Christmas Traditions

This Christmas Eve will be our Christmas with my family and my Grandparents will join us because they moved here. It is not our normal tradition but traditions change! I asked few of my friends, Centra Cam and CAFCL staff for their Christmas Traditions and I want to share them with you. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Catherine Robson
When my kids were little, we were pretty poor so we decided popcorn was pretty cheap so we decided that we would make tins of Caramel popcorn and deliver it with Christmas Carols to your door. We delivered to not only friends that knew us but some strangers as well. People would often be left in tears and moved by the gesture. We did that for about 18years. The other thing we always did was to leave room for someone who had no family and no hopes of having a family Christmas and had them join our table. One year a man who had been coming to our church carrying his sleeping bag in every Sunday joined us. The first thing we did was usher him to the shower and gave him new clothes and a full Christmas meal. “Victor” just said over and over ” Thank you” he was so appreciative. These Traditions lived on year to year and are being followed by my adult children now.


Denise Olson
For our family every Christmas Eve we have appetizers for dinner. Things like chicken wings, mozza sticks, veggie tray, pickles and many other things. We play board games, video games and watch a Christmas movie. My kids also open 1 present (which is something that my family use to do when I was a little girl – the gift we opened was always from my grandma and grandpa and it was always homemade nightgown or pajamas) so now every Christmas Eve my kids get to open 1 present which is always new pajamas-but not homemade one because I can not sew very well.


Paulette Vickers
When I was growing up on the farm we went to midnight mass every Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day was at home with our grandparents who lived in the same yard as us.
My mom made Almond crescent cookies every year, and that tradition has kept up and the recipe passed on down through generations. There were 8 of us children so it was a very loud busy time of year. We each got one gift for Christmas, and something in our stockings hanging on the fireplace. After dinner on Christmas Day we took our skates and went skating on the slough just behind our house, then when we came back our mom would have hot chocolate ready for us, made with milk straight from the cow as we milked about 15 cows.
During the holidays we got together with our cousins, who also had large families like ours. We would all be packed in around the dinner table, some in the living room, for our meal. Then clean up, no dishwasher back then. There was 23 children and 6 parents, and our grandparents. I can still hear all the noise of everyone talking, laughing, and noisy kids.


Jackie Lindberg
Growing up in the mid 60s and early 70s, our Christmas focused more on family and being with family than gifts. Our Christmas gifts were usually practical with maybe one new toy or gadget thrown in. We always started Christmas with ensuring the chores were done (grew up on a farm) and that everyone had breakfast and cleaned up afterwards. After the gift opening, it was church and then home. Then it was cooking the dinner for our family of 9 plus grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins from my dad’s side of the family. After that, I think mom was just worn out from all of us kids and we all got sent outside to go sledding or skating. This usually ended up being a snowball fight. While we were gone, the adults played cards and visited.
New Year’s Day was also just about as busy. It was another day of church and a large family meal with the guests being cousins from my mom’s side of the family. So dinner for another 20-30 people.


When I first left home to go to University, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on Christmas gifts for my family. I found a recipe for a shortbread cookie wrapped around chocolate and decided I could afford to make those for everyone. I made several dozen and took them home for Christmas. This started one of my traditions that has been happening for 42 years and hopefully will continue for many more. The amount of these cookies I make has grown over the years to today where I will probably make between 30 -40 dozen of them. They are still the most requested cookie of my family for Christmas.


Laurel
The one tradition that I love is to read to my kids. The Christmas elf comes every day to leave a book 10 days before Christmas. My kids love waiting for the elf named Sprinkles and opening the gift every night to snuggle up with a Christmas book. This weekend I will likely set up for my Christmas things.


Becca
Tyler’s family does a fondu every Christmas Eve before we go to a Christmas Eve service.


Emma
For Christmas I go to my families in Alberta beach! We do 1 gift on Christmas eve which is usually pjs then open the rest on Christmas day!


Melissa
On Christmas Eve my parents and I watch Christmas movies and have finger food. Like wings, raw veggies, meat, cheese and crackers, usually homemade baking. Then we watch the grinch, and then Christmas vacation. Then on Christmas Day we all wake up and get our coffees (and hot chocolate for me) my dad puts on the fire log channel… and Christmas music from his collection. Then we open our stockings. After stockings we eat this breakfast called “wifesaver” it’s awesome! Then we open the rest of the gifts. It’s always so nice to just be around family and spending quality time together.


Jodi
I don’t really have any right now, but growing up we would leave milk and cookies the night before Christmas and open 1 gift. We will probably do the same for Hayes when he gets older.


Kelsey
We have a few traditions! On the 24th we spend the day with just our little family. Josh and I make the girls Christmas Eve Boxes. They have usually snacks, christmasy activities and a new pair of Christmas pjs. Then we spend the day in our pjs doing the activities they get. One year they had stuff to make snow forts outside. Usually a gingerbread house. Or the stuff to make some kind of Christmas cookies. Christmas colouring books and puzzles. Later in the afternoon I’ll start some hot chocolate in the slow cooker and start prepping some finger food. Chili cheese dip, veggies, Swedish meatballs. Just stuff to snack on all evening. Then we’ll watch a classic Christmas movie. Home Alone or The Santa Clause. Something along those lines. Christmas morning Josh’s parents and my mom come over to open gifts with the girls. Then have either cinnamon buns or French toast casserole for breakfast. Then just kind of hand around until we head to Josh’s aunts for Christmas supper. We go there every year on Christmas. This year we will be going to my hometown after Josh’s aunts for a few days. Spend some time with my side of the family.

Nicky

My Dominican Christmas Tradition – In the Domincan Republic we put up the Christmas Tree at the end of October, we have the tradition to enjoy it ofor a longer time. We do not put out gifts under the tree since it is not out tradition

Rebecca

My family is both Danish and Canadian so our Christmas traditions was a blend of the two cultures. We would celebrate Christmas on the Christmas Eve by having a traditional danish Christmas meal and dressing up in suites and dresses. Following dinner, the men would light the Christmas tree (with real candles) and the women would clean up. We then dance around the tree, singing a mixture of danish and English Christmas songs. Following this, we open presents and then spend the evening chatting and relaxing. The following morning, we would get a stocking “from Santa”. After opening this and having some breakfast we head to the hospital to sing for the elderly. This has been my Christmas tradition since I was a little girl.

Christina

Since this is our first Christmas together, we are trying to find things we want to make as traditions. Barrett and Brantley painting the front window for Christmas. We made matching personalize stockings to have for years to come. Christmas Eve we’re going to go to drive strong and look at lights then to an outdoor skating rink for a bit, then come home put on matching pyjamas build gingerbread houses, then get snacks and watch a Christmas movie. Christmas Day open presents with the kids then we are going to Justin’s parents’ for supper and gift exchanging.

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