Holiday Tradition

Papakeith

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Damn Yankees
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#1
As I prepare for the holidays there are certain things that must be done for the season to feel complete. For me, there needs to be a plate of bacon and eggs, with Apricot nectar for the drinking on Christmas morning. Ever since I can remember we would open presents, then sit down to a big breakfast. The icing on the cake is when the homemade pastry is taken out of the oven. Butter Bright pastries. Mmmmmmm.
When I moved out of my house, I decided to carry on the tradition.
If you want to try, here's the recipe:

Butter-bright Pastries

2 pkgs. Dry yeast
¼ c. warm water (110 to 115 deg. F)
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 c. cold milk
4 to 4 ½ c. sifted flour
2 eggs
1 c. butter
Glaze (recipe follows)

· Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine yeast mixture, sugar, salt, and milk. Beat in 2 c. flour; add eggs, beating well. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
· On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x15” rectangle. Cut 1/3 c. butter into small pieces. Dot surface of dough with butter, leaving a 1” margin. Fold 18” side into thirds and then fold 15” side into thirds. Wrap in floured aluminum foil; chill 15 minutes. Repeat procedure twice, using remaining butter. (When you roll dough second and third times, turn dough so narrow side faces you.) Chill 15 more minutes.
· Divide dough into fourths. Roll and cut into desired shapes. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 400 deg F for 8 minutes or until golden. Cool.
· Glaze with an icing made by combining 1 c. sifted confectioners sugar, 2 tblsp. Butter, 2 tblsp. Evaporated milk and ½ tsp. Vanilla. Fill with assorted jams or jellies. Makes 24 pastries. Wrap and freeze pastries. To reheat: Wrap frozen pastries in foil; heat at 400 deg F for 10 minutes.
Crescents: Combine ¼ c. brown sugar, ¼ c. chopped nuts and ¼ tsp. Cinnamon. Melt 2 tblsp. Butter. Cut dough into 5x2x1/8” rectangles and spread with butter. Sprinkle with filling. Roll like a jelly roll. Shape into crescent with seam side down. Snip at 1” intervals.

Butterflies: Cut into 3x1/4” squares. Fold opposite corners to the center and press down.

“S” Shapes: Cut into 8x1x1/4” strips. Roll back and forth to form evenly shaped sticks. Shape into an “S” with sides of “sticks” touching.

Whirls: cut into 8x1x1/4” strips. Roll back and fourth to form evenly shaped sticks. Place one end in center and wind dough pinwheel fashion. Tuck loose end under.

Twists: cut into 8x1x1/4” strips. Roll to form evenly shaped sticks. Fold in half; cross ends over each other to form twists.

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So, what are some of your family traditions?
 

oldguy

Always Broken
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#2
It is hard to believe we are just a couple days away. this year Xmas has crept up on us without much notice. Between family members in the hospital (at least this year it isn't thekid or myself) and other mishaps we just haven't prepared this year.:(
Normally our family traditions have always revolved around the entire extended family gathering at my parents on Xmas eve after early PM church. the noise is unbelievable but it is always so welcome since there always seems to be at least 6 or 7 kids under 10yrs old. A guy that I played football with in high school makes a stop around 7 in full Santa uniform (he has been doing this for 30 years now) to hand out gifts to everyone. My mom is a cookie making fool for weeks before Xmas and always has at least 10 varieties as well as a traditional german meal of dumplings and roast pork. When we get home later we sit down and open our gifts.
Then on Xmas day we spend the morning together usually with an early morning hike including all the dogs (hopefully in snow). the afternoon is a movie and then home for some more relaxation as just the 3 of us.
At our home it has been an ongoing tradition to get a bigger tree every year (think Clark Griswald in Xmas vacation). It started when thekid was 6 years old and mom couldn't go with us to cut the tree. Eric wanted a big tree and as we walked thru the woods all of a sudden he was nowhere to be found. I backtracked until I saw just the heels of his boots sticking out from under the tree. He had picked a nice looking tree about 10 feet tall and maybe 6 feet diameter. The next year it was 11 feet tall and about 7 feet diameter. 2 years ago it hit 12 feet high (max ceiling height) and 12 feet diameter. even after trimming the branches off in the back it still stuck out over half way across the room. We had 2200 lights on the tree that year. Last year I had my knee surgery 2 weeks before xmas then thekid broke both arms a couple days later so we couldn't go to get a tree- step in our neighbor who brought in a tree from their yard that rivalled all the others in previous years.
BTW Papa I just might try my hand at your recipe. We need something to kick the season in gear
 

Dapper

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#3
Our Christmas tradition is ever since National Lampoons Christmas vacation came out on video we watch it every Christmas Eve as a Family. We laugh each and ever time we see it. I believe we all have a Cousin Eddie :laugh:
 

TwinSpar

AssClown WannaBe
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#4
One of our traditions is much like Dap's.  For us, it is Home Alone and Home Alone in New York!  There is also the tradition of heading out for donuts and hot chocolate, and then cruising around the ritzy hoods to view the lights.
 

