Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Traditions

Today will be a more personal post. I’ve had comments asking for my name and my picture – I don’t share them on the blog for privacy reasons. It honestly shouldn’t matter if my name is Seraphina, or if I may possibly have a third eye (hey, that just means more eye shadow looks!). 😉 But sometimes it’s nice to know a little more about who I am.
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In order to talk about today’s collab topic, Christmas Traditions, I’ll have to tell you a bit about my childhood.  It’s story time – gather ’round!

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For long time readers, you may know that I’m adopted. I was not adopted as a wee little baby, I was adopted when I was 10 years old, so I was quite conscious of the fact that I was adopted. When I was little, I actually lived in a children’s home (aka an orphanage like Little Orphan Annie 😛 ). Christmas traditions between the ages of 0 to 5 were spotty at best – life stabilized after the age of 5. The children’s home did everything possible to make the holidays the most “normal” experience as possible and we had a Christmas tree with presents etc. But the difference was that we spent the holidays with other kids and a House Parent (like a counsellor) instead of with our families. We received ONE present each, and that’s it. None of this “omg my 34 presents won’t fit under the tree #realproblems” business. 🙄 But, don’t pity me – I actually have very fond memories of my time at the children’s home. 🙂  (And to preemptively answer the top 2 questions I get when I tell people that I’m adopted: No, I do not know who my biological mother / father are. And no, I have no desire to find them.)
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Source

Fast forward to coming to my adopted family. They’re quite religious so in fact, Christmas Eve and morning were spent at church. We were NOT allowed to open our presents until after church! On Christmas morning we could open our stockings only, then off to church we went, then it was lunch time, then we came home to open the rest of the presents. Can you just imagine what it was like for a kid? 😮 I did mention that I’m a very patient person, right?  Our Christmas dinner was just our immediate family and it was always turkey with cranberry jelly, stuffing, gravy, popovers, mashed potatoes… I digress. (And to preemptively answer the top question I get about my adoptive family: No, we’re not close now)
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And there were a few Christmases that I opted to spend the holidays entirely alone. It was a self-imposed period of solitude where I pretended Christmas didn’t exist – I turned down invitations from friends to spend the holidays with their families. I just didn’t want to bother.  So remember, there are people out there who are alone for the holidays… and in retrospect, I’m glad I had those quiet times too.
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Nowadays, Christmas is a very low-key affair, and it’s just the way I like it!  My SO and I exchange presents on Christmas Eve day, and we drive over to the in-laws (~3 hrs away) and spend Christmas Day with them.  They don’t go to church at all – we’re terrible heathens now. 😉  We open presents before breakfast – then we have quite a fancy breakfast consisting of pear pancakes with blueberry sauce (all from scratch – YUM), bacon, sausage, and hash brown. For the rest of the day we eat, watch movies, drink, and take naps. 😛  Christmas dinner is the typical turkey dinner – sometimes it’s ham – the best part is always dessert, usually a few kinds of pies / cakes. I always save room for dessert! 😀

Thanks for reading – it’s something different from me on the blog.  I just wanted to share some Christmas Traditions from a different perspective.  What are some of your Christmas traditions? 🙂
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This is a collaboration topic for Blogmas – be sure to check out the rest of the Babes in Blogland for their Christmas traditions:
♥ Ingrid of Curly.Spring.Blossom
♥ Kaily of Hello Kaily
♥ Sharon of Sharon Beauty Prime
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44 thoughts on “Blogmas Day 11: Christmas Traditions

  1. Wow, this was definitely a different post! It was so good to learn about your childhood – I didn’t know most of that. I can’t believe you had to wait until after church to open presents, though. That’s just mean 😉 Although I suppose our mom made us wait until dad woke up, which usually took until 11am.

    By comparison, my childhood Christmases were pretty dull. We’re not a religious family—the one I grew up with and the one I’m raising now—but my parents always did the whole Christmas tree and presents thing, probaly just so us kids wouldn’t feel left out! After all, we did attend Catholic school for a brief time. DH’s family is really into the whole Christmas thing, so now our little family does something between half-assed and full-blown Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was mean to make us kids wait! 😛 In hindsight it could have been worst but all I remember now is how people at church would ask us what we got for Christmas and we’d be like, ummmm we don’t know yet!
      Christmas is so commercialized now – it’s really just a time to be with family, relax, eat, exchange presents. 😛 Those over the top parties and crazy stress is NOT for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow!!! This is an awesome post that I really love reading. It’s so nice to know you more and thank you so much for sharing. Going to church at night on Christmas Eve was so much fun. Same here, eat, watch movies, naps, rest and repeat for several days … Hohoho! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your childhood and traditions with us! I love learning about people’s childhoods and how they grew up, and I like the sound of your current Christmas traditions with your SO and his family! Sounds like the perfect Christmas 🙂

    I hate that Christmas has become so commercialized now – honestly, why shouldn’t one present be enough?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! 🙂 I find it interesting to hear about people’s childhoods too. It’s fascinating to me the huge variety of life experiences seemingly “normal” have.
      Yes Christmas is so ridiculous. People trying to one up each other or this Christmas has to be bigger and better than the last – why?

