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Old 11-28-2012, 04:17 PM
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Holiday Traditions, Treats etc.....

I was going to post this in chit-chat, but I chat mostly with the people in the puppy section,so I hope this is okay.

I was just thinking (stressing!!!) about all the things I have to do to get ready for Christmas. I still have shopping to do and I'm usually done by now. I was just wondering what holiday traditions you all have? Do you cut down a tree, or put up an artificial one? Do you throw a party for friends and neighbours? What traditional foods/baking do you prepare every year? Maybe we can even share some recipes?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:30 PM
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hi, there! we have an artificial tree as we put it up on Thanksgiving Day (American Tday) and the fresh ones always died on us before Christmas. We're a military family and have always lived overseas for Christmas so this will be our first year in America. Because of that a lot of our traditions will be new this year as we can't do our traditional Christmas Markets around Germany any longer, obviously, ha ha. But we are looking forward to new things! I do make a ton of yummy cookies and fudge every year. On Christmas Eve my husband always cooks a nice rib roast and my kids make a sugar cookie tree made out of star shaped cookies. Other than that, we'll see how it goes this year!
What about you???
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:35 PM
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I am way behind on my shopping, too. I just ordered for my nephews today, so at least I can say I've started.

We go to the same place every year and pick out a fresh tree, but don't cut it down. We did that on Sunday. It's all up and decorated....with ornaments that my grandmother gave me every year at Christmas. My mom now does the same thing for my daughters. So the ornaments really reflect the changing styles over the years and it's fun to pull them out, check the names and dates on them, and remember when they were received.

Side note: Rocket's breeder has a tree farm where you can cut your own. I really wanted to take Rocket and the girls and do that, but it's a long drive and I've been sick with bronchitis for two weeks, so maybe next year.

I'm the baker in the family, so every year I ALWAYS make Hershey's Kiss cookies, frosted cutout cookies, and pecan tarts. Some years I add in gingerbread men, candy cane cookies and one or two others. Everywhere we go throughout the holiday season, I put together a big platter of cookies to take along.

Every other year, when we are not visiting out of town family, we host Christmas eve and we always grill a beef tenderloin for that. And I make apple and pumpkin pie. We usually have smoked whitefish pate and shrimp as an appetizer. I don't eat seafood at all, but the smoked whitefish seems to be a regional specialty around here and everyone else loves it. Keeps me from loading up on extra pre-dinner calories.

Pretty basic, but always yummy and great comfort food.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:38 PM
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We always cut down a real tree - the kids LOVE running through the tree farm (even as teens!). We usually put it up around the beginning of Dec and we always buy a Fraser Fir. They are the most expensive, but they stay nice and green.

We usually have a ham/scalloped potatoe type dinner at our house on Christmas Eve and then Christmas turkey dinner at my brother's family home on Christmas Day. Then we drive down to London Ontario (about 3 hours away) on Dec 27th for DH's family Christmas.

For treats we usually have Neiman Marcus cookies every year. They are basically like a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie,but they are super yummy!. We always have Tortoni's on Christmas Eve. They are an Italian frozen treat made with cream cheese and brandy. So yummy! I remember one year when I was about 12 or 14, we were in the car on the way to my eldest sisters house. My mother had entrusted my other sister and myself with the Tortoni's in the backseat. We sat there and giggled and ate most of them on the drive there! I'll always remember that
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:57 PM
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Until three years ago we always had an artificial tree, but when we were growing up we always spent Christmas in Minnesota with my grandparents, both sides lived there. Now with my children I guess we just were used to artificial trees so that's what we did. A few years ago though I started getting fresh cut (not by us) trees, but found I am terribly allergic and being sick for Christmas is no fun, so this year we went back to artificial.

Our traditions since we have had kids were. Christmas eve at my parents until they moved and started spending their Winter's down south. So now it's Christmas eve here, all the boys come home. Christmas day morning with DH's family. But now that we are going to be Grandparents I am thinking this will be the last Christmas Day we spend traveling and instead start our own Granny tradition here.

We always have home made lasagna on Christmas eve, we do a brunch on Christmas Day with DH's family and then eat left over lasagna Christmas evening.

I bake some but loose interest fast.lol! Thinking of passing this on to my oldest's girlfriend she is a neat young lady and I think she likes to do these kinds of things...so one less I have to do. Not that I mind I love cooking for my family, just not baking so much...

Oh and Tom and Jerry's, oh boy can't forget those, I don't like them but everyone else does...
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:06 PM
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My wife is Italian, and their tradition is to eat many different types of seafood on Christmas eve. For many years we would go to her aunt's house where they have a big feast, but it got to be too late of a night for the kids (ok, me!), and we started having my family over to our house on Christmas eve instead.

