Just out of curiosity, I asked my older children what traditional things we do around Christmas that they really enjoy. Here is what they said:
-Skating party on the 26th will all the cousins (Steve's folks have 27 grandchildren!) .
-New Years sledding party.
-Just staying home as a family.
-Reading God's word together.
-Cold lunch after Christmas with all the leftovers.
-Watching old movies like Mary Poppins, Cheaper By The Dozen, Kidnapped and 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
I smile as they say all these things because none of them started out to be traditions. They are not old traditions, but they are what the kids think of that makes this time of year special for them.
I think back to my childhood and my Norwegian family. Foods like Gjetost (pronounced yea-toast - a brown goats cheese aka: ambrosia!), Lutefisk (fermented whitefish that smells awful but has no flavor), Lefse (potato flatbread to wrap your ambrosia Gjetost in), meatballs, smoked herring, milk rice, and strong coffee.
Most of these things are gone now. I am allergic to wheat and dairy (even goat's cheese :-/). I will still make milk rice for our Christmas morning breakfast (made with coconut milk instead of cow milk). I will also make lefse for New Year: it works out OK gluten free. I will be drinking tea instead of the black, thick coffee. Even so, my childhood memories are still precious because it was not the actual traditions that were REALLY meaningful, but what they represented: family, togetherness, security, and LOVE.