Guys, it’s my favorite time of the year! Happy Feature Friday, and welcome to our special Holiday Edition! Snow is falling [in some areas], lights are up, and decorations can be seen all about. People are kinder, cookies are being baked, and holiday music drifts through the air. I personally don’t claim this season as my favorite because of the gifts associated, but because of the reasons listed earlier. My heart and soul literally warm with joy, and a smile spreads across my face when I get to experience any type of holiday magic.
I’m always curious to know how the same holidays are celebrated in different parts of the world. I think it’s fascinating to learn how other cultures recognize the day. I reached out [unfortunately, a little late on my part] to fellow bloggers and friends to see how they personally celebrated the holidays, and here’s what they had to say:
Lizzy from south Africa:
“My family is a blend of Canadian and South African, and although we do incorporate a lot of the typical traditions for celebrating Christmas in Canada (tree, stockings, etc.) we also like to incorporate some of my husband’s traditions from growing up. My husband grew up in a village in South Africa part of the Basotho tribe. Every Christmas him and his brothers and cousins would wake up early in the morning to watch the Christmas sunrise. They say that the sun “dances” on Christmas morning and it is more special than any other sunrise. Also, on Christmas Eve the children will put clothes pegs on the laundry line, and early in the morning the mother or grandmother will remove the pegs and put candy on the ground below, as if the pegs had turned to candy. In the morning the children will find the candy under the laundry line.” Find Lizzy on Facebook.
heather from north carolina:
“For Christmas, my family has celebrated it the same way my whole life. Even now that I am an “adult” and live away from home, it is the same traditions when I come back for the holidays! We always start our festivities on Christmas Eve by going to a Christmas Eve service at church, followed by a party at my aunt’s house. She always has a huge spread of baked Christmas goodies paired with cheese and wings. After the party, we come home and go to bed pretty early because our Christmas Day starts around 6 am and doesn’t slow down until about 8 pm– I have a big family. My brother, mom, dad and myself first wake up and see how good “Santa” was to us this year and then share the gifts to/from each other. At around 7:30, my mom’s side of the family comes over and we make a HUGE Christmas breakfast including coffee, bacon, eggs, homemade biscuits, gravy, country ham, livermush (it is much better than it sounds) and probably more! Once our tummies are full, we share gifts with each other and usually goof off with some game/toy. Next stop is my grandparents (paternal) who live next door. So we load up all of their presents and take them some leftover breakfast and head out there. We spend about 2 hours with them, opening presents, eating and just spending time together. Next is a Christmas lunch with extended family on my mom’s side. But we have to be careful not to eat too much because a few hours later is Christmas dinner with my dad’s side of the family and we wouldn’t want to upset anybody by not eating. I’ve definitely learned moderation over the past 24 years 🙂 Overall, Christmas is an exciting time mixed with food, fellowship, presents and of course, remembering what this holiday is all about – Jesus! Some years, we even have a birthday cake for Him ;)”
madison from georgia/florida:
“My name is Madison & I’m 24 years old. I celebrate Christmas with my parents, my brother (26), and sister (22). While we all live in separate cities, we come together to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas at Siesta Key beach in Sarasota, FL. Since we were born, Christmas Eve has always been all about traditions. The three “kids” exchange gifts with each other and our parents give us a new ornament to hang on the tree and new Christmas pajamas. When we started doing Christmas in Sarasota, we have a big seafood dinner on Christmas Eve then walk to church for a candlelit service. Christmas Day, the morning is usually spent opening presents, making breakfast, and drinking coffee together. Later on, we spend time together on the beach. Our Christmas is super low-key and all about taking time to stop and spend quality time together in our favorite place!”
david from Georgia:
“My family is really into games. As such, every Christmas we play lots of card games such as Pinochle, Wist, 500, and Rook. A few years back, we started getting into Settlers of Catan which is a fun board game combining luck and strategy. Sometimes it gets a little intense, and we often will play one or two games every night over the break.”
sarah from north carolina:
“Christmas in the Jabusch household is pretty consistent from year to year. We generally have just a family Christmas, so just us 5 (mom, dad, Hannah, Noah and me). With June (the pup) getting older we don’t want to have to put her in the kennel more than once a year and I like the ease of staying home and not having to pack up and travel. When we were younger my uncles and grandparents came a few times. Christmas Eve we each choose a present under the tree to open (my mom coordinates gifts so that we all open the same thing at the same time) and it is a tradition that we all open our wall/hanging calendars. Christmas Eve we choose when to wake up, Hannah and mom like to sleep in and Noah, dad, and I usually get up earlier, these past years we have everyone downstairs around 9-9:30. Christmas Day I get up and make the cinnamon rolls for everyone to eat for breakfast. After breakfast we start with stockings before moving to the presents. June loves Christmas time, especially tearing the wrapping paper. She likes getting her gift out of her stocking then goes around helping everyone else, especially mom and dad (she will scratch at their stockings trying to help them) because she knows (by smell) they haven’t taken stuff out of them yet. After that we start opening presents, June gets really excited and will bring her presents and other peoples presents in from where the tree is to the living room where we open gifts so that we can watch her open the present (she likes us seeing her open them and telling her she’s a good girl when she does it), if we walk away to get more presents she’ll stop and get more presents with us/see what we are doing. When opening presents we three kids all get an equal number of presents from under the tree to open them at the same time (especially the coordinated gifts). Mom takes a while to open her gifts because she takes the time to take pictures of everyone else. Dad also takes a little longer cause he is the one focused on collecting the wrapping paper and focuses on one gift before moving to the next. We also still get a gift or two from ‘Santa’ every year. After presents are all gone we take the time to play with some gifts and throw our annual socks and underwear in the laundry. For dinner we stay casual (usually still in our pjs) and dad grills steaks, we also have baked potatoes and some broccoli and maybe a few other things (such as cranberry sauce and others I cannot recall). Dessert is usually cookies from the cookie exchange that mom goes to with others in our neighborhood. Christmas Day is generally relaxing and a family affair and as you can tell kind of scheduled (and if you know me, it fits my personality very well☺). We all enjoy relaxing for the day and taking the time off of sports, school, and work.”
kat from hawaii:
“Well, my family is not horribly traditional. We find ourselves in different places with different meals on our plates every year. One tradition we do share is watch a movie either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It could be a movie in theaters or a movie at home. Sometimes it’s a marathon and sometimes it’s just one movie. Either way, it’s something we do to spend together. My family loves a good movie and we love to discuss the plot and characters and share our opinions about what happened. It’s in good fun and a good way to spend time together.” Find Kat on Instagram.
feature friday: holiday edition
Thank you for tuning in for our special holiday edition of Feature Friday, and a special thank you to everyone who shared their special holiday traditions and celebrations. It was awesome learning about how others honor the days in their lives. Let us know in the comments: where are you from, and how do you celebrate the holidays in your home?