View Full Version : Some Holiday Cheer

11-20-2012, 02:22 AM
Since its the holiday season & to many of us, this also means some extra stresses, I thought maybe there was a need for a Positive post to help us all remember what the building block for any holiday season is: Family, friends, love, laughter & memories.

So I'm asking anyone interested in replying: what are some holiday traditions you have? Perhaps a new tradition you've invented since lupus has stepped into your life. Maybe you'd like to share a shining memory that alights your holiday spirit?

There's so many on here, that I still don't know or haven't had the pleasure in getting to know-as im sure many other new comers that haven't either. I look forward to any that would be kind enough in sharing their little rays of sunshine with the rest of us : ) I for one could always use some extra Jolly!

11-20-2012, 09:09 AM
I love the holidays - we have a strict no-travel rule, so it's usually just the three of us (me, hubby and daughter). This year my mom is coming for Christmas, but she's a great guest and helps out a lot.

This is silly, but since I love to cook, I always look forward to certain foods. I am TOTALLY ADDICTED to Chex mix, and Thanksgiving is the one time of year I make it (otherwise it's all i would ever eat!). I have to make it gluten and dairy free, but that's not hard. I am making a big batch today and really, REALLY looking forward to having it around for the next couple of weeks!!!! :-D

11-20-2012, 12:30 PM
My family has never been one for traditions. Since I was like 14 maybe 15 I usually do the bulk of the cooking for thanksgiving(mostly because i'm actually a good cook). The last few years I don't do things from scratch anymore, like stuffing, I have discovered the wonders of precooked casseroles!! And they are delicious!
For christmas we don't really do anything special but I don't decorate because it's lot of work and I have cats so it's counter productive to have a tree.
There is one thing my twin and I always did. My mom like 30+ years ago made this beaded Christmas tree out of thousands of tiny beads it's in a 12inch glass dome with bunches of cute decorations. It was always fun for us to take it out and fix up all the decorations. I am making one for my sister this year because we are bickering on who gets to keep the one my mom made and I want that one so I thought it be a awesome Christmas gift but it's a lot of work! I will post a picture of it when i'm completely done with it.

11-20-2012, 01:45 PM
This will be the first year that it is just me and my husband. Son is in Afghanistan, daughter in law and grandson will be with her family and daughter STILL isn't speaking to me (or anyone else in the family for that matter). I have 4 days off. Married to a mailman so the start of his busy season has begun. He'll have Thursday and Sunday off. We have an organic turkey he'll cook on the grill and we'll just relax and hopefully enjoy each other's company! I avoid Black Friday and intend to clean and knit and not exactly in that order! I hope everyone has a safe and happy thanksgiving!

11-20-2012, 02:17 PM
I am TOTALLY ADDICTED to Chex mix, and Thanksgiving is the one time of year I make it (otherwise it's all i would ever eat!).

I could live on that stuff! I always make a huge batch from an old recipe of my Mom's. I think it's the original recipe that came off the Chex cereal box 30 some years ago. Love it!

Anyway, we had some fun traditions with my family. As a kid I grew up in an old Victorian house in Northern Maine. It had a huge brick fireplace in the living room where the tree was, and every Christmas morning my dad would get up early and make a huge roaring fire. My father grew up during hard times, and money was really tight. He would jokingly tell us that when he was a kid all he ever got for Christmas was an orange, and a cap pistol that his brother promptly broke.

One year as a joke my sisters and I gave Dad a fake plastic orange and a busted cap pistol in a nicely wrapped box that you could just lift the lid on to open without ripping the wrapping paper. He got such a laugh out of it, we began setting that very same box under the tree every year in the three decades since. My Dad had such a sense of humor, and it would always come out in full during the holidays. He made Christmas really, really fun.

