ONBC Monday Night Thread - Holiday Traditions and Plans

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DepplySmitten
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Unread postby DepplySmitten » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:27 pm

cait wrote:
DepplySmitten wrote:The Gingerbread latte is my favorite too..I even buy the syrup so I can make them at home!


How do you make them? :eyebrow:

I make them at home with my espresso machine. Same thing as Starbucks, but on a much smaller scale! I pour the syrup into a mug ( I dont' measure..I guess), and then I steam my milk, and brew my espresso.. then add my milk, stir...add some whipped cream, fresh ground nutmeg..and it's delicious :morning:

It's easy Cait..you can do it!

KYWoman...You reminded me that I forgot a tradition! Every Christmas Eve we read "Twas the night before Christmas" and "The Polar Express" to our girls!

I like to look at the tree too, it's so beautiful!

Bix...I loved hearing your story about when you where little!

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:34 pm

Bix wrote:I love reading about everyone's traditions. My siblings still do gather at our parents' house in rural Texas for Christmas. My mother is 86 and my father 84, so we may not have many more times like this. But for some reason I thought of what we used to do when we were all little children (I have a brother two years younger, a sister 8 years younger and a sister 14 years younger). The church plays a big part in the social life of rural Texas and our community had a Lutheran church and a Roman Catholic church, so you were one or the other. We belonged to the Lutheran church, so on Christmas Eve we had the Sunday School program around 6:30 in the evening, a pageant presented by all the children. It was usually some version of the nativity scene and everyone had a few sentences to memorize, but it was nerve-wracking business, this standing up in front of the packed church and saying your lines, etc. Anyway, the part I'm remembering is that every year, it would be time to go to church and Daddy would just not be ready. And we were going to be late! So Mother had to drive us there and when we finally looked out at the audience, Daddy had managed to get there and we could relax. And you know what? Every year, when we got home from church, Santa had been there!!! There were bicycles and doll houses and tiny cooking stoves and big dolls and whatever the current wonderful thing was all under our tree!!! (I think I was 13 before I figured it out! :blush: ) But it was a very lovely gift they gave us.


Oh Bix, I just love that story. Sneaky parents! I bet you all still reminisce about that.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:38 pm

doe maar wrote:It is nice to read about everyone's traditions.
In my family their was never really a big christmas tradition, but we always celebrated the end of the year big.
My husband was Mr. Christmas himself, so since being with him I only had to follow and let him do what he likes best (tree, decoration, food) he had the time of his life. Now that he is gone I'm a bit lost and searching for new traditions. Last year I spent christmas on my own and that was in a way good too. This year I gonna spent it with my new found love and his family. I have no idea what traditions they have. They are roman catholics and his dad comes from the Molukken in Asia. Boxing day we spend this year with my complete family, maybe that become a tradition too.
I have finished my christmas shopping only have to wrap my presents. Now it is the christmas card writing that I still need to do.
San


Doe maar, I am glad that new Christmas traditions might be in your future. :grouphug:
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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby deedee » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:39 pm

Santa Claus for us in Germany is St.Nickolas and we celebrate his day on the 6th of December. All the kids would wait for him to show up (usually someone in the town would dress up and visit all the children with a sack full of candy and fruits. If you were bad you got coal and switches. When we came to the US we put our shoes out before going to sleep and hopefully we would wake to a treat the next morning.I still do this tradition here for family and friends. Christmas starts for me when I make my Emily Dickenson Holiday Cakes. It's her original recipe (yes I'll share with anyone who wants it)and is a type of fruit cake, but you use dried fruits(instead of candied) that you soak in liquor. By the time I get these things baked...so am I!!! I've sent one of these to HST every year for the past 19 years, as she was one of his favorite authors. Even got some thank yous from him. Then comes the traditions of German Christmas, which was my Mother's favorite time of year.She would decorate the house and bake up a storm. I carry on the best I can with her guiding voice in my head the whole time. We put up a tree with blown glass ornaments, cookies, candies and candles (electric ones now) which doesn't get lit up until Christmas Eve. We have a Seafood dinner and then wait for the Christ Child.As children, we had to go into our bed rooms and wait for a special bell on the tree to be rung by the angel and then we could come out and open our presents. Midnight Mass and come home for early breakfast made by my Dad.Then off to bed. Christmas Day always started with the smell of my Mother's cooking. Fruit stuffed Goose, Red Cabbage, Potato Dumplings, stewed cinnamon apples, and Apple Strudel.
We would sing Carols from the America, Germany and even some Rom. We also carried on the Rom tradition of going to friends and neighbors with baskets of wine, goodies and smoked meats and cheeses.
By the end of the 2 days of Christmas you welcome the calm and time to rest and digest and get ready for New Years.
"Those who do not like you fall into two catagories..the stupid and the envious."

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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:41 pm

fansmom wrote:
gilly wrote:: ....I bought myself a guinea pig this year just for me..Our piggy of 7 years died recently..I was devastated,how silly is that....

