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Family Traditions

It is the tradition in my Catholic family to announce every year that this year, we were going to midnight mass. Then we would have Chinese food, eat a lot, and agree that next year, totally, midnight mass. This is the primary religious rite of our people. (Catholicism in my family is really more of a cultural identity than a faith.)

My husband is Lutheran, however, and it took a few years for him to understand this tradition--one year he actually tried to find a church that had midnight services! Dear lord! Can you imagine!?--but now we have crab rangoon and agree that next year, we will actually look up who locally has midnight mass, and spend a pleasant evening at home with wine and Chinese takeout.

(My family also opens the presents on Christmas Eve so that everybody can sleep late, which he considers weird. We compromise. By which I mean that I usually hand him his gift as soon as it arrives in the mail and sleep late anyway.)

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and a nice day (hopefully off) for everyone else.

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti!

My mother was Swedish and in Scandinavia they often open the presents on Xmas Eve. Maybe somewhere in your family tree someone was Scandinavian.

Anyway as they say there god jul och gott nytt år.


Yup, that's the way here in Denmark too and AFAIK all the Scandinavian countries. Think some other European countries too, but not sure about that.

Glædelig jul og godt nytår from here too :-)

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti! My tradition is to stay up the night the Solstice starts (this year 11:28 pm EST 12/21) making cookies and greeting the sun. This year was the first run of this tradition. Many cookies were made. So...many...cookies. I missed the sun by about eighteen minutes. Next year, totally greeting the sun.

We also ordered Chinese takeout Solstice eve.
I'm totally down with ordering Chinese takeout and swearing that next year you will stay up to greet the sun, every year!

Chinese food for Christmas is a well known Jewish tradition, among New York Jews. But that is for Christmas Day not Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!

I've been threatened with Midnight Services (when the spouse-creature was actually more Catholic) but have always avoided them. Anyway, given our tradition of Christmas Eve Dinner with at least 2 bottles of wine for 3 people, we'd be unsafe to drive to Mass. (The wine this year was particularly good; a Malbec from Mendoza Argentina, and a white that should have been from Germany but was instead from California. Both potent as I've typed these sentences about three times each...)

About the only Christmas tradition I can remember was that we had to wait till everyone was up for presents… but your stocking was fair game. Even at 3am.
The huge orange in the toe of the stocking was rather WTF? to us. We live in Florida! We get them all the time! But Dad was born in Bristol England in 1926 and an orange was a BFD.

Yes, sleeping in is the best.

my children are night creatures. they never woke me before 8...my brother is a morning bird and would wake me at 4 to start the whiiiiine at our parents' bedroom door to be allowed to see what santa had bought.

oranges and mixed nuts and a lifesavers sweet storybook were the normal stocking gifts, with one small wrapped gift, oh, and one of the huge candycanes.

my kids are grown and moved out...but people with dogs don't get to sleep THAT late LOL.

my son works at the Awful Waffle! but in arkansas. he's happy working there and brings home good tips. his fiancee graduates with her master's degree in education this spring, and is already fielding job offers.

may you and yours be blessed with love, happiness, and success in the coming year!

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti!
Long live the Sun :^)

Well, too cold and foggy here, no sun has been seen for several days (and it's likely to stay this way for several days more), but I made some pancakes. Pancakes always bring some cheer.

Rosemary flowers? and Christmas traditions

I've never managed to keep rosemary alive long enough for it to grow appreciably (maybe this year - I've had one plant since May and it's still living and I'm getting a topiaried christmas rosemary tomorrow).

My mother always took us to Midnight Mass while my father stayed home. When we got home it was to find that Santa had arrived in our absence. We were allowed to open one present and then had to go to bed.

For the record, Chatty Cathy was NOT a suitable doll to take to bed with one on Christmas. She ended up on the floor. I was in the top bunk at the time.

Our "midnight Divine Liturgy" starts at ten pm. The Ukrainians are a practical people. By midnight we're over at the rectory drinking whiskey.

I'm home due to pneumonia, which is sad. I like singing. And whiskey.

"Next year in Jerusalem"?

This year, everyone should go out and look at the beautiful moon, too.

But it's coooooollllld! (and in my neck of the woods, also overcast/drizzling.)

Too bad, really. I love looking up at the full moon and it's properly dark at the family home, unlike in the city where I live.

Expecting a picture in April of the much scarier Taxolotl.

Not Catholic myself, so don't understand why it has to be MIDNIGHT, but I do enjoy going to candlelight services on Christmas Eve.
As for opening presents: growing up, opening tonight so I can sleep in tomorrow is what I grew up with, but my mom alternated - for one side of the family, they opened on the Eve, on the other side of the family, they got up at daybreak to open.

Merry Christmas to you, and to all, good night!

I can't speak for the Romans, but Ukrainian Catholic practice is to fast for 40 days before Christmas. The tendency is to celebrate Liturgy at the earliest possible moment so you can get back to eating meat and dairy and drinking alcohol again

holiday observances are what matters, not attending a building...

one would think the Xmas Axotltl would have the pattern on its frills... or at least matching mittens!

Did the midnight thing once back when they did the full-complete-three-bells-sit-stand-sit-stand-kneel-sit-stand-kneel-sit-stand-rah-rah-rah Mass.

Never again.

but... but... but... Catholic calesthenics is what keeps you awake at Midnight Mass!

Growing up it was 6pm Christmas Eve Mass followed by supper, bedtime, 6am Christmas morning mass then Santa presents then a big home cooked meal that we had spent the previous three days preparing for with my super observant family. Midnight mass was't something that happened until all the kids outgrew Santa.

As a reward for not believing in commercialism, it was Midnight mass for those able to stay awake long enough to be awake when the time came to leave for it. Everyone else went to Christmas morning mass. The rest didn't change. Except we now open gifts after dinner(noon) dishes are done.

Now, "Midnight Mass" starts at 8pm.