Shannon’s Holiday Traditions

Need some inspiration for Holiday Traditions?  Here’s a list of my family traditions.  Have fun!

  1. Potato Club Day – every fall, my mom, sister, brothers and I get together to make potato club. It is a Norwegian/Scandinavian dish and it is actually spelled “klubb”, but I never knew that until recently. 😉 I have been told you either absolutely love it or absolutely hate it. I LOVE it!! It is simply flour, potatoes, onions, salt and pepper, ground together and boiled. (LOL! I realize how awful it sounds!) Sometimes we would add ham, side pork or hot dogs.
  2. Lefse – every fall my mom, sister, aunts and cousins used to get together to make Lefse, also another Scandinavian dish. The Lefse would then be frozen and used during the holidays. I was never a part of this tradition because I always had little kids around, and there are too many hot grills to have children present. Now life has gotten so busy that they don’t do it anymore.  🙁  And I do not know how to make it.
  3. Christmas Tree Decorating – see the article Holiday Traditions for more on this. However, we used to go to the Wild Life Refuge and cut down our own tree. My boys loved that. But when I was offered a good deal on a fake one, I killed that tradition.
  4. Christmas Movies – we have to roll through the list! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, A Christmas Story, Elf, to name a few.
  5. Christmas Shopping – my husband I very rarely do anything just the two of us. So one weekend in December or November we go away for the weekend. We rent a hotel and we power shop. It sounds horrible but it really is fun. We get all of our shopping done, kid-free. We get meals out together, just the two of us. And when it is all done, we go back to the hotel room, have a few drinks, watch a movie together and wrap up the presents. It’s great!
  6. Christmas Light Sight-Seeing – this one has gone away for us.  🙁  I just don’t know how we’d fit everyone in the vehicle. But we used to grab some yummy snacks (or McDonald’s), load the kids up and let them roam around the vehicle unrestrained (oh the horror!). We often would put the back seat down and they’d “camp” out in the back and eat their snack. And we’d drive from town to town and look at the Christmas lights people would put up. We usually knew where all the good ones were. 😉 We’d listen to Christmas music and talk. It was great fun!
  7. Christmas Cookie Decorating – My mom, sister, and I, along with all the kids, get together and decorate sugar cookies. It gets quite competitive.
  8. Christmas Eve Day – This is always spent at my mother-in-law’s, and if there is snow (there usually is) then we would start the festivities off with sledding at the “big hill”. (We live in a very flat area – the “big hill” is a landfill/dump from ‘back in the day’ that is buried and no longer used!) We’d hit Midnight Mass, if they had it, but some years it has been earlier in the day. And of course, the day is filled with gifts, food and games.
  9. Christmas Day at Home – my Husband and I have claimed Christmas Day for ourselves. We have a large family, so it is fun to do so. I make a marvelous Christmas meal and we play all day. This year’s menu: Ham, Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Stuffing, Garlic Monkey Bread, Green Bean Casserole, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie and Pecan Pie. My boys created the menu. (I added the Garlic Monkey Bread.) We have Christmas goodies out on the table all day. And we literally just play. The day is dedicated to playing with our kids and all of their new toys. It is so much fun!
  10. The Dice Game – pretty much everyone has some version of this game. But, on my side of the family, we all buy a gift for the exchange. We put them in the middle of a circle and we pass around some dice; three, five, I’m not sure if it matters. If you roll doubles, you pick a gift and open it. If you don’t roll doubles then you don’t open anything. Play continues until everyone has picked a gift and opened it. Then you set the timer and continue play. This time if you roll doubles you have to exchange your gift with someone else. It is quite fun and very competitive! I can’t tell you how many blankets my 11-year-old has stolen from me over the years playing this game!
  11. 20 Questions – Another game we play on my side of the family. One person buys a gift and wraps it (the person who won the game last year). Then play goes around the circle with everyone asking a question about the gift. They can hold the gift, feel it, shake it, whatever. The questions have to be yes/no answers. If they choose to guess, and they guess wrong, they are out of the game. If they guess right, they get to unwrap it, keep it, and bring a new gift next year.
  12. White Elephant Gift – this is a new tradition, established on my husband’s side of the family. It is a version of the dice game (above) but you have a few options.  You can purchase a gift or bring something from home.  The only “rule” is that it can’t be useless, broken or a food item.  My husband’s family has an amazing sense of humor, however, and the presents are often hilarious!
  13. Cheese Cake – every Christmas, my mom makes two new cheesecakes. We spend the day playing board games, eating, having a delicious meal, and opening gifts. After all the gifts are opened, she brings out two new cheesecakes. We love this tradition, although my husband often wishes she’d bring back some of the old ones she has already made, because they are oh, so good!
  14. Weekend Get-Away – My mom started a new tradition. Rather than give us gifts, every 18 months she takes us somewhere. It ends up being every-other season, meaning it is during the winter one time, then the summer the next, then the winter again. We get together for three, four days, and all stay in a cabin or fancy hotel and just play. It is great!
  15. Hide the Pickle – my boss knows our love of traditions, so she started us on this one.  She gave us a Pickle Christmas Ornament.  On Christmas Morning, we hide it somewhere in the tree.  Whichever child finds it first gets to be the first one to open a present.

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