Holiday Traditions

What Christmas traditions have you created for your family? What traditions have been passed on from generations? On Christmas Eve I make a yummy, hearty New England clam chowder. I only make it once a year because it is so thick and rich and fattening it would do me in if I made it more often. And honestly we like it better than any restaurant clam chowder. A friend gave it to me years ago and I haven't cared for many others I've had since them. So that is our Christmas Eve dinner, served in sourdough bread bowls with salad. After we've eaten we all pile into the car (or church van if we've invited others) and drive around to look at Christmas lights. We also allow the girls to open the gift that my grandmother sends from Florida. My mother used to make oyster stew and deep fried battered veggies, and other seafood, but I prefer clam chowder so I switched that up a bit. Christmas morning I wake up fairly early and make cinnamon rolls (another yummy, moist recipe passed down from a friend) complete with cinnabon tasting frosting....oh how I love friends who pass on recipes. Then we open presents. Or we open presents and then varies. After gifts are opened we hang out, relax, play cards and eat our large meal mid afternoon. As a girl my mom would always hide the baby Jesus from the manger scene and on Christmas morning we'd get to put him inside (unless the cats had knocked everyone out and were using it as a bed). We always had to wait to come out of our room until our dad had his cup of coffee (and my sister and I slept together in the same room Christmas eve). I remember one Christmas Eve driving home late at night (we were pretty little), we saw a man dressed as Santa coming out of a house. My sister started screaming and crying that we had to hurry up and get home because Santa was almost to our house. One thing my hubby and I when we wrap gifts for our girls is to write notes on the package. Not just a "to" and "from" but "you're amazing. We're proud of you..etc..." I also love to bake cookies. I love finding new recipes and I love passed down family cookies. My mothers family is Italian and I love the recipes I've been handed down. I look forward to creating new traditions with my hubby and daughters and watching others continue to be passed down. I would love to hear your favorite traditions.


  1. So I guess we're not the only ones who eat cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning! Although our neighbor brings them to us :) But on Christmas Eve we always have fondue...which is a fun tradition. You can't go wrong with bread dipped in cheese, in my book!

    I love baking and hostessing around the holidays, and so I always make "spiced and spiked" eggnog and cider (for adults!) and it goes over fairly well :)

    My kids love when I pop in the DVD set of the Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman, just to name a few)! You can get this limited keepsake edition set at any place that sells DVDs, and it even comes with a bonus music CD! You can also get it at I also work with Classic Media, and this has become a great (and relaxing!) tradition in my family.

    It sounds like you have some lovely activities to look forward to this season! Have a great holiday :)

  2. Sharon....we love fondue also. I've yet to try making it myself, but I did find a brand in the store from a local restaurant that we really like. My hubby's mother is Swiss so fondue is popular with them.

  3. Hey great idea Kirstin! I hope to share a lot of these things on my Seasonal Saturdays on my blog starting Saturday. Make sure you drop by!

    Oh, I'm making your clam chowder tomorrow night! You're right about it being fat-full, so it'll be one of those now and then things. It still sounds great though.


  4. I have really enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions.

    I have never eaten clam chowder but it sounds wonderful.

  5. Your traditions are marvelous! Christmas Eve is always just Audley, the kids and ourselves. I fix a grand meal with all the trimmings and we set the table with our china to eat and share in the magic of the holidays. We also give the kids new pj's just for Christmas morning. Your clam Chowder sounds great. It is one of my favorites in the winter!


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