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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Java Talk: Favorite Holiday Traditions




We haven't had a Java Talk discussion in awhile. So I thought we'd discuss our family's favorite holiday traditions. 

Doesn't matter if it's from childhood or adulthood. And it doesn't matter which holiday you have fond memories of. Please join the discussion and we'll share.

Cozy Little House
41 Comments
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41 comments:

  1. For the past several years my daughters, daughter-in-love & I go on the Christmas parade of homes here. We start early with a Starbucks and then park as close as we can and walk to the houses. Each one is "dressed" by a different florist or design shop and it is so much fun to see the homes all done up. This is always held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We end the day by having a late lunch or early dinner. I look forward to it every year. We always get at least one or two new ideas there. I am so blessed to have a DIL that I love as much as I love my biological daughters. xo Diana

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    1. Yes, you are lucky. This sounds like a fun tradition!

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  2. I love to decorate my home with gingerbread during the holidays. Every year I decorate gingerbread houses with my four grandchildren. It's a tradition we all look forward to doing.

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    1. I don't think I've ever made gingerbread, although I could be mistaken. Been a long time since my kids were young! I did a lot of things then that I don't do now.

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  3. the only real tradition in my home that has carried through the years - 40 yrs - is making a coffee cake on Christmas Eve that is a complicated thing of rolling out very thin dough and spreading a cooked mixture of dates & nuts then beating egg whites ect - we do this every year and involve whoever is visiting in the making of it, my youngest daughter who lives a distance from me makes her own now carrying the tradition to future generations. Getting the rolled up dough jelly roll fashion can be a fun sloppy mess at times depending on who is helping! It can come out very neat in the end and most times the mistakes or sloppiness is not noticed - we eat it on Xmas Morning slightly heated - we do not make it Christmas morning as the dough is made 24 hours in advance, needs to raise twice and bakes for an hour. The name of the recipe is Potica and here is a link to the recipe on a blog post from several years ago.http://karensquilting.com/blog/2009/12/my-christmas-coffee-cake-potica/

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    1. Oh, I like this one! Everyone participates and that is great.

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  4. our fav is Thanksgiving Day, start with fresh cinnamon rolls and coffee while we watch the parade, then the dog show comes on and we eat about 3, then choose a movie for that night with leftovers,,,
    we've been doing this many years and always look forward to it.

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    1. Wish I was there! Fresh cinnamon rolls and coffee are right up my alley. And the Melitta is great!

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  5. Christmas at my Gram's when I was growing up. Her place was magical anyway being a big old home on a lake in the north woods. Her real tree would smell so good and just shimmer from the pounds of tinsel put on lovingly 1 by 1 - never clumped. I loved Christmas Eve. We'd go to mass and they'd do a live nativity. Then back at the house the grown-ups would sip tom & jerry's and us kiddos would have cocoa by the fireplace. We would often do a build on story where one cousin would say a once upon a time line or 2 and then we'd each take turns adding to the story and see where it would go - usually ending in fits of giggles. Then we'd sing as a family just acappella style, all different Christmas carols. When one would pop into someone's head they would start singing and then we'd just join in. And then trying to go to sleep when we were so excited and we'd talk and giggle under the covers and one of the grown-ups would eventually come up and tell us to GET TO SLEEP! Then Christmas morning all the gifts there from Santa. Prized treasured memories.

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    1. Oh, that sounds like something straight out of a Lifetime movie!

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  6. The one tradition that has to go on each year in my family is opening our Christmas stockings together. My two siblings and I, and our kids if they are available (they are all young adults now, and sometimes can't make it due to jobs or more cool places to be), gather at my mom's house on a Saturday right around Christmas. We all bring little items to put in the stockings that my mom holds onto from year to year. The stockings are just cheap fuzzy red fabric with names put on in glitter glue, and they are getting old and ratty looking. But their tattered appearance is just part of the tradition. At some point late in the day, after visiting and eating, someone says, "It's time for stockings!" My mom gets them and lays them out on tables and chairs. (They get too heavy and full to hang from a mantel.) We each take turns putting in our presents, acting very secretive like we are really putting in something special. But usually it's just breath mints or bubble gum or red and green gummy bears. My brother always gets everyone a $2 lottery ticket (one year his son won $500). Last year my sister gave everyone hand sanitizer, decorated with red ribbon. There's always someone who gets a funny gag gift, like plastic elf ears. We take turns dumping out our stockings and then we ooh and aah over these little gifts like they are really something.

    The reason why I think the tradition is special is because we all only see each other a couple of times a year nowadays, and don't have all that much in common in our daily lives. But with this tradition, we just let our guard down, don't worry about whether we agree or disagree on things, and spend a half hour or so acting like kids and having fun.

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  7. Christmas Eve we always have special finger foods such as cold shrimp, cheeses, something made from puff pastry, etc. We also get comfy in new PJ's (not matching, just new). Then Christmas Day have my mom's cinnamon rolls and coffee while opening some gifts and a special meal at dinner. Usually watch movies during the day and just relax. It's a quiet holiday, but we enjoy it that way. My mom just turned 80, and I so grateful I still have her for this holiday and hopefully many more. She always made our holidays so nice growing up and now I try and make hers special as well.

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    1. You are such a wonderful daughter and person, Gina. Your mother is so very lucky to have you. I envy your relationship.

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  8. Since having an empty nest for the past 7 years-- (and the fact that we get together for Christmas on NEW YEARS DAY since 2000) The Honey and I are mostly alone at Christmas. We want our kids to have Christmas morning with their kiddos and with their other families... I have my kids at Thanksgiving and New Years.
    So--- on Christmas Day, The Honey and I take in a movie. It's our newest Christmas Tradition-- maybe only 5 years, but it's one I've come to enjoy. This years Christmas Movie--- will be "Into the Woods" I can't wait!

