It’s the holiday season again. Deck the halls. Hang the stockings with care. Roast the chestnuts. Traditions are everywhere. You probably have a variety of activities you do with your kids. Our family has several traditions: everyone gets new pajamas on Christmas Eve, for example, and we always go out to see the Christmas lights. I was curious about other families’ traditions, particularly the quirky ones, so I asked some of the moms I know. Here are my faves!

Twilight Zone

“I don’t know how it started. We’ve always had my grandma and all her siblings’ families together. We serve dinner buffet-style. Then, at some point, someone adds dessert to the buffet, everyone gets some, and we all settle in and watch The Twilight Zone.”

New Sheets

“We thought about giving everyone new pajamas at Christmas but my kids never wear them. Instead, everyone gets new sheets every year. I still haven’t figured out what to do when we run out of room for the sheets!”

Delay Gratification

“We make our kids wait to open their stockings until after dinner on Christmas Day. No good reason. It just spreads things out.”

Santa Brings Socks

“On each of our kids’ first Christmas, they get socks. I get a bunch and wrap them individually. The babies think they’re getting so many presents and love to unwrap them all. We don’t spend a ton of money on stuff they’re too young to appreciate.”

Take a Chance

“This is really weird but my parents started it when I was a kid. We give our kids lotto tickets in their stockings. They get one for every year of their age. I also buy my husband a few of the more complicated tickets. No one has ever won much except me; when I was a teenager I won $80.”

Eating Out

“I’m pretty sure they got the idea from the movie The Christmas Story; but my parents used to take us out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve. It was easy and fun, so we’ve kept it up with our kids.”

Pickle Play

“We have a random pickle Christmas ornament that we hide on the tree. The first person to find it gets to hide it again.”

There’s one thing I noticed as I talk to all of these moms. As each one described her family’s wacky tradition, she did so with a smile. These traditions develop from different circumstances and family history, and they trigger many memories along with much joy. Go out and discover your own funky thing this holiday!