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading your experiences. I was very heartened to hear of the group home Christmas and can relate well to the religious family Christmases. Often we had to be content with Jesus alone when the truth was that my parents just couldn’t get their act together in time. I’ve forgiven them all that but I’m not religious anymore either and I think children (or adults) should have that one day when bountiful gifts floweth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not religious now either. I just find the ceremony and rituals to be so silly – just be good to one another, how difficult is that to understand?
      Thanks for commenting, I’m glad to hear you relate to some of my childhood, sometimes it can feel so isolating but there’s always someone out there who has gone through something similar. 🙂

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  5. I enjoyed reading a little bit more about you! My Mom was also adopted–at 9 months, she also has never had the desire to find her birth parents! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this. It’s so strange for you to toss together 500 words and not one of them is sarcastic as hell 😉 I must be a heathen too though cause there is no church for me. The only reason I didn’t mention as a “not” tradition on my post is that my mom reads my blog and she is very, VERY religious (where as I just can’t bother to be consumed by adoration for a god that rewards the evil and punishes the helpless). Either way, I enjoyed this post, it was nice to get a peak into your world. I think I’ll call you Seraphina from now on just cause.

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    1. Yeah I can pull out a sincere post ONCE a year… that’s all you’re getting for 2015! Cherish it! 😛
      You can totally call me Seraphina! 😀 I was trying to think of an unusual name so as to not offend anyone reading the blog – I hope no one is named Seraphina.
      Uh, religion is the cause of more harm than good. Just don’t be an ass, that’s all there’s to life, the end! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved reading this and getting to know more about you.
    I totally respect the decision to maintain your privacy and I kind of wish I had done the same with my blog.
    I didn’t really know what Xmas was until I turned 5 or so and went to school and learnt about Santa and started watching Xmas movies..it was too late for me by then..I’m not into fantasy.
    My Christmases were usually about exchanging gifts with family and friends but then just having a normal “indian” dinner with the addition of delicies such as fresh meat from farms.
    It was only last year that I got away from those traditions and started my own with my husband by hosting Xmas lunch with turkey, trifle and the standard Aussie BBQ for Xmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so interesting to hear of different cultures incorporating Christmas into their traditions. I still can’t imagine having warm whether for Christmas – I’d like to experience that one day!
      I think it’s better that you never had to experience the myth of Santa – I find the whole notion to be so hypocritical.
      The blog privacy is something I wrestle with a lot, but in this day of access to information online through FB and LinkedIn, I’d rather err on the side of caution.

      Like

  8. Wow! I never knew all of this about you! It’s great to get to know more about you. I respect your reasons for not sharing your name or picture. It sounds like you have a pretty nice holiday tradition now. I like things to be low-key as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First, tell me more about these pear pancakes! They sound incredible! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing such a personal post, it’s nice to get to know you a little better 🙂 it’s also nice to be reminded that we all come from different backgrounds with different histories and perspectives. It’s way to easy to get wrapped up in our own little worlds with our own world views and perspectives.
    My family always went to church on Christmas Eve then went home and had dinner (oyster stew) and opened one present each. Then we opened the rest of our presents Christmas morning. Christmas Day was usually full of lots of food and lots of family. When I was really little we would drive to my grandparents farm around mid day and spend the rest of the day with aunts and uncles and cousins. As far as presents went I think my family probably hit a middle ground between your family and the general population. We would have a present from each set of grandparents and one or two presents from our parents. We also normally had a big shared present between the kids (there were five of us). One year it was a tent which was the most memorable and best present because we knew we got to go camping so it was more a gift of a promise of adventures to come.
    This post might be one of my favorite posts that you’ve done so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m constantly amazed by the varied background of people I know – it makes for interesting conversation!
      The pear pancakes consists of grating pears which is incorporated into the pancake batter. The blueberry sauce takes the longest – it’s basically boiling the blueberries with sugar until it becomes a syrup – I’ll see if I can find the recipe!
      Oyster stew sounds delicious! I love hearing about people’s country-style holidays – sounds so rustic and authentic… haha. The tent present sounds amazing!
      Thanks so much for reading and your comment – I was initially hesitant to write it. I mean, nothing’s to stop me from making up some bs about a “typical” Christmas tradition… but it felt right to write something more personal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love the recipe if you do tack it down! I didn’t know this previously but I need pear pancakes in my life 🙂
        Oyster stew is SO GOOD. And SO easy. It’s basically just a stick of butter in a saucepan with milk and oysters. It’s wonderful:)
        I’m glad you did, you’re one of my favorite bloggers to chat with so it’s nice to know more about you and it was brave to post something so authentic and personal.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This was so nice to read! Personal posts really do pull at them heartstrings! I respect blog privacy as although I can be transparent, I like to keep my real identity fairly concealed, I don’t even tell my close friends WHAT my blog is.