My seafood menu pales in comparison to my mother-in-law's, but I think I do a good job. I make baccala, scallops, salmon, clams, shrimp, and maybe a few others. Of course, we have lots of fresh pasta and bread too. Diets are on hiatus until January 2nd around here.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:26 PM
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I don't start shopping until December anyway. So you won't be the only one mall trotting in a week or two.

My sisters (three of them) and I start baking cookies from the 15th onward. We have famorite cookies and kinda old family favorites. And my oldest sister and I start scheming for our cheesecake bakeoff. We keep the cheesecake secret until Christmas when we have the big unveiling and test the cheesecake on our parents. Last year not only did I win the big cheesecake competition, but I even got my sister to admit mine was better with my salted caramel and cream cheesecake.

We buy the Christmas tree about a week before Christmas. Either cut it ourselves or we buy a precut tree. <- My family is very traditional when it comes to only real trees. When my oldest sister gave in to her major skin issues (she had skin cancer and related problems on her hands) and decided to buy a fake tree, my mom cried for days because of the bad luck. o_O

Christmas Eve we decorate the tree and the house... and we have the big meal on Christmas Eve. There have to be 12 different things on the table, and none of them can be meat. So there can be a lot of fish...

And then we go to church for midnight mass. Get home at 2 at night... or so? And all the family meets up at home and we stay awake the rest of the night celebrating.

The Christmas celebration from our home decorations to the Christmas carols continue for the next 3 weeks or so.

I'm so excited because I contacted a photographer to take pictures of my two golden boys, and I think we will see if we can get the collie in too! As it so happens, I have 3 Christmas collars.... I'll probably do that in the next couple weeks.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:51 PM
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Well, we in Mexico are celebrating the start of the new Mayan calender on December 22nd. Which also signifies that the world did not end on December 21st as advertised.

Fake tree, the fresh ones dry out too fast, lots of champagne, Veuve Cliquot, and tequila from our friends distillery. El Tesoro de mi Tierra. Yum. Then we'll probably just flake out for the rest of the christmas holidays. Only rousing ourselves to feed and walk the doggies and open our gifts.

No I have not started shopping. We send cash to Canada, everyone likes that. Then they can use it when they come down for spring break.
Our friends get liquor or stuff of ours that they would like, like handbags etc.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeychick View Post
We always cut down a real tree - the kids LOVE running through the tree farm (even as teens!). We usually put it up around the beginning of Dec and we always buy a Fraser Fir. They are the most expensive, but they stay nice and green.

We usually have a ham/scalloped potatoe type dinner at our house on Christmas Eve and then Christmas turkey dinner at my brother's family home on Christmas Day. Then we drive down to London Ontario (about 3 hours away) on Dec 27th for DH's family Christmas.

For treats we usually have Neiman Marcus cookies every year. They are basically like a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie,but they are super yummy!. We always have Tortoni's on Christmas Eve. They are an Italian frozen treat made with cream cheese and brandy. So yummy! I remember one year when I was about 12 or 14, we were in the car on the way to my eldest sisters house. My mother had entrusted my other sister and myself with the Tortoni's in the backseat. We sat there and giggled and ate most of them on the drive there! I'll always remember that
Aww this is just so sweet and endearing. What a wonderful memory!
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
I don't start shopping until December anyway. So you won't be the only one mall trotting in a week or two.

My sisters (three of them) and I start baking cookies from the 15th onward. We have famorite cookies and kinda old family favorites. And my oldest sister and I start scheming for our cheesecake bakeoff. We keep the cheesecake secret until Christmas when we have the big unveiling and test the cheesecake on our parents. Last year not only did I win the big cheesecake competition, but I even got my sister to admit mine was better with my salted caramel and cream cheesecake.

We buy the Christmas tree about a week before Christmas. Either cut it ourselves or we buy a precut tree. <- My family is very traditional when it comes to only real trees. When my oldest sister gave in to her major skin issues (she had skin cancer and related problems on her hands) and decided to buy a fake tree, my mom cried for days because of the bad luck. o_O

Christmas Eve we decorate the tree and the house... and we have the big meal on Christmas Eve. There have to be 12 different things on the table, and none of them can be meat. So there can be a lot of fish...

And then we go to church for midnight mass. Get home at 2 at night... or so? And all the family meets up at home and we stay awake the rest of the night celebrating.

The Christmas celebration from our home decorations to the Christmas carols continue for the next 3 weeks or so.

I'm so excited because I contacted a photographer to take pictures of my two golden boys, and I think we will see if we can get the collie in too! As it so happens, I have 3 Christmas collars.... I'll probably do that in the next couple weeks.
what a super fun tradition! I'm jealous of your parents being on the receiving end of that rivalry!!!
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