I think the thing that makes the holidays special (and sometimes also stressful) is the traditions we have and that’s why this week’s Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Favorite Holiday Traditions.
- Decorations. Even though I admitted yesterday that I changed some things this year there are traditions that are very important to my family. That print hanging over the mantel, for instance. Dale and I bought that the year we got married and we have hung that up as our first decoration ever since. Dale just said the other day that he never gets tired of it and I agree.
- Baking cookies. I might try a new recipe or two but certain cookies, like spritz, polish tea cakes, and peanut butter balls, have to be made or it won’t feel like Christmas.
- Our Christmas Eve gathering. Sure, I complain about the work but I couldn’t imagine not hosting our friends and family on this occasion every year.
- Swedish meatballs, cardamom bread, pickled herring and medwurst. Our Christmas Eve wouldn’t be complete without our favorite Swedish foods.
- Christmas on the Common. It’s always the first Saturday in December and it’s sponsored by Kiwanis and it’s a wonderful tradition for our little town.
- Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church in Boston. Dale have made a point of attending this the last few years and I’ve written about it before.
- Watching our favorite Christmas specials. For me it’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and for Dale it’s “Year Without a Santa Claus.” I must admit that having a DVR has made this so much easier than it used to be.
- A romantic dinner for two. At some point every December, Dale and I sit down together and enjoy a delicious meal, the lights on the tree, and Christmas music on the iPod. We are a couple of sentimental fools and it’s always a very special night.
- Chex Party Mix. I make a double batch of the original version every year. And I make it in the oven because it comes out better that way. So there.
- Christmas Dinner with Dale’s family. Last year we went to his brother Randy’s house but in the years prior to that we have gone to his brother Barry’s house. I’m sure hoping one of them picks up this hint and has the family over on Christmas!
Fondue on Christmas Eve with my family at my parents’ house. It is generally a boozy affair but with all of the wives (myself and two others) being pregnant it may be a bit of a quiet one this year. Then it is down to my in-laws’ for a lazy day and a big Christmas dinner.
Luckily my parents’ house and my in-laws’ house is only about a hour apart so we can do both with no problem!
Katie K says
Picking out a tree, carrying it home, and decorating it and running the toy train around it. We always go to the Metropolitan Museum to admire the angel tree and walk down Fifth Avenue to look at the special windows. I’ve been trying for years to go to some Christmas Eve service in a pretty church with a good choir, but it hasn’t happened yet (nor has seeing the circus march out of the Midtown tunnel and across Manhattan at midnight in (is it?) March). However, every year we eat the same special dinner on Christmas Day of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and sticky date pudding.
I’m going to take up your romantic dinner idea! Lovely!
It sounds wonderful, Carole! Enjoy every moment.
I love reading about all the food traditions. My grandpa used to make bakala (a dried salted cod dish) on Christmas Eve. I have not carried on that tradition! I’m thinking Nestra’s tradition of having fondue is a good one.
Teresa C says
Is that SNOW!?
I always take a day off from work in December to wrap packages and watch the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. I’ve been doing this for over a decade and it makes for such a lovely stress free Christmas. I am in charge of decorating the front door and I do it the same way every year. I’ll have to send you a picture; you’ll love it. The girls do the house and I’m always entertained by how it evolves each year (both the process and the skill in decorating). Nail polish, new pens, Lundt chocolate, gift cards fill the stockings. Each year my girls get their nails ready for the expected nail polish. I have always put a little animal figurine in their stockings, but this year I’m knitting them somethings from the mochimochi book. And of course, there is Borrowed Hearts 🙂 .
Mary K. in Rockport says
I very much like your commitment to making your life special every day.
Wonderful traditions Carole! I’ve got to make my way to that caroling event one of these years.
Chex Mix is DEFINITELY better in the oven! I like the original version, but also Grandma’s — she’d always throw in a handful of Cheerios. Just something about it… tradition and memories, I guess.
Great list! I especially liked the mention of Trinity Church in Boston. I happen to live in a development that used to be the summer camp property for the Trinity Church. In fact I own the lot that held the chapel!
Have you shared your recipes for Swedish Meatballs and/or Cardamom Bread? Those are 2 I know I would like to try!
We don’t have any unique traditions. We just put up the Christmas ornaments and usually make the same dinner from Thanksgiving because we all like it so much and that’s what my Nannie always fixed. (my grandmother was actually named Nannie as an infant, so even though it was her first name, we kids called her that along with everyone else) Oh, there is one special Christmas dish- Ambrosia. Nannie always made this the day before and only used fresh orange sections and flaked coconut in layers. It gets juicy and sweet sitting in the fridge overnight. I’m amazed she didn’t go for the mini marshmallows and jello that were so common in her other dishes!
What a wonderful list!
Once again, I fell behind on blog reading. Love your Swedish decorations and the idea of honoring your heritage in this way.
Like a couple of other readers, I plan to adopt the romantic dinner idea. All too often Christmas is about church, extended family and friends, and the most important relationship of our lives gets pushed aside.
Agee on the oven Chex mix!
woo hoo for chex mix (we call it nuts & bolts in my house)…of course it’s made in the oven!