I remember my folks would wrap many of the gifts for us kids in funny papers. It was so fun to go down to the tree in the morning and see how many gifts there were under the tree wrapped this way. In the afternoon we would go to my Grandparents house and my Grandfather always had his Lionel toy trains set up all around the living room and tree with little ceramic houses and such. The sound of the air whistle and the smell of the smoke always reminds me of Christmas. He's responsible for my lifelong hobby of collecting and running toy trains. I inherited his very first Lionel train set, and I did a full restoration on it a few years ago. That train still runs around the tree at Mom's house each year.

Even though this will be the first holiday season without Dad, I'm comforted by all the good memories he gave us. The orange and cap gun gift will still be under the tree.


11-20-2012, 02:47 PM
Ah yesh, the holidays... The 12 year old and I are planning our first ever black friday outing... we're going to do 4 hours of taekwando!!! Oh boy!!! He'll do fine. I'll have to take a 30 minute breather every five... We were going to go to my mom & dad's this Thanksgiving, since this is the first year in over 30 that I've had the weekend off from work, and then they called the wife and told her she's on call the whole weekend. So we're at home, eating chex mix... no wheat chex tho, either - lol. We'll have about 3 Christmas gatherings this year for different sections of the family, with gift exchanges at all of them... I voted for one of the gatherings being a gag-gift exchange, but got voted down... sob - the in-laws are afraid of what I'd bring, I think...

11-20-2012, 05:01 PM
Half my family is Italian-Americans and the other half is Pennsylvania Deutsch. So Thanksgiving was always a Penn- Deutsch and Christmas is Italian style. Food - homemade stuffing and homemade pasta. Love my carbs. I know but it's the holidays

11-20-2012, 05:17 PM
My mom makes the best Chex mix ever, and she always is sure to make a special batch without butter because I don't eat dairy. She lives very far from me, but she'll always send me a batch in the mail if I'm not visiting home when she makes it.

The holidays with my family -- my parents and siblings -- are really special to me, and I'll do whatever I can to ensure I make the long trip to visit. We have more traditions than you can shake a stick at, but one of my favorites is we all open one gift on Christmas Eve, then we set out cookies and milk (which used to be for Santa, but are now basically there for the dog to steal as a midnight snack), and go to bed.

It's nice.

11-20-2012, 06:31 PM
Hoping over the River into Ohio and going shopping downtown, seeing a train display, going to the conservatory. We always go to this light show that you ride through in your car and then we get pizza afterwards :) Sometimes we go the Festival of Lights at the zoo, but thats hard now because of the raynauds and its almost always too cold for me to go now and they are nice and don't go without me because I love it so much.

Me and my mom were just listening to Andy Williams a few min ago :D

11-21-2012, 03:45 AM
We have more traditions than you can shake a stick at, but one of my favorites is we all open one gift on Christmas Eve, then we set out cookies and milk (which used to be for Santa, but are now basically there for the dog to steal as a midnight snack), and go to bed.

It's nice.

Yes! We used to do the same thing. Open one small gift on Christmas Eve. We would leave cookies and milk, and in the morning there would be crumbs and an empty glass with a little note saying Thank You from Santa.

One other newer tradition we started was to watch the movie A Chrismas Story. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine, and whatever you do, don't shoot your eye out!

11-21-2012, 07:19 AM
One other newer tradition we started was to watch the movie A Chrismas Story. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine, and whatever you do, don't shoot your eye out!

We do that, too! Though, if we're not careful, my sister will have the channel that plays that movie for 24 hours on Christmas Eve on in every room. If anyone complains about the lack of any other TV entertainment options, she'll wrinkle her nose and shake her head, "But it's a tradition!"

Love my family.

The Survivor
11-21-2012, 04:27 PM
I'm not much of a cook but I do like to help out in the kitchen sometimes even for Thanksgiving. I love the family and friends togetherness that the holidays bring. Its such a warmhearted feeling. I really enjoy watching my nieces and nephews open up their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. To me, Christmas is definitely the best holiday ever; not because of receiving gifts but because of giving gifts.


11-21-2012, 10:37 PM
All these stories & sharing are absolutely wonderful! Rob-yours especially brought tears to my eyes as I read!

