Every family has them, be they goofy or serious, simple or elaborate: traditions that have to happen every year for it to feel like a real holiday.
When I was growing up, my family always got our tree around my mom's birthday in mid-December, and my brother and I always chased each other and had a snowball fight. Like, even in our teens and yes, we are super mature, thanks for asking. My mom always puts Christmas cookies on a plate I made when I was in first grade. And my dad makes killer eggnog.
In my own family, we still get the tree around my mom's birthday, but we have some traditions of our own. My parents now come over Christmas morning for homemade cinnamon rolls, coffee and mimosas for the adults and presents...the dress code is PJs and robes. I make and decorate cutout sugar cookies with the kids the day my daughter gets out of school for break. And our neighborhood has an annual caroling party every year. We don't always go, but we always make sure to be out on our porch to hear them sing.
Of course, traditions change with time....we've gone from children's Mass to midnight Mass to children's mass again, and having two or three Christmases with the various in-law permutations instead of trying to see everyone on one day.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? How have they changed over time?