Our Holiday Traditions: From The Allrecipes Family To Yours
The holidays are in full swing here at Allrecipes HQ, and just like your house, it's a time of food, family, food, shopping, and, of course, even more food. As we count down the days to Christmas, we thought it would be fun to share some of our traditions with everyone in the Allrecipes community.
Joseph Manalang (Business Development)
We've lived on Candy Cane Lane here in Seattle for the past 5 years, and all of us on the street take two whole days dressing up the neighborhood with lights. This has been happening every year for the past 65 years.
Carole Ferrer (Ad Operations)
My home was always the central spot for Christmas. Christmas Eve was always filled with food, friends and family, out of town guests, etc. Growing up, my friends were always a part of this as well. I always wondered what their own families were doing that evening, as I couldn't have imagined being away from mine. My dad was the embodiment of Christmas spirit and had an outstanding collection of classic Christmas albums by artists like Ray Conniff and Mitch Miller. Many Christmases were spent "Singing Along with Mitch!" Wonderful memories!
Danielle Williams (Office Manager)
The weekend before Christmas, my family tradition is to spend all day making ravioli (usually 4-5 hours), using a modified version of an old family recipe (meat, spinach & cheese raviolis) to be eaten on Christmas day (and after). While most of the methods we use to make them are newer, we still use an old piece of my great-grandmother's ravioli rolling pin to press out the "pillows" before cutting. Then as a reward we cook up the scraps with butter and Parmesan to have for dinner that night.
Emilia Anderson (Development)
We were impatient. The presents were always under the tree days before, and my brother and I would be too wound up to sleep. So, the family would stay up and drink hot chocolate, eat my dad's amazing Russian nut rolls, and at the stroke of midnight we were allowed to open a present. Over the years it devolved into just opening them all. Of course, this was all AFTER we realized where the presents really came from! Now, with my son, I make him wait, and we have fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast—either from Cinnabon or homemade.
Carl Hanson (Marketing and Content)
As a kid growing up in Tucson, I loved the tradition of luminarias. A few days before Christmas, we'd shovel a few scoops of desert sand into white paper lunch bags, place a votive candle in each, and then line them up along the edge of the front yard. And in the evenings, when lit, they'd flicker and glow. The entire neighborhood was lit up like a landing strip for Santa's sleigh. There always seemed to be a batch of delicious tamales on hand, too. Only later did I learn that Christmas time is actually cold in other places—and doesn't usually include luminarias or tamales.
Karen Gaudette (Marketing and Content)
Growing up, my family had two traditions on Christmas Eve: everyone got to open one gift, and we baked a cake (almost always yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting) that we'd decorate together and then leave out for Santa. In the morning, there'd always be a piece taken. We'd eat cake for breakfast after opening presents while Mom got Christmas dinner in the oven. Good times! Now I'm passing on the cake tradition to my own little one.
Seth Kolloen (Marketing and Content)
In my family Christmas is the one time of year that we nod to our Norwegian heritage. Aunt Jan makes lefse, and also buys pickled herring and that brown-colored goat cheese. I was probably 15 years old when I finally screwed up the courage to try pickled herring (actually maybe my Uncle Pete forced me) but now I love it.
Vanessa Greaves (Marketing and Content)
Christmas is a total PJ day, with brand new jammies for all. Breakfast is always monkey bread, bacon and eggs, fresh fruit, and mimosas. (I tried not making monkey bread one year, but my child's disappointed face nixed that option for the future.) I used to cook a fancy Christmas dinner, but now it's take-out Chinese roast duck. But we serve it at a candle-lit table with Christmas crackers and champagne. And yes, we wear our PJs when we go to get the duck.
Sonja Groset (Marketing and Content)
My Swedish and Norwegian parents pull out all the stops for a traditional "Julbord" on Christmas Eve. There are cured meats, pates and pickled herring for the first course, lutefisk for the second course, and roast pork belly and meatballs for the third course. Each course is served with boiled potatoes, and washed down with copious amounts of aquavit, a Scandinavian fire water. And of course there are drinking songs. Skal!
Michael Ketchum (Marketing and Content)
Our tradition centers around "Candy Elves." Not only does Santa visit every Christmas Eve, but he travels with a myriad of Candy Elves that leave a trail of candy from the foot of the children's beds to the base of the Christmas tree. So Christmas morning is a bit of a combination of Halloween and Christmas all wrapped in one as they collect their sweets before gathering around the tree. On another note, for the last 4 years, our Christmas tree is a bright orange tree with an orange Denver Broncos helmet as the tree topper in lieu of a star. Go Broncos!
Elan Mayhew (Culture Coordinator)
My extended family does our "traditional" celebration all day on Christmas Eve, which involves lots of chex mix, board games, wine, dinner, more wine, and presents. We get together again for brunch on Christmas morning and then go to a movie. By the afternoon we are usually all sick of each other! So my husband and I order Chinese food for dinner and lounge around in our PJ's.
Elizabeth Martin (Marketing and Content)
We have an annual cookie exchange—it's grown over the years. We get bakery boxes, and have snacks, and mulled wine. This year, we had over 30 exchangers and Santa came for the kids.
Christmas Eve is always spent first at Mass, then driving around looking at Christmas lights, followed by new pajamas, and a fun holiday story we read together. Even as I've grown, I've loved this tradition and time with my family.
Noel Christmas (Marketing and Content)
In our family, it's definitely the cinnamon rolls. Mom would make them a few days ahead of time (no matter how close, it was an interminable length, since we weren't allowed to eat any of them), and then after opening stockings–but before the presents–we could go warm them up and begin the glorious consumption of sugar and carbs. And yes, when your family name is "Christmas," (really, it is—there's a lot of us!) and you live on a working Christmas tree farm (again: really. It's more work than you'd think, but lots of fun), the holidays are just as crazy as you'd imagine. Add in a first name like "Noel" or my sister's also fully-festive name "Holly" and, well, it's definitely our favorite time of year.
Sara Findlay (Marketing and Content)
I have a huge Filipino extended family on my Mom's side and we don't usually stick to the more "traditional" holiday dishes, but always have Lechon on the table! Additionally, we generally do some sort of trivia game to win gift Cards, plus a White Elephant exchange for the adults, while all the kiddos open their numerous gifts. To top it all off, inevitably one of our crazy "Titos" (uncles) will commence Karaoke at the end of the night.
Karen Samuel (Business Development)
Our family exchanges ornaments on Christmas Eve. They represent something memorable that happened during the year. My mom has been buying my sister and I ornaments since we were born so we would have a collection of ornaments to put on our own trees. I am reminded of many great memories as I decorate my tree each year.
Julie Mumford (Business Intelligence)
We always left carrots out for the reindeer. My dad, unbeknownst to us little ones, would climb up on the roof and clomp away. We'd run outside to see the reindeer--just missing them of course. Meanwhile, my mom would take bites out of the carrots. (Trust me, it was very convincing.) Ed.--Julie's not shy, she was just on vacation when we took the photos.
Happy holidays from all of us here in Seattle!