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Developer One Holiday Traditions 2006
Share your Holiday Traditions...

We hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
We're having a great time reading your entries...  Thanks!

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Your Holiday Tradition/Memory...


Every year before Christmas, my siblings and I would decorate cut-out cookies with frosting and sprinkles.  Because these were hand decorated by us kids our parents did not serve them to guests.  Now my kids make these same cookies at Grandmas house. :)
We put up a huge Christmas tree and decorate it with lots and lots of ornaments (almost too many), one of the ornaments is a glass pickle which gets 'hidden' on the tree.  Whoever finds the pickle (you can't touch the tree when looking for it), gets a special gift.  It's lots of fun watching the kids look for it!
It seems to be so simple ... but it's not. We only succeed during the holiday to have the whole family (22 persons, incl. kids - total number still growing ;) ) in one place. This is the one tradition, that really let us all - especially all the kids - enjoy these special days most.
My favorite tradition is eating raw beef with onion & pepper on rye bread this one time of year. The resulting stomach ache is extra special.
Developer One Note: After reading this, we just had to go out and buy some raw beef from the local deli.  Mmm Mmm.. :)
Russia has that weird tradition to celebrate 2 New Years. One is on January 1st as the rest of the world and the second is on January 13th.

Wedding in Russia. Before you can take your future wife into your car and drive together to the registration office you have to pass several tests. Usually every step from the entrance of the building (and in Russia the majority live in tall buildings) toward the floor where she lives. Just imagine what it takes when she lives on the 9th floor? Every floor consists of 30 steps (average) which makes it 30*9=270 steps or better say 270 different tests and puzzles. If you cannot solve the test you have to pay. I wasn't lucky, my wife was on the 7th floor which on the other hand is better than 9th floor.

Every Christmas Eve, my mom gives my brother, 2 cousins, and me stackables. She then gives my brother and I our Christmas pajamas, and we read Luke 2 as a family. Then our dad gives us a letter he's written, reflecting on us growing up on the past year. I think that's 4 family is pretty big on them. :)
We don't do anything unique, but my favorite comes from Thanksgiving. Simply, having a 3pm lunch and watch the Dallas Cowboys make fools of themselves (miraculously, they won this year -- good game!). It's cliche', but it's my favorite.
My favorite tradition is being the first to wake up (even as an adult) and dragging the rest of my family out of bed!
My favorite memories are going outside in the snow on Christmas Eve with my dad to go searching for Santa in the sky.  While out walking through the neighborhood, Mom would put out all of the gifts under the tree and when we got back home we found what 'Santa' left for us!

As for New Years, well, as the years go on, I find it harder and harder to even stay awake until midnight on New Years Eve... :)

Our family has always gotten together at one of our grandparents on Christmas Eve for a traditional Italian holiday meal. In addition to the traditional 7-fish meal and other Italian foods, we each received a gift from Santa sometime after the meal and before midnight.

This gift tradition started back farther than I can remember, and was a way to keep the children out of the packages tucked under the Christmas tree. During the years I was growing up and when my grandfather was still alive, each child and grandpop received a toy of some sort.

It was always a matter of debate over who enjoyed the toys they received more, grandpop or the children. He would play with his toys (some quite noisy like the jumping jeep or the pants-dropping Frankenstein) while we played with ours.

As we got older and he eventually passed away, the gifts have changed from toys to more adult-themed gifts, but we all still remember how much fun it was.

I always loved Christmas as child ... presents give out was December 24th , 5PM ... of course the last 2 hours was killing, seeing all these big presents, kids nowadays would laugh about and not understand how we could get excited with just a little toy. The little we had it was the best present time of the year.  Family was together presents spread and enjoyed ... the perfect addition to Christmas is snow and a santa you saw running on the street.
Our family decorates a paper bag for each person and sets it up near the tree about a month before the holidays. Then, throughout the month, you can put something into another family member's bag only if you have made it yourself... it has to be something that you have personally written, drawn or created. Then, on Christmas Eve, we each go through our bags together and share the unique gifts and thoughtful notes that people have left for us.
Our family has baked the same Christmas cookies every year for 3 generations. It was my grandmother's recipe, my mom and her siblings made them, my sister and I made them, and now my fiancée and I are making them. We also ice them and some of our family's favorite pictures go back years to kids with flour covering them from head to toe.
Being of Italian heritage, I always enjoy the feast of the "Seven Fishes" that we celebrate every Christmas Eve. My mother prepares seven different kinds of fish entrees that usually includes: mussels, clams, a giant bowl of shrimp cocktail, baccala (dried fish), smelts (I still dont know what they are), clams and spaghetti, and really good crab cakes.

