A Christmas Traditions Meme

I was stuck in traffic recently (please let this ridiculous transit strike end soon!) and this meme presented itself to me. Most of it was originally scribbled on the back of a coupon for dog food, braced on the steering wheel of the car while Lucas snoozed in the car seat behind me. Feel free to filch it for your own blog, or play along in the comment box!

There are so many ways to celebrate the season, and once a family gets locked into a certain set of traditions nothing can break the spell. How do you handle these ones in your family?

1. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Since I was a kid, we opened all our presents on Christmas Eve. Santa brought one present and stuffed our stockings for Christmas morning, and even as grown children living away from home, my brother and I insisted on a Christmas morning Santa present!

2. Donner or Donder?

Ahem. As most of you know, I have a personal stake in this one. Let’s just say it was a proud moment this year when we watched Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer on CBS, and Simon spent the whole hour hollering “Donder!! Not Donner!!” at the TV whenever Donner was on screen.

3. Turkey or ham?

I was going to include goose in here, but does anybody really eat a Christmas goose anymore? I know, there are probably lots of people who have Christmas lasagnes and Christmas meatloaf and whatnot, but it seems to fall generally into ham and turkey camps. We are firmly turkey people. (**Waves and blow kisses to mother**)

4. Gifts opened all at once, or one at a time?

The first time I ever spent Christmas away from home with my ex’s family, I was openmouthed with wonder (and a hint of dismay) at the frenzy of gift opening. Everybody got their pile of presents, and everybody just tore in like a bunch of present-piranhas, wrap flying everywhere. I’m firmly in the camp of savouring the gifts one at a time and enjoying watching everyone open their gifts.

5. Christmas tree: live or artificial?

I’ve never had a live tree before, and I toyed with the idea this year. Beloved mocked me. I do love our artificial tree, though. It’s seven feet tall and still full and fresh looking even though it’s more than 15 years old. And it looks better and better each year as the handmade ornaments from the kids slowly replace the store-bought ones!

6. Cards: boxed cards, family photo cards, or e-cards?

I’m a fan of the boxed card. In a perfect world, I’d love to do handmade, but… yeah. One year, we put a fridge magnet made out of Tristan’s first Santa picture in every card, and I always wanted to do that again.

7. Christmas lights: incandescent or LED?

I’ve switched over to LED, but I’m not a huge fan. I think the incandescent have a brighter, warmer glow, but I’m doing my part to save the polar bears.

8. Re-gift or not?

Am a shameless re-gifter, but rarely have the opportunity… the people who give me gifts have impeccable taste, for the most part!

9. Gift wrap or gift bags?

I lean to gift wrap on this one, mostly because I think kids like tearing through paper more than they like lifting out tissue paper. The environmental aspect makes me cringe, but we do try to recycle it all.

10. Best Christmas song?

David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s Little Drummer Boy

11. Best Christmas movie?

A Christmas Story. I simply cannot believe I do not own this movie — I even have a “Fra-gee-lee” ornament on my tree!! — after years and years of dropping hints. It never goes on sale after Christmas, and I now refuse to pick it up for myself, so each year I have to comb the TV listings to make sure we catch it when it comes to broadcast cable. We don’t even have a PVR to record it. It’s one of the great travesties of the season, I tell you!

12. Favourite family tradition?

All of them. Traditions are the cathedral of life to a creature of habit like me!

Okay, your turn. Do play along!!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

16 thoughts on “A Christmas Traditions Meme”

  1. 1. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
    One gift on Christmas Eve, all others on Christmas morning

    2. Donner or Donder?
    Donner (sorry Donder Family!)

    3. Turkey or ham?
    Turkey all the way (…we always go to our local butcher shop)!

    4. Gifts opened all at once, or one at a time?
    One at a time, ALWAYS! (even though this means it ends up taking something ridiculous like three hours)

    5. Christmas tree: live or artificial?
    Both! Our house is roomy enough for our trusty artificial tree and our live, “chopped it down ourselves at the tree farm” tree. We use formal decorations on one, and our homemade “Chuck Brown” look for the other. I love having both!

    6. Cards: boxed cards, family photo cards, or e-cards?
    Family photo cards!

    7. Christmas lights: incandescent or LED?
    Incandescent for indoor lights and LED for the outdoor display

    8. Re-gift or not?
    I was raised to be an honest re-gifter (as in, “someone gave me this and I can’t use it, would you like it?”), but in actual gift-giving situations, I make or buy an appropriate, personal gift. Not necessarily expensive, but thoughtful nonetheless. Now that I have young children, we often make a craft or card.

    9. Gift wrap or gift bags?
    I don’t have a preference here. I’m with ya on trying to recycle as much as possible.

    10. Best Christmas song?
    Please come home for Christmas, The Eagles

    11. Best Christmas movie?
    Yes I am a child of the eighties…National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

    12. Favourite family tradition?
    All of them! Now that I have children, the best part of Christmas is developing new family traditions.

    Have a Merry Christmas Dani. Thank you for the gift of your blog year-round…you make me feel connected to the world on days that I cannot get out of the house. Thank you.

  2. 1. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
    When I was little it was PJ’s Christmas eve and then the rest Christmas morning…stockings first THEN a big breakie and THEN finally prezzies! Now it’s all Christmas morning…

    2. Donner or Donder?
    Donner (sorry Donder Family!)

    3. Turkey or ham?
    Turkey! (BBQ ribs on Christmas eve!!)

    4. Gifts opened all at once, or one at a time?
    One at a time, ALWAYS!

    5. Christmas tree: live or artificial?
    Usually artificial…though my hubbie goes on about wanting a real tree each year…two years ago we did have a real one and it was wonderful!! (We’re back to artificial though)

    6. Cards: boxed cards, family photo cards, or e-cards?
    A mix of boxed cards or family photo cards….this year boxed cards with a nice photo in a Christmas border.