Milk

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#5
My brothers birthday is on the 24th, so we have a big party and we all watch Christmas Vacation together. That was ruined about 4 years ago though when he started having too many kids. They just talk and yell and scream all night, and run around like little idiots. I love them though.

After that, it goes to crap! Heres a bit of advice: If you are gonna have kids, don't get divocred. We have 5 sides of families to go to, and they all want us on Christmas Day. They at least all know Christmas Eve is a no go for them. We did have to wrangle a 1030pm Christmas Eve night with her dad because he guilt tripped Christy and made her cry. I don't like him very much.

So I spend the week leading up to, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day, listening to my wife stess out about where we have to be and how long we can spend at each stop. Its damn near like a bus route.

At least we get quite a bit of cash at the holidays though. That makes it all worth it. :thumb: And, I always get Christy a nice surprise that she has no idea about. :)
 
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#6
For me, it was my Dad working two shifts (at triple time and a half) on Christmas Day. Us kids would watch Captain Kangaroo on the old B&W while Mom went to pick up Grandma Baca and her posselque, old man Leatherwood. The two of them would fall asleep on the couch as soon as they arrived but we couldn’t open presents until they got there. As the festivities wore on, the dog would barf on the carpet in front of the fireplace leaving a big wet spot in the very place where my Uncle John usually passed out drunk after the feast. My brother and me would spend the day fighting over who would get to open beers (church key required back then) for the relatives. This may seem trivial, but we always took a big drink before delivering the beverage. For me I preferred the Burgermeister over the Schlitz but Carling’s Black Label had them all beat.

Oh the memories.
 
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#7
CHEESE PUFF, CHEESE PUFF, CHEESE PUFF!! :)

Up until last year my family has always had a pretty traditional Christmas. My Mom makes a lasagna dinner on Christmas Eve then on Christmas morning we all get up and open presents while listening to Christmas music. We break half way through presents for Christmas brunch including Cheese Puff and coffee cake then back to presents again. For Christmas dinner the table is beautifully set complete with Christmas crackers! :) We all pop open our crackers, don our silly little paper crowns and share the each others toy or joke then it's on to the meal. After dinner we get silly on wine, dredge up old childhood stories and laugh and try not to kill each other over a game of Pictionary. :)

This is normally my favorite time of year but it's just not the same without my family. I still don't let the year go by without making the traditional Cser cheese puff though.
 
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#8
:(
Our tradition of 20+ years is to spend Christmas with my folks and sis in Galena Illinois... if you haven't been there, you're missing-out (imagine a civil war era Christmas).

As many know, we moved back to OK this year (late in the year) and can't make it back this time... trust me, nothing will stop us from getting back there next year!

BOAT LOADS of thanks to Shiftless and Pokie (mom and dad) for all those awesome years in Galena. We haven't and won't forget... see you there next year!!! To us THAT is what Christmas is!
 

WaltCMoto

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#9
Christmas eve is spent with my side of the family, which rotates each year to 1 of the 5 bros and sisters homes. Luckily it works out for all parties, so everyone is there. This year its at my bros place, 1 mile away, which is cool. 14 kids under 16, so lots of youngins and noise in the basement.
For the last 5 years, my inlaws spend the night so they cane be here in the morning to watch the kids go nuts. Then a big breakfast and back to hangin with the kids. After lunch, Lauras bro, sis, their spouses and kids come over for the afternoon. We get the Quad out and the kids take rides around the yard. past few years weve had a good snow cover, so that makes it fun.
 

blackhawk468

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#10
Small X-mas here Just my bro, parents, and grandma always been that way with the exception of my grandpa being there before he passed away. On Xmas eve my bro and I get to open one gift. Then we usually watch some x-mas movie, home alone. In the morning we wake up, dad makes coffee and we open gifts. Around 2pm we have xmas dinner. Pretty simple around here, and always been a small x-mas.
 

dirty~d~

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#11
Until my Grandfather passed away, Christmas was spent at his and Grandma's house. We'd all hop into the 'family vehicle' and drive down on Christmas Eve, fighting traffic to get there in time for Grandma's ham... mmmmmmmm... and the family shin-dig. Imagine a 2500 sq ft house crammed full of warm bodies and smiling faces. (One of the many great things about being Native American is you never run short on relatives.) My father would be in the kitchen mixing his famous eggnog while his Aunt Patti stood next to him telling him to work faster... Aunt Pattie loved my dad's eggnog. Once all of the food had disappeared and the last cup of eggnog had been poured, Grandpa chased the herd out the door so as to spend the rest of the evening with his children and grandchildren. Presents would be opened in the living room next to the roaring fire, under the brilliant tree that Grandma prided herself on decorating with her own hand made ornaments. After Grandfather passed Grandma preferred allowing other family members to throw the party so our tradition evolved...