These are the little things that lift us up & carry us through! Thank you to anyone who has or will continue sharing & remembering!!! :)

11-21-2012, 10:55 PM
When my kids were little I took them out on Christmas Eve to drive around and look at the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations to calm them down after opening their one gift. I had to do something to squelch all of that excited energy. When we returned home the kids would set out cookies and milk for Santa.

Since my kids are older now and I remarried, we travel a couple of hours away and spend the evening with my in-laws (whom I adore). The kids are with their Dad or so's family on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day, we host a feast for my children, mom (if she's visiting from out of state) and my in-laws. Last year, I made my first prime rib. It was delicious! I think that will be our new Christmas Day tradition.

Oh, up until the boys were seniors in high school they endured a trip to the mall to have their picture taken with Santa. I display them proudly every year.

The memories....sure make me smile.

11-23-2012, 08:30 PM
Our kids are all grown and living all over the country, and even the world. Jeff and I are on our own here in California.
I love to cook, so I made a traditional meal for Thanksgiving - turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie.
Today I made turkey soup and used the mashed potatoes to make potato pancakes with cranberry sauce.
In the coming days I'll be making turkey divan and the family favorite - turkey enchiladas. Meg called from Germany this morning to ask for that recipe!

Since living here on the Monterey Peninsula, I've volunteered at the annual Christmas in the Adobes. I get to dress up in a period costume and tell people about the beautiful Larkin House as they tour it - fun! The Mavericks surf competition happens in Santa Cruz near Christmas, and we enjoy eating seafood at our favorite place on the pier - Mira Mar, where we can sit in comfort to watch the surfers. I love California!

Jeff and I will have a quiet Christmas again. We always talk to the grandkids on the phone to hear about their fun.
Our children have continued many of the little traditions that we started with them with their own children. It's fun to see that happen.

I almost forgot the most fun tradition that we have. We've been collecting the Hallmark Star Trek ornaments for over thirty years. We used to have three trees in the big house in Texas - a traditional Victorian tree in the formal living room with the bay window, a Southwestern tree with Jalepeno lights in the family room and a small Star Trek tree on the dining room table. The Star Trek tree is the only one that we brought with us to California. We have so many ornaments now that we'll be buying a larger tree to put them on this year. I'm allergic to evergreens, so we always have artificial trees. We have so much fun with those ornaments - some of them even have sound - "Spock here, Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper."

11-24-2012, 06:46 PM
Marla-I have the same spock ornament-it is the shuttle craft and says shuttlecraft to enterprise spock here,happy holidays. live long and prosper.
I started collecting them years ago but they were so popular it became very difficult to keep up!
Some of the early ones are worth alot of money.

11-26-2012, 05:27 PM
Seriously, Niall?... search search search... (OK, which box down here would it be in?...) I can't even remember what mine looks like... it was a gift, long ago, in a land far, far away... Wait! wrong movie!

11-27-2012, 08:58 AM
jmail always remember:
1) science fiction not science fantasy
2) star trek not star wars
3) leprechuns not hobbits

I have never been a big fan of chex-mix but my daughters make what they call puppy chow
which is chex mix mixed with confectioners sugar and melted chocalate chips and other sticky sweet
ingrediants .
We sent 10 pounds and a furby to becca in afghanastan- her Christmas request

11-27-2012, 11:44 AM
My Borg Cube and Enterprise-D ornaments joined forces and they like to gang up on the Death Star ornament.

Emperor Palpatine is all talk anyway...

Resistance is Futile!


PS-For all my fellow Star Trek Fans-

I was at the movie theater week before last, and right as you walk in, there is a huge black sign with a picture of the USS Enterprise going into warp drive, and below it it says- Star Trek Into Darkness-05-17-2013.
Here's the official synopsis, just released today by Paramount Pictures-

In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness. When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Also reprising their roles alongside Chris Pine are Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Bruce Greenwood, while new additions to the cast include Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Nazneen Contractor, Noel Clarke and Nolan North.

Star Trek Into Darkness hits cinemas on May 17th, 2013.

