Without fail my family's Christmas traditions stayed the same until my parents passed away.
We always put the tree up after Thanksgiving. My Dad got a fake tree one year and we all rebelled. It had to be real. When we got older, my brothers and I would set it up, and decorate it though cause my dad wasn't strong enough at that point to go hauling around a Christmas tree.
The whole house would smell of pine and I would come home everyday after school and sniff it.
After three days we would decorate the tree. Lights first, and checking that all the lights worked. And then the Christmas decorations would go on next. My mom kept every handmade decoration we made, plus always buy new balls each year.
Before I knew Santa wasn't real, presents only appeared from our grandparents and other relatives. The week before my brothers and I would write a list to Santa and my mom would explain she would mail it to Santa Claus later. Kids, we have no idea :-)
My dad would always ask was I good his year and I would be honest. I was good, but could be better, and would think Santa would understand why I kept trying to smother my younger brother.
We would wish for snow, cause without it, it didn't feel like Christmas. The night before we put out cookies and milk and worry Santa couldn't get in cause we had no chimney. My dad explained Santa was magic and could get in anywhere.
We would watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and any other Christmas movie we had on VHS back then recorded and go to bed.
We end up trying to stay awake and get yelled at if we didn't sleep Santa wasn't coming.
And then every Christmas day at 7 am we start knocking at our parents door asking them to get up so we can see what Santa Claus brought. Rule was we were not allowed to set food downstairs til both parents were up. My mom would put on coffee and start making breakfast. And then we could open presents as we got our pictures taken.
Even though I live alone now I still will put out a small Christmas tree after Thanksgiving and smell the scent of pine in the house everyday! I also still watch the same Christmas cartoon shows and go to bed. Rule is we can't open presents til Christmas day, so my brothers and sister will require a photo check everyday to ensure I haven't been opening things.
Tasks for Christmas: So. many. options. Post a picture of your stockings hung from the chimney with care, –OR–Post a picture of Santa’s ‘treat’ waiting for him. –OR–
Share with us your family Christmas traditions involving gift-giving, or Santa’s visit. Did you write letters to Santa as a kid (and if so, did he write back, as J.R.R. Tolkien did “as Santa Claus” to his kids)? If so, what did you wish for? A teddy bear or a doll? Other toys – or practical things? And did Santa always bring what you asked for?