Not silly at all, gilly. When our first guinea pig died several years ago, I had to take the day off work because I was in such a funk. He was 7 as well, and that is old for a pig. The vet said it was 102 in human years. I like our current pigs, but Pookie was special. :tear:


And we were devastated when my son's hamster died at 2. And it was much worse when my daughter's first bunny died at 5--but we only had him 2 years.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:47 pm

deedee wrote:Santa Claus for us in Germany is St.Nickolas and we celebrate his day on the 6th of December. All the kids would wait for him to show up (usually someone in the town would dress up and visit all the children with a sack full of candy and fruits. If you were bad you got coal and switches. When we came to the US we put our shoes out before going to sleep and hopefully we would wake to a treat the next morning.I still do this tradition here for family and friends. Christmas starts for me when I make my Emily Dickenson Holiday Cakes. It's her original recipe (yes I'll share with anyone who wants it)and is a type of fruit cake, but you use dried fruits(instead of candied) that you soak in liquor. By the time I get these things baked...so am I!!! I've sent one of these to HST every year for the past 19 years, as she was one of his favorite authors. Even got some thank yous from him. Then comes the traditions of German Christmas, which was my Mother's favorite time of year.She would decorate the house and bake up a storm. I carry on the best I can with her guiding voice in my head the whole time. We put up a tree with blown glass ornaments, cookies, candies and candles (electric ones now) which doesn't get lit up until Christmas Eve. We have a Seafood dinner and then wait for the Christ Child.As children, we had to go into our bed rooms and wait for a special bell on the tree to be rung by the angel and then we could come out and open our presents. Midnight Mass and come home for early breakfast made by my Dad.Then off to bed. Christmas Day always started with the smell of my Mother's cooking. Fruit stuffed Goose, Red Cabbage, Potato Dumplings, stewed cinnamon apples, and Apple Strudel.
We would sing Carols from the America, Germany and even some Rom. We also carried on the Rom tradition of going to friends and neighbors with baskets of wine, goodies and smoked meats and cheeses.
By the end of the 2 days of Christmas you welcome the calm and time to rest and digest and get ready for New Years.


Deedee, when did you come to America? And I would like that recipe. That just tickles me that HST sent you some thank you notes. :cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby lizbet » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:11 am

reading about how each of you celebrates the holidays is making me hungry - may have to have a big old hot breakfast when I'm done -

by the time the month is over we will have had four Christmas dinners - 70 folks sat down earlier this month (my mother's family) - we rent a hall, deck it and even play Christmas bingo with the great grand children - as much work as it takes - its really the only opportunity in the year to see all my cousins and their families - 16 of us ate again on Sunday so we could have Christmas with my Dad's only brother & his wife before they are off for a warmer holiday destination - on the 25th I'll be noshing on my own - am still trying to come up with a special menu for one - perhaps a nifty brunch after church in the morning - and then finally whoever is available and still interested in eating will be at my folks house on the 29th - if nothing else we certainly help keep the turkey farmers in business -

something that I've been doing with / for my sister for the past five years is Christmas crafts with my neices while my sister spends the day baking for her church's St. Nicholas Sale - we cut and paste and colour until we drop - with all the wonderful smells from the kitchen teasing our noses thank goodness for sampling - its a really lovely way to begin the month -

somehow - I've become "the carmel popcorn" maker of the family - this is a great way to have something homemade that is a real treat for kids of all ages - there's always a dish of butter softening on my counter throughout the holidays - some traditions seem to sneak up on us - its like they chose us -

I think the first 'Sunday' night thread that I participated in was a couple years ago about Thanksgiving - I really do enjoy discovering how many different ways there are to celebrate all the different holidays - thanks Liz for starting this

just a thought about cards and letters - its another one of those traditions that sort of started itself a couple years ago - in order to still remain in touch with all my "long distance" family and friends - I've switched the bulk of my 'letter writing' to Easter rather than Christmas - I still send out Christmas cards but only a paragraph or two about holiday plans go in with the three or four page letter being written during Lent - its amazing how much stress is relieved and how much time I have for other preparations - folks thought it odd at first but when they realized that they heard from me three times a year instead of just two (Christmas, Easter and birthdays) they got used to it in a real hurry!!!
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Unread postby cait » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:38 am

DepplySmitten wrote:
cait wrote:
DepplySmitten wrote:The Gingerbread latte is my favorite too..I even buy the syrup so I can make them at home!


How do you make them? :eyebrow:

I make them at home with my espresso machine. Same thing as Starbucks, but on a much smaller scale! I pour the syrup into a mug ( I dont' measure..I guess), and then I steam my milk, and brew my espresso.. then add my milk, stir...add some whipped cream, fresh ground nutmeg..and it's delicious :morning:

It's easy Cait..you can do it!


