People Share The Weirdest Tradition They Follow On Christmas
Believe it or not, the best time of the year is just around the corner. Yes! Christmas is almost here. Winter has come and so are the lazy days with a hot cup of coffee, beanies, comfy PJs and CHRISTMAS!!
Okay okay! We know it’s not Christmas yet, but we really cannot hold our excitement. Decorating the walls with lights, stocking the closet with everything red and white, watching new Turkey and dessert recipes, humming the carols carelessly… well you get the point.
As much as we are excited with Christmas being just around the corner, we wondered what really all the families during the festive days? Do we all celebrate it just the same way like everyone else or put some personal twists and turns to it?
Well, wouldn’t it be too boring if everyone of us followed the same tradition? Where’s the fun in that?
Well, to answer that question, our Redditors shared their weirdest Christmas traditions that their families do. And guess what? They might be weird but are super cute too! By the way, if you too have similar cute plus weirdo traditions that make you nostalgic but you still love to follow, share with us in the comments below.
So go ahead, read the stories and get into that Merry feel already!
On Christmas Eve, we have a tradition of the Christmas Elf. All the kids take turns putting on the pointy green Elf hat and putting a present under the tree.
They are all in their 20’s now, and my wife still makes them do it.
We have a bunch of pictures of bored, annoyed 20 year olds posing with a present by the tree wearing a stupid green Elf hat.
My sister and I live on the opposite side of the house from my parents and we have to go through the living room where the presents are to wake them up to get the thing started. For some reason when we were kids we would purposely not look at the presents under the tree until the entire family was awake and ready to start. Really cute thing when we were kids blundering through the living room with our eyes closed. Now that I’m 20 years old and my sister is 17 it’s mostly us walking blind through the living room stunning our toes on furniture and cursing when we do. Past few years my parents have woken up Christmas morning with me yelling obscenities. Ahh Christmas.
Sinkerklaas Is Fun!
We usually have a neighbour involved in this one… we celebrate Sinterklaas day as well as Christmas, and this is one of our Sinterklaas traditions. On the eve of December 5, the neighbour, dressed all in black would come to our house (unbeknownst to us… even though it happened every year) and they would viciously pound on our door, then throw it open, run into our house and throw pepernoten (small hard cookies) everywhere, and then run away. After the initial shock wore off, we would laugh about it, then collect all the cookies into a big bowl, and snack on them for the next few weeks.
PJ Party All Night
New PJs & movie on christmas eve- I’m grown with my own children now and my mom still sends our entire family a set of PJs and the most recent Disney DVD.
I imagine it’s not weird as a whole, I just find it weird that my mom continues it now that I live 700 miles away. (Not complaining, they are comfy!)
My family re-gifts odd things, like a messed up version of tag.
Gifts you might be the unsuspecting receiver of in our family:
- A pan full of cinnamon rolls so burnt that you can’t even chip a piece off with a knife
- A little priest doll that looks like a penis from the back
- A can of SPAM
- A bowl of dried-out oranges and apples
It’s a great tradition, you always get that ‘Oh no’ expression when you’re the receiver, then immediately start planning the re-gifting with giddy anticipation.
Pretty Stuff All Around
We hide a Xmas ornament shaped like a pickle in the tree somewhere and let the kids try to find it. Whoever finds it would get $10 or a small gift. We had to separate into a group of boys and a group of girls, but since we’re older and none of us have kids yet we just break it down into a small group.
I’m not sure if other families do this or if it’s just a family tradition of mine, but anytime I’ve talked about to friends or co-workers, no one knows what the hell I’m talking about.
edit: Sounds like a pretty popular German tradition. My family is mostly Norwegian and Irish but we do have some German in our blood
We have one! Every year on christmas my grandparents make carp for dinner. They buy a whole one with scales and stuff. Some time before christmas, all the scales are scraped off and dried on the heater for two or three weeks I think. They are then completely dry and do not smell. Then on christmas, my grandparents put some money and some of those scales under everybody’s plate. They are meant to be put in your wallet. This means that you will get as much money as a fish has scales! So when somebody of my family pays for something, sometimes some scales fall out and other people get really weirded out. 🙂
God Will Reward
Assuming it’s reasonably cold, we make a large pot of soup, some cornbread, and a bunch of christmas cookies, and then christmas eve or christmas day we go “homeless hunting” and pass out hot soup, cornbread, and cookies. Sometimes we get gloves and socks to pass out as well. The soup will heat up their hands as they hold it, even in an insulated coffee cup with a lid. Typically, it’s something like chili or pinto beans and ham/bacon, so it’s “soul food” that is hard to get without a kitchen (but it’s cheap to prepare, which is nice).
