Holiday Traditions ….

Well it’s that time of year for us to breaking out the old holiday traditions …. this year is the beginning of some new holiday traditions in our home.  One is that we are trading in the sledding down at the levee/river for walks on St Armand’s Circle – Florida …. we didn’t have an opportunity to get all bundled up and go sledding in the REAL snow so we made due with the Bradenton Holiday festival (where they had a line for you to wait in, to sled down a little snow hill – very cool) !     Santa is always a big tradition as well as Christmas lights, cookies and milk!!

Christmas is our favorite time of year, the cheer, the lights, the happiness, the music, the feelings ….. it’s a beautiful time of year !!

Our daughter brought home a paper today (kindergarten) and here's what it read:
A "Sense" Sational Christmas
Christmas looks like shimmering lights on the Christmas tree.
Christmas feels like Santa's beard.
Christmas smells like gingerbread cookies
Christmas tastes like candy canes.
Christmas sounds like Rudolph's bell.
Just thought this was beautiful, so simple, and so true!

I am wanting to hear some of your Holiday traditions.   Would they be much like mine as to see the family smiling and the kids jumping for joy on Christmas morning?


Merry Christmas



A few of our traditions are but definitely not limited to (plus many more are being formed with our new move to Florida, and NOW being surrounded by our family)
  • We ALWAYS try to find the “Real” Santa ….. non of those Santa’s helpers 🙂
  • Baking and Leaving cookies for Santa …..
  • Opening New Pj’s on Christmas Eve ….
  • Video Taping the Night before Christmas by the Tree about the year and what we want for Christmas ….
  • NEW this Year – We’ve hung a stocking outside of our door, and the elves have been leaving us gifts!

  • Every Friday is Family FUN night in our home, so for the entire month of Dec, we try to find Holiday/Christmas things to do! 
  • We all Wear Santa and/or Elf hats during the month of December!
  • We wrap our gifts in different wrapping paper than the big man, he always brings his the “Special Paper” with special tags!

    We’ve also started some business holiday traditions – we sent out gift cards to some, and Christmas cards to a lot of clients this year!



    Merry Christmas


    And there are so many more ….. BUT I want to hear about yours now !!   I love to share with others and hear from others !!   So please share with me, and share with your friends, so they can share too!!    We just love the holidays … and we wish you the most Merry Christmas EVER this 2010 Year … Your more than welcome to share pictures and videos too!


The Palotas Family



4 thoughts on “Holiday Traditions ….

  1. Love your traditions, some of which we shared, like opening the jammies on Christmas Eve. Since I never told my children the myth of Santa Clause (and boy did I catch crap for that as a parent!) we would put tags on the gifts from random fictional characters. One year all their gifts came from the seven dwarves, another year, the Rugrats 😉 My ex and I would wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve (save the jammies which were there as soon as I bought them) along with amaretto and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Invariably we’d find one kid had more than the other (there were 5 of them!) so it became a tradition to run to Walgreen’s before they closed at midnight to get the random coloring book or sketch pad so the wrapped number was equal for each child. Wrapping and tagging the gifts in the wee hours, slightly under the influence led to some hilarity, such as the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, all the new underwear was from Bill Clinton. The kids didn’t get it (other than they knew all the tags were jokes) and thinking back, that was pretty outrageous 😉 We weren’t particularly religious, but I did try to find a Christmas Eve service with a lot of carols and candlelight and take the children. I also sang Christmas carols as lullabyes to my daughters every night (for years!) because I wanted them to know all the words. (Same with The Star Spangled Banner and Take Me Out to the Ballgame 😉 I always ended with Silent Night, going softer and softer in each of the four verses, making sure they were asleep. My older daughter told me once she used to try to stay awake for that one because it was her favorite. 🙂 Blessings to you and your family this Christmas, Joe. May all your days be merry and bright!

  2. Ellen,

    Thank you so much for responding to my blog!! WOW, you never told your children about Santa ?? That had to be hard? I don’t know …. I find it the hardest when they find out the truth, which I would like it to be never, but I know this isn’t going to happen 🙂 So the best we can do is to provide them with the best these years, so maybe in their heart, they will always believe, like myself and my lovely wife do! Thank you for sharing that story with me! It’s funny you out character names on the gifts though, that’s so funny! That’s nice you found carolers and things of that natural to do! We aren’t religious ourselves, but very spiritual you could say! So we’ve been doing all kinds of things to get the family in the Christmas Spirit!

    Blessings to you and yours, and we hope that you have the most wonderful Christmas ever!

  3. Joseph and family, your traditions are wonderful and will bring your children many happy memories. I have two special ones. The first takes place around 1913 when my mother was 4 years old. She had told me of their Christmas tradition which was so magical. They all knew the Christmas tree was in a special room – without any decorations and no presents. After Christmas Eve Dinner and doing the chores (yes, CHORES), my grandfather and grandmother would take all the kids (mom and her siblings) off on a sleigh ride pulled by their horse. All bundled up, they would go around the area visiting other families and giving out homemade cookies. While they were gone, my grandfather’s brother would sneak into the house and quickly decorate the tree. Mind you, in those days there were no electic lights to fool around with. There were the gorgeous German ornaments, painted walnut shells, and paper links. When he finished decorating, he’d put all of the candles on the tree. (I still have the ones not used and the holders.) Then he’d put all the wrapped presents under the tree. He’d wait until the family got back from their sleighride, which was obviously LONG, then he would light all the candles and go out the window of the decorated room. Mom and her brothers and sisters would come back, wait for grandpa to unlock the room, and it would be, if by magic, decorated, lighted and all of Santa’s presents waiting for them. When mom told me of this story, I was 23 at the time, and I just cried with wonder at how much the family had done to make Christmas such a time of enchantment. Mom was in her 60’s when she told me, and the look on her face from telling me those memories is one not to be forgotten. Total happiness.

    My parents made Christmas as magical as they could also. We would all decorate the tree as a family with the same ornaments, and ones we as kids had made. After dinner Christmas Eve, we would have our dinner, we’d do the dishes (egads) then go for a car ride to see all the lights on everyone’s homes. When we came back, we had to go to my sister’s room and be very quiet. We played cards in our jammies and waited for Santa. No going to bed for us. Santa came to our attic every year. Mom had kept the original sleighbells from her childhood, would give them to dad, and he would go into the attic, tromping around, ringing the sleighbells, and yelling ho ho ho. My God, it was so exciting. WE GOT TO HEAR SANTA, and he would talk to his reindeer by name. And ring those sleighbells. All three of us in our jammies would then scream like crazy for the excitement. At this time, mom and dad would bring out the prezzies (tons of them) and put them under the tree. Santa always drank his hot chocolate and ate mom’s homemade cookies. And all the carrots we left for the deer were gone too! (Funny thing, we had lots of cooked carrots next day.) Mom and Dad would then let us know it was time to open the presents. We would always open them one by one, being very careful with the paper. I kept most of that paper for decades, using it over and over. It finally wore out. But it was a tradition. At the end, mom and dad would give us each the special presents – one each from Santa. Until her death at 93, we all still received one present from Santa like clockwork. Thank you mom and dad. Thank you Santa. Being adopted into this family at 10 was the best thing that happened to me.

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