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HarrisonFamily

Christmas Traditions From Around The World

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I was just reading European traditions around the world and wondered if they still occur or have been over taken by something else - I know my OMLET friends are all over the place so what traditions happen in your country or family ??

Here in Kent  advent all seems to be about the naughty elf - which I hate and told the children I look after he doesn't come here as Cody my dog would eat him along with the tooth fairy  -mince pies and carrots are still left for Santa - my children used to love attending the local church for Christmas Eve where all the children who attended got involved with acting out the nativity - it was lovely as it really didn't matter if you had 10 Mary and Josephs and 1 Shepherd- but COVID has shut that down this year again. When my 2 were younger I would only let them open 1 present an hour - they would then play with that one and guess the next as they are now teenagers I am not even sure they will get out of bed !!!

My brother whose wife is Czech always has fish and the presents on Christmas eve but his wife buys now, her family still have it swimming in the bath tub ready to eat Christmas eve. 

Of course the OMLET craft swap is becoming a lovely tradition ....

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Not many traditions in my house apart from opening my Omlet swap parcel first.

Our children never got up early on Christmas morning so it took time to do presents.

When they still lived here, they still liked to open their presents while I did dinner. The last few years I have tried to get them to wait until after lunch but they are too excited. This year it will be different as they have both moved out and won't be coming until lunch time, so I will make them wait until after dinner.

As for the elf on the shelf, like you @HarrisonFamily, I really don't like him or the antics he gets up to. I also think he is quite an ugly, scary looking elf.

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On 12/23/2021 at 7:22 PM, Beantree said:

I'm sure that @Cat tailscan scare you with the tails of Sinterklauss and his helper, who was used to terrify children who didn't behave.

Well Sinterklaas has changed quite a bit over the years. When I was a kid, they did tell you you would go in the sack back to Spain if you didn’t behave, but don’t think my generation took it very seriously. 
His helper, Piet, used to have a bunch of sticks that he threatened to hit you with, but also not anymore in my time. And the story has gotten much milder over the past few years.

As Sinterklaas is a much bigger thing here with kids, Santa isn’t a figure much believed in by kids. 
Families tend to either celebrate Sinterklaas or Christmas.

Presents are mostly opened on Christmas day I think and as we have first Christmas day and a second Christmas day, we can visit more family… 
Christmas dinner is a big thing though and table grills are VERY popular. 

My mom and me spend Christmas day doing a puzzle and then have a nice dinner. Although this Christmas we first have to get my moms booster! 😂

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On 12/23/2021 at 9:35 PM, HarrisonFamily said:

I have learnt something new I thought Santa and Sinterklaas were the same ...My daughter and I used to always do a puzzle over Christmas this year she hasn't helped yet.

 

Sinterklaas is an actual saint who originally comes from Turkey, but now lives in Spain an visits in November/December on his steamboat. He has a horse who can walk on roofs and his Pieten crawl through the chimney to fill shoes (not stockings).

It’s based on the story of a religious person who used to fill shoes of poor girls to give them a dowery. 

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I had no idea, I don't think he has got as far as Portugal, I must find out.  I have also never heard of the elf on a shelf, is he a new thing?

In Portugal the feast will be Xmas Eve evening, it will consist of salt cod, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas and loads of puddings. It perhaps takes a bit of getting used to!  However, the thing I like most is that everybody will walk to their local church, and an enormous fire will be lit just before midnight to warm the baby Jesus.  There is plenty of chat and mingling with neighbours, its really social, for all ages and doesn't involve alcohol.  People are out till the early hours.  It feels like Xmas Day is almost treated as a bit of an anticlimax - unless you are a Brit, in which case you have 2 Christmases or should that be Christmasses or Christmas'?

When I was a child we got up early for stockings, but other presents were opened in the afternoon.  Being the eldest child and the bossiest I was always Santa.  A role I will be fulfilling this year as well!

