The Holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year. Getting together with my loved ones to celebrate this special time is always my favorite part of the year! Holiday traditions are something every family has, so for my holiday blog I decided to ask some of my friends in the sales office what some of theirs are… Here’s what they told me:
Q: What do you celebrate and what are some of your family’s traditions?
I celebrate Chanukah. I have one big family dinner which my daughter and I prepare together, We make homemade Potato Latkes and spend the day cooking and bonding. We make it all from scratch even the applesauce, so it takes the whole day. After our dinner we usually play Dreidel, and exchange little gifts and tokens. People usually exchange Chanukah gelt (money!) which is where the idea of chocolate coins came from! Every Jewish family celebrates it differently, and typically people will invite other families over to celebrate Chanukah too. We light the Menorah and celebrate together, it’s very wholesome.
We celebrate a mid-winter feast with neighbors and friends. The time usually changes every year, and to cater to everyone’s schedules we sometimes celebrate 2-3 of them! We try to get as many people together to celebrate. There are typically lots of children playing together and lots of socializing; it’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere. My wife is Ukrainian so we incorporate some of her traditions, she makes perogies and our big breakfast consists of scrambled eggs and kielbasa (Polish sausage). Last year we actually got our turkey from the restaurant here in the Lord Elgin and it was the best thing we’ve ever had! It’s a great time of socializing with friends, and lots of phone calls from our family all over the country.
My family celebrates Christmas. Since my family is further away, we alternate between my family and husband’s family every year. This year we’re going to my moms. On Christmas day, we will wake up and have our breakfast together and then we spend the day making the cheese fondue we eat for Christmas dinner! We have a huge fondue with meats, fruits and vegetables to dip with lots of different cheeses. I’m Dutch, so this is a tradition my mom has brought back with her from Holland. We also wait to open and exchange our gifts until the evening, and we spend time together celebrating. On Boxing Day we get together with my extended family which can be anywhere between 20-40 people! We have a traditional turkey dinner and have a regift exchange, which is where everyone will bring a gift or something they have received to regift and we play the white elephant gift exchange with them! It’s hilarious! Everyone ends up with these random objects, it’s a great time.
My family celebrates a very traditional Canadian Christmas – in other words, a blend of several traditions. I have four boys who are all coming home so it is a very special time of the year for us. We attend midnight mass together on Christmas Eve, and we then come home and have a big buffet including tortiere, shrimp, lots of appies and of course eggnog and brandy! On Christmas morning we wake up and first open our stockings which are are full of the coolest things. Then we open the piles and piles of gifts, it’s an opening frenzy for about an hour… we always seem to overdo it! This is followed by a big breakfast together and then the rest of the day is spent lounging and getting the dinner ready since we usually have between 15-20 people come over for a traditional turkey dinner.
Boxing day is usually a get together with our extended family –- I have 6 siblings, so we are at least 50 people with all the grandchildren etc. more food, more drink and loads of fun!! Nothing like a big family when it comes to Christmas!