Really makes it seem like Christmas.
PJs Are Love
My dad has this thing where every year he gives people pajamas. Like he’ll give you a regular gift, but aside from that he will also give you pajamas. He’s done this to me and my mom for years and also does it to every girl I’ve dated. I don’t know why he does it and I’ve honestly never asked, but I feel like if he stopped doing it, I would be sad because I actually look forward to seeing what kind of weird pajamas he got for me this year.
Mug-gles Are Cute
For me it’s mugs. My mother has gotten me, my brother and my sister different mugs every Christmas for as long as I can remember. We each have our own collection on bookshelves (that do also have books on). Since my gf’s family found out they’ve done the same thing for the last two years. It’s a thing that’s just been associated with my family around people I know.
Cute But Scary
One year there was a TV programme on before Christmas, something like ’10 Worst Christmas Disasters’
One feature on the programme was about a family who bought a Christmas tree that had been imported from Norway, and it had a snake wrapped around the trunk, which went unnoticed until Christmas morning, scaring the family to death, with the mother on the TV screaming about a ‘Christmas tree eel’
Now this terrified my sister (6 or 7 at the time)! So we decided to wrap a toy snake around the bottom of our tree, so when she went to get her presents right from the back, she saw this snake and ran out in tears. Hilarious.
Now every year we wrap our own Christmas tree eel around our tree and have done for about 14 years!
We have these weird pear ornaments from the fake tree my mom had growing up. On Christmas morning, whoever is at the base of the tree handing out gifts (which devolved to always being the youngest, which is me) takes one of the pears and hangs it from one of their ears for the entire gift giving duration. I really don’t know why we do this…my mom’s family never did it or anything, but every year I hang that freaking pear from my ear and I never really realized how weird that was until my cousin and his wife spent Christmas with us last year and she kept laughing at how bizarre it was.
Best Christmas Game
Oh, I can tell this! Since my sister and I were about 15 and 12 our dad has made it a scavenger hunt. We start out with an intro poem thing that’s in the tree, it all rhymes and everything. It has a vague clue to the first gift and each gift after has a clue to the next. At first they were just around the house but as we got older they spread around the neighborhood and around the city when we could drive. The whole thing is so unique, I love it.
Find Me If You Can
After Thanksgiving dinner, my sister and I (both adults now) will engage in a friendly fight with leftover dinner rolls (my mom always burns a few). We’ll throw them at each other outside, and hide them in each other’s cars. This year I got her pretty good by hiding one between the gas cap and the gas tank lid.
The rolls then re-surface as rock-hard Christmas gifts a month later. Rolls from past years have been re-gifted, so you open up a package that contains a mummified roll with “2011” written in sharpie on it.
Some Lies Are Cute
Growing up I remember every Christmas Eve driving around town looking at Christmas lights then when we got home we would discover that Santa had already come. “He must have thought we were already sleeping” one of my parents would say and we would open the gifts and stay up all night playing with them essentially allowing my parents the greatest gift of all, sleeping in on Christmas Day. My sister has carried on the tradition with her children and I will do so with my son when he is a bit older.
Next Year Again!
Every year we have my father’s extended family and small bits of my mothers extended family over for a nice big turkey dinner. For years, the tradition has been to get hella drunk and have a head measuring contest. Biggest head gets a trophy, smallest head gets a much smaller trophy, all is well. But as of a couple years ago, the new tradition is to have a drunken nerf sword battle between the whole family, mostly sober kids vs. very not sober adults. Every year it ends poorly, and every year we say never again, but every year it happens.
We wear our pajamas all day. That may seem normal on the surface, but its a bit funnier when you consider that my siblings and I are all grown and married with our own kids, and all 25 of us still congregate at my parent’s house for Christmas.
