You should know I’m singing Tradition in my best Tevye voice right now!

The holiday season always makes me think of traditions because that is the one time of that is all about the past. We do the same things for each holiday that we have always done.

My holidays are a mixture of my heritage–a little Italian-American mixed with traditional (my paternal grandmother’s family came over with the pilgrams!) American fare. We have a turkey, mashed potatoes, and regular side dishes you’d see at any American table, but we also have an antipasto that is purely Italian-American and the scent of garlic flavors all of our dishes along with a pasta course that includes lasagna, homemade sausage (my Great Uncle Genaro’s recipe) and meatballs that will make you beg for stretchy pants.

Whenever I visit my cousins in New Jersey I realized how alike we are despite the fact that I grew up in Florida and she in New Jersey. Our grandmothers were sisters and our moms first-cousins. We visited each other a couple of times during our childhood but saw our great-aunts more frequently, so maybe that accounts for this. But we cook the same things for dinner each night, we put our kids first and make them tell us about their day and we honor the past.

I know this isn’t unique to my family but it is what I like the best about my traditions!  Tell me about your traditions for the holiday season and one lucky blog participant will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!


25 thoughts on “Tradition!

  1. Kirsten says:

    I always bake a gingerbread cake. My gran used to do that and when she passed I took over. Somehow my cake never tastes as good as hers though. I’m thinking maybe she had a secret ingerdient, that I do not know about?! Make sense…

    Also we listen to Christmas carols when putting up the tree & (try to) sing along. Doesn’t sound great but is a lot of fun. After the tree is ready we have some gingerbread cake & a glass of brandy, it’s tradition 😀

  2. We host a big Christmas Eve dinner party. That’s my favorite part of the holiday. Oh, and sour cream coffee cake for breakfast the next day!

  3. Laurie G says:

    We always wait for the children to come home to decorate the tree. We have a fun time with them arguing about which ornaments go where and how awful their homemade school ornaments are.

    We play Christmas music while we decorate the tree, drink hot chocolate and afterwards we make spritz cookies, with my M-I-L’s recipe.

    We use a lot of colored lights.

    Christmas Eve night we walk through the neighboring subdivision. We love looking at the lights and decorations. We sing Christmas songs as we walk along.

    We always open up our presents on Christmas morning.

    The children each have their favorite meals made. It’s fun deciding whose meal gets made which night.

  4. Shana Shana says:

    We’re in the process of creating holiday traditions since my daughter is just now old enough to appreciate them. I’m reading all of these with interest. I guess one constant tradition is celebrating my birthday on Christmas Eve (it’s really on the 25th).

  5. kris says:

    the only real tradition we have is going to see the Nutcracker every year.

  6. Kathryn in Montreal says:

    Some traditions evolve… my family was always about the big family gathering around Christmas, people in for drinks Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, both sets of grandparents and the odd aunt and uncle staying with us and my parents’ house was the hub of Christmas Day/dinner. My husband’s family was the complete opposite… one set of his grandparents were in England and the other in St. John, NB (we are in Montreal), so it was usually just them and their parents. Now, we have a big pizza dinner with his mum (his dad passed away recently) on Christmas Eve, because his parents always spend Christmas Day with one of their daughters. Then Christmas Day is my family, either at my place or my sister’s…. and buttertarts take centre stage. I make dozens (as does my Mum) and we eat them Christmas Eve, for breakfast Christmas morning, for dessert …. we are totally tarted out – which is why we probably only make them once a year. Stockings are huge for my kids, even though they are now 19, 21, 23 and 25 and more thought and preparation goes into their stockings than anything else. Our tree is an ecletic mix of decorations they made throughout their school years, brass ornaments my husband collected on his travels and assorted odds and ends…. every year I keep saying I’ll havea lovely colour coordinated themed tree, but in never happens. I love the holidays!

  7. Anne says:

    Each year we make an Italian Feast for the entire family to enjoy and then tell stories which go on for a long time. A special time with friends and family.

  8. Kathleen OD says:

    The best holiday tradition we have is just being together on Christmas. It was always important to my mom and dad that we be together on Christmas. Now that they are gone, and things have changed, we still try to all be together, my four brothers and I, along with our oldest niece and my brothers three younger children. We have gathered at my oldest brothers house the last three years and will again this year. We don’t need all the trimmings of a big dinner, we started a new tradition of Pizza and Chicken wings and playing a hot game of Triaval Pursuit or playing cards on Christmas Eve.

