Unusual Holiday Traditions

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Quiz Show

"A tradition in my own family is the annual Ullery Family Christmas Quiz. On Christmas Eve my five children and two granddaughters sit around the tree and their dad and I pass out a questionnaire for them to fill out. The questions range from "What are the names of every pet we ever had?" to "What was Pete's Jersey number when he played football in high school?" to "What did John think he was getting for Christmas in 1979 because he peeked at his list but was disappointed when he didn't get it after all?" It's a trip down memory lane for the kids and we have a lot of laughs." -- Helen, 57, Bolingbrook, Illinois

No Reveler Left Behind

"My husband and I have created a tradition of 'orphans' Christmas -- a non-religious, no-presents get-together at our place for friends and friends of friends who otherwise might not have anywhere to go on that day, either because they're far from home or because they don't usually celebrate holidays. Everyone brings something yummy, and I get to meet interesting people right in my own living room." -- Juliet, 36, New York City

Progressive Decorating

"When my three kids were little, we would decorate the house one day at a time beginning the day after Thanksgiving. I would get all the Christmas boxes down from the attic but only bring out one decoration each day: candles, dishes, stockings, etc. Some nights as I tucked them into bed I would let them decide what the next day's decoration should be and some days I would surprise them. The kids loved it, and it made getting ready for the holidays fun and easy because I didn't have to feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to get it all done at once, by myself." -- Brenda, 49, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Fewer Gifts, More Fun

"My family replaced our shopping woes with a much more fun gift-giving game. All participants bring a wrapped gift, valued at say, $50. Everyone draws numbers. Number 1 goes first, and chooses and unwraps a gift. Number 2 can either choose a wrapped gift, or 'steal' Number 1's gift (in which case 1 chooses another new one). Number 3 and the rest follow suit. The last person gets his or her pick from all the opened gifts, or choose the last unwrapped one. It's always a hoot. Now our family gift-giving tradition is something we look forward to, instead of dreading, year after year." -- Jill, 34, Yardley, Pennsylvania

A Very Liquid Feast

"I have A Very Boozy Thanksgiving party most every year the weekend before Thanksgiving so I can share my favorite holiday with all my friends before we go our separate ways. Last year I had a 20-pound turkey with a full buffet of fixins -- and there are always plenty of cocktails (mulled cider with Maker's Mark!). -- Hillery, 29, Minneapolis

 

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