It started out when my older brother and his wife would come over in pajamas because the rest of us still lived at home and didn’t have to change to go out. Now it’s a tradition where we’ll do the normal shower routine, then change into our finest Christmas pajamas before heading over.
How You Doin'?
On Christmas Eve we go on a parade through our village knocking on houses asking for the inn and singing carols. The youngest daughter in the village sits on a donkey at the front of the parade, after the 8th house someone guides the parade to a barn where there’s a church service and a single firework to represent the star. After that we go home and get tipsy and order an indian takeaway.
Where's My Ping Pong?
Not a tradition, but a bit of a funny story. When I was younger, maybe 12 or so, we had this Christmas decoration that was a treasure chest with coca cola written on it. One day I strolled passed the tree and noticed one of the latches was undone. “Wow! It actually opens!” So naturally I thought it’d be funny to put something in it. I found out that a Ping pong ball fit perfectly inside. I put a note with the year I put the ball inside of it next to the ping pong ball inside the chest, closed it, and forgot about it for the next few years. Well, Christmas came around again 4 years later and I noticed the same decoration on the tree. And then I remembered what was inside. “Hehe, no one found it yet… Nice” so then the cat starts chasing around dust bunnies and my moms like “someone get the cat a real toy… She’s making everything dirty” so I casually opened the chest decoration, pulled out the Ping pong ball, gave it to the cat, and watched as my family looked at me like I was a wizard or some shiz. I then explained how long it’d been there. Good time was had by all.
Welcome To The Family Hubby!
We do a sort of modified secret Santa with a $100 spending limit, rather than normal gift-giving, among my immediate family. We take the “secret” part extremely seriously, to the point of using misdirection tactics like wrapping a single penny in many layers of wrapping paper, or taking a gift with a distinctive shape and taping other things to it to disguise what it is, or adding rocks to something light, or tissue paper to something hard.
By Christmas, all of the gifts are under the tree, labeled with who they’re from but nothing else. Speculation as to who got who has been running rampant for weeks, and we have all studiously avoided giving any hints whatsoever as to the nature of the gift or gifts we gave. The only exception were my youngest siblings, who couldn’t walk around a store or make purchases alone just yet, but eventually my grandmother got enlisted to help.
Then Christmas morning, starting with someone chosen mostly at random, the first person gives their gifts. Then the recipient gives out their gifts, and so on and so forth, until we either go through everyone or realize we have two loops and need to pick another person at random. No giving occurs outside that, other than my parents giving us clothes (mostly just a fun way to give us the clothes they would have bought for us in either case, my mom really likes clothes), and giving between spouses is allowed.
This has been going on for more than ten years now, because I remember being young enough that a parent had to bring me to the store. Then I was old enough to bike alone. Then I was able to drive.
It was all because my family is fairly large, six people, and buying gifts for everyone gets hectic. With one person receiving a larger gift, you have more ability to come up with the perfect gift, rather than some random object you found at Target. More recently the secret keeping aspect has gotten easier, with one of my brothers living on the east coast, and me on the west, and the rest of the family in Texas except for the 80% of the year in which my dad is in Africa.
The past couple years, my husband has also been added, so we’re up to seven. It’s a lot of fun.
Get Me Chinese
It’s no longer a tradition for my family, but it was for a quite a while.
So just to set the stage, I am Canadian that grew up in California with my brother and sister. My parents (Canadians as well) were close with other Canadians that we had met growing up in the Bay Area. One family that was close with my parents had three kids as well (slightly different ages) but close enough that we could all get along famously when we were over for dinner parties etc. Unfortunately, the father of that family passed away near Christmas one year. It was always really hard for their family during the holidays because of the sadness associated with it.
So a few days before Christmas, my Mom suggested that we (both our families) all go into Chinatown in San Francisco and go out for Chinese food for Christmas Eve. We had no extended family to celebrate Christmas with in California so it was an easy thing for our family to do since we normally just celebrated together, just the family.
Ever since then it was a tradition that we would go there for Christmas Eve and then go and walk around in Chinatown or around in San Francisco. It seems like a small thing today, but it was always really special.
Anyways, I always remember that and often I crave Chinese food closer and closer to Christmas I get.