  9. ellie says:

    It is very meaningful to have family gather around. We try to plan a reunion with cousins and family and we prepare simple but tasty goodies for the day.

  10. Jen says:

    I don’t think we really have a lot of traditions. Fighting at the table can’t be considered one of them 😐

    I would love to start some though.

  11. Sandi in OH says:

    We start the season by going to Akron to see the Festival of Trees the day after Thanksgiving. This is a fundraiser for Childrens Hospital. We decorated the tree while listening to Christmas music. This usually happens the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Christmas Eve we go to Midnight Mass. Now that my grandparents and in-laws are gone, we have Christmas at our house. Traditions change with time either because family members die or children get married and have families of their own. We learned to adapt the tradition with the changes.

  12. Na S. says:

    We love to say home and watch holiday movies. Also, we would have a medley of some of our favorite meals. The fun part is shopping for the groceries together and each having a hand at helping to make it. The reward is the wonderful smell of homecooked food. Yum.

  13. Melody May says:

    I love have Christmas lights all over my house. I have garland twine with Christmas lights that I like to hang in the hall way.

  14. Lois M. says:

    Well, we (sis and me, that is) still get an new ornament every year… and alas, any presents are open on Eve instead of Day, no matter how much I protest… and I try to wait until the month is actually December before putting any Christmas stuff up (so no day after Thanksgiving stuff for me!)… but a seemingly new tradition now is going out to eat instead of having the big meal home on Christmas Eve. For then, and also a seemingly new tradition with Thanksgiving as well now, I’m mixed – it’s strange to do, and have people working in these places on those holidays; but I guess if they have always been open, it’s nothing new for them, but helpful for us – costs about the same, no cleanup, but no leftovers (though that is both good and bad. Bad – no extra turkey; good – no temptation of extra dessert around).

    Now I”m really hungry…. 😉


  15. CateS says:

    My oldest sister bring burgoo [Kentucky stew] for Christmas Eve dinner before we go to church.

  16. I want to come to your house for Thanksgiving, Kathy! We always have a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. One thing that we always have is two types of potatoes: sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. That’s nonnegotiable.

  17. We always have a big Christmas Eve dinner/pot luck at my grandmother’s house and everyone comes. It’s so much fun.

  18. catslady says:

    I started a tradition of having a tree trimming party. We had an uncle that was not married and he had broken up with his long time girlfriend and we had just had our second child. It has progressed over the years to friends and family and this year we have a new great nephew who will be only 3 months old and my mother who is 90 and the uncle just married is next girlfriend of 27 years lol. We decorate my tree while having lots of food, drink and fun. And for the last few years my oldest daughter has had one too.

  19. bn100 says:

    We always have a turkey.

  20. Kimh says:

    We don’t have one nut o like going to see the other houses and their lighits so pretty and creative
    thanks great prize

  21. Lorelei says:

    Our family holiday tradition is to have Lasagna too, and my MIL always makes a BIG pot of hen soup,(Vzlan trad.) served on Xmas and New Years Eve, so anyone that stops by, are welcome to a bowl. We normally share presents Xmas eve, but I always save something for Christmas day, too. Oh, we eat 12 grapes the last 12 seconds on the NYE countdown, and make wishes! 😆

  22. Chelsea B. says:

    My family always watch Christmas movies together. And we always try to ride through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights 😀

  23. Janie McGaugh says:

    Decorating the Christmas tree and watching Christmas movies.

  24. Barbara Elness says:

    My favorite tradition, besides putting up the Christmas tree and going through all the ornaments collected over the years, is when my sister and I jump in the car after Christmas dinner and drive around town looking at the Christmas lights and decorations. We’ve done it for years and I wouldn’t miss it. Then we come home and have pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Yum! 😀

  25. Ann s. says:

    Our tradition is Mom yelling at kids for a Christmas photo for the card. It has been too many Christmas photos that were like pulling teeth. This year my 4 twenty something’s decided to blow up a 6 foot snowman, in the living room, who was dressed for hunting complete with shotgun, and put him in the photo. I give up, lol

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