Christmas Traditions

This is a tangent from my normal posts.  I’m not one to join in on thematic link parties.  But when I saw the “Festive Bon Bons Link Party” co-hosted by a series of my blogging buddies (Deb from Deb’s WorldJo from And Anyways, Donna from Retirement Reflections and Sue from WomenLivingWellAfter50), I was intrigued.  I’m struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year.  For 60 years, it truly was a season of Jack Frost nipping at your nose, hot chocolate, and festive Christmas sweaters. Although my Aussie blogger friends wouldn’t understand, putting up holiday lights in shorts and flip-flops just feels wrong!

So a Christmas focused reminisce was helpful to boost my holiday spirit.  As was reading about other folks Christmas traditions. (Link–up here) I do believe we think that the way we do things is the way everyone does things.  (I went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner this year and she did things very different than I do. Quite eye-opening.) So it was fun to see what others do for Christmas and get some new ideas.

I didn’t answer all 10 prompts, but here’s some of my reminiscing:

  • The Christmas Tree – When we were first married we went to the tree farm and cut down our tree.  It was a tradition I loved.  Then, as life happened, we still got a “live tree” (ok, it’s dead, but it was not a fake one!), but usually at the big-box hardware store when they went on sale.  This year, we put up our first fake tree as Florida and real trees are not a good mix. And yes, I still miss going to chop one down! 
  • Christmas Ornaments – This was another moment of realizing other people do things different. I thought themed trees were only in magazines and office buildings, not real people’s houses. And then I saw my friends lovely blue-themed tree. Ours is miss-matched ornaments picked up through the years – everything from ones inherited to those bought on holidays.  And our new 7-ft fake tree (tall because we have 10 ft ceilings) took every single ornament and still has space!
  • Christmas Carols – I love them; hubby tolerates them. My favorite is “O Holy Night”, but I’ll sing along to lots.
  • Christmas Movies – I’ll try and catch an on-TV holiday show or two, but the one we watch together every year is “Love Actually.”  Corny, I know.
  • Christmas Foods – Again, it’s just me (not hubby) but give me my holiday eggnog, peppermint bark, home-baked sugar cookies, and for New Years, pickled herring.  And that typing reminded me to put all of those things on my shopping list!
  • New Traditions? – Hoping these becomes new traditions – biking our neighborhood to see Christmas lights (this will be year 2) and watching the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade (year 1).  We are also going to local “Enchant” (light display) and hoping to check out holiday lights somewhere else in the city one night. New place, new traditions.

I’m off to write holiday cards, another Christmas tradition I’ve been lax on doing it the past few years.  You might enjoy checking out other’s posts in the Christmas “bon bon” Link-up

21 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions

  1. This was fun to read Pat, isn’t it funny how we change things as we get older and our family dynamics change. I was a bit ho-hum about putting up a tree this year as we won’t be here for Christmas but when I found out my 3 year-old granddaughter was coming to visit, my ideas changed. We have a felt tree with velcro spots for felt decorations to take away with us to the holiday house, the kids can arrange and re-arrange the decorations to their hearts content!
    I also loved that you go biking to look at the lights – what a great thing to do even if it is a bit cool!
    Christmas here is all about the heat and light, can’t wait to get to the beach in a week or so. Thanks for joining up with us, so many great posts to read I’m still working my way through them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an odd mixture here because we are in winter, so short days. But warm temps.

      I hadn’t put up a tree for a few years as we were always traveling to Florida immediately after Christmas & I didn’t want to deal with getting everything put away in a rush. I didn’t realize how much I missed having one up until we have it up this year. Your velcro one sounds like a fun thing to have, especially for the grand-kids!


  2. Thanks for linking up – we’re so glad you joined in our holiday party. I’m loving reading about everyone’s food traditions & hadn’t heard the pickled herring one, but given I’ve been reading a lot about a Scandinavian festive potato dish that uses herring… As for Christmas in a warm climate, weirdly most of us still do the roast dinner – although turn the air conditioning up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oddly, I’ve never had a Christmas Day dinner tradition. Sometimes I’ve made a lasagna, sometimes a turkey, a few times chili! It’s an interesting thought about temperature, but the days here are not hot – just a lovely warm, so I think an oven meal will be fine. Now I just need to decide what!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy holidays Pat! I can imagine Christmas in a warm climate must feel really different. I suspect over time, you’ll build those new traditions that will feel festive in their own way. O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song too and bring on the peppermint bark and homemade cookies! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting how many folks say O Holy Night is a favorite song of their’s! One not-so-great thing is I’ve been unable to find peppermint bark locally. I might need to order it on-line and have it as a new year’s thing.


  4. Pat – I’m so happy for you that you are finding some new ways to appreciate Christmas – despite the warm weather. I’ve also enjoyed reading everyone’s BonBon post to learn how others do things. One of my favorite things about Chicago is snow — but we haven’t had any yet this year. Perhaps by Christmas – but next week it will be in the 60s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friends back in Cincinnati had snow already… how did it miss Chicago! But hubby is thrilled to not have to think about snow, or any cold weather. I spent time this year writing out Christmas cards and even did a holiday letter for friends – both ways to appreciate the holiday and easy to do with warm weather and sun! I’m definitely learning about the local social life too -Christmas parties are a big deal!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Pat – Thank you for joining us at Festive Bonbon. I found myself nodding in agreement with many of your answers (except for the shorts and flipflops part — I’m more than a tad jealous about that). 😀
    I loved that you thought themed trees were only in magazines and office buildings, not real people’s houses. Me too!! Seriously, who knew?! Last weekend, Deb (WidowBadass) and I went off to watch the boat light parade at a nearby harbour. Like you, I hope to make this an annual tradition.
    Wishing you a very happy holiday and a wonderful 2022!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m really looking forward to the local boat parade this weekend. There are over 6 in our area on various nights, so lots of options. Some are bigger than others and more crowds associated with them, but this one we can walk to a good viewing spot.

