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Favorite, and Unusual, Holiday Traditions – Share Yours and Win!

When I was a kid, my family would make candles for Christmas. We’d fill the stovetop with pots of boiling water, and sink a big coffee can of wax chunks inside. We’d color the wax with the stumps of old crayons or old candles (and then pull out the bits of leftover wick once the wax had melted).

We’d carry the cans of hot wax into the basement, wearing big oven mitts that had been splashed with wax so much they were completely stiff.

Downstairs we would have arranged candle forms of Santa and Frosty the Snowman, half-buried head down into a big box of sand to hold the forms in place. We’d fill the forms, and top them off as the wax cooled and contracted.

After the wax had set, we would peel off the form to reveal the candle inside. My dad would trim the edges and base, and we’d paint the features — Frosty’s scarf, Santa’s hat and coat. We gave these as gifts to grade-school teachers for years. - Matt

Please share your favorite holiday traditions! (We’ll be sending a Care2 tote bag and a Care2 hat to three lucky commenters!)

Read more: Christmas, Family, Hanukkah, Holidays, Life

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89 comments

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10:16PM PST on Dec 13, 2012

We always have Advent, lighting the candle/s and singing hymns or carols, plus the special Christmas Biscuits baked only at this time of year, passed down through the family recipes. My husband's family open their presents on Boxing Day, we did ours on Christmas Eve, when the tree is revealed in all its glory. A custom we have added is to make a charitable donation on each of the Advent weekends. There are so many collections at this time of year it is very easy to do, and reminds one to give rather than get.

5:04PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

thanks......in our extended family, grandma wants all the grandkids to have matching pajamas on christmas eve.....

3:24PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

ty

5:56AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:11AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

When I was a child we used to go to the Christmas Tree farm in September to choose our tree, we would tie a tag on it and then in December we'd go and dig it up. My father would set the tree in a large pot filled with soil in the living room - then we would all decorate it - the christmas lights, put away so carefully the year before, never worked properly and my father would work on them for ages, they always worked in the end. As it got closer to Christmas other exciting things would appear, oranges (we only had them at Christmas), nuts and a box of dates (no one liked them but we always had a box). On Christmas morning my father would get up really early and light a big fire in the living room, the rest of the house was pretty cold but the living room was really warm, smelled of Christmas tree and there were loads of presents for everyone. Great memories.

2:55PM PST on Dec 22, 2010

SO COOL THANKS

10:45AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

I am from Hungary originally and left when about 15 years old. We would only decorate the trees the day before Christmas Eve on the 23rd. We had real lighted candles (a fire hazard no doubt, but they smelled heavenly). The piece de resistance of decorating was the EDIBLES! Gaily wrapped miniature chocolate figurines, white, pink and blue meringues with a hole in the middle that you could attach a ribbon to, and another piece the resistance, the SZALONCUKOR!. This is a candy that is sold in Christmas wrapping of all designs, or just in plain gold or silver paper, with little white paper frills at each end. There were also home baked cookies various shapes that you cold thread a colorful string through to attach it to the branches.
Once traditional songs were sung, the sparklers and candles blown out and the gifts opened and thank you"s said, the tree could be "attacked" for sweet satisfying, magical nourishment.
Oh, to be a child again!!!

10:42AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

I am from Hungary originally and left when about 15 years old. We would only decorate the trees the day before Christmas Eve on the 23rd. We had real lighted candles (a fire hazard no doubt, but they smelled heavenly). The piece de resistance of decorating was the EDIBLES! Gaily wrapped miniature chocolate figurines, white, pink and blue meringues with a hole in the middle that you could attach a ribbon to, and another piece the resistance, the SZALONCUKOR!. This is a candy that is sold in Christmas wrapping of all designs, or just in plain gold or silver paper, with little white paper frills at each end. There were also home baked cookies various shapes that you cold thread a colorful string through to attach it to the branches.
Once traditional songs were sung, the sparklers and candles blown out and the gifts opened and thank you"s said, the tree could be "attacked" for sweet satisfying, magical nourishment.
Oh, to be a child again!!!

9:35AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

When I was growing up in the 1950's we had plum pudding with vanilla hard sauce for dessert on Christmas. My dad always got a can of it from the railway he worked for. I never liked it, preferring Mom's Trifle.
Years later I find that traditions are hard to break. After several years of agonizing about what to do about dessert I made a carrot pudding. Same idea but different ingredients. Turns out my kids love it! Now they expect it from me every year. No matter where we have our Christmas dinner the pudding had better be on the menu. With the hard sauce!!

12:13PM PST on Dec 21, 2010

thanks for the fun ideas

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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