Got Traditions?

Joy-be-your-friendCall it Christmastide or Christmastime, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the holiday season or whatever — tradition is at the heart of it all.

 

This year we celebrated a quiet Christmas with the right elements — time with family and friends, meals shared, gifts exchanged, lots of laughs, bonds renewed. Over the years, we've continued and developed traditions that mark the holiday season. Whether new or passed along through generations, traditions connect us with a sense of family far and near, our generous and kindest qualities, good times … and comforting reminders of what truly matters in life.

Here are some of the traditions we enjoy –

Cookies3 1. Cookies!! Baking, decorating, giving them away, and eating them until we have to hide them in the freezer … 'Nuff said.

2. My grandmother’s miniature gold-tinseled tree – just a foot tall, with glass balls and dazzling metal stars – on my mantel. This little antique reminds me of my childhood and the magical times in my grandmother’s house.

3. The things my children have made over the years – like the little green handprint wreath paintings from their preschool days, or those adorable if sometimes unidentifiable playdough ornaments.

Picture 010 4. Three new ornaments for the tree, which I label with my three sons’ names and the year. I’ve done this since their first Christmases. Now they each have a set of ornaments to add to their own trees when they have their own families, and they have a new tradition to continue. 

5. Yankee trading! After the family meal and the real gift exchange, our extended family gathers to unwrap and wildly trade gag gifts. It's a hilarious highlight of our holiday season.

What holiday traditions do you share in your families? Please tell us about some of them!

Highland Groom Cover 2 And here's a new little tradition, this year only, that we can share: while you’re out and about this week, please look for my new Sarah Gabriel historical romance,THE HIGHLAND GROOM – it’s in bookstores tomorrow!      

Christmas-holly Happy holidays, warm wishes, and a wonderful 2009 to everyone!

 

~Susan Sarah

30 thoughts on “Got Traditions?”

  1. Is Yankee Trading anything like what we do here? Everyone brings a small gift and puts it with the others. Then we draw lots to determine the order in which people will open the gifts. The first person opens his/her choice. The second person can then either take the already opened gift from the first person or open one of their own. The third person can take either of the already opened gifts or open one of their own, and so it goes until all gifts are opened. The “steeling” of already opened gifts can get pretty heated but it’s all in good fun.

    Reply
  2. Is Yankee Trading anything like what we do here? Everyone brings a small gift and puts it with the others. Then we draw lots to determine the order in which people will open the gifts. The first person opens his/her choice. The second person can then either take the already opened gift from the first person or open one of their own. The third person can take either of the already opened gifts or open one of their own, and so it goes until all gifts are opened. The “steeling” of already opened gifts can get pretty heated but it’s all in good fun.

    Reply
  3. Is Yankee Trading anything like what we do here? Everyone brings a small gift and puts it with the others. Then we draw lots to determine the order in which people will open the gifts. The first person opens his/her choice. The second person can then either take the already opened gift from the first person or open one of their own. The third person can take either of the already opened gifts or open one of their own, and so it goes until all gifts are opened. The “steeling” of already opened gifts can get pretty heated but it’s all in good fun.

    Reply
  4. Is Yankee Trading anything like what we do here? Everyone brings a small gift and puts it with the others. Then we draw lots to determine the order in which people will open the gifts. The first person opens his/her choice. The second person can then either take the already opened gift from the first person or open one of their own. The third person can take either of the already opened gifts or open one of their own, and so it goes until all gifts are opened. The “steeling” of already opened gifts can get pretty heated but it’s all in good fun.

    Reply
  5. Is Yankee Trading anything like what we do here? Everyone brings a small gift and puts it with the others. Then we draw lots to determine the order in which people will open the gifts. The first person opens his/her choice. The second person can then either take the already opened gift from the first person or open one of their own. The third person can take either of the already opened gifts or open one of their own, and so it goes until all gifts are opened. The “steeling” of already opened gifts can get pretty heated but it’s all in good fun.

    Reply
  6. Joanna, spell check probably didn’t mark it because “steeling” is really a word. And darned that SP doesn’t do grammar. It would have marked it however, if it did grammar too, we’d *all* be in trouble.
    We did the ‘white elephant’ gig for years. This year, DD1 had a Christmas party with 30+ people here. The did the WE thing and someone brought a goldfish! Too funny…
    Family traditions…every year I read my now 22 and 20 yo DDs Brethed’s A Wish For Wings That Work, an Opus Christmas Story. 🙂
    Beyond that, just the usual for dinner and such.
    OH! No! One more thing. Every year we get a real tree and the first few years the DH and I went, both of us were working 60 hours a week and it just worked out that we’d end up walking the tree lot on the crappiest day of December, rain, sleet, below zero temps with three feet of snow…didn’t matter, it was always the worst. We used to make a joke out of it until we finally decided that now, we watch the weather forecast and that’s the day DH, the girls and I get the tree.:-D