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  9. Since my son is grown up..my fun thing is having a Christmas stocking for my kitties..I stuff it with catnip & other toys and treats..maybe new collars..I love having them gathering around to play together and enjoy a bag of treats scattered on the rug for them to devour..Do you do something for the pupsters Brenda?

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    1. Sometimes I do. But they are so spoiled every day of the year, they wouldn't know the difference!

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  10. It's been Christmas dinner here or wherever I am for ages...since I was in my mid-twenties.

    Since my son and DIL took over T-giving this year I am secretely hoping that they'll do the same with Christmas, lol..though I have not discussed it with them yet. It's just that between them there are 5 kids now and this place is small. I managed it last year but...Dear Santa? :)

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  11. Me again : AND whether people bring sides or not whomever is hosting still ends up with the greatest expense. ...I would like to pass that on to the tattoed generation now :)

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  12. Every year I make an elaborate gingerbread house with my grandson. He's 11 now, and for the last couple of years I think he hasn't been into it, so starting this year I will pick up the tradition with his younger 4 year old brother starting this weekend. But instead of a gingerbread house, my friend picked up a 'trailer' gingerbread house as a bit of a joke since we will be rv'ing at some point. I'm just going to let him have at it and not worry about the results and how it looks. Not easy for me to do ;).

    Growing up, being Italian on Christmas Eve my mother and grandmother would make the feast of the seven fishes. The house would always smell so awesome (not fishy lol) and I've yet to duplicate that.

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    1. I'm sure your young grandson will find it all to be great fun and quality time with grandma.
      Brenda

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  13. My holidays always feature the menu/recipes my Mom served. She was the best cook...and she was so passionate about celebrating the holidays. She made these few days very special for us. Her turkey stuffing, lime/pear/walnut jello mold, etc. When I made her recipes I feel as though I am honoring her and she is with me once again!

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    1. That woman raised a whole bunch of kids and still found time to do all this. She must have been quite a woman!

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  14. Many things about Christmas have changed since I was a child, but one constant remains - ham and eggs and waffles for breakfast!

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    1. Sounds great to me! I don't really have any traditions. It's usually just me and the pupsters, and we just have a quiet holiday doing what we do.

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  15. When my parents and in laws were alive, we would open our presents with our kids then head over to my folks house for more present opening and lunch. After lunch, we'd pack up and head to my in laws for an identical meal for dinner. Sometimes I was so exhausted and complained about all the travel and fuss of dragging 3 kids and tons of presents across the state. Now with the older generations passing, I host the holidays for my three grown kids, my sisters ( who don't have kids), and any friends who happen by. No grandkids yet. We pass the time cooking, eating, and they play Cards Against Humanity, which is terribly profane but equally hysterical. In my defense, I don't play it but everyone else does. But it does my heart good to hear my kids laughing together, knowing that they now have a close bond that my i generations passing will not break.

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  16. After my mother, who always had the family Christmas on the 24th, died 37 years ago, we've made it a point to stay at home on Christmas Eve and open our gifts after a supper of pizza. When our kids were still young enough to believe in Santa, we would take a ride looking at all the Christmas lights on the houses and Santa would always have been to our house while we were gone. We still have pizza to this day on Christmas Eve. I mentioned last year that I might make some lasagna or something, but my son said NO WAY, we had to carry on our tradition! So pizza it was and will be again this year, I'm sure. Christmas Day, I always cook a turkey dinner and when my aunt and uncle were living, they would be at our house. When my in-laws were living, they would usually have their Christmas the weekend after Christmas Day or occasionally the evening of the 25th.

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    1. Traditions become very important to people. So pizza it will be!

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  17. holiday traditions makes to fell happy.
    builders in coimbatore
    www.puravankara.com/

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  18. My birthday is the fifteenth. My dad and I always picked the tree on that day. He was so patient with me. We would walk all over the woods until I found my perfect one.

    My grandchildren and I have a baking day of gingerbread houses and cookies.

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    1. I can't think of a better and more fun task with the grands.

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  19. I have new traditions for myself beginning with last year. I decorate my home Thanksgiving night after lunch with my parents. During the holidays, I get to spend time with my Mom, Dad and younger brother and I am no longer punished for it. It is stress free and we laugh alot. (I am back from Florida with a very dark tan)

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    1. Ah, I'm jealous that you went to warm Florida! I need to start a tradition for me and the pupsters I suppose.

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  20. Christmas traditions growing up were always made up of certain desserts-carrot pudding with hard sauce and fruitcake. As I write this it sounds like a dessert tray from Charles Dickens! But it was what Momma did so it was all good.
    Now, the kids are all splitting in different directions across the U.S., so it will be different this year. Lasagna with the two oldest at our house at 4:00 in the afternoon. But this works too.
    Jemma

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    1. I've never even heard of carrot pudding, but I'm sure it was good!

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    2. I love carrot anything. Pudding sounds heavenly!

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  21. Our traditions have changed over the years. We seem to be the flexible people since our kids have their own traditions. We are going to Colorado to our daughters this year. We have passed on some traditions. Hubby and I decided last year to just do stockings for each other. It's fun and easier than buying gifts. We still buy something for everyone.

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  22. I loved reading the comments...the memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas are all so varied..and very special. Mine might go back to my childhood. We would all pile into the car one random night in December, we kids in our PJ's, and drive around looking at all the homes decorated with lights, etc. Christmas Eve midnight mass was also special, I guess to be up that late! But also beautiful with the choir and music. We lived around the corner from the church so we ran there and back, a big adventure on a cold wintery night!

    Jane xx

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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