      Another new “tradition” might be holiday parties. I’ve never belonged to clubs before, but now I do (garden clubs, book club) and each has a holiday luncheon/party. I went to my first one yesterday and was decidedly under-dressed! Sparkles, holiday outfits, holiday jewelry; many women even in heels and cute boots. I definitely need some holiday tops that are not sweaters! And cookie exchanges… I’m going to need to re-learn how to bake. The Florida social life is not something I am used to!


      1. Hi, Pat – Those all sound like great social activities! I’m so glad that you joined a bookclub (I love bookclubs)! Yesterday, a friend of mine mentioned that each Christmas their bookclub members get together for a Used Book Present Exchange. They all wrap a book, give out a number, number one selects and unwraps a book. Number Two either selects an new wrapped book or swipes Number One’s book. I will definitely suggest that to my bookclubs for next year.
        Wishing you a very happy holiday.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We talked about a book exchange for our book club party this year, but it didn’t get traction.

        One thing we are doing regularly now is bringing in any books to donate (many of us still buy our books versus Kindle). First everyone gets to pick anything they want to read, then what’s left we donate to a local Little Library coordinator (she makes sure 250 of the Little Libraries stay well-stocked). The books taken to read eventually end up back in the donate pile of course!


  6. How interesting to see someone else talk about pickled herring! I thought that was a Scandinavian tradition only. I don’t eat it (it’s very eeew to me) but my husband does.
    I couldn’t agree more about putting up Christmas lights in shorts and flip-flops! So odd! Although I had almost the same feeling here the first year when we came home after buying a Christmas tree and it was sunny and 13 degrees C. I had to go to your “about” page and have a look at where you’re from. I can imagine it must be a huge difference in climate between Ohio and Florida!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, climate difference from Ohio to Central Florida has been big! I’m learning about a whole new ecosystem for gardening, following the tides (for beach combing), and now realizing winter really doesn’t require all the polar-tec tops & sweaters I moved down. It’s kinda nice to be learning new things at my age. 🙂

      The pickled herring is from my mom, and unfortunately she cannot recall why it was a tradition for her (a bit of dementia now) as she is not of Scandinavian descent, but it was a must do her as long as I can remember. I actually like it. 🙂


  7. Hi Pat, a real tree will last in Florida for about 10 to 12 days, but it definitely depends on the condition when you buy it. I miss having our ‘family tree’ this year, but those ornaments are stored. I do have one ‘themed tree’ – all gold, and we decorated another tree with my MIL’s ornaments. A gal can never have enough Christmas!

    O Holy Night is also my favorite Christmas carol. In your opinion, who does it best? I’m with you on the eggnog and sugar cookies, but we part ways on the Pickled Herring.

    We took a drive last night to see our favorite light display on the beach and nada, zilch, nothing! I will research today to find out what happened. Maybe just a sign of the times…

    I’m looking forward to a little dip in temperature and I’m sure you are too. Don’t put those sweaters away too fast. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, I’m not sure when that dip in temps is coming in Central Florida but I will be happy to wear a sweater or two. I need to justify moving them to FL! Today, once again, I’m in shorts & T-shirt. The only concession to winter it seems is shorter days! I’m actually loving the high 70’s temps; it’s just feels odd with all my Christmas memories being sweaters, wool socks, hats & mittens!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a little bittersweet isn’t it – embracing new traditions. I’m sitting here in 75 degree heat listening to Christmas carols. Weird. But focusing on how much I adore TransSiberian and Pentatonix carols instead of the fact I’m sweating due to the humidity!! I’m lucky to get to transition to Florida Christmas by flying home for a few days prior to Christmas over the next few years while we still have “kids” in Cincinnati. I too have plans to drive through a section of Naples that does the whole “Christmas with the Kranks” neighborhood Christmas displays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure I’ll come to appreciate these warm winter days, but it is odd. And yes, I’ve purchased Christmas T-shirts versus Christmas sweaters to wear to the holiday parties. I’m not sure if it’s post Covid or just Florida but I’ve got quite a few holiday parties to go to – unusual for me and looking forward to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun blog! I must admit cold weather helps to put me into the Christmas spirit. I definitely have “themed” trees – 3 this year, but the only theme really is color. The trees co-ordinate with the rooms they are in. Black, white and accent color red in the great room, Gold, purple and cream in the dining room and the little tree in the family room is all little red and green ornaments with Mike’s Xavier ones.
    I watch all the movies especially White Christmas and Miracle on 34th street and maybe every single Hallmark movie I can find LOL.
    Foods are definitely tradition as well. Standing rib roast, mac and cheese and caesar salad for dinner with red velvet cake for dessert. But pickled herring?????? Not so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to come to your dinner! Pickled herring is from my mom’s tradition. Weird I know and I have not found the kind I like here in Florida. Ack! I’m still in shorts & T-shirts every day and it is really hard to believe Christmas is around the corner!


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