This is served with a host of side dishes, salads and "picky food".

Christmas Eve is always a bigger celebration than Christmas day in my family. I'll always keep it that way. :D

Every year as kids we purchased (or heaven forbid, made) a new ornament for our tree. Each year, we could look back and see ornaments from years gone by. As we (6 kids) grew up and got married, we took our ornaments with us and put them on our own tree. Needless to say, many arguments have broken out over who’s ornaments are who’s. But trust me when I tell you, all the ornaments that I say are mine, are mine... muahahahaha. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Every year, my wife and I allow our kids to purchase a new ornament of their own for our tree. Every year the tree gets uglier and uglier (some might say it gets more and more beautiful, but I don't). Currently, we are in the Star Wars / Race Car era. Not long ago, it was the Blues Clues & Dora The Explorer era.

Jim R
Xmas eve is always spent with the entire family together. Now that I'm married, my wife's family does it with us to! We don't actually "do" anything - we just sit around, eat sandwiches, listen to Christmas music, and talk. Sometimes less is more.
My wife and I have somewhat of a tradition for New Year's Eve. Rather than go out and do the typical partying, we buy a couple of nice filets mignon, a couple of lobster tails, a nice bottle of bubbly and all the trimmings. We cook our own amazing dinner and in the last few hours of the old year just enjoy the peace and quiet of each other's company.

After dinner generally includes watching a movie or two, then cracking open the champagne around midnight for a toast. As the new year officially begins, we call friends and family who are still awake to wish them a happy. Then it's off to sleep, perchance to dream and to be thankful for starting another new year off in the morning with a day off from work.

When we were children, my sister and I on Christmas eve used to look out the window of our room in order to count the Christmas trees which could be seen in the neighbour houses. And never did we both count to the same number.
Unlike Polar Bears in your part of the world we have barbecues on the beach here in Sydney, unless we are off to fight bushfires (you call them wildfires).

The highlight are the fireworks on New Years Eve. This year it will be very special as our Harbour Bridge celebrates a diamond anniversary.

Hope you have a happy festive season and a prosperous 2007.

We meet at my Grandmother's house in Dallas, snack on shrimp, quiche, and other snack food, and track Santa's journey on the radio.
We have a huge, perfect dinner at Grandma's and then, the door to the livingroom get's closed, someone (it's used to be my Grandpa) says "I've just seen the Christmas-angel flying away there over the chimney" and everyone goes happy into the livingroom, handing over gifts and best whishes.
We have an ornament that hangs on the tree that is in the shape of a pickle. We set the pickle ornament out with the cookies that we give to Santa, and he then hides it somewhere on the tree (it is super hard to find because it's green like the tree!). Afterwards, he leaves a special pickle present under the tree. On Christmas morning, whoever finds the pickle ornament first gets the pickle present!
I am a nurse on a cardiac floor in a hospital. Since I don't have family I always try to work on Christmas. It's easier for me than being at home by myself, but it also means that one more nurse gets to be home with their family. That's so important to kids! Those of us who are working have a fabulous pot luck and the boss often provides smoked turkey.

Everyone brings their special holiday foods in so we have a multi-cultural meal. We put a bed sheet over the table and with all the food on it, it looks like a wonderful feast on a special table cloth! We play Christmas music all day and graze on the food. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself (for having to work or for not having family) when your patients are there facing the possibility of a life-threatening condition. I have yet to have a bad working Christmas. Somehow it always turns out to be a relaxed day.

