What unusual tradition do you have at Christmas and where did it originate from?


4 Answers

Melinda Michael Profile
Melinda Michael answered
My self-created Christmas tradition is to refuse to go anywhere at all on Christmas Day, though this has less to do with tradition than with being the child of parents with an unhealthy penchant for divorce.

When you've spent your childhood Christmases being transported from one parental home to the other, always aware that one parent is feeling left out, (or trying to pump you for information about the other one), you go off the whole thing a bit. Especially when the children of the new marriages get to stay home all day and play with their presents, while you spend the day like a hypertensive UN diplomat shuttling between increasingly tense and hazardous locations.

So, when you have children of your own, and find yourself subjecting them to the same process of driving around between various grandparents' and ex-step-grand-parents' houses, for the whole of Christmas Day, you begin to feel that enough may be enough.

That this was indeed the case was confirmed when, on one memorable occasion, we managed to miss dinner at all of the three "parental" homes we visited on that particular Christmas Day, arriving either too early or too late to eat at any of them.

We finally got home at 11.00pm, starving hungry, stone cold sober, and with two very, very irritable small children, who had somehow managed to lose half of their gifts somewhere en route. At that point, we vowed never, ever to do it again. And we haven't, either - not for the last twenty years, or so.

Boxing Day is still a free-for-all, though. That's next on the hit list.
Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
I used to travel to Milton Keynes every Christmas... Not so much out of tradition, but because my in-laws used to live there.

Until recently, I couldn't think of anything more unusual to do every Christmas than to visit a Buckinghamshire town known for roundabouts and concrete cows, but that was until I heard about a Catalonian tradition known as Cagoner.

Bizarre Christmas Traditions
In short, a Cagoner is a small figurine of a defecating shepherd that is placed alongside Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a Catalonian nativity scene.

If anyone is struggling to think of a gift for their office Secret Santa, then a Cagoner could be the answer!

Another odd festive tradition is that of the Befana: The Italian version of Santa Claus.

Rather than a jolly-looking fat man on a sleigh, Italian kids await a haggard old witch riding a broomstick to deliver their presents. The idea of the Befana can be traced all the way back to Greek/Roman mythology.

In typical Italian fashion, the Befana also doesn't show up until January 5th (which is very convenient for parents looking to take advantage of the January sales!).
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm Dutch, and on Christmas morning, my mom hides a fake pickle on the tree. Whoever finds it gets a surprize gift.
Adam  Groom Profile
Adam Groom answered
On Christmas Eve when the kids to up the stairs to bed they find a present left by fairies, containing pyjamas and Christmas book/DVD. A tradition from my wife's side of the family, not sure how far it goes back; but it probably started in Wales.

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