Triangle Families Celebrate the Holidays With Special Traditions

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Does your family have a holiday tradition that you look forward to every year? For mine, it’s baking goodies to give to neighbors. My husband makes fudge and banana bread, and my sons and I bake gingerbread. Each year, we get a kick out of creating not only gingerbread boys and girls, Christmas trees, snowmen and stars, but also fantastic other creatures that call out to us from the pieces of dough that remain after the “perfect” cutouts are made. Walking together around the neighborhood to distribute the plates of food each year gives us time to chat with neighbors, even those who live a little farther away and whom we don't see as often.

No matter how simple, holiday traditions draw us together as a family and create memories that can live on for generations. As part of our Busch Gardens contest last month, we asked our readers to tell us about their holiday traditions. Take a look below at how Triangle families will be celebrating the holidays, and feel free to share some of your own traditions with us on Facebook.

Jeff H. — Giving written clues to present hiding places.

Cindy H. — Christmas Eve seafood dinner.

Michele E. — Our Elf on the Shelf leaves our kids a gift on Christmas Eve before he flies back to the North Pole.

Leigh Ann J. — Cut down a tree on a farm.

Meredith R. — Our favorite holiday tradition is the Waverly Place tree lighting and our family Christmas party!

Abigail I. — Watching “Home Alone” and eating cheese pizza.

Brooke M. — Raleigh Christmas parade, Triangle Youth Ballet Nutcracker.

Lori W. — Baking for the family.

Sabrina W. — Opening stockings on Christmas Eve.

Crystal H. — Every year, a member of my family is chosen to create a homemade family game, which we all enjoy! This year our game will be “Name that movie!" Getting everyone involved with a fun game is a great way to bring the family together. We have enjoyed this tradition for 15 years!

Kristin B. — Every Christmas Eve, our family exchanges ornaments with the person whose name was drawn earlier in the month. It's always exciting and gives everyone a new ornament each year!

Stephanie M. — After we visit Santa at Southpoint, we pick up the Christmas tree and decorate it that same evening while listening to Christmas music.

Kristina B. — In 2013, my husband proposed on Christmas day by putting a ring in a box of gourmet chocolates. Last year, I was pregnant, and we set up the nursery on Christmas day, and ended up eating at IHOP just because it was the only restaurant that was open.  After our hard work, it was an amazing Christmas, even better than the proposal. Now, we have a 9- month-old beautiful baby boy who will be celebrating his first Christmas this year. Christmas is a special time of year for us, and we would like to start a tradition with him, but we aren't sure where to start!

Pamela M. — Taking my nieces to a Broadway show at the DPAC or Duke Performing Arts every year. That is their favorite gift. We give them tickets for Christmas and take them to dinner on the night of the show. So much fun for all of us.

Parks — We go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every year in New York City.

Christopher H. — Christmas breakfast!

Angela M. — We enjoy playing “Ding Dong Ditch: Delivering a Thank You Treat," such as a box of candy to our favorite homes with holiday lights by ringing the doorbell, leaving the gift with a note and trying to disappear before they see us."

Angelan W. — Visiting Hillridge Farms

Sarah  D.-W. — Selecting and cutting own perfect North Carolina Fraser Fir in the crisp Banner Elk weather. Each year's tree is more perfect than the last!
Eric B. — Our holiday tradition is to do a gift scavenger hunt for the kiddos!

Danielle P. — Christmas brunch! In a time when families are spread far and wide, we use the “Christmas Brunch Family Tradition” the Saturday before Christmas. Each family brings brunch items to a potluck event at our home where we exchange gifts and love with friends and family all day long. Young and old interact, and the fellowship is amazing for all. It grows every year, and everyone who comes once asks eagerly to participate again! I do believe I enjoy this time more than the actual Christmas dinner on Christmas day!

Leroy B. — Open one present on Christmas Eve.

Nathan Y. — Decorating the tree as a family.

Barbara F. — This year, we're starting a new tradition by visiting an exciting place with the family. We plan to keep it going forward.

Tiffany E. — Opening one present from grandparents on Christmas Eve night.

Cortney B. — Watching “Christmas Vacation” with the whole family!

Sarah B. — Decorating the tree.

Abby K. — Our family of four always goes out to cut down a real tree together. We all get to take turns with the saw, even the little guy, which is fun! We always have a fun adventure that creates lasting memories. My dad did the same with us, and I hope my children will continue the tradition.

Heather H. — Picking a Christmas tree out and cutting it down ourselves.

Christine F. — Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus, at a local church's “Journey to Bethlehem” production with my family.

Joanne W. — Christmas Eve equals appetizer night with everyone's favorites. This is something my family did when I was growing up, and I've carried on the tradition in my own household.

Gaby S. — Making gingerbread houses.

Jenny  M. — Seeing the Christmas lights at Hill Ridge Farms!

Chris S. — My whole family makes sugar cookies, and we go crazy decorating with icing sprinkles while playing Christmas music. It’s so much fun.

Ryan A. — Avoiding the Godzilla Treatment as the Lionel train winds its way around the tree, sipping whatever seasonal mishmash of hazelnut, peppermint, gingerbread and rum they overcharge us for in the coffee aisle this year.

Lisa C. — A Christmas Eve gathering and feast. 


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