Every year since my children were born I have bought an ornament for each of them commemorating the previous year. My son is now 24 and daughter is 19 and they have a wonderful timeline of their lives hung on our tree every year.
We spend the afternoon on Christmas eve at grandma's family party and then get home around midnight right after santa has stopped by and open our presents. then Christmas day is spent at home with immediate family relaxing.
My favorite holiday tradition is the first part of Dec. I get the kids together and we take out the decorations and we all decorate the tree, I put on Christmas music, and I turn on all the Christmas lights. Which doesn't seem like much but it's one of my favorite things to do with my family.
Each year we bake fudge and take it to all the people who work at businesses in the community who we see a lot (dry cleaners, car repairs, grocery store, coffee shop, etc). We don't really know any of these people as good friends, but they are always friendly, have a smile and are helpful. Its our way to show appreciation.
Every year the weekend after Thanksgiving, we make a trip to cut down the Christmas tree. This year was especially interesting since I live in Louisville KY and my children came in from St. Louis, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Ages 32,26 and 20.
J. Michael
First we go to my wife's father's house for a pre Christmas dinner with all the family. With all the children, grandchildren and great grand children there is usually about 40 or 50 who manage to make it.

After dinner we have a 'White Elephant" gift exchange that with this many people usually goes on for an hour or two.

Then everyone is given homemade breads and preserves that grandpa has made (he is widowed). And everyone goes home renewed from the visiting. Some are mildly pleased with the "White Elephant" gifts while others are very miffed.

We usually have a gift or two that are passed back that have been re-gifted for several year and everyone is on needles and pins fearing they will be the one that is stuck with the dreaded "sweater", and horrid out of style (if it ever was in style), never to be in style sweater.

The second is our own family tradition.

We have all the grandkid over (12 if everyone is able to be in town with the parents) and we all assist the children in making gingerbread (gramcracker) houses. My wife has already constructed the basic house and then we decorate them with every kind of candy that can be had. Then all the kid judge the houses in various categories that they devise.

We give out McDonalds coupons and there are enough categories that everyone get a prize.

Rick B
Every year we hangs all our received Christmas cards on a border on the wall, so that everyone coming for visit, can see all the beautiful Christmas cards we have received for Christmas.
At evening 1 Christmas day - we picks out three cards that is to stay on the border for next Christmas. Coincidental, we received a beautiful card from Developer One last Christmas - It was truly amazing and I am glad to also being able to use this opportunity to tell it still hangs for this year.
Nils V
We are 5 members in my family. We do a raffle with the names of each one of us provided clues that we would like that they give us as a present at Christmas Each one goes in between joy and hugs delivering the gift of the person you are going to give it.
Christmas day dinner with the family, good food and most of all being all together.Jerry
Each year at Christmas I write myself a letter recapping what happened during the past year and hopes for the new year.

It's fun every year to read back these letters from 1971. I will pass these letters on to my kids some day.

It is usually hot in Bangkok, Thailand, so my family will travel to the northern part of Thailand for New Year Celebration. This coming New Year Holiday, we will fly north to Chiengmai Province and will enjoy seeing beautiful flowers and plants from around the world at World Flora Exhibition. We expect cool and nice weather up there. We will also bring our digital and HD video camera along to capture all our good memories.
As a way to help to others, my two boys participate in the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Drive, but they don't ring the bell, they play their instruments - with a much better response! Several years ago we had to have our roof redone and the chimney was taken down. The kids were so upset thinking Santa would not be able to get in that we started a new tradition. Before the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, they hang a Special key on the front door that only Santa can use.
I've brought a tradition to each family with which I have spent the holidays. We gather at one persons house for dinner and drinks which is to be followed by playing games. The games change depending on the guests but everyone is required to play scrabble. Players can make the game challenging by requiring every word relates to a theme.
For as long as I can remember I have read a section of Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol each day through the days of Advent and then on Christmas Eve I watch the Musical of Scrooge: for the first time this year I'll be watching it on DVD too! As is my wont, I iron too while watching the film! All part of my traditions that make Christmas "The Very Best Time of the Year".
Stephen L
United Kingdom
In effort to simplify things for the growing number of adults in the family, for the last 5 or 6 years, instead of all the adults buying gifts for each other, each man does one "bucket" and each girl does one "basket".

With a limit of $35 (give or take), the men's buckets consist of "guy stuff" (i.e. -duct tape, tools, misc hardware, remote-control airplanes and other toys we can play with and break on Christmas morning) and the women's baskets consist of "girl stuff" (i.e. - soaps, candles, scrap-booking supplies, etc.).

Then on Christmas morning all the men draw numbers and one at a time pick a bucket (not their own) and the women do the same for the baskets.

