Christmas Traditions – Cup of Tea style

Christmas Traditions with the Cup of Tea blog

So yesterday I admitted I wasn’t really feeling all that festive… Christmas just zipped up on me so fast. We barely finished Halloween, people.

I thought I would give myself a kick in the pants and have a chat about my favorite Christmas Traditions!

You’re welcome to join in too! Leave your answers to the questions in the comments below, or, if you’re a fellow blogger, feel free to write your own post. Seriously, if we were face to face, drinking a hot drink, I’d ask you all of these. I love hearing what traditions others have!

1. Favorite Christmas movie?

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I watch the same Christmas movies every. single. year. (Including 2 versions of A Christmas Carol) But my favorite is Christmas Vacation (you know you start giggling when you know Cousin Eddie is about to appear).

That’s followed closely by A Christmas Story. A Christmas Story was filmed just a few blocks away from my Grandparents in Cleveland, and it’s always been a running gag in my family that Ralphie and Randy are the spitting image, in looks and personality, to my dad and his younger brother when they were kids.

2. Favorite Christmas song?

All of them. (Is that acceptable?) I love all the old classics sung by Bing, Perry, or Frank. But my favorites are traditional carols and hymns. Favorite carol is the “Coventry Carol”. Favorite Christmas hymns are “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (if the whole congregation is singing) and “In the Bleak Midwinter”.

So, like 3 songs… totally not an excessive answer.

And I know basically all of Handel’s Messiah, and regularly sing all parts. I’m pretty awesome here in my house. Elizabeth claps.

3. When do you open presents?

Always Christmas day, and always first thing in the morning. And always listening to Mannheim Steamroller.

Although in recent years, I’ve learned to be flexible, in case husband is working, which is just a fact of life when you’re married to someone that owns a white coat.

4. What do you normally eat on Christmas day?

We don’t have a traditional meal right now. But when I was growing up with was basically a repeat of Thanksgiving – turkey and all.  Breakfast was always a buffet of quick breads and cookies. Breakfast of champions.

5. What do you normally eat on Christmas eve? (you know it’s different than Christmas day!)

Nothing traditional for our tiny family (although maybe we’ve had Mexican the last few years). But again, growing up it alternated each year between cabbage rolls or hominy pie. Bleh. Hated it! My mom finally wised up and started doing enchiladas about 6 years ago.

During the day on Christmas Eve, my sister and I started a tradition when we were in High School of eating clementines and playing video games. Even now, I still eat the clementines.

6. Christmas PJs?

Duh. Unwrapped on Christmas eve.

7. Do you own a Christmas sweater?

No, actually. And for the first time in my adult life, I wish I did. It would be kind of fun!

8. When do you set up your Christmas tree?

Growing up, we had two trees. A real one, which wasn’t set up until a few weeks before Christmas. And a fake one, which was always set up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My sister and I cranked up the Neil Diamond Christmas album, and slowly put it up. We loved sliding under the tree to attach the bottom branches. We were even proud of the scratches the artificial branches gave us.

Now, it’s whenever I can do it. But Neil Diamond is still involved. I mean, come on. He does mean renditions.

9. When is it appropriate to begin listening to Christmas music?

Technically, after Thanksgiving. But sometimes I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas just seems appropriate in August, especially when you’re sweating in the South.

10. Favorite childhood Christmas tradition?

My dad had my sister and I put together a Christmas Eve concert when we were little. We were taking piano lessons, and he wanted us to play a few Christmas duets and read the Christmas Story from the Bible. We moaned and complained, but did it anyway.

That Christmas Eve concert happened every year after that, and got even more sophisticated as time went on. We planned all day for it (in between eating clementines and racing cars), and even printed up programs. I even flew with my flute, across country from California to Michigan, just to contribute to that year’s concert. I definitely plan on incorporating that tradition in our little family!

Don’t forget – leave your own favorite answers in comments, or write your own blog post! Can’t wait to read what y’all do!

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6 comments

  1. Anne says:

    This is fun! I’m with you on singing all the parts of the Messiah. I’m technically an alto but just pick whatever line I like best. Waking up at my parents’ on Christmas morning is my favorite tradition (and despite living hours away, the only two years I’ve missed this are when the family was in Kenya once and Costa Rica once over Christmas). We also do the quick breads thing on Christmas morning too (always cinnamon), after opening stockings. Christmas Eve is a big extended family gathering, which I love, and now on Christmas Day we play bunco with my aunts and uncles and cousins. I love it! And I’m having fun starting to think about what traditions we might start with our own little family, now that Hendrik is getting to be old enough to participate and remember things. Thanks for the Christmas spirit 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      HAHA Yes! I moonlight as a soprano, but I can do a mean rendition of But Who May Abide. Love extended family on Christmas Eve! We have such a small family – a large extended family is something I always dreamed of.

      Isn’t it fun trying to decide on your own new family traditions? We’ve started incorporating our favorites from our childhood, but can’t wait to start our own. I’ve already declared to our families that we will be at our home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, so come if you’d like!

  2. Fee says:

    Great idea! I think i will tell you about german traditions. Here in Germany isn’t Santa Claus bringing presents, german children believe in the “Christkind ” bringing presents. The name is from Jesus Christ obviously and it looks similar to an Angel. We are getting our presents on Christmas eve and then it’s also the first time to turn on the lights of the christmas tree. In many families, especially with children, the parents will close one room of the house, one or two days before christmas eve, there they set up the tree and the presents. On christmas eve, after church, one of the parents will sneak in that room and turn on the lights of the tree. Then the whole family gather in front of the door, sing a christmas carol and go into the room. I remember how overwhelming this moment always had been, singing with the family, seeing the beautiful tree and all the presents. Until now, the whole family is gathering at my parents home on christmas eve, and my mum, my sister and me play the flute and my dad is reading the christmas story from the bible. Phew, long comment. Hope you didn’t get bored.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      I’m so glad you wrote this! It’s so interesting to see the similarities and differences in traditions.

      Glad to see you do a Christmas Eve music/reading as well! Sounds a lot like my family’s Christmas Eve concerts 🙂

      It’s also interesting that you don’t turn the lights on the Christmas tree on until Christmas Eve. That makes the evening so magical!

      Thank you so much for sharing, Fee!

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