Some of My Family Holiday Traditions

img_9356Earlier today, I saw the hashtag, HolidayCustomsAroundTheWorld, trending, so I’d like to share some of my family holiday traditions.

Christmas is celebrated on December 24

With a large panettone in hand, my family and I go to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, where we have dinner, sing karaoke, then go to Midnight Mass, which is usually from 10pm to 11pm. After Mass, we go back to their house, eat again, then open presents. (For a few years, we watched a live performance of The Nutcracker ballet before going to my brother and sister-in-law’s house.) Then December 25 is spent sleeping in and eating leftovers from Christmas Eve!

On New Year’s Day, we eat 12 grapes

When the clock strikes midnight, we eat one grape a second and make a wish for each of the 12 months in the new year. Then we give each other a hug and a kiss, then call relatives to wish them a happy new year.

My birthday, my treat

Usually, when it’s your birthday, your friends and family treat you to a celebratory meal, right? In my family, if it’s your birthday and you want to celebrate, you invite people to lunch or dinner, and you pay! (Another reason not to want to get older?) Also, for my birthday, I have a margarita at my favorite Mexican restaurant.

First Day of School

While technically not a holiday, my family treats the annual milestone with a picture at the front door. The Girls hold up the number of fingers corresponding to the grade they’re entering.


If Halloween falls on a school night, we go trick-or-treating for only one hour. Then we go home, sort the candy and keep only half of it. The other half we leave out in a bowl for trick-or-treaters who come by the house. That way, we enjoy only half the calories and half the sugar!


Now that I’m an adult, Thanksgiving has dethroned Christmas as my favorite holiday. I write in a gratitude journal each day, so I enjoy the holiday that allows me to practice gratefulness out loud. Thanksgiving Day is usually a potluck with family and I usually contribute a homemade green bean casserole and a store-bought pumpkin pie. We watch Friends reruns all day and sing karaoke all night. If I’m hosting Thanksgiving, I ask everyone to share some of the things that they are thankful for. While the next day is also a day off from work, we avoid shopping on so-called Black Friday. Instead, we enjoy a lazy day at home playing board games or watching movies.

Holidays are meant to be relaxing, after all!

What are some of your family holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments below.

Enjoy the holiday season!

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