Holiday Traditions You Didn’t Know Existed {But Might Want to Start Celebrating}

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When you think of Christmas traditions, one usually thinks of making and decorating cookies together, advent calendars, decorating the tree or making salt dough ornaments for the tree. Sure, those are all fun and typical holiday traditions.

But how about adding some new, quirky traditions to your rotation? I’m always up for something fun and different, so why not? No better time to start a new tradition than during the holidays, when friends and family are gathered together and more people can join in on the activities!

traditions

Here’s a list of some of the different yet fun and interesting traditions from around the world, as well as some right in your own backyard!

Beer & Mince Meat Pies for Santa

Children everywhere love putting out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa right before they drift off to sleep on Christmas Eve. And if the children are thoughtful enough, they’ll even leave out some carrots for the reindeer. But how about switching it up and leaving out a beer and pie for Santa (a.k.a. Mom & Dad)?

This is a Christmas tradition celebrated in Ireland. I’m sure after a long day of wrapping presents, assembling new toys and bikes, and getting all the festivities ready, a glass of beer and a slice of pie (mincemeat or fruit) would be a welcome change! If you aren’t sure what kind of beer to get, check out our listing of local breweries where you can find the perfect beer for Santa.

Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas Dinner

Apparently, in Japan, KFC is a popular meal, especially during December 23-25. In fact, it’s so popular, Japanese people start placing their meal orders two months in advance to make sure they have their holiday dinner secured. Forget the all-day food prep and cooking and extra dishes with your traditional holiday meal. Arrange for KFC to cater your next Christmas get together!

Spiders in Your Christmas Tree

When you think of spiders, you usually think of Halloween. At least in the US, that’s what most think of. But in Ukraine, finding a spider in your Christmas tree is considered good luck. This is all due to the legend of the Christmas Spider. In this traditional folklore, a pine cone grew into a Christmas tree in a poor family’s house and was covered in spider webs. When the children in the house opened the windows on Christmas day, the spider webs turned into gold and silver. The webs turning into gold and silver signified that the family would never live in poverty. Even today, in Ukraine and elsewhere, spiders and cobwebs are popular ornaments to display.

The Yule Cat

In Iceland, the Yule Cat is a big and ferocious cat in Icelandic folklore. This cat hides during Christmas time and eats people who haven’t received new clothes to wear for Christmas Eve. It all started as a sort of threat used by farmers to “encourage” their workers to finish their wool processing prior to Christmas.

Those who were successful in their work were paid with new clothes. If they weren’t successful, they would get nothing and then be eaten by the Yule Cat. And I thought reading about the Grinch was scary enough! No thanks!

Roller Skating to Christmas Mass

Traditionally, Christmas is considered a religious holiday, so many families attend a church service to celebrate the holiday. Well, how about starting the new tradition of roller skating to Christmas mass, just like they do in Venezuela. Why walk or drive when you can just skate there?

Residents in the town of Caracas, Venezuela traditionally roller skate to their Christmas service. After the church service, they enjoy coffee and tostadas. I’m horribly clumsy, so the roller skating part may become more of a liability than a tradition, but I can definitely get on board with the coffee and tostadas!

How about you and your holiday traditions? Do you have any fun or out of the ordinary traditions? I’m always looking for new ways to switch up our norm into something different and memorable!

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I am originally from New Hampshire and moved to the Cincinnati area in 2003. I am a mom to my two amazing boys, Eli (13) and Ethan (10). We currently live on the West Side of Cincinnati in Cheviot. I have a degree in healthcare management and work full-time in Cincinnati. I have shared parenting of my boys, so when we are together, we are sure to make the most of our time! Whether it's seeing Madcap Puppets, exploring the numerous local parks, enjoying the Cincinnati Pops, or cheering on our Cincinnati Redlegs, I strive to expose my boys to as many aspects of culture that I can! We have LOVED all the opportunities to explore Cincinnati and everything it has to offer families! We are avid Reds fans so you will likely find us at Great American Ballpark quite a bit during baseball season. It's our 2nd home during the summer! I enjoy music (I've played piano for 30 years) as well as being crafty (as time allows!), making crazy cool cakes, and relaxing with my boys, our dog Frankie, our 2 cats Luna & Lyra, and guinea pigs Holly & Mocha (we have quite the animal kingdom)! At this point in my life, there's really no where else I'd rather be, than here in Cincinnati with my family!

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