Getting in the holiday spirit means sharing old traditions and new holiday favorites with each other.  Here are a few of the DSC team’s memories from Christmas pasts and what’s on this year’s Santa wish lists.

TRADITIONS

From Santa suits to matching PJs, midnight mass, gingerbread houses, and more, the DSC team went back in the archives to share some of their favorite holiday memories.

Allee: Hey Santa, do I know you?

My family has a giant Santa Claus suit that the men will take turns wearing each year. It was very confusing to see Santa Claus but hear my uncle or cousin’s voice when I was younger. Now, it’s an excellent excuse for funny photos. This year, I’m thinking of donning the suit myself.

Erica: Mele Kalikimaka

My dad grew up in Oahu, and we would visit family there for Christmas every year until I went to college. My favorite memories are spending time with my cousins at the beach and playing dominoes with my grandparents at their house. To me, Christmas feels like balmy breezes and warm sand!

Katie: Heiliger Abend traditions

Christmas Eve (Heiliger Abend) is when German families tend to celebrate Christmas, and my Mom’s family was no different. Every year, my Mom’s family celebrates on Christmas Eve! The evening was always filled with tasty food, desserts, and presents. We try to replicate my Omi’s (Grandma’s) Christmas cookies every year, but they never quite taste the same. 🙂 Oh, and the love for sweets didn’t stop on Christmas Eve; breakfast on Christmas morning always included Lebkuchen – a German baked Christmas treat resembling gingerbread.

Kathy: There’s gold under that tree

Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer together as a family while munching on Dad’s homemade Chex mix was always a highlight during the holidays. On Christmas Day, someone would inevitably quote Charlie’s “I got a rock” or a Yukon Cornelius “Gold!!…(lip smack)…Nuthin'” expression when opening an underwhelming holiday gift. 

Lauren: From Jug-Bands to Jammies

My family always watches Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.  It’s been a tradition for more than 40 years. Now that I have children of my own, we do matching jammies for Christmas and the most ridiculous Christmas hats and accessories I can find. The kids LOVE having all the cousins over and dressing in “matchy-matchy” outfits. Followed by Pandoro—Verona Christmas Cake—while the kids open presents.

Meghan: Gingerbread and Stockings

As a kid, my family used to host a party to make gingerbread houses with our neighbors. My parents would create all the house parts using homemade gingerbread in a set of molds, the parents would put the house together (generally giving up and getting glue guns involved), and then the kids would decorate them. Mom’s side of the family has a tradition of hand-knit personalized Christmas stockings, with a design that goes back at least four generations. My aunt shared the pattern with me after my grandmother passed away, and I’ve been able to continue the tradition for my husband and our kids.

Noëlla: Stockings, pudding, crackers, and the Queen

As a kid waking up on Christmas morning was so exciting with something heavy at the foot of the bed. This meant Santa had been and had left me a stocking full of little presents! At 3pm, we would gather to watch the Queen’s speech. The speech was followed by sitting around the dinner table where before we begin the meal of a roast by pulling our first cracker! Once the meal, Christmas pudding, and brandy were finished, we would go for a picturesque walk. 

Patty: Buon Natale Bingo

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian Christmas Eve tradition. While our family didn’t do all seven fishes, we were pretty darn close, and baked clams and lobster were always on the menu.  My Mom, grandmother, and aunts spent the day preparing for the big family meal. Once the many courses, desserts, and after-dinner drinks were finished, there were usually a few rounds of Bingo before everyone headed out to midnight mass. Christmas Eve has always been my favorite holiday because it was really about family, laughter, food, and fun first and foremost.

CURRENT HOLIDAY FAVORITES

As you are creating your own holiday traditions this season, here are a few of the DSC team’s current favorites to make your celebrations a little more cozy, festive, and joyous.

What are some of your old or new holiday tradition favorites?  Tell us about them in the comments.