Yeah Baby! Can't Wait!

11-29-2012, 02:10 AM
Again all these stories are great (and great to see so many connecting)!

I haven't had much time to add my own, so I figure I will now lol

As kids we always got together and spent the night at my aunts. after gifts other relatives would come and it would begin a whole day filled will cooking & in the evening we would have an extensive buffet set up so ppl could munch while the entire family enjoyed partaking in games. On Xmas eve we only were able to open one gift-today that's followed by Holiday ornament making with all the children. On Xmas morning we have this tradition passed down from my grandmother of finding the pickle-my mother hides an ornament pickle on the tree and then everyone crowds around to find it. The winner not only gets to open the first gift (we go in turns) but also becomes the official present hander-outer. We also leave cookies, milk & carrots out for Santa and his reindeer-and for over a decade I've played the part of Santa. Our Santa has special wrapping paper (as children it was only plain red but a few years ago we converted to green when we could no longer find red-this was the year known as "Santa's wrapping paper outage" lol), but that's not all-Santa writes in paticular block lettering with black marker on each gift stating for who it's to and that it's from Santa! My mother also did the nuts & oranges for us, as her mother did, but today we've upgraded to those chocolate oranges & trail mix/shelled sunflower seeds. Although we still include the famous wax bottles filled with sugary goodness lol

When we were younger we also celebrated st. Nicholas day and left our shoes out to be filled with small trinkets and wrapped chocolates. I'm actually considering bringing this tradition back for my son, as I remember it so vividly & the excitement it brought.

My mother would also make us choose a toy at the store we really wanted-shed give us the money to buy it and shed have us deposit it in the bin for unfortunate children. When we were a little older, we spent the 23rd volunteering at the homeless shelter for the entire day. We all would make a fuss, but by the end of the day we always ended up having a blast.

I know that's kinda jumbled, but it's how my tired brain works! Hope everyone enjoys remembering the old traditions and have a blast making new ones!

11-29-2012, 08:35 AM
Our Santa has special wrapping paper (as children it was only plain red but a few years ago we converted to green when we could no longer find red-this was the year known as "Santa's wrapping paper outage" lol), but that's not all-Santa writes in paticular block lettering with black marker on each gift stating for who it's to and that it's from Santa!

That's what I forgot to mention in one of my previous posts. The presents we found that were wrapped in newspaper comic pages were from Santa. It was so much fun to see all the gifts wrapped this way, because hey, Santa rules! He always brought the really cool stuff.

In regards to ornaments, my grandparents had these ornaments that were really neat. They were a clear plastic tube with a small tin propellor inside, and the little bit of rising heat generated by the lights on the tree made the propellors slowly spin. Mom has them now on her tree, and they still facinate me. Last Sunday I helped Mom put up her tree. I'm going back over to her house this weekend to set up the train underneath it.

11-29-2012, 11:21 AM
I love the holidays! I love to cook. The last few years have been different though since my dad died and my brother and I are no longer speaking. We have lots of traditions from when I was a kid that we have continued w/the children. They always get to open one present on Christmas Eve. They each get a new ornament so that when they eventually move out they will have some for their own trees. Milk & cookies for Santa is a must w/carrots for the reindeer. We have a countdown thing that hubby's grandmother made, you untie a bow every night of December. When you get to the end there's a bell (long since broken). The past several years we've gone to church on Christmas Eve. One thing that I couldn't do for a few years was to have Pfefferneusen (I think that's how you spell it). My dad and I both loved it - favorite Christmas cookie EVER! The first few years he was gone I just couldn't bring myself to buy them. Then I decided he's probably up there yelling at me for not getting them! LOL
And a new tradition that we started when we got married is our tree. Every other year the hubby & kids put up a fake tree and they decorate it. Read to mean: I think it's gawdy as all get out! LOL The other years I get a real tree and I decorate it. I used to do all burgundy & cream w/glass, but now it's become more homemade & old fashioned. They're still not allowed to touch it though!