December 11, 2009 Other Traditions

Today’s Advent Calender asks:

Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions form their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?

Our family never celebrated any other traditions during the Christmas season. 

The only holiday tradition that I  recall is from my German family. Grandma Ida would always hang stockings on her mantle for all of the grandchildren.  On Christmas morning, those stockings would be full of oranges, walnuts and a few small toys. Since Grandma died when I was 8, I never understood why she did this. After she passed, my Dad never continued with this tradition or stockings at all. As I got older I always thought she filled the stockings this way because money was tight. She did not work and Grandpa had passed many years before. I figured this was how she made her money stretch. About 5 years ago, I was talking with a friend about this. She chuckled and asked if I was German. When I replied that I was, she told me that this was a St Nick thing. I felt foolish, but Grandma was the only one left from the German side of my family. I guess I should have asked more questions as a child. 

What I learned about traditions in my life: Explain them to your children so they understand why we do what we do!

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