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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: swick on December 20, 2012, 03:41:33 PM

Title: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: swick on December 20, 2012, 03:41:33 PM
Hello fellow Mustachians,

We are in desperate need of starting our own, new holiday traditions and were hoping for fellow mustachians to share their traditions and activities to give us some ideas.

This will be our first Christmas without a tree (due to the puppy we brought home in October) and most if not all of our family traditions on
both sides rely very heavily on a strong family/friend network that we don't have here, and going back home isn't an option.

We are trying to combat that isolation feeling and have no desire to fill the void with material stuff but are looking at some more meaningful traditions to start. Anyone have any ideas for us or would like to share what you do?


Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: kythuen on December 20, 2012, 06:17:53 PM
Personally, I'm a fan of getting out and doing things for others.  We worked a Christmas Pantry one year, and that was awesome - handing out canned and packaged goods for families in need, and toys for the kids.  Depending on where you are, there may be opportunities to volunteer as a couple or a family that could work for you.

For Christmas eve, we have a certain poem we read at midnight, and we watch a lot of cheesy Christmas cartoons - all the old-style ones like Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman and whatnot.  For a while we watched Fantasia every Christmas eve, but we sort of fell out of the habit when we started just talking over it.

We haven't done a tree in years, though we always mean to; but our tradition has evolved to include a lot of ribbons and glitter, far less expensive than lights and foliage. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: skandrae on December 20, 2012, 06:27:17 PM
I second kythuen's notion of doing things for others, if that's possible. Since most of town (including me) has been struck down by the plague, there's not much going on here that I could help with.

I'm lucky enough to have been adopted by a few families over the holidays for suppers and brunches, but Christmas morning I will be having my family's traditional breakfast of croissants and coffee ^_^

And then I'll settle down to watch my favourite holiday movie, Aliens. I don't think there's a holiday of any kind that's gone by that I didn't watch it - Halloween, Valentine's Day, Canada Day. Can't go wrong with Aliens.
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: c on December 20, 2012, 08:29:34 PM
I battle over Christmas as it reminds me of how far away from my family I am, also my husband is Jewish and so are almost all of our friends, so it's not like it's a big deal for most people in our circle. He makes an effort, but he didn't grow up with Christmas traditions (obviously) and everything he does is slightly off (which is probably how he feels about my attempts at Passover meals etc).

We call my family as soon as we get up so I can hear about their morning and meal. I also ask them to send lots of photos. We got into the habit of cooking quail. There's only two of us so there's no point in Turkey, we never eat Quail at other times of the year so it feels special and it's easy to cook. We make cocktails and go for a walk around the 'hood to look at all the lights. It's low key, not expensive and over the years it's actually started to feel like Christmas.

I also have a few Christmas CDs that I listen to.

Also, nothing says Christmas like a puppy. We have cats and every year I buy a stocking of toys for them. It's fun to watch them play with the toys.
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: swick on December 20, 2012, 08:51:17 PM
Thank you all for sharing:) Hope you feel better soon Skandrae!

I guess I'm struggling so much this year because Christmas to me has never been a big deal, but it is for my hubby.

 If there was a soup kitchen we could help out at that would be our first choice but there isn't. As we haven't really found many friends that we have much in common with, we spend 3-4 nights out volunteering for various community groups a week (I work for two non-profits) so I'm afraid getting out to volunteer together  wouldn't really make it feel more like Christmas:)

We are planning on inviting a couple of people we have met through all that volunteering over to play board games one night during the holidays.

Our tradition in the past has been to do a big appetizer spread on Christmas Eve, but we just don't know enough people to make all that effort worth it, might scale it back to appy's for two.

I think we will try and get onto Skype with Hubby's family on Christmas Day, it is a little awkward but it is the best we can do:)

Our Pup is aptly named "Spirit" she's a rescue dog from the NWT so no matter what we have lots of Christmas Spirit.