    7. Christmas lights: incandescent or LED?
    LED…I have a very green minded hubbie.

    8. Re-gift or not?
    Not really…maybe Chocolates or something though

    9. Gift wrap or gift bags?
    Gotta have the wrap for Christmas morning gifts…but for teachers and other quick gifts is gift bags!

    10. Best Christmas song?
    The one I’ve been hearing lately and have stuck in my head….but I have NO idea what it’s called!!!

    11. Best Christmas movie?
    Polar Express (happens to be playing right now)

    12. Favourite family tradition?
    Board games, ribs, and munchies on Christmas Eve….Waffles, sausage, strawberries and whip cream Christmas morning…Good times!!

  3. 1) Christmas morning.

    2) Donner.

    3) Turkey.

    4) One at a time.

    5) Live tree.

    6) No cards (I know, I suck).

    7) LED (and yes, they suck).

    8) No regifting – too small a family.

    9) Wrap, except for awkwardly shaped, unwrappable gifts.

    10) “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (Band-Aid version, not Barenaked Ladies travesty).

    11) Christmas Vacation. (It’s a squirrel!)

    12) Calling my childhood best friend on Christmas morning to compare loot (we still do this almost every year).

  4. ha! Every year when my in-laws dole out gifts and everyone goes insane opening them it drives ME insane. It’s chaotic and SO annoying and I’m usually trying to whisk away the kids’ gifts into our own little pile before everything gets mixed up because nobody knows who got what! I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  5. 1. PJs on Christmas eve the rest Christmas
    2. Donner
    3. Turkey
    4. We try for one at a time
    5. Real because my husband insists
    6. Christmas picture or Christmas Letter
    7. LED outside still have the old one on the Christmas tree
    8. I would re-gift but I have never had the opportunity
    9. For the kids – wrap
    10. What child is this? Josh Groban
    11. Animated the Grinch who stole Christmas
    12. Tradition since i was a kid: Getting PJs on Christmas eve
    Tradition started with my kids – buying a new board game and playing it on Christmas eve

  6. 1. Christmas morning, although Jenny’s family opens one one gift on Christmas Eve.

    2. Donder, you have a convert. I even have Ethan saying Donder when he names the reindeer.

    3. We end up having both.

    4. It starts one at a time, and morphs into a free-for-all.

    5. Live

    6. Ususally boxed cards, this year it will be e-cards or nothing with our budget.

    7. Incandescent

    8. Re-gift

    9. Both, but mostly gift-wrap

    10. Little Drummer Boy, lkike the Bob Seger version the best.

    11. Scrooged, A Christmas is the best televison special

    12. Baking cookies with the boys, Jenny’s family putting up a tree on Thanksgiving night.

  7. 1. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?


    2. Donner or Donder?

    As much as I like you, it’s all about Donner to me.

    3. Turkey or ham?

    We’re a big time butterball family. In oh so many ways.

    4. Gifts opened all at once, or one at a time?

    One at a time. That way the pictures are so much better.

    5. Christmas tree: live or artificial?

    I’ve also never had a real tree, but I’m seriously considering it next year. I always say that though.

    6. Cards: boxed cards, family photo cards, or e-cards?

    Um. None.

    7. Christmas lights: incandescent or LED?

    I find the LED lights look blurry and nowhere near as twinkly fairy light as the originals. I’m clinging to them until I’m forced to give them up.

    8. Re-gift or not?

    I don’t regift. I give to the sally ann instead.

    9. Gift wrap or gift bags?

    I use a blend, but I wrap the present in tissue first if I’m using a gift bag.

    10. Best Christmas song?

    Judy Garland’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

    11. Best Christmas movie?

    Love Actually

    12. Favourite family tradition?

    Advent calendaring. Plus, bacon and eggs on Christmas morning. Mmm, bacon.

  8. All you folks who said “Donner” are getting a lump of coal in your stocking! Blame yerselves when I rant on the topic again next year. At least I got JennyAndTim converted!

  9. A very merry Christmas to you and Beloved and Tristan and Simon and Lucas.
    Also, Miracle on 34th street used “Donder”!

  10. I’m going to miss not seeing a Donder rant this year.

    I hope you and your family have a safe and merry Christmas.

  11. Um, did you not come to the kids party today because I donner’d? I missed your boys!

    Merry Christmas to you guys!

  12. 1.) Christmas morning. We always opened one gift on Christmas eve. Although now that I think of it, it may have been my mother’s bribe to get us to go to church.

    2.) Donder baby! Even our “Night before Christmas” story says Donder; Jaimie made sure before he bought it for Amelia’s first Christmas.

    3.) Turkey. Although, with just the three of us and me being more pregnant than I am sure God intended any woman to be, we will be having a no fuss prime rib roast.

    4.) Always one at a time. Isn’t the point of gift giving the look on the giftee’s face?

    5.) Artificial growing up but when our tree had to be put down two years ago, we have had live ones.

    6.) Boxed cards. I am way too lazy for anything else.

    7.) LED indoor and out. Next year I want to get those solar ones.

    8.) No re-gifting.

    9.) Wrap for everyone. The sound of Christmas paper tearing still brings back so many memories.

    10.) “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Family favourite around here.

    11.) A Christmas Story

    12.) Christmas eve mass followed by réveillon.

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