Although the venues changed, the size of the parties did not. No matter how many new faces I saw each year there was never a shortage of Dad's famous eggnog, which certainly kept Aunt Patti happy ALL evening. :) The year I was 16 she handed me a glass and told me to join the celebration. I'll never forget my first sip of rum with a hint of eggnog. :eek: After we'd socialized to our hearts content my parent's, brother, Grandma, Aunt Doris, Aunt Connie and I would all head back to Grandma's house for a peaceful night of gift sharing. With many families, as the elder members pass away the parties become smaller and more simplified... tradition evolved yet again...

Grandma had recovered from the loss of Grandpa and once again wanted us to celebrate under her new roof. This would limit the number of guests... more eggnog for the rest of us. :confused: Now our party was down to Uncle David and his wonderful wife, Aunt Doris and her hubby (a Harley guy at heart... I loved shopping for him), Aunt Connie, Grandma, Dad, Mom, my brother and me. We'd gather around the kitchen counter, dive into Grandma's ham (I was glad to see it return) and wander into the living room to watch A Christmas Story (Aunt Doris wouldn't allow us to watch anything else). After we'd more than stuffed ourselves we would play Doris' gift games. Although the rules changed from year to year the game was always an endless amount of entertainment for Doris. Well fed, laughed to exhaustion and fighting off the Z-monster, we would all drift to our assigned sleeping quarters. No matter how late she'd stayed up on Christmas Eve, Grandma always had a farmers breakfast ready to go first thing Christmas morning... boy do I miss that smell.

Although the obvious tradition evolved over time one thing never changed... spending the holidays with a wonderful family who knew more about giving than receiving. :cool:
 
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zio

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#12
Christmas eve, "Santa" comes to our house. This has been going on in my family since before I was born. I can't describe the feeling... it was surreal. We start out singing Christmas carols -- remember, to a 4 year old kid it doesn't sound odd to all of a sudden have everyone burst out singing in the living room -- and then someone would hear bells jingling, paws on the roof, and lo and behold St. Nick himself would burst through the front door with lots of ho-ho-ho's and such. Everyone, starting with the youngest, sits on his lap & tells him what they want for Christmas. The little ones are either peeing their pants and screaming for mommy, or in awe as they should be. After all, at that age Santa is on the same level as Superman and Jesus. The older ones (ages 5-7) are trying to figure out if it's really him or not. And the adults all try to see who can maim the poor s.o.b. with a flying leap into his lap. Then he passes out little presents from his bag like small toy cars, socks for the men, shampoo & hair brushes for the women, etc. And there was always one person who mysteriously wasn't there to sit on Santa's lap or receive the gifts himself.

So by the time I was 16, everyone figured it was my turn. There were no little kids to worry about, just about 30 adults. My aunt got me all liquored up (thanks, Annie!) and sent me upstairs where my uncle was waiting with THE suit. I recognized it all- the gold rimmed glasses with no glass in them, the white gloves... the red bag... it was a coming of age of sorts for me.

I marched into the living room on cue with the deepest ho-ho-ho's I could summon from my freshly changed voice and don't remember much after that, except how it felt like I was going to die from heat exhaustion. And I made a joke to a not-too-comfortably-distant-cousin about her being fat.

Now that I have kids in the 2-4 range, I'm off the hook. And as the families all grow up, some are starting to split off so the event is smaller, for now. But I do everything in my power to make sure that my kids get to experience the same Christmas I remember.
 

rickyd

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#13
Christmas is always FUN A few weeks prior, we get together at my GrandParents and we make Tamales :) Then on Christmas eve, we enjoy a nice dinner then after, get too hear about how my Grandpa (we call him Pop) came from Texas too Cali as a boy.. How they worked the fields, my aunt (which i never met, deceased) who was a singer, sang too help make money.. He says they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, cept they weren't happy cause they were poor :laugh: Its always fun too hear the stories, heard them 1000's of times and hope too hear them a 1000 more :)

Merry Christmas all :)
 

GETMETOCA

Can't Wait For Tuesdays
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#14
First of all, THANKS Papakieth for that pastry recipe, I've been looking for something like that for a while! :thumb: 