    Reply
  7. Joanna, spell check probably didn’t mark it because “steeling” is really a word. And darned that SP doesn’t do grammar. It would have marked it however, if it did grammar too, we’d *all* be in trouble.
    We did the ‘white elephant’ gig for years. This year, DD1 had a Christmas party with 30+ people here. The did the WE thing and someone brought a goldfish! Too funny…
    Family traditions…every year I read my now 22 and 20 yo DDs Brethed’s A Wish For Wings That Work, an Opus Christmas Story. 🙂
    Beyond that, just the usual for dinner and such.
    OH! No! One more thing. Every year we get a real tree and the first few years the DH and I went, both of us were working 60 hours a week and it just worked out that we’d end up walking the tree lot on the crappiest day of December, rain, sleet, below zero temps with three feet of snow…didn’t matter, it was always the worst. We used to make a joke out of it until we finally decided that now, we watch the weather forecast and that’s the day DH, the girls and I get the tree.:-D

    Reply
  8. Joanna, spell check probably didn’t mark it because “steeling” is really a word. And darned that SP doesn’t do grammar. It would have marked it however, if it did grammar too, we’d *all* be in trouble.
    We did the ‘white elephant’ gig for years. This year, DD1 had a Christmas party with 30+ people here. The did the WE thing and someone brought a goldfish! Too funny…
    Family traditions…every year I read my now 22 and 20 yo DDs Brethed’s A Wish For Wings That Work, an Opus Christmas Story. 🙂
    Beyond that, just the usual for dinner and such.
    OH! No! One more thing. Every year we get a real tree and the first few years the DH and I went, both of us were working 60 hours a week and it just worked out that we’d end up walking the tree lot on the crappiest day of December, rain, sleet, below zero temps with three feet of snow…didn’t matter, it was always the worst. We used to make a joke out of it until we finally decided that now, we watch the weather forecast and that’s the day DH, the girls and I get the tree.:-D

    Reply
  9. Joanna, spell check probably didn’t mark it because “steeling” is really a word. And darned that SP doesn’t do grammar. It would have marked it however, if it did grammar too, we’d *all* be in trouble.
    We did the ‘white elephant’ gig for years. This year, DD1 had a Christmas party with 30+ people here. The did the WE thing and someone brought a goldfish! Too funny…
    Family traditions…every year I read my now 22 and 20 yo DDs Brethed’s A Wish For Wings That Work, an Opus Christmas Story. 🙂
    Beyond that, just the usual for dinner and such.
    OH! No! One more thing. Every year we get a real tree and the first few years the DH and I went, both of us were working 60 hours a week and it just worked out that we’d end up walking the tree lot on the crappiest day of December, rain, sleet, below zero temps with three feet of snow…didn’t matter, it was always the worst. We used to make a joke out of it until we finally decided that now, we watch the weather forecast and that’s the day DH, the girls and I get the tree.:-D

    Reply
  10. Joanna, spell check probably didn’t mark it because “steeling” is really a word. And darned that SP doesn’t do grammar. It would have marked it however, if it did grammar too, we’d *all* be in trouble.
    We did the ‘white elephant’ gig for years. This year, DD1 had a Christmas party with 30+ people here. The did the WE thing and someone brought a goldfish! Too funny…
    Family traditions…every year I read my now 22 and 20 yo DDs Brethed’s A Wish For Wings That Work, an Opus Christmas Story. 🙂
    Beyond that, just the usual for dinner and such.
    OH! No! One more thing. Every year we get a real tree and the first few years the DH and I went, both of us were working 60 hours a week and it just worked out that we’d end up walking the tree lot on the crappiest day of December, rain, sleet, below zero temps with three feet of snow…didn’t matter, it was always the worst. We used to make a joke out of it until we finally decided that now, we watch the weather forecast and that’s the day DH, the girls and I get the tree.:-D

    Reply
  11. What wonderful traditions one tradition we have is that the children have always decorated the tree and now the grandchildren do it. Opening presents on Christmas morning often takes a lot of time because only one present gets opened at a time and with the family growing it took us a while.
    I have ordered your new book Sarah Rendezvous here in Australia tell me I should have about the first week in January can’t wait to read it.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  12. What wonderful traditions one tradition we have is that the children have always decorated the tree and now the grandchildren do it. Opening presents on Christmas morning often takes a lot of time because only one present gets opened at a time and with the family growing it took us a while.
    I have ordered your new book Sarah Rendezvous here in Australia tell me I should have about the first week in January can’t wait to read it.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  13. What wonderful traditions one tradition we have is that the children have always decorated the tree and now the grandchildren do it. Opening presents on Christmas morning often takes a lot of time because only one present gets opened at a time and with the family growing it took us a while.
    I have ordered your new book Sarah Rendezvous here in Australia tell me I should have about the first week in January can’t wait to read it.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  14. What wonderful traditions one tradition we have is that the children have always decorated the tree and now the grandchildren do it. Opening presents on Christmas morning often takes a lot of time because only one present gets opened at a time and with the family growing it took us a while.
    I have ordered your new book Sarah Rendezvous here in Australia tell me I should have about the first week in January can’t wait to read it.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  15. What wonderful traditions one tradition we have is that the children have always decorated the tree and now the grandchildren do it. Opening presents on Christmas morning often takes a lot of time because only one present gets opened at a time and with the family growing it took us a while.
    I have ordered your new book Sarah Rendezvous here in Australia tell me I should have about the first week in January can’t wait to read it.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply

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