Christmas without an eating disorder

Last year, I posted a video "Thanksgiving without an eating disorder," showing my daughter and I making a pie.

This one is a little more nutty- I had my kids and some friends over, and we decided to make cookies.

"We just want to eat them," said the boys, moaning and groaning about decorating them.

I got them rolling, the only rule being – no licking the tubes of frosting, too grody for me. As you can see from the looks of my kitchen table, we had a blast.

My daughters little buddy from China said, "You know, this is really, really fun!" He had never made "American style" Christmas cookies before and it was so neat to see his face light up.

Out they went, carrying their tray of cookies, excitedly telling their parents what they did, and thanking me over and over.

Needless to say, I felt like a queen for a day.

What special traditions do you do during the holidays?


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5 Responses to Christmas without an eating disorder

  1. Michelle says:

    Goodness! That sounds fun!
    We used to have a lot of traditions, but things have changed since my brother and I have been at college.
    We used to put an angel on the fireplace in the same room as the tree. Instead of ‘Santa’, the angel would fly over the room and then when she was done granting our wishes, she would sit on the top of the tree.
    Sure, we had ‘Santa’ but I liked the idea more of an angel instead of some guy the world created. You know?
    Another thing which I love is:
    At our old church, we’d have the candle light service in the evening on Christmas Eve. This service was so beautiful because the preacher would give his sermon, and then we’d have people of the church sing, play the piano, and, when I was old enough, I’d play Oh Holy Night on the trumpet. Then at the end, we’d light all of our candles and sing Christmas hymns. It was beautiful.
    Now, I go with my brother and his fiancee’s family to the midnight mass at St. Mary’s church. It is a really beautiful church, also where my brother is going to be married at this July! =] They added a candlelight portion the third year we went. So, that’s great to go to now.

  2. Lia says:

    My family is very multi-cultural, so we have a whole host of Christmas traditions. We light candles in the window- one for each day in the advent. They’re tiny beeswax candles, so we have to literally have hundreds of them since they always burn down in an evening, so we have to renew them all and add one more the next day. Our whole house smells of beeswax and cookies during Christmas time.
    When I still lived at home, every advent Sunday was baking time. We would make German, Italian and American style Christmas cookies and all our friends would come over to help bake and decorate them. My Mom would make fresh German style pretzels (the ones that are all fluffy and get dipped in brine and decorated with salt crystals) since by the time the day was over nobody could even think of eating cookies anymore (I never ate a lot of Christmas cookies as when you smell them all the time you lose your appetite for them).
    We always had (and I still have) a nativity scene on a table in one corner of the room, where one after another all the participants come together and walk towards the stable. We go caroling around the neighborhood with a group of friends and have so far introduced the tradition to seven different countries. When I was small, we would put out our shoes on St. Nick’s day (Dec. 6th) and again a month later (Three King’s Day) to be filled with sweets and small, funny presents. Christmas Eve was spent doing nice things for others- we’d put on a whole music program for kids at the hospital (we’d even sing and dance sometimes) and for people at the retirement home. We wrote (and still write) letters to our parents, telling them how wonderful they are and what they did for us during the past year. My maternal grandma brought this tradition over from Italy, and we read these letters out loud after dinner on Christmas Eve. It bonds us together as a family as little else does.
    We don’t go to church- none of our family is very religious. On Dec. 13th, we got to go around the neighborhood dressed in white with a mistletoe crown and carrying candles as a celebration of Santa Lucia. We had a Yule log- both the edible and the version in the fireplace (which was really, really superfluous when we lived in Florida, but we did it anyway). We have holly and mistletoe and candles everywhere. We have an advent wreath with four candles on them which are lit one after the other every single advent Sunday. When we were small, my parents used to “hide” the Christmas tree from us- we were forbidden to go into the living room until Christmas Eve, when we would see the tree in all its glory (and the presents underneath, but strangely enough the tree was the most important thing for me). Nowadays, we decorate the Christmas tree together once we’re all together (mostly on Dec23rd). My paternal Grandma told us the trees were brought by angels- we were allowed to come into the living room when the Christmas bell rang and the music started to play (mostly Grandpa playing the piano).
    We usually had (and still have) one meat dish and something vegetarian for dinner on Christmas Eve and lunch on Christmas Day. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was ten, and my parents thankfully never thought it was “just a fad”- they just adjusted.
    We write Christmas cards- only they’re not only Christmas cards but also contain a paragraph about what we did that year- and send them out to our friends. These Christmas cards are always handmade, the center design is designed by a different family member every year- mostly, everyone draws something in their own style, or something to do with them. It’s a lot of planning (since my family is rather big), but it’s simply wonderful. My Mom still has all the cards from when we were born until now.
    Christmas, for us, is also the time when once every five years the whole family, close and extended, gathers at a different member’s house. This year, it’s with my parents in Hong Kong, last time it was at my aunt’s in Boston. Usually, as many members as possible try to congregate at someone’s house- there’s no discernible pattern but somehow we spend Christmas in a different place every year.
    Ultimately, what all our traditions are is just an expression of what my family is.

