Christmas brings many traditions with it. Some families divide their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with both sides of the family while others all come together for a massive celebration.
I love to meet people and hear about their unusual Christmas traditions, especially when it comes to the meals they prepare. I have mentioned before that my family comes together for a huge restaurant-style breakfast. The menu is elaborate so their favorite is sure to be on table; anything from pancakes to sausage and gravy, French toast, bacon and eggs, omelets and more.
Needless to say lunch is skipped and supper is simple with ham and turkey sandwiches and chips.
Many people eat out for Christmas Eve and have a Thanksgiving-style meal on Christmas day. Whatever the tradition, the one thing that remains is everyone usually exchanges gifts and feasts on holiday favorites.
So, my idea for my children’s school project this week came to life when I started thinking about all the unusual traditions around the world. A Christmas Around the World project set them off on discovering what others do on this special holiday.
Here are some of the diversities starting with a Christmas Eve tradition at my parent’s house:
• Grandma hides various money increments in unique opening ornaments with one for each grandchild and sets them off to find the ornament that houses the treasure. Believe it or not, the tree lives through the scavenger hunt.
• In Australia, the most popular food on Christmas is seafood. Christmas is summer break for the children in school. My children should have never learned this. The push may be on for an extra few weeks off. Another yearly tradition used to raise money for charity happens in Sidney where a specific street coordinates a Christmas display raising more than $35,000.
• Russian people celebrate with their main dish as sauerkraut, and most Russians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
• In Poland, the children anxiously watch for the first star of the night and announce “a star has come” and only then sit down to Christmas Eve dinner, consisting of 12 dishes, one for each Apostle.
• Germany’s traditions vary by region, however, the appearance of the Christmas tree is first seen on Dec. 24, when it is put up and decorated and presents placed under it.
• Singing of Christmas carols is important in Romania; many go from town to town carrying a star made of cardboard with the children reciting poems along with the caroling.
During this special time of year an array of festive foods and gift giving can be seen throughout the world. The season as whole centers mostly around the spirit of giving, whether in service, food or gifts just as Christ came to give His life for ours many years ago. I hope this Christmas is a time of memory making, tradition setting and love for your families. Merry Christmas to all.
Ann Haney is homeschool mother of 17-plus years to six children, CEO of Aaron Publishing, founder of Ann Haney Ministries and Living In Abundance, nationwide motivational speaker, coupon specialist and author of 18 published products, including her book, “Exploding Into Successful Entrepreneurship.” Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a speaking engagement and view her website for more information at annhaney.com.