I never thought that my family was super traditional around Christmas because we never went to church or mass and we usually just stayed home, but this year, I realized that we have more traditions than I had thought. Here are a few of them:
1. Secret Santa
For years, we have limited our Christmas to just a Secret Santa exchange within my family, with typically a $30 limit. The rules require a poem with the gift, as a letter from Santa Claus, and of course that is the hardest part.
2. Breaking Secret Santa's rules
And every single year we have Secret Santa, multiple people always break the "Only Secret Santa" rule. It's so fun to give gifts and every year, my dad especially, cannot resist buying presents for everyone.
3. Putting a sheet over the Christmas tree
My dad's birthday is on the 23, and every year I put a white sheet over the Christmas tree because "Today isn't Christmas!" (even though every year, he tells me that I don't have to do that).
4. Marmalade for the neighbors
My mom is well known for her Meyer lemon marmalade, and so we always take her marmalade, and some of the lemons from our huge tree, to the neighbors to spread some holiday cheer.
5. Cheese Fondue for Christmas dinner
I have no idea what the "normal" Christmas dinner is, but I always look forward to the unlimited cheese fondue with homemade bread on the night of the 25th.
6. The Dice game
Again, I have never seen an American family open their presents on Christmas morning, but my family wants to draw out the occasion for as long as possible. We have a dice game where you have to roll a 6 in order to choose a present for someone else to open. We'll go in circles rolling the dice for hours before we roll enough doubles.
7. Dutch family in the house
Every year, we are somehow lucky enough to have some of our family out of the Netherlands to join us for Dad's birthday and Christmas. Our family of five easily becomes eight, or even ten people as we all squeeze around the Christmas tree.