The fun part comes afterward when the men and women split up into different rooms, dump their buckets/baskets out in front of them and start trading stuff! Well, that and playing with and breaking things too...

Growing up, on the 24th, my family would go to dinner, a movie and candlelight Christmas Eve service. On Christmas morning, my Dad would make all of us sit at the top of the stairs while he went downstairs to "make sure Santa came". He would really get us kids excited as he would yell up the stairs that he couldn't believe how much stuff there was.

As we've grown up and now have our own families, we all get together, but we now watch "Christmas Vacation" (with Chevy Chase) at least twice each Christmas. It is our extended family to a 'T' so it's hysterical to watch every year.

On Dec 24th we all get in the car before going to Mass and drive thru Mesilla Park, NM to see all the Luminarias that decorate every house in the area. This is a New Mexico tradition of putting out lunch size paper bags with sand in the bottom and a candle placed inside. When it gets dark you light the candles they are spaced about 3 feet apart and light the way for Jesus.
Every year, in anticipation of crushing crowds at local shopping venues, my best friend and I would go to a local restaurant that has VERY good margaritas. We would eat a bit, have a couple drinks, then be sufficiently lubricated and full of holiday cheer so as not to be annoyed at those who push, shove, and stampede through the mall to get their Christmas shopping done.
I just love the traditional feeling you see and feel at Christmas Time.
United Kingdom
Instead of buying presents for everyone in the family, my parents put $20 bills into x-number of envelops (x = number of family members x2, ie, if there are 10 people in the family, then there'll be 20 envelops), but couple (maybe up to 4) of the envelops will contain a crisp $100 bill.

During Christmas day, all my brothers along with their wife and kids meet at our parents' house and my parents will shuffle and randomly tape these envelops on to their Christmas tree and after our Christmas meal, we'll start the "drawing of the envelops" starting from the youngest to the oldest including our parents until we all have 2 envelops each.

Then we all open our envelops at the same time. Very exciting for us but expensive for my parents, but they love it too. Then the gift unwrapping storm starts, for the rest of us that gave gifts.

Our tradition is chestnuts roasting on an open fire while searching for our tree in the forest. We would setup a camp fire and warm up hot cocoa and preparing for the chestnuts.

The smell of the fire, the cocoa and the evergreen is something that never leaves the senses. The rosy cheeks of the kids and the breathing from the cold weather made you feel like Christmas was near and worth all the work and brings to me a sense of peace.

Spending time with my grandparents in the snow.Bob Q
This time of year we all gather around, family and friends, to light the lights on the menorah, remember the miracle of Chanukkah, and sing of the triumph of Light over darkness in Israel, long ago, and to pray for the same today all over the world.   Shalom to men of good will, everywhere.
Jeff H
The gathering of family members, the warm hugs and friendly faces, the peace and harmony, the love and good food, being able to give, and enjoying helping anyone with something they need and just seeing a smile or hearing a "thank you".
Ron A
We try to figure out how anyone can string more than three strands of lights outside without blowing a fuse!
In our immediate family we stuff stocking with a letter for hopes & wishes for that person in the upcoming year. (parents to kids, kids to kids, Parent to parent. The letters include a special memory, Happy times and struggles as well) We read them all on Christmas.  And for Our little one who can not write yet, we have him draw a picture and tell us about it. (we write the definitions for the other family members) We all love to re-read the past years letters, and be sure to save them.
Every year from the time my older brother was born to now (I have a family of my own) we would go out and cut down our own tree to take home and decorate one my brothers birthday, he was born on December 7th. That tradition still holds true with my mom, brothers, and myself.  It is a special day to our family, and a day of remembrance for our nation, as well as my grandfather and two great uncles.
I left home at the age of 16 (working and studying away, we weren't rich ;-) ). My father made it clear to me that I must make an effort every Sunday to come back home and have Sunday dinner with my immediate family. He also made it clear that on Christmas I must come back home no matter what to have Christmas with my entire family, and they are large. I left my original country in 1980 (27 years ago) and adopted England as my home. Sadly, my dad is no longer with us but every Christmas I make a great effort to have my entire wife's family to meet at my house (they are large too); and after midnight Christmas mass I will setup a video link with my own family back at home and the two families will join in a great celebration across thousands of miles. I do this every year and never failed to forget my father's wish. It is great for the children and my in-laws and of course my own family.
United Kingdom
Cutting down a Christmas Tree with my family.Gary
My favorite tradition is getting together for a candle lit Christmas dinner in our fanciest attire, and then going to midnight mass afterwards.
Dennis Q
Our Christmas tradition began when we were stationed at Osan Air Base, Korea in 1980. We were gathered at the club for our base Christmas party, when on the screen in front of us, pictures from our families back home began to appear. It caught us all by surprise. We saw pictures of our parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children all there on the screen wishing us a Merry Christmas. It was the most meaningful experience I have ever had, before or since.

