Local News

Tell Us Your Family Tradition

Posted November 22, 2007
Updated December 11, 2007

WRAL.com is asking people to send their family holiday traditions. The best story will win a WRAL.com T-shirt. Read some of the entries below or submit your own by clicking on the link to the right.

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Our family of 4 children has grown so much that gift buying is quite a task. So we decided the adults would pitch a little money in a fund to send to some missionary friends in Haiti who run an orphanage; then for our Christmas day celebration everyone would bring a $10 gift (guys bring gift for male and gals bring gift for female) and we play a game. Gals first of course....all the gals gifts go under the tree and all the ladies draw a number. When their number comes up they get to choose a gift. The next player can choose a gift or take a gift from previous player. It becomes a great gift swapping! Then the guys repeat the game with the male gifts. Since the 9 grands are not yet into not getting gifts on Christmas, they draw names. A gift for each child is hidden by one of the adults (all gifts in the same place) and the children are given directions for a treasure hunt to find the gifts (one at a time). The adults have as much fun as the children, watching! the treasure hunt. Of course no gifts can be hunted until after the Christmas meal....such anticipation for the kids!!!!


Bonnie Branch
Raleigh, N.C.

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My children are now in their thirties. When they were small we would have a Christmas Eve Buffet. I would put out all the goodies we had baked, sandwich fixens, and have the punch bowl full. It made for a festive evening, but freed my time for other activities. When the children got older and I did not need the extra free time I thought I would stop the buffet. Oh, no! They enjoyed that relaxed atmosphere, eating at will, and having friends drop in to join them. We still continue this tradition and now have our granddaughter joining us. Merry Christmas!

Christene Emhart
Cary, N.C.

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I am stealing this idea from a neighbor. Last year my neighbor gave the neighbors a great gift. On November 28th we found a fresh wreath on our front porch with a Merry Christmas Tag signed by our neighbor. They got neighborhood gift giving out of the way early and we got a great wreath and had one less thing to buy! What a super idea!

Kristin Kash
Raleigh, N.C.

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When I was growing up in southern NC my grandfather had a farm and a little country store. I was the youngest of about 20 cousins. My grandparents always wanted to us know how much they loved us but as you can imagine 20 grandchildren and 7 grown children with spouses that would make a huge Christmas shopping bill. My grandfather would bring home bags, fruit and candy peppermints from the store and my grand mother along with an aunt would stuff the bags for everyone in the family. Their children and their spouses and all of us grandchildren. We all knew that at their house on Christmas we would get a bag with an apple, an orange, "Old Fashion Chocolate drops" a large piece of soft peppermint and maybe a few nuts. Everyone's name was written on their bag and set under the tree for the taking at your arrival. Even though the fun toys of the '50's and 60's were exciting the simpleness of the "old fashion Christmas bag of fruit" was always treasured. A few years ago my sister and I repeated that tradition with our families and the memories were so nice. It was a great way to help us remember that Christmas is more than boxes and bows but about family,love, making memories and staying focused on the real reason for the season, Jesus Christ.

Deelane Reavis
Raleigh, N.C.

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A couple of Christmases after my daughter was born maybe at the age of 4, I realized that we had acquired quite a collection of many Christmas/holiday story books. So started our reading tradition: I wrap up all the holiday books into 24 packages to help us count down to Christmas. She chooses which package to open and we all sit down to read it together that evening. On Christmas day each year we get a new book that she opens. Some people probably think, my kid doesn't have that many books, but you would be surprised. Initially when we started this I also included some kids magazines that had holiday stories. Now that she is older we put multiple books together in a package because of the level of some books, but we all still enjoy even the simplest of books because of the story and/or illustrations. Now that she is older some of the evenings she would rather read them herself, but it is her choice. It is after the night time routine is done and we are winding down. It helps us all to take a breath and enjoy the peace of the season. Now she is at age 11, it has made us realize you and your children are never too old to read to each other :-)

Darlene Harrings
Cary, N.C.

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About four years ago we started a tradition, meeting at a family members house, having hot chocolate, eggnog and a few appetizers, gathering around the tree, kitchen table or in a circle, giving thanks for what we at received during the year good and bad experiences, singing songs and remembering loved ones whom had pasted. We really enjoy this time with the family because you never know what may happen before Christmas. It is being followed by my children, sisters and brothers and I’m hoping my grandchildren will follow suit.

Catherine M. Revis
Raleigh, N.C.

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Our family tradition will continue this year by helping low income families in our community. Each year we "adopt" children through Johnathan's House Christian School and Johnathan's House Educational Center, a program that was started in North Carolina about 15 years ago. We collect toys, clothes and food and distribute the items based on needs in the Harnett and Wake area. This year we are sponsoring a "Christmas Open House" in the Kipling/Christian Light area just south of downtown Fuquay! Santa will arrive around 6 p.m., donations will be used to finish up Christmas shopping for families receiving assistance from us! This even is open to the public from 6-9 p.m.!

Dr. Melanie Stewart

Kipling, N.C.

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