December 21, 2009 11:24am CST
There's Kwanzaa, Chanukka, Christmas...Winter Solstice, summer solstice...Easter, birthdays, spring, summer, winter, fall... What sorts of holiday traditions do YOU follow? What new holiday traditions have YOU created?
• United States
21 Dec 09
When I was growing up, we celebrated Christmas with each set of grandparents on alternate years. My paternal grandparents lived next door, and our holiday included 11 cousins, three being girls my age. My grandfather insisted we open our gifts one at a time, which of course all of us hated because we were anxious to see what we got. Out of habit, when I had my own family, I carried over the tradition. Now, it drives my middle daughter crazy when her husband's large family open their presents all at the same time. She says she never gets to see how each person enjoys what she's bought for them. My maternal grandparents lived about four hours away, so we loved traveling there for alternate Christmas holidays. However, my mother had only one sibling, who was 10 years younger, so I didn't have cousins on that side until I was a teenager. My grandparents were both Norwegians, so we enjoyed a Scandinavian holiday. We always opened presents on Christmas Eve and at oyster stew -- at least everyone else; I am allergic. Christmas Day my brothers and I enjoyed the goodies in our stockings and one big gift from Santa. I carried that tradition over to my own family. I was born on Dec. 25, so after Christmas Day dinner, we had birthday cake, and I opened my birthday gifts. Yes, I always got extra gifts, probably because everyone felt sorry for me having a Christmas birthday. Actually, I loved it, and still do. The only downside was having to smell lutefisk all day. (It's a Scandinavian dish which is basically rotted fish!). But, I do love one of the other traditional Norwegian holiday treats -- lefsa, a potato-based flatbread. We always bring some with us when we spend the holidays with my daughter in Fort Worth. The Texans call it "Minnesota torillas."