I love reading how everyone else celebrates, thank you!
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: meadow lark on December 20, 2012, 09:52:57 PM
Our tradition is to open presents on Christmas morning, eat breakfast,  then drive to the ski area and my son snow boards while the adults sit in the ski lodge, drink cocoa and eat green chili stew.  Dinner is usually tamales or Navajo tacos.
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: swick on December 20, 2012, 09:54:37 PM
Sounds like a great Christmas! What are Navajo tacos?
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: sol on December 20, 2012, 10:38:39 PM
We put our tree up on an end table where puppy can't reach it.

Our kids most look forward to finding the Christmas pickle.  It's almost more exciting that seeing what Santa brought.

We also tend to a lot of family holiday baking.  Good quality time, plus treats.
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: gooki on December 20, 2012, 11:39:45 PM
Can you elaborate on what the Christmas pickle is?
Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: sol on December 20, 2012, 11:53:28 PM
Can you elaborate on what the Christmas pickle is?

Wait, there are still people in the world who think it is easier to ask a real person for an answer than to ask google?

It's a pickle ornament you hang on the tree before the kids get up.  It cost $6 and you reuse it ever year.  It is very hard to see.  The first child to find it gets good luck for a year.  It is the source of intense competition between our two kids on Christmas morning, far surpassing any comparisons of who gets more gifts.  It is judgement free, since it is not dependent on behavior.  We generally influence the outcome in alternating years by starting them off on different sides of the tree, or giving sly hints.

Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: Worsted Skeins on December 21, 2012, 05:04:30 AM
Step into my living room for a good Mustachian laugh.  Our Christmas tree is of the tall, Charlie Brown variety.  For the last few years we have harvested an Eastern Cedar from our wooded lot.  This year's tree is particularly pathetic but it had to go.  My husband is trying to promote the wild grape vines in our woods--this tree was stealing their sun.  Slap a bunch of lights and some ornaments and it doesn't look that bad now, does it?

Some things define Christmas for us, but we are flexible with doing other things every other or third year.  So if my husband and son feel compelled to make grape vine and smilax (cat briar) wreaths, so be it.  But we shall not forsake the special coffee cake on Christmas morning, the one that uses grandma's recipe.

The fondue pot comes out every Christmas Eve. I always think that we should use it more often but then we do not. 

And I love attending a church service or two this time of year in order to sing Christmas carols with a group. 

I am of the school that prefers to be home for a quiet holiday. Our family is scattered.  We traveled back to my home town  for Christmas six years ago to attend the memorial service for my Mom, then went back the next year out of concern for my Dad.  But we were miserable!  Celebrating Christmas elsewhere without our traditions bummed us out.  One year away was fine, particularly under the circumstances; the second year away was not.

One of my relations is putting a great deal of pressure on her adult son to return "home" for Christmas every other year with his wife and young child.  I have argued for his family's sake that Santa prefers to go to a child's home.  Let this couple define their own traditions.  Let this couple choose what they want to do--be it stay home or travel.

Traditions can be a comfort or a curse if you feel so much pressure in accomplishing a long list of things that might lose their meaning over time.  The whole gift thing can be overwhelming.  White elephant gifts (purchased from yard sales or charity shops) would be a fun Mustachian group activity. Bring out the guitar--or the Mitch Miller records.  We know a couple that joined forces with another for a ravioli making extravaganza before Christmas.  This was their gift to friends and family.

Merry Christmas to all!

Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: cadamsgis on December 21, 2012, 06:28:10 AM
we have a small 3 foot tree that we put on up on a  table so no probelms or worries about the dogs. It doesn't take up much space and takes minimal time to put up and take down but gives a feel for christmas.

I have been far away from my family for so long that I find I prefer to visit with them on non-holidays much more then holidays.

One year me and my now ex-husband opened up gifts 2 days before xmas and went fishing christmas day(we were in the navy at the time stationed in Hawaii). I realized that doing whatever you want to do makes the day and hoiday your own. I swear that was one of my best christmas memeories.

Title: Re: Mustachian Christmas Traditions
Post by: starbuck on December 21, 2012, 07:41:44 AM
My husband and I go for a Christmas morning hike each year now. Nothing too long or crazy, just a nice quiet walk in the woods with the pooch.