In the early years, we got to open one present each on Christmas Eve and it was always difficult to pick out THE ONE.  I can also distinctly remember pleading with my Dad to put out the fire in the fireplace so as not to burn Santa's ass when he came down the chimney.  Mom would let my sister and I make a plate of cookies for Santa and we'd set it out.  I remember sneaking back out to "peek" at the tree and seeing Mom and Dad eating the cookies and Dad downing the milk, ahhhh the truth comes out.  Christmas morning would come and my sister and I would run and jump on Mom and Dad's bed and wake them up at 5 am so we could get going on those packages!  Mom would make coffee and hot cross buns and we would have a fruit wreath from the bakery on Main Street too.  Dad would start the fireplace back up again so we could burn all the wrapping paper.  Later on we'd have our two Grandma's over for a nice Christmas dinner, usually a Leg of Lamb with roasted potatoes and lots of other good stuff that Mom made.

Now that we're all older and my sister has a husband and three boys the traditions have changed.  The oldest nephew, Nick, was born on Christmas Eve, so now we all celebrate his birthday with a big Crab Cioppino dinner with about 10-15 relatives.  For those of you unfamiliar with Crab Cioppino, its a WHOLE LOTTA CRAB cooked in a spicy red broth, you eat it with your hands and a little pick.  Everyone wears plastic bibs and we have big paper bags on the floor to throw the shells.  Lots of Garlic Bread and Salad and good wine too, but mainly a whole lotta crab.  So Nick opens his birthday presents after dinner and if you still have room there's cakes and pies and coffee and maybe some ammaretto.  The other two boys get to open one Christmas gift each too and we all laugh and joke and catch up on local news.

Christmas morning everyone's over at my Mom and Dad's for the rest of the presents and Christmas Morning Brunch, which I am usually in charge of the menu.  This year its Eggs Benedict, Fruit, Smoked Ham, Sausages, Cranberry Scones with Lemon Curd, and juice/coffee. 

I'm thinking about making those Butter-Bright Pastries too ;)  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
 

biglou

#15
No real traditions for us that I can think of. When my sister and I were younger, she would sneak into my bed after the folks went to sleep and she would keep saying how she thought she kept hearing someone. A quick peak would confirm that presents were now under the tree, so Santa must have slipped in and out real quick like. He's magical that way... Nevermind that we didn't have a fireplace. I guess that magic dust really does work! One funny thing, well, funny in a terrifying sort of way, is that my mom would tell us that if we got caught awake when Santa Claus got here, he'd put pepper in our eyes! Is that funny or what?! :laugh: Once I figured out what was going on, I had to keep the secret for a few more years so my sister could still enjoy the suspense. In the morning, about 5AM, we'd go pester the folks till they got up. That all changed when we were in our twenties. The folks would be calling us up at 0600 telling us to get dressed and get over there! Now, we're right back to the original plan-Dad retired almost ten years ago, and they don't get up too early for anyone! My sis has her own family now, husband and my two nephews, so it's all about them now. :thumb: Time to spoil someone else's kids as payback for being so bad when we were little!

One of the semi traditions is that my mom makes all sorts of "party foods" for the day. And the next few days. Hot wings, pizza rolls, mini egg rolls, bagel bites pizzas, little smokies mini weiners (kinda like Milk's...), etc. Starting around noon, we just pick at that stuff all day. Oh, and chicken salad. My mom makes the world's best chicken salad, bar none! :)

This year, we had our Christmas day shindig on Saturday the 20th (my birthday) since my sister and family are spending the day in Sioux Falls, SD with her inlaws. One year here, one year there. So later today, some family friends we've known for 30 yrs or more are coming over to hang out with their kids, and pick at the party food. Rumor is they're bringing a smoked turkey, too. New Year's Day we'll have a ham dinner or something in the fancy eatin' room at the parents', or maybe over at my sister's house. My mom rationalizes having it over there so "she can clean up the mess!" Two boys and two labradors tend to cut a swath of destruction wherever they go!

Thinking back, like I always do on Christmas, I count my blessings. I have a wonderful family, and another wonderful family here at DRN. I only ever spent two Christmas's away from home and family in my entire life-both while I was in the Marines. Other than the four years I spent in the Marines, and five years working on govt. contract for the military, I've been in the KC area my whole life, and I always managed to get vacation and make it home for a week for Christmas while working contract.

So, that's about it. Nothing too exciting. We get together, we eat, yell at the kids, yell at the dogs, wrassle with the dogs, and kids, open presents, eat some more, go outside, wrassle some more, then do some serious industrial cleanup! (I'm washing the mashed potatoes off my Fox sweatshirt from Saturday as I type this!)

Mare Crimmus, DRN!
 
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