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Dec 15, 2014

Talk: What Are Your Essential Holiday Traditions?

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Each year I find myself looking back at the traditions I had as a kid during the holidays.  What exactly makes this season so great? Like most great experiences, it's actually little things that add up to something special. It's the music, the cold weather, the family coming together, and the smell of a pine tree in the living room.  Here's a look at a few holiday traditions everyone should embrace.  

Bricks from above Home Alone- New York

1. Christmas movies. My Netflix has exploded with Christmas classics. We watch some every year without fail, and I can quote them verbatim.

  • It's a Wonderful Life - Anything with that old-timey b&w look is automatically a classic. I have watched this movie every year for the past 25 at least. Also, Clarence getting his wings is a pretty satisfying end to the story.
  • Home Alone - It's a childhood nightmare/dream to be left alone. No bedtime, no chores, but also no food and plenty of mishaps. This movie has so many one-liners and classic moments we still find myself fully watching it every year. The lost in New York sequel has my all-time favorite scene in it, bricks smacking the idiot. Hilarious.
  • A Christmas Story - I almost shot my own eye out years ago with a bb gun, and my mouth has been washed out with soap for the exact same reason. I never had bottle-cap glasses, but this story I get.
  • Christmas Vacation - Clark and his stupid antics let me put my stressful holiday issues in perspective. As long as I don't have a feline-related fire, or a septic explosion, there's nothing happening that a bit of Irish eggnog won't fix.

Pumpkin Roll - The icing on the holiday season

2. Pumpkin related excellence - Even though Thanksgiving is behind us, there's no reason pumpkin and spices has to be left out. Food is a huge part of family get-togethers and this Pumpkin Roll is a huge part of it. Try out Pumpkin Biscottis and Pumpkin Scones to really get into the sugar/carb coma of Christmas. This is what Christmas tastes like to me. 

National Lampoons Christmas Lights

3. Light Gawking - Like Clark Griswold, there are plenty of people around you that go all out with the Christmas decorations. When I say all out, I mean more lights than a Times Square New Years, and an electrical bill that rivals Canada's GDP. Don't let the display go to waste, grab a hot cuppa Joe, a candy cane, tune in the radio, and make the rounds.

4. Something New - There's always room for some new memories. Look around for a new opportunity to experience the season. Last year, we went ice skating for the first time, before that we headed into the woods to cut down the Christmas tree ourselves. This year embrace something new and figure out a way to keep the magic alive this Christmas season.

What holiday traditions make this a time of year worth enjoying for you? We love to hear how others make it merry.

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Josh on Dec 17, 2014:

My girlfriend and I have started a tradition of going to our favorite Vietnamese restaurand and having a big bowl of pho on Christmas day. Also every year we cook bacon and eggs for breakfast, watch Scrooged, and drink some egg nog. Can't get much better than that!!


Chris on Dec 17, 2014:

1) I've actually grown to quite like "It's a Wonderful Life" I didn't see it until I was in my 20s, and I think the first two hours far outweigh the 5 minutes at the end that people always seem to joke about being so trite.


2) I've also found I really like roasted chestnuts. I didn't eat one until 2-3 years ago, but I love doing them in the cast iron skillet and dipping into some spiced butter.


3) Cutting paper snowflakes and other hang-able but not storable year-after-year is my own little tradition. Preferably while watching "Scrooged"


bruno on Dec 15, 2014:

1. Elf


2. Jewish Christmas (on Christmas day I get together with my Jewish relatives and we eat Chinese take out and sing karaoke)


3. Caroling (i.e. when other people come to our house and sing)