As it turns out, our base commander began writing to all of our families asking them to send pictures holding signs that said Merry Christmas. He began this project in July and personally wrote to over 250 families. I will never forget what he did for us that year.

After we left Korea and went our separate ways, I was able to keep in contact with that commander who provided such a memorable Christmas. And each year, since we left Korea, I and my wife call that commander on Christmas Day to wish him and his family a very Merry Christmas. And I thank him too, for making our Christmas, so far away from home, one of the most meaningful Christmas' ever.

Jim S
We all get up early the day after Thanksgiving, at five o'clock in the and go to breakfast and then start shopping. At about two o'clock we come home with our new tree and spend the rest of the day and night decorating it and the house, while eating homemade chex-mix.
As a multi-faith family, we have adapted the Christmas tree to both a Buddhist and Christian tradition. December 8 is the traditional date for Buddha's enlightenment, so our tree goes up on the 8th as a bodhi tree in commemoration of Buddha's enlightenment and thereafter is regarded as a Christmas tree.
From almost one week before Christmas, youth from the church, along with some elders, go caroling to the families of church members. They all sing Christmas songs and play music at each home and get plenty of cookies, snacks and hot beverages. It is such a fun.
Ravi K
It may not have been an official tradition, but my mother was about as excited to see me open my presents as I was to open them. days before Christmas, she'd let me open just one each day as we approached Christmas. I was always excited for Christmas morning because I would get to open the rest of them. But my mother always made the days leading up to Christmas just as exciting. I miss those days with her.
Gary S
Christmas Brittany Water temp at about 12°C ...I go swimming ! This since always...tradition ! tradition ! 
New years eve... You may go unless your too sober ! ...and it's fun !
Gilles A
Every year my family and I just gather together have Christmas dinner and play board games, poker, and basically spend quality time with each other. That's a gift I look forward to open every year with extended family members and more to come.
Nikki Y
Christmas Eve at our house, having all our relatives and friends over.Rich H
Listening to Christmas radio stations.. all the favorite Christmas songs. Visiting family, tune up my workplace with colleagues with nice Christmas stuff and of course a tree!

Talking about the meaning of Xmas... Talking about how the human commercial mind takes away the whole meaning of Xmas..

David W

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Giveaway Date


December 7Vyacheslav B
Sausage Gift Pack from Usinger's
(a favorite in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1880!)
December 8Cameel S
Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Pack from Usinger's
(See why Wisconsinites are called 'Cheese Heads'!)
December 9Jason T
Developer One Software etched drinking glass.
Bottoms up!
December 10Jon H
Developer One Software Baseball Cap
December 11Kathi H
Wisconsin Cranberry Mustard & Pretzels
Wisconsin is the nation’s leader in cranberry farming... Enjoy!
December 12Jim S
Cheddar Beer Soup & Beer Bread Mix
Beer mug shaped Mild Cheddar Cheese.
(Everything's better with Cheddar)!
December 13Amy
Wisconsin Dairy Cow Ice Cream Scoop
Dairy Cow shaped Mild Cheddar Cheese... Moo!
December 14Stephen L, Christina C
Smartphone Notes 2.0
Courtesy of our friends at Syncdata
December 15Joe W
Developer One Software etched drinking glass.
December 16David F
Two Wisconsin Cheeses and Beer Cookbook
Two great tastes from Wisconsin
December 17Meryl E
Wisconsin Beer Bread Mix and Beer Shaped Cheese
Cheesy Bread anyone?
December 18Margaret C
Wisconsin Cheese, Rice Mix and Cranberry Preserves - Yum!

Joe W
Developer One Software etched drinking glass. Enjoy!

Thank you all for the entries... We hoped you enjoyed them as much as we did.



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