Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Cocktail & Conversation With TBTB Crew -- Holiday Traditions

Every other Thursday (errrr Friday this week) here at the Broke & The Bookish is  A Cocktail & Conversation time. One of the TBTB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends. 

This week, in keeping with our Holiday Shenanigans theme, for Cocktail & Conversation time we want to know what are your holiday traditions?

Tahleen's Traditions

I just got married last year, so this will only be my second year of married life, as well as my "new" Christmas. So far, I've got a couple of traditions that we have been doing for both years. The first is not really "Christmas" really, but it happens to fall around this time: a Beaujolais Nouveau party! This was something a friend of ours wanted to do but needed a host, so my hubby and I offered our place. Basically, it's an excuse to get together and drink this particular kind of wine that comes out once a year, which I can get behind, honestly. Other traditions include getting and decorating our tree, of course, and spending time with family. I'm hoping to host Christmas Eve dinner for my parents and in-laws, too!

Jana's Traditions

I'm a crazy Christmas person, and I'm not even kidding. My own traditions include binging on Christmas in anyway possible. I decorate, I bake, I read, I watch, I listen to anything and everything Christmas! I always watch The Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, I buy a few new movies and CDs and books, and I spend my December sitting by my Christmas tree. Some family traditions include going into Salt Lake City to see the lights on the LDS temple grounds. We always go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner beforehand. Yum! We also go out to eat on Christmas Eve with my dad's parents, and host a very elaborate Christmas dinner with my mom's parents. We drive around town on Christmas Eve to see the lights on all the homes. We spend all Christmas Day opening presents, and like to take as long as possible. We also have little traditions like baking the same cookies, collecting nativity scenes, and signing in the church choir.

Lori's Traditions

This year is mine and Zach's third Christmas together and we have this bad habit tradition of not being able to wait to give each other presents.  So we start doling our each other's presents as they come in.  I think that this helps make the holiday last a bit longer, plus we get to see each other enjoy the gift immediately (we still go to our respective families for the holiday).  With my family, we have several traditions--we start listening to Christmas music on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, I wear a red shirt and jeans while my mom takes a picture of me hanging up an ornament, we go to my grandparents' on Christmas Eve and all go to church together then go to the park and look at the lights display, then we open presents on Christmas morning, snack on a variety of appetizers (and complain about how we fill up on appetizers instead of the good food), and eat a late but enormous lunch.  Lastly, I saw Gone With the Wind for the first time on Christmas when I was 13, so I always try to watch it on Christmas.

Julia's Traditions

Making the pirogi, being awesome.
The Christmas season for me is just so full of magic and wonder and family. I love everything that it brings: hot cocoa, my birthday, Christmas movies, the annual watching of Love Actually. But when I think of Christmas traditions, it all starts on Christmas Eve. My sister, parents and myself get ready for mass at 4pm. We've been going to the overflow mass at my grade school since I can remember. The overflow mass means that they have two masses going on at once, one in the church and one in the gym. The gym one has guitar group music and classic carols scattered throughout mass. I usually get their super early along with my dad to save our seats. The new tradition now is for my dad to complain we left too early again when we arrive and there are three people there! During mass my sister and I harmonize to the carols getting pumped up for the night ahead. 

Afterwords we would go to my mom's parents house for dinner, but since my grandparents have passed, we host it at my parent's house. I don a Santa apron and commence in the annual "see how much smoke I can fill the house with" aka cooking the pirogi. Shrimp, chicken and wine along with the pirogi are our traditional meal, with maybe some other foods that I am forgetting.  We then exchange gifts, which recently has included a white elephant gift exchange. Everyone brings a $25 gift and we pick numbers to see what order we pick/steal them. One year we did a Wii bowling tournament and when you got a strike, you got to pick a gift. It took a surprisingly long time for everyone to get their one strike!

The next day we do Christmas morning with my parents. We are allowed to peek inside stockings, but no gifts until my sister gets her lazy butt out of bed. Then we head to my dad's side for dinner at 2. Ham, pies, a myriad of veggies, homemade cookies and chocolates, my grandma does it all! We all gather in the basement for dinner where I and my now 30 through 18 year old cousins sit at the kids table. Ours is the best table because we don't have to yell to be heard over my uncles and father, and we are closer to the fake 60s fireplace that actually gives off heat. Among the cousins we have started to do a Secret Santa exchange. We picked names at Thanksgiving. Last year I got my cousin, a book lover, two books in the series he is reading. Clearly, we always have stuff to talk about. :)

Last but not least, in the years since my grandma died, my mom, sister, sometimes dad and I will go see a movie Christmas day's evening. It's a new tradition just for us. Thus concludes my two family filled days of love and traditions. I actually can't wait for them to expand and adapt as I go about my life. I am actually considering getting this book, which will chronicle Christmas' for 20 years. That would take me to 47! 

Anyway, after that wall of text, what are your traditions? Lay 'em on us! And it doesn't have to be Christmas. Any winter holiday will do! 


  1. Awesome Holiday Traditions since I moved out of my parents house last year I go and stay with them for the holidays up until the beginning of January on Christmas Eve me and my family have a small dinner and watch Christmas movies than later in the the late evening we go to church than we open our Christmas gift at midnight because we just can't wait until the morning to open them and on Christmas morning we go to my aunts house a celebrate Christmas with her I just love my family Christmas Traditions there are so much fun!

  2. Every year I read The Night Before Christmas every year on Christmas Eve. Last year, my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together as a married couple. We ended up playing Arkham Horror (a several hour, RPG, cooperative board game). Our plan is to play the game or another Cthululu game every Christmas now

  3. We drive around on Christmas Eve to look at all of the lights and decorations, and I always turn the TV to the Yule Log when we open our gifts on Christmas morning. We also watch A Christmas Story every year, so I guess that's another tradition.

    Happy Christmas to everyone!

    1. I LOVE the Fireplace channel. We do the same thing, but usually when Christmas Tree decorating.

  4. Thank you for all the information , I like hearing about other people's traditions. Sounds like you all get very into Christmas. I love holidays too.


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