  3. Mrs. B. says:

    We have a lot of Christmas traditions, as well.
    The day after Thanksgiving, we (begin to) decorate for Christmas. The kids and I work frantically to get as much done as possible so that when my husband comes home for dinner, we have a beautiful meal on our Christmas china – with, at the very least, the family room decorated. We always have leftover cherry jello salad from our Thanksgiving meal and it always makes the plates look really festive. We used to have ham, until we learned that Jes is allergic to pork. Now we’ll have turkey or beef tenderloin. We always have crescent rolls, too. Something that is rare for us. My husband has a wheat allergy. We don’t have wheat bread around alot.
    We always bake Christmas cookies and ice them. We start off trying to make them as beautiful as we can and get sloppier and sloppier and sillier and sillier as the dozens move through. Lots of laughs.
    We always go see one of three rotating Christmas shows….Nutcracker, The Symphony’s program, or A Christmas Carol….depending on the mood. Jes and I love live theatre.
    We also shop for my hubby the weekend before Christmas and the kids and I make a big day out of it. It’s usually a big trip to the Nordstrom’s men’s department to stock hubby up because hubby hates to spend money on himself, but he loves nice clothes.
    Christmas Eve, we go to my mom’s after a candlelight church service(Where my favorite song is always, “Mary Did You Know”….which always makes me cry)…and we always have the exact same menu at mom’s…chicken salad on crescents, shrimp, swedish meatballs, eggnog. Mom always makes the same Christmas cookies – mexican wedding cakes, pineapple tea squares, chocolate chip.
    We open gifts with the extended family. We go home and I wrap all night, watching Christmas movies.
    We wake up at the crack of dawn with the kids coming into our room. Nobody is allowed to go to the family room until I make hubby’s coffee and squeeze orange juice. Everyone goes nuts waiting.
    The kids are allowed to look at their stockings while Dad has his coffee. That is a favorite part, though, because our stockings are big enough to put a small horse into – it’s a tradition my paternal grandmother began with stockings she made for us as kids.
    Then we slowly open gifts in a circle, savoring each one.
    Everyone takes a midmorning nap.
    Christmas evening, we always have a nice meal and usually we have drop-ins most of the night.
    I love Christmas. I love Jesus. I love my family – immediate and extended. You can’t beat any of it. Thanks, Jesus.

  4. Lizzie says:

    I dont have any real holiday traditions but this post reminded me of something i did the other day. My four year old cousin and I made Christmas gingerbread shapes the other day (trees and stars etc) and decorated them wth red and green icing and seeing his face light up when we were making them just made me smile. i also just want to say how i love reading your posts, I am from Australia so sometimes i dont quite get the “Arerican-isms” but i think you are a very smart and courageous woman for allowing others to read your thoughts, thankyou.

  5. eshoe says:

    Since my hubby and I can’t have kids (thanks ed), we prepare dozens of sugar cookies and invite the neighborhood kids over to decorate them – they LOVE it! We have so many decorative things to go on top – dragées of every color, sprinkles and colors of icing galore. Then we send them home with the cookies – treats for Mom and Dad, too.
    It’s once of my favorite memories of Christmas since I have been married.

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