    I have quite a few friends that are adopted (some, I know their full stories by them telling me, others, I know nothing beyond the fact that they are adopted). I always get curious to find out people’s stories, as it helps me to gain a deeper understanding about them, knowing where they actually come from and all; but I also know boundaries and don’t really like to nag things out of people since everyone’s stories are different and I don’t ever want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, or step over lines they don’t want crossed. The dynamics of adoption also intrigue me, as I’ve had friends that come from fully adopted families (where they have other non-blood siblings that are also adopted), ones that have been adopted into families by parents with their own biological kids, and then ones that have been adopted with their own blood siblings, by adoptive parents.

    I always feel a great amount of admiration for people that haven’t had ‘typical/conventional’ (what is typical anyway) upbringings, like you’re your own person and it’s up to you to figure your life out/create your life and you do you to come out of it happy and successful! That’s so nice that you’ve got your own little tradition going now! As long as you’re happy, no one can complain! But pear pancakes, that’s a new concept to me haha 🙂

    Anywho. I was raised religious (11 years of Catholic/Christian schooling too), and continue to practice religion by my own will. When I was younger, we used to go to church the night of Christmas Eve, but in recent years we go Christmas morning, AFTER opening presents 😛 When I was little, I would wake up at like 5 am to open presents on Christmas morning (we were never allowed to open presents on Christmas Eve, I was so bummed because so many of my friends were allowed to open at least ONE present, or get Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve). So I’d wake up at 5 am, and try to wake up my older brother to come with me to open presents [1.) I was scared that I’d run into Santa Claus (I had an irrational fear of Santa when I was little), so I needed someone with me, 2.) opening presents by yourself is no fun, and 3.) I’d rather wake up my brother than my parents, I figured they had priority for sleeping, over my brother]…but he liked his sleep..so he’d tell me to go back to sleep…or he’d slowly take his time to get out of bed to come with me. He’s a fair bit older than me, so once I was in late elementary school/early high school….he just wasn’t into early wake ups anymore….so I’d wait til about 6-7 am, and resort to waking up my parents 😛 So my mom and dad would come down, put some Christmas songs on, and then sometimes my dad would go back to sleep after I had opened my presents, and then my mom would continue to make breakfast. And after everyone had opened presents, we’d eat breakfast.
    I’ve always been taught to be happy with what I have, and how Christmas isn’t a time devoted to just receiving presents. Christmas is a time to share joy and laughter with those that you love most, and the blessing of having others to share your joy with, is a present in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment! 🙂 My friends do know about my blog and about my past – they thought this post was a good way to be more personal but without revealing TOO much. So I’m glad my intention was accomplished.

      I have a sister who is also adopted – we’re not biologically related. My adoptive parents never had their own children. I’ve known people who were adopted into families who had their own biological children – that poses a different set of dynamics! Kids can be so cruel…

      I do find people who’ve had unusual upbringing to have a different perspective in life… I do personally feel that I’ve lived a few lifetimes already and I’m just content to live a mundane, regular life now. 😛

      Thanks for sharing your Christmas tradition – I love your rationale for needing to wake up your brother lol. I agree, opening up presents alone is NO fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lucky for me we became friends early on so I know a thing or two about ya 😉 Awesome post to be able to learn more about you and your childhood. It only shapes who you are now! Glad you love your Christmas traditions with your SO and SO fam. I get to open one present on Christmas eve but at night. Nearly midnight. The rest we get to open in the morning with the whole family there. Then eat eat eat and watch movies and relax.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the great thing about online – on the positive end, it allows people to open up without revealing their identity. And of course, on the negative end, the anonymity promotes trolls and bullying. 😛 I’m glad WP is such a great community!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is beautiful my Stasheroo xo
    You are a gem xo my soul sister and my person xo
    Christmas is a feeling isn’t it xo
    and whatever we chose to do it or not do it xo
    xo xo xo xo xo
    I love you – You Insightful Fairy princess xoxoxox
    Your Cat forever xo

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