Die Hard & Chill
Will get buried and not really “weird” but it could be considered weird now that I’m 32:
Christmas eve in my neighborhood consists of one of the neighbors dressing as santa and going around the neighborhood in a convertible blasting Christmas music and with his helpers. He announces (via megaphone) what house he’s going to and brings in some presents before christmas morning. You’re supposed to have children 5 or 6 and under but there’s no one really left in my family so we tell them that “taz” and “tallulah” are upstairs sleeping cause they’re young… but really they’re our pets. It’s now my mom, myself and my grandmother who may not make it this year (start with around 10-15 people). This all happens with A Christmas Story in the background. Best part is the leg lamp, I don’t care how many times I see it. I even have a mini one in my room.
Then my dad would read me Night before Christmas until I was 25. Then he died. That tradition has been replaced with a couple of my friends coming over after they’re done with family stuff so we can get shizfaced off wine while watching Die Hard. I then put on Night before Christmas on youtube before I drunkenly pass out. My dad would be proud: I found one of a bunch of porn stars reading it.
Christmas morning (still at the age of 32), I go down the stairs after my mom gives me the OK and the hangover wears off a little. Open presents and then play whatever video games I can from past or present until I meet up with the other side of my family… where I play Goldeneye and Mario Kart 64 with my two cousins. Last year I beat my 14 year old self’s record on Runway in Goldeneye…
This year Taz is really really sick and most of the extra money my mom had went to the dog (which I encouraged). I’ll be happy just to keep the tradition no matter how bare bones it may be these days. Also I don’t think my friends can make it this year.
Gotta Earn It Though
My parents always give me & my two sibs $100 for Christmas. But you don’t just get to HAVE this money; you have to WORK for this money. Because they hide it in $20 bills inside other presents. But they are wiiiicked good at it. Like, annoyingly so.
Thought that shrink-wrapped CD was safe? Nope, there’s a $20 bill under the disc. It’s a pair of leggings, there are no pockets for money to hide! Doesn’t matter, somehow Mom and Dad managed to sneak a $20 underneath one of the tags. What a nice tube of lipsti– JESUS CHRISTMAS THERE’S MONEY IN HERE TOO. One year they managed to cram one underneath the batteries of a bike light so it still lit up when you pressed the buttons.
And for every hint you need, you have to turn one of the bills.
To my bros, if you’re reading this: can’t wait for another seasonal raucous cash hunt. Love my fambams to bits!
We have an ongoing Mary war. Back story, there was a statue of Mary in the front yard when we moved in, we are not catholic, asked hubby to get rid of it. Fast forward to that winter, 16 yo daughter comes home from work after dark, her headlights illuminate the now leafless hill to see… MARY. It freaked her out, she climbed up the hill and hauled a 50 lb statue down to put in the drivers seat of dad’s car… and thus the war began.
A decade later Mary still appears each Christmas… got her a new laptop? Oh look, Mary wallpaper. New camera? Mary. That huge 4 foot tall box that took 3 rolls of paper to wrap? A large framed painting of Mary. Last Christmas we had Christmas at our daughter’s house, of course when she opened the new software we got her there was a Mary decal inside, so she thought that was it….later as we were driving home she calls us and her husband is in the background laughing hysterically…. we had managed to sneak in a little 6 inch tall Mary figurine, painted in glow in the dark paint… that we were stuck in the windowsill of her bedroom, and scared the crap out of her when she went to bed!
Oh, Mary also appeared on her honeymoon…. we had the gaudiest holographic picture with led blinking lights hanging on the wall in their honeymoon suite. Worth the bribe to get it there. 🙂
Well, ever since I was 12, my siblings and I never received gifts from my parents. We gave gifts to each other and to them, but instead of giving us presents they would hand us a check for $500 and go back upstairs.
Let me assure you, they weren’t and still aren’t wealthy or loaded or anything like that, and this was the only time besides birthdays (which was the same deal, except $300 instead of $500) in which they gave us money.
At first their reasoning was that it saved them work and we would never be disappointed because we could buy whatever we want, which made sense. But after a few years it became depressing. Christmas spirit was drained from our house. We didn’t even put up a tree last year. Just put our gifts under the stockings on the wall. Something about getting cash wasn’t as special.
