Ask the grumpies: Favorite family rituals

Leah asks:

What is your favorite family ritual or holiday from growing up?  What is your favorite family ritual or holiday from now?

#1:  My favorite holiday ritual growing up was getting to open one present on Christmas Eve.  My kids don’t really care about presents as much as I did, so we don’t really have that.  I think now my favorite family ritual is still folding laundry together.  I don’t know why.

#2:  My favorite childhood holiday was Christmas. re: current rituals: we have a specific way of saying goodnight (that we don’t do in front of other people)

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12 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Favorite family rituals”

  1. Zenmoo Says:

    From my childhood- Opening presents from our Christmas stockings in bed with parents on Christmas morning. We did that until one year, 2 parents plus 4 teens broke the bed…

    Another long running tradition in my family is fish & chips from a particular chip shop. My parents got fish & chips there before they got married in the early 1970s. Now, for my daughter’s birthday (which is mid-summer, just after the Christmas holidays) the extended family gets together for fish & chips and eats it at the park by the river at sunset. They even do it when we’re not around!

    The shop been in the same spot since 1965 and occasionally the original owner still comes in to fry up some fish. He looks like Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

  2. Cardinal Says:

    When my kids were three, we instigated Family Happy Hour. Friday after work and before dinner, adults have martinis and kids get some special treat (usually candy but sometimes cream soda or root beer). We clink glasses and say, “Happy Friday!” and chat for a bit. Eventually the kids finish their snack and go play and the adults finish their cocktails companionably then prepare dinner. The kids are now nine and I don’t think we’ve missed more than a handful of Fridays in all those years.

  3. Shannon Says:

    On Christmas Eve, Santa ding dong ditches us and leaves pajamas for the kids. This started when they were little because it was so hard to get them to go to bed on Christmas Eve. Santa would leave a note saying that he had stopped by, but couldn’t come in because they were still up. If they wanted him to stop, they would have to go to bed. Worked like a charm. One year, when my oldest was getting skeptical, I managed to sprint from the door back into the house to be there when they opened the door. Oldest yelled – I KNEW Santa was magic. <3 Now, our kids are way beyond believing in Santa any more, but they still get pajamas on Christmas Eve. They say it's their favorite part of Christmas.

  4. Ana Says:

    these are so cute! I don’t have anything that compares, may steal the happy hour one.

  5. Leah Says:

    We open our stockings on St. Nicholas Day (December 6). Fun to spread out the Christmas joy a little. We also open all our presents on Christmas eve and enjoy a really lazy Christmas morning.

    My parents’ cottage is a 7ish hour drive, and there’s a really nice little ice cream shop around the half way mark. My husband and I have started the tradition of stopping there on our way home to make leaving the lake a little more palatable.

  6. non Says:

    this thread made me happy. I have two. first i thought was stupid at the time but now treasure, which was going to the local beach and using their grills to make blueberry pancakes, on sunday mornings after church (involved pancake batter in portable pitcher, griddle, etc.). the second is my dad singing a version of The Hearse Song, which he always did on July 4. This seemed like a weird match but I guess the idea was that we were all together late at night, so…spooky. He’s 89 and we asked him to do it this summer, glad I recorded!


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