Thanks DepplySmitten! I might have to try that now. It sounds so good! :cool:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:36 am

deedee, I love how your family has carried over the traditions from Germany and kept them alive.

lizbet, FOUR Christmas dinners. And I thought one was a pretty big deal!
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Unread postby QueenofKings » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:12 am

It's cool to read everyone's traditions.

The holidays have always been a busy time in my family. We celebrate Chanuka and Christmas. I guess the best thing about that when I was little was getting so many presents, especially when the two holidays didn't coincide. For Chanuka, we would light a menorah for the eight nights and get a small gift each night, like candy or socks, or a record or a book or doll's clothes. Then for Christmas we'd get the larger gifts, like a bicycle or Barbies.

On Christmas Eve we'd go to my aunt and uncle's house and have a large Italian dinner at midnight. When we had crabs and spaghetti, I was scared of the crabs when I was little. I thought they were going to come after me and get me with their claws. One of the uncles would always dress up as Santa Claus and give out gifts. Sometimes I would fly out on Christmas Day to have Christmas in LA with the other part of my family.

When I got older I started going to church with my best friend on Christmas Eve instead. Also, my mom had a friend who gave the best Christmas parties. The food was both homemade and catered. It was in a huge Victorian home in our town and there would be sing-alongs with Broadway actors and actresses in the parlor, I could bum cigs and get advice in the kitchen and the kids could drink wine.

My dh grew up in a blended family as well, and his mom always had a party for Christmas, usually the Saturday night before Christmas. I started going to that when I was dating his brother. When my mil passed away, we started having the party at our place, but it starts in the afternoon and runs later. Some years it's small, 25 people or so, but we have had years where 60 people show up. Some years our family is there and other years they can't make it. Our biggest tradition at this party is candle lighting. We set aside a large table for this and light a menorah and between 20-30 candles during the party. We give thanks for the season and one of the kids says the Chanuka prayers and than we do a prayer for friends we have lost during the year, our friends who are sick and our friends/family who aren't there. And then we do a moment of silence for world peace. Anyone who doesn't do prayer hangs out elsewhere in the house if they want. Then we feed everyone. Everyone is gone by 1 am usually, except whoever is staying over. We open gifts on Christmas morning and spend Christmas Day at a large party at our friend's home nearby.
That's it. I love when it snows on Christmas Eve. Makes everything look more festive.

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Unread postby Endora » Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:41 pm

It's been nice to read all your stories here. We have a few family traditions, the when we open presents and what we eat stuff, all pretty dull but a consoling pattern in their own way.

My DH and kids still love Christmas, but a few years ago my parents died , one each side of Christmas, pretty unexpectedly. Being an only child made it seem even harder. I've never really been comfortable with it since then, so I actually just grit my teeth and long for New Year.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:18 pm

Endora wrote:It's been nice to read all your stories here. We have a few family traditions, the when we open presents and what we eat stuff, all pretty dull but a consoling pattern in their own way.

My DH and kids still love Christmas, but a few years ago my parents died , one each side of Christmas, pretty unexpectedly. Being an only child made it seem even harder. I've never really been comfortable with it since then, so I actually just grit my teeth and long for New Year.


I'm sorry, Endora. That is a terrible time to lose loved ones. I hope that in time you can look upon Christmas more pleasantly. The good thing about having kids who enjoy Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) is that you can see it through their eyes.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby luvdepp » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:55 pm

Well, this thread has deppinately put me more in the Christmas spirit! I'm just now reading it because I was out last night with friends being part of a Christmas tradition that we have. We get together in one van (last year it was a limo which was fun!) and stop by Starbucks for coffee, then go in search of Christmas lights and decorations around the area. A fun, relaxing evening to be together during the rush of the season. :chill: Our neighborhood and surrounding areas light luminaries every Christmas eve. It's just beautiful to drive around and see long streets with lit luminaries everywhere. :cloud9: We usually get together with friends for Mexican food beforehand. My mother in law is Jewish, so we have a menorah along with the Christmas tree and a traditional dinner the first night of Hanukkah. My daughters and I have gotten together with friends every year a few days before Christmas for a baking afternoon. That's always fun and we come home with a huge platter of different kinds of cookies. It's so great to read about everyone's traditions. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby SamIam » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:43 pm

I'm Italian so every christmas we have chipino which is a mixture of seven fishes. It's got clams, squid, and some other things that I can't think of right now. Anyways, I have to finish xmas shopping. THere's still a few more things to get for some people. gotta post and run.

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Unread postby maple » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:44 pm

Well, I am also into the Christmas spirit. Right now we are having a snow storm outside. We generally call it an "Alberta Clipper". I can't imagine Christmas without the snow. Gilly - I can't picture a warm Christmas with thunderstorms although it sounds a lot better than this storm.

My husband is Portuguese and this year we will celebrate Christmas Eve in our house. Guess what we will be serving? A Portuguese specialty: Cod Fish Heads. I am not kidding. I am Canadian, so I will make the Fish Heads for the Portuguese guests and for the Canadians will make Turkey.

Merry Christmas everyone.


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