OT - Getting to know you QOTW 12/2
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Thread: OT - Getting to know you QOTW 12/2

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Default OT - Getting to know you QOTW 12/2

    Now the the Holiday Season is really upon us in full swing - what holidays do your family celebrate this time of year? What are some of your family traditions surrounding the holidays?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Posting Addict culturedmom's Avatar
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    ELF ON THE SHELF!!!!!!

    Just kidding, we celebrate Hannukah and Christmas (though not too much weight is put on the Santa thing). However I am thinking of coming up with something different because doing 8 days of presents AND Christmas is just too much. Icould use some suggestions.

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    Christmas eve, Christmas & Three Kings day

    I try to do it all
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Haha, we do Christmas, Chanukah, AND Solstice. So I feel you. Having said that, we have decided that it is wayyy too much to do everything at our houses. Left to our own devices, we would just do Solstice. So for Solstice, I keep it fairly low key. I decorate our house with a sort of "winter" theme also focusing on some candles (although, how lame is this - I have to do fake candles because real candles set off DH's athsma! So I have to buy those fake battery powered "candles" that light up. LOL!) I try to cook a nice meal that day, and we give T 3 presents. Personally, I try to take a few moments to reflect on the idea of life getting darkest before it starts to get lighter. I'll probably talk to T about that more when he's older.

    We do Christmas at my parents' house. T and I helped them put up and decorate their tree, and I will let my parents take T to see Santa at the mall, although frankly I would ust as soon not have to go with him because standing in line in a crowded mall during the holidays is my personal idea of hell. On Christmas Eve, we usually go out to eat somewhere nice as a family, and then on Christmas we go to my parents' house to open presents an hang out. Every year we make homemade enchiladas and spanish rice for Christmas dinner. I always ask my parents to go easy on the toys and candy, and they always ignore me.

    For Chanukah, we go over to DH's parents' house, although we don't typically go all 8 days. Usually more like 3 or 4. They give T one or two very small presents each day (example, one present last year was a dinosaur hologram bookmark. Not that he uses bookmarks, but he liked the dinosaur.) That's just fine with me. We light the menorahs (we all have our own menorah - mine is shaped like an elephant!) and make home made jelly doughnuts, and chili and latkes. Chanukah is one of my favorite of the Jewish holidays, just because it is the most laid back (at least in my DH's family.) Plus, home made jelly doughnuts - yes please!

    We probably won't do anything for New Years. We typically just stay home and watch the ball drop. Nothing too exciting. By that time, after Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, and all of the parties leading up to it, I am all partied/holiday-ed out.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    We celebrate the Winter Solstice. We're Taoist, we're all about embracing the cycles of life & respecting nature & finding balance, and the Winter Solstice really fits in with those beliefs. We have a modest artificial tree (allergies!) but we also decorate with real pine & cedar boughes to get a bit of the seasonal aroma but we can control our exposure easier with them, spread them out more, put some away if we need to, etc. We feast with friends, and we do some rituals related to keeping the Earth from winding down (drum circle on the beach, rising bread) bringing back the light (turning off all lights, then lighting one candle, then lighting many candles) and the renewal of life (cooking with eggs, planting bulbs to bloom in spring).

    Last year we did this: http://www.weekendsherpa.com/stories...e-celebration/
    We might do it again this year if the weather is decent. Not sure I'd want to walk in the woods in the dark in pouring rain, but last year's occasional light drizzle wasn't bad.

    Santa comes to our house on the night before Solstice, and he only fills the stockings.
    Last edited by Spacers; 12-02-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by culturedmom View Post
    However I am thinking of coming up with something different because doing 8 days of presents AND Christmas is just too much. Icould use some suggestions.
    What about only giving tangible gifts on the first & last nights of Hannukah, and not the nights in between? Another idea, on the other nights, is "doing" gifts, like everyone gives one another a backrub, or the whole family stops for ice cream on the way home from school, or the gift is a board game that the family plays after opening it, with the focus on togetherness rather than stuff.
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    We just do Christmas. We usually have a couple of turkey dinners with family and go to church on Christmas Eve (I'm working this year though).

    Our family celebrates Advent in the 5 weeks leading up the Christmas. My kids made a wreath and are taking turned with the readings/scriptures/lighting of the candles/etc. We are making a concerted effort to make Christmas about Christ's birth and showing love, kindness, giving, sharing, and all those good things.

    Last year we decided to opt out of the materialist/commercial/"stuff" side of Christmas and stopped participating in gift exchanges. We just do stockings for the kids and as a family purchase gifts (like chickens, cows, medications) for less fortunate people with the money we aren't spending on gifts. The kids love sitting down with our Compassion Catalogue and deciding what to buy

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    We do Christmas. We decorate a Christmas tree and put lights up. This year we are going to be seeing family for Christmas so we will have our own little celebration before we leave.

    ~Bonita~

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    We celebrate Sinterklaas (eve of 12/5) where the children put out their shoes before going to bed at night and waking up to find a gift from Sinterklaas on St Nicholas Day. We also celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, & the twelfth day of Christmas (Feast of the Epiphany). Only after that will our tree be put away.

    ETA: I totally missed the question about traditions. We traditionally put the tree up the weekend after T-day. We put a nail and hide it on the bottom branch in back of the tree as a reminder. We also put a special ornament in remembrance of our loved ones lost. For Sinterklaas, they each get a special ornament put into their shoe that is unique to them to put on the tree. When they move out and put up their own tree, they can take their ornaments with. So far, they've elected to keep them on our tree.

    Throughout the month, we reflect with Advent. On Christmas Eve, we attend mass and afterwards it's now been a new tradition to go to our house and everyone has hors d'oeuvres I've created and others volunteer to bring (it used to be Xmas at Gmas with all members there having a huge meal and hors d'oeuvres, reading of the Night B4 Xmas, gift exchange, and night of games B4 attending midnight mass) and then have game night until everyone is exhausted. Christmas Day, we go to my parent's at about 11 a.m. or noon and have a very elaborate meal (emphasis on swedish and german/prussian dishes) with everyone and then (with eggnog) exchange gifts. I prefer our old tradition in being with everyone since that's all I've ever known until my gma passed. Since then, the kids divided in celebrating the season with their own adult kids and grandchildren.

    Boxing day is more of a day of relaxing, eating leftovers, and playing games with hot cocoa in hand. It has also been a time to catch up with DH's side of the family at greater lengths. On the twelfth day of Christmas, we have a large feast (usually turkey) with my parents, to mark the end the festivities and reflect.
    Last edited by Beertje; 12-03-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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    We celebrate Christmas. The girls get a new Christmas dress every year and have pics done (a tradition that if I didn't carry on my Mom would kill me). We also take them to see Santa for the annual photo op. We take one night to ride around and look at lights, rocking out to Christmas music with the girls in their PJs. Always do the local Christmas parade, which this year both of my girls were in. Also visit a local church that has a huge display of lights, various characters, and a walk-through Bethlehem experience with live animals. Can't forget our church's Christmas program, my Stepdad's family's Christmas party, and various other family get togethers. Christmas is exhausting, lol.

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