Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Holiday Traditions!!!

So it's finally here, I've been talking about this for a while and I'm glad the time has come because I'm so eager to find out about all your traditions. As I said before, I just want to hear about what you do as a family during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas....

Do you and your family have a special tradition every Christmas Morning, or maybe it's a special dinner for Thanksgiving??? Do you all go out on a certain day to get a Christmas Tree??? Is there a special ornament or fun way your family decorates for the holidays??? How about different Heritages, how are the holidays celebrated all over the world???

I'll start with mine.

I'm sure you all know that I'm portuguese and since I can remember we have celebrated and opened Christmas presents on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve.

The whole day is spent in the kitchen, cooking and catching up with family, laughing and just having a great time. At dinner time we always have something like Roast or Bacalhau (Cod Fish) which are pretty traditional meals for a Christmas Dinner.

About an hour after dinner, the table starts being loaded with all sorts of different goodies, consisting of Codfish Cakes, Prawn Cakes, Prawns, Fried Chicken, Pasteis de Nata (cream cakes), Pudim Flan (Caramel Custard), Arroz Doce (Portuguese Rice Pudding), Rabanadas or Fatias Douradas (pretty much like French Toast), Bola de Carne (Meat Pie) and then a bunch of small things like dates, raisins etc.

Everyone sits around the table talking and eating, there's TONS of food, just before midnight we all move into the living room and sit around the tree counting the minutes.

We always open our presents on midnight and it was funny because when I first came to the States I just couldn't understand having to wait until the morning of the 25th LOL

But anyway, after opening presents the table is usually covered with a big tablecloth, anything that has to be refrigerated is put away, but everything else is pretty much left as is. The next day, on Christmas day, the whole family has leftovers, we spend the whole day YET again, just eating and enjoying our new presents.

Since getting married, we keep my tradition but now we leave some presents and the stockings for the Christmas morning.

Every year I also hang up christmas ornaments with the names of all the family members that can't be with us, either because they live far away or they've passed on. It's a great way to make it feel like they're here.

The kids and I also put together a Nativity Scene, they love being able to help me do it and it's also a wonderful way to teach them about the real meaning of Christmas.

And that is pretty much all we do, I just can't wait to start hearing about everyone's traditions, remember you can talk about Thanksgiving or Christmas, and if you don't have any traditions yet I'm sure you'll get great ideas from everyone else :)

Just go ahead and use the banner up top and don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky so others can come see your post.

Have fun :)


  1. Sandra, your holiday traditions sound wonderful! It's the family laughter that makes it so special. The food all sounds delicious.

    Love the idea of hanging an ornament with family names that can no longer be with you for one reason or another. That is so touching! We lit a candle when our son Kevin, a former Marine was in Iraq and couldn't be home for Christmas. :)

  2. Sandra such a great idea! Your traditions sound wonderful especially all that yummy food! Thanks for sharing them with us. I am going to really enjoy reading all the different traditions! Laura

  3. Sandra your holiday traditions sound wonderful. I love the ornaments with family names on, how lovely. :o)

  4. Your Holiday Celebrations are really amazing... Planning to steal your idea this Christmas.... We do have a special Christmas Dinner with tons of our favourite food on the table (as we all are big foodie's) but we keep the presents for morning... Take a look into my Christmas Blog to check out some really cool stuffs and unique ideas

  5. Lovely! We have a lot of holiday traditions, apparently - thanks for the memories!

  6. Sandra, this was a great idea you had. I've really enjoyed reading the ones posted so far. And I love yours. The food sounds amazing!

  7. Sounds lovely, Sandra. I've never heard of most of your Portugese food. It must be quite a spread. The family name ornaments sounds neat! Mine will be up later today!

  8. Sandra,
    Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to see what everyone does.

  9. That sounds so great.....how wonderful.

  10. Your Christmas sounds wonderful. I love it when families keep ethnic traditions. I'm such a lover of seafood, I'm beginning to wish I were Portugese. Maybe you could adopt me temporarily?

    OK, I need to get in Christmas mode and see what I can do for a "traditions" post. It might end up being the longest post I've ever written, and that's saying a lot!

    Yours is wonderful. I love the photos.

  11. How about a tradition during New Year’s eve?

    At the stroke of midnight—

    • We jump high, as high as we can. That’s supposed to make you taller.

    • We count coins, as many coins as we can. That’s supposed to make you richer.

    • We eat twelve round fruits, silently saying a wish each time. That’s one wish per month.

    I don’t recommend doing all these at once. I once tried as a kid. I ended up jumping while counting fruits and almost eating a coin.


  12. What a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays. I think I will add a new tradition to ours, a Portuguese dish!

    Thank you for sharing. This is an excellent idea!

    Happy Holidays!

  13. I so enjoyed reading all about your traditions- that was fun! I completely forgot about doing this today (don't know where my brain is!) but hopefully I can get a post up later or tomorrow!

  14. Thanks so much for hosting this! What a great way to start off the holidays!

    I love your traditions. It's so nice to read about cultural traditions and meals during the holidays!


  15. Sandra - I'm so bummed - thought I could add to Mr. Linky even another day - guess I can't. And hey, cheer up - I'd be thrilled for 14 comments on one of my posts!!! :)

  16. I really like your Christmas eve tradition. This is how we used to do it when I was little. We always got together on Christmas eve to open the gifts and of course eat all the food. My mouth was watering just reading about all the foods you guys have. I love food. I have a few traditions, but missed out on linking. We don't do anything too big since we are so far from everyone, but we do a few things. I can't wait to read everyone's and try some new one's out.


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