Now, I realize the real reason was to teach us financial responsibility and how to save money, and how to budget to get what we wanted. They thought that giving us material possessions like toys or games would spoil us and make us dependent on them.
Looking back, I do appreciate the lessons they tried to teach. I find it funny when I hear from my classmates how they’re asking for this or that for Christmas and they wonder how I am able to afford everything I want without relying on my parents
There was this family of very poor and ignorant people in our town. Once they could convince someone to rent them an apartment or home, the destruction would begin, and the trash would start to accumulate in the yard almost instantly. For a time, they rented a home across the street from my children’s school. When the weather was warm, they would open all the windows and take out the screens. I once saw a pair of bare feet hanging out of a second floor window, as if someone were lying in a bed just inside the window, and stuck their feet out to cool off.
Now that I’ve painted a picture of who I’m talking about here…just after Thanksgiving one year, they started hanging Christmas lights on the front porch of this same house. They got about 2/3 of the way around the front porch, and stopped. The ladder was still against the porch with the lights dangling down the ladder. This was as far as the project ever got. They plugged in the lights, and kept them plugged in through the next summer, when the house was condemned and they were kicked out.
So as I’m driving past my children’s school one December evening, my daughter spotted the house, ladder propped against the porch roof, lights 2/3 of the way around the roof and turned on, dangling down the ladder. “Daddy, why are their lights like that?” Smart-ass dad (me): “Haven’t you ever heard the story of the Christmas ladder?” Daughter, “NO, you have to tell me.” ME: “There was once this family of people who very silly…” At which point my wife cut me off. My kids knew I was full of crap. Ever since then, we always manage to find “The Christmas Ladder” somewhere around town. We’ve even moved to a different state, and we can still find it. I spotted this years Christmas Ladder a block from where I work.
Where Are You Jesus?
My grandparents have a tiny baby Jesus that goes into their little nativity scene under the tree, but it’s detachable from the crib, and since Jesus was supposedly born on Christmas, he shouldn’t be in his crib before Christmas morning…
So every year once me and my cousins have set up and decorated the Christmas tree, one of us hides the tiny baby Jesus somewhere in the living room while the other 3 are in the kitchen. We then have to find baby J and hide him again. Whoever was last to hide him by Christmas eve “wins”. There is nothing to win.
It’s been 3 years since I last got to participate, since I got excommunicated by my father and therefore my entire paternal family. I don’t even know if they still do this.
Ready For Yearly Toke
On Christmas Eve, we gather at my moms house for mass feasting and drinking. My uncles, aunts, cousin, sister, and I smoke regularly at family gatherings, as all of my family is 420 friendly. Mom isn’t a stoner, but she always chills with us as we chief. We load up the biggest bong and take rips in front of the fireplace, as the evening is coming to a close. Christmas Eve is the only day of the year that my mom will partake (after many glasses of wine), and also the only day she allows us to smoke indoors. It’s become a game between amongst my relatives to see who can bring the best bud and get mom the highest. She recently sent me a picture of the bong in front of the fireplace with a Christmas ornament hung on the slide, captioned “I’m ready for my yearly toke!”. Bong rips with mom is definitely my favourite holiday tradition.
My family is more or less catholic, we just were raised in a way that we don’t really care much about celebrations. Be it Xmas, a birthday, independence day, etc. It’s just another day and we go as usual, if someone says happy holidays we smile and correspond the gesture as someone is being nice.
No gifts, no dinner, just a normal day. Gifts come and go on a “I liked this for you so I bought it” basis.
Some years ago, my brother and sister had kids, so now we celebrate Xmas because my parents like to see their grandchildren happy
Pizza Hut on Christmas Eve. No other pizza place is acceptable. Started when I was a kid, and we’d go to Christmas Eve mass at like 5pm, but to actually get a seat you had to be there at like 3:30. So by the time mass was done at like 7, us kids would be starving& not want to wait for mom to cook a real meal at home. Pizza Hut was between the church and our house. Now we go to 8 pm or midnight mass, but still get pizza before while everyone is getting dressed up, with beer/drinks obviously.
Also now that my brother and I are both adults, somehow Christmas has turned into a minor all day drinking session- spiced wine after mass, mimosas with breakfast, Irish or baileys coffee while opening presents, wine with appetizers/dinner and a night cap or two.