 

 

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The elf on the shelf came from america I think - it has been popular here for a few years - he arrives on 1st December and seems to bring gifts every year  - then every day he gets up to mischief, he then disappears christmas eve often leaving more gifts - I have never liked it and when I used to childmind I would say I don't have naughty things in my house and the dog would eat him - this year at the after school club I had one child so upset as everyone talked about their gifts and what the elf had done as his elf hadn't arrived - I just explained to him the elf was watching behaviour of children and reporting to santa and he was so good he didn't need an elf.  

Also I feel that Santa should only ever leave a small gift - I had one child tell me Santa was leaving him a ipad whilst he parents bought him a playstation !!!!

But I will stop complaining only 1 sleep and we will be opening our Secret Omlet Gifts and I can't wait to see everyones..

Merry Christmas Everyone

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News report this morning focussed on the British tradition of Christmas Pudding. Showed a chef making some and pointed out the ingredients. When asked what it tasted like the reporter said "nice, but a bit heavy." They also had mince pies, but surprisingly no Christmas Cake, which is completely different to the Bouche de Noel (Christmas chocolate cake log) they have here.

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How I wish someone would strangled that darned Elf on the Shelf! I hate that annoying, smug, self satisfied grin he has on that nasty plastic face and the horrible dangly, floppy limbs - eugh! Much better fed to the dog!!!!  Right, now I've got that out of my system.....onwards🙄!

No particular traditions here in Oxfordshire that I am aware of but our family stuff is stockings (everyone but me as I'm the one that makes them up) with lots of silly little things in and, of course, chocolate (who doesn't like Lindor for breakfast!) then presents round the tree. We've never 'gone overboard' boys get on main thing and a few 'sillies'. Lunch is smoked salmon ahead of the main event around 4pm. And so to bed!!!!

I like the Italian La Befana (sp?) Christmas witch...much more in keeping with my feeling on the event which have gone a bit humbug since the boys decided that FC doesn't actually exist (shhh!)

Hope everyone has a lovely time wherever and whatever you are all doing!

 

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I was just looking at traditions then come across this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tió_de_Nadal

With the translation of the song I can see why its not sang in primary schools here 🤣

Just making our gingerbread house another tradition started for the children but I now do - they still ask for it and we all eat it after Christmas dinner rather than pudding - then just stays on the table and gets eaten as people pass by.

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That is a lovely idea Harrison family, I saw people making a gingerbread house on a programme last night, it looks like fun.  However, the Xmas log tradition is quite bizarre!  I wonder if that is where the French Buche de Noel comes from as well?  It has reminded me that somewhere at my Mum's we still have the Xmas Dec I made at infant school.  Its a very small log, partially wrapped up in silver paper (not sure we had spray paint then) with a small reindeer glued onto it!

I left half a Xmas cake I made in Portugal and OH has fed a few friends and neighbours with it - so far it has gone down very well, Portuguese cakes are much plainer.   I adore Xmas Pud but I think if you aren't brought up with it then it can be a bit overwhelming.

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I am in the midst of my own Xmas tradition, which is to listen to the Festival of 9 carols and lessons from Kings.  It reminds me of my first Xmas in my own home, where I was on a kitchen table painting the ceiling (not sure why I thought that was necessary!) and I've pretty much followed it up ever since.  The first verse of Once in Royal David's City sung by a young soloist is so haunting.

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On 12/24/2021 at 4:04 PM, Daphne said:

I am in the midst of my own Xmas tradition, which is to listen to the Festival of 9 carols and lessons from Kings.  It reminds me of my first Xmas in my own home, where I was on a kitchen table painting the ceiling (not sure why I thought that was necessary!) and I've pretty much followed it up ever since.  The first verse of Once in Royal David's City sung by a young soloist is so haunting.

Does that mean your kitchen ceiling gets a fresh coat each year then?! On a more serious note, we listen to certain Christmas music too, it certainly helps with the festivities!

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Aha, my ambiguity has been spotted, perhaps I should get a job writing for the Grauniad!  I have been known to paint the kitchen walls in preference to hours spent with a scrubbing brush trying to remove food splashes, I am an amazingly messy person.  Not on Xmas Eve though, it must be said.  Its amazing what you do when you are young, that you'd never dream of doing now.  My aunt told me the concert arranged by the Duchess of Cambridge was very good as well, although I didn't see it.

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