th at night. We did always dance around the Christmas tree”
“Kids write to Santa on Christmas Eve and Santa (daddy) writes them back for the morning”
“We always opened presents on the 24th and the 25th. On Christmas Day they were from Santa. I love it!”
“Mimosas on Christmas morning, while the kids open gifts”
“My mom and I decorate mini Christmas trees and donate them to charities every year. It’s a fun little craft activity that we bond over, and it makes a lot of people happy!”
“Santa gets tacos and margaritas instead of milk and cookies”
“My family watches a 24h ‘A Christmas Story’ marathon. Just the one movie, all day long!”
“We cut down a fresh tree every year. This years, since we don’t have family coming over, we got the biggest tree! It literally takes down our entire dining room”
“We have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. One time a year that sugar is for breakfast!”
“I started a 12 days of books with my kids last year. All Christmas, most we already have, but I try to add a couple of new ones now each year”
“A gift on Christmas Eve, watching ‘The Polar Express’ and eating cinnamon rolls”
“We are looking at Christmas lights on houses”
“Our big family get together and have a sleep over. We give each other ‘as seen on TV’ gifts to go give to each other, by drawing numbers (…) we have a limit of 20 USD. It’s great fun”
“We are in the Central US and we go to church on Christmas Eve, then we open presents & have a big breakfast on Christmas morning”
“Appetizers on Christmas Eve for dinner & new jammies. On Christmas morning we open presents & have cinnamon buns”
“Treats and games on Christmas Eve. I like that even more than the gifts on Christmas morning”
“We drive around looking at Christmas lights on houses, in our neighborhood. It’s pretty popular to do, my family did it last night, we got hot chocolate to take with us & then played Christmas music, while driving around”
“Watching ‘A Christmas Story’ on Christmas Eve after attending a Moravian Love Feast”
“Buck’s Fizz and bacon rolls for Christmas Day breakfast”
“We have something called ‘Sinterklaas’ in Holland, where we left an apple or a carrot in our shoes in front of the fireplace and the next morning we would get chocolate, letters & presents. My favorite holiday from my childhood”
“Our Christmas tradition was to have the kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve, and then wake them up at like 1am to open their presents. We’d come down the stairs to a mountain of gifts and our stockings. Usually all our cousins got together for the holidays, so it was a full house! I now realize waking kids up at 1am is crazy ?”
“Here in Holland at the end of November Saint Nicholas arrives in Holland and until the 5th of December every couple of days, kids put their shoes in front of the fireplace, sing a song and wake up with a little gift in their shoes. 5th of December is ‘gift-giving’, when everyone gets a present and Saint Nicholas goes back to Spain until next year”
“We have so many! Advent calendars, baking mince pies, ginger biscuits and Scottish shortbread, new outfit brought by elves for big dinner on Xmas Eve that includes grandmother’s trifle recipe, followed by Xmas movie, in the middle of the night Xmas stockings, in the morning presents under the tree, and enjoying the leftover of grandmother’s trifle (…)
Also each kid, including my part time foster kids, get a new ornament to put on the tree each year. The ornaments are a real trip down memory lane”
“American from Minnesota here. On Christmas Eve it’s appetizers, drinks and merry making, sometimes accompanied by Christmas Eve nativity story in the early afternoon or candlelight in the evening. On Christmas morning it’s all about Santa and the gifts, one person opens a gift at a time, and beautiful brunch.There were also a few years my family rented ice rink time at an arena and skates, so the family had a hockey game or just skate”
Thank you for sharing your traditions with me, it’s an absolute joy reading through all of them!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays ❤