As Christmas has just passed (at least at the time of writing this), I thought I would keep track of some of the things that say ‘Christmas’ to me and some of the traditions my family has at this point.
- Toothbrush in your stocking: We’ve had various years of ‘do we do stockings or not?’ but ultimately everyone expects to receive a toothbrush for Christmas. Side Note: unfortunately there were no toothbrushes this year as Santa (aka Mom) couldn’t find the ones she knows she bought. Also in our stockings we usually get: socks, chocolate, fruit (typically an orange), and any other random stuff people want to buy.
- ‘Santa’s Workshop’: typically there is a particular room or place in the house where all the wrapping stuff is put during this season. If someone is wrapping a present or otherwise ‘being Santa’ they have to put a sign on the door saying ‘Santa’s Workshop’ so that everyone knows they are not to go in that room.
- Cinnamon Rolls: a few years ago (or maybe it’s been longer now…) I decided to be adventurous and made cinnamon rolls from scratch (yes, completely from scratch). It’s not as hard as you might think but it does take a long time (think: rise time of 4 hrs…). Anyway, somehow it has become a tradition that I make cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. I make them Christmas eve and just heat them up the next morning. (I’m all in favor of this tradition by the way, no one is forcing me to make cinnamon rolls).
- Indian Noodles: my family is really big on food, especially when we are all together, and on Christmas Eve we almost always eat these Indian noodles which is this coconut milk noodle curry thing which is delicious and although we eat it other times of the year, it definitely reminds me of Christmas.
- PHB: again with the food. Christmas is not complete without PHB which stands for Portuguese Honey Bread and I’m 90% sure it is not at all Portuguese. It’s this Christmas bread my grandmother always makes (and sends to us regardless of where we are) which is kind of like a super dense molassesy bread with nuts and candied cherries in it. Anyway, that is the flavor of Christmas. And no, PHB is not a drug.
- No touching the presents: I am always baffled by other families where you are allowed to touch and shake your presents before Christmas. We were never allowed to touch our presents. The only thing we were allowed to do was blow on the tags to try and figure out who they were for. But seriously, who is allowed to touch presents before Christmas?
As we get older and change, Christmas changes. The Christmas we had this year was very different from the ones I had when I was younger but most of these things still apply.
What are some traditions your family has? What makes you think of Christmas? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what does your family do instead?