To kick off the holiday season, we asked Parenting's writers, bloggers, and Facebook fans to share their family's favorite holiday traditions. Some were, well, traditional (Turkeys! Trees!). Others not so much (Pickles! Antibiotics!). Some date back to childhood; others are beginning for the first time this year. Despite the differences in these rituals, a tradition has been and always will be a bread-crumb trail to our past. So pull the hand-stitched cardigan out of the closet, and cozy up to these holly, jolly essays.
Growing up in Boston with my extended family in Korea meant holiday celebrations required improvisation. Thanksgiving came with turkey, stuffing, and a side of kimchee. A random assortment of guests were invited to fill the dining room table, so as to make this whole big to-do seem more warranted for the bigger crowd.
But on Christmas, it was just my parents, my sister, and me. And instead of doing another big meal at home, we would find the nicest restaurant that was open on Christmas Eve (not always an easy task), doll ourselves up in our best velour, and enjoy a fancy night out. For a little girl, the quiet streets and prix-fixe menus made it all seem extra special.
Now, with a family of my own, our Christmas dinner has switched from fancy restaurant to takeout meal. My kids are lucky to have the benefit of their entire extended family nearby. But whether it's filet mignon or sesame chicken, a family can make anything a time-honored tradition.