And To All A Good Night: Zoomer Readers Share Their Favourite Christmas Traditions
To make this "new normal" Christmas feel a little more festive, we're taking a look at some of our readers' most cherished holiday traditions. Photo: Tom Merton / Getty Images
When it comes to traditions, it’s hard to imagine another holiday more reliant on them than Christmas. From the stockings hung with care to the grand family feasts, these traditions are often tied to some of our fondest holiday memories.
While some traditions are straight forward, there are also the odd ones: like adding loose change to the Christmas pudding — an English tradition dating back to the Victorian era that was one of many promoted in an attempt to form a standardized family-friendly Christmas.
Of course, creativity and even necessity often trump standardization. In our family, the traditional and expensive red-and-white stocking was replaced with the leg from a pair of sheer black pantyhose, while the stocking stuffers were wrapped in the previous Christmas’ paper scraps plucked from their year-long stay in storage. As a result, the damp scent of my parents’ cold-cellar still reminds me of Christmas.
And instead of hanging the stocking with care, the bulging, “Christmas-scented” undergarment was placed at the end of my bed, where I could stretch out and touch it with my toes to confirm Santa had come and gone.
Of course, in a year where traditional gatherings with family and friends are being scaled back, such cherished holiday memories feel even more poignant. So to make navigating another pandemic holiday season a little easier, we’re harnessing the power of nostalgia with a look back at some of our readers’ most cherished holiday traditions, as shared on EverythingZoomer’s Facebook page in 2020.
Kat Hutson: Ice cream floats on Christmas Eve!
George Higgins: Christmas Eve fondue!💕
Kay Butt: Going to bed on Christmas Eve getting up early Christmas morning and running downstairs and seeing the Christmas tree and getting my stocking filled with fruit. 🍎 It was like a [fairy] came overnight and left everything magical.
Lynne Jeffery: The tradition we have been doing for at least 4 generations is, the gifts are not put under the tree until the kids are asleep and then in the morning, the youngest to the oldest go down to see the magic. Then it’s stockings, breakfast and presents.
Chris Bellingham: Starting in 1979 and each year after, my husband would buy me a dated tree ornament. He passed away in 2005 and my daughter took over the tradition and has continued buying me a dated ornament for my tree. I now have 41 Christmas tree ornaments that are very precious to me and beautifully decorate my Christmas tree.
Mary Goodwin: Only one Christmas Tree ball that belonged to my parents survived from the 1940’s and we always hung it on the tree last when the children were growing up and even though I’m by myself now, when I decorate the tree I still always hang it last.
Marilyn Deis: My father’s French Canadian tourtière (a meat pie dish originating from the province of Quebec) served Christmas Eve and my German mother’s cabbage rolls served Christmas Day. Blended hearts and hands in making and serving a taste of their heritage. 😘 This year I taught my son and his youngest son how to make cabbage rolls. 🎄 Happy Holidays!
Sylvia Klaus Fischer: German Rouladen, mashed potatoes, and traditional red cabbage, all eaten on Christmas Eve. Yum!
Sandy Zabel: My dad always read “The Night Before Christmas” to us on Christmas Eve before bedtime.
Lynn James: We let the kids open a couple of gifts on Christmas Eve on the condition that they sleep…then they actually sleep! Otherwise, Christmas Day is beyond exhausting for everyone.
Debbie Clouter Shea: Going to church for Christmas Eve candlelight service, singing Christmas hymns. Going home, making popcorn strings to put on the tree and watching a Christmas movie on TV. We always had new pj’s to wear to bed on Christmas Eve! Finding our socks on our bed Christmas morning before heading downstairs to see what Santa brought!
Gillian Greenslade Miller: When we were young our parents held back the one gift we were really wanting and once dinner was over the “after dinner Santa” gifts appeared! Made for happy kids! Still continues to this day, but with a different type of gift ( favourite wine, craft beers, etc.).