Winter Traditions By Claire Borden

I love winter. I love snow, I love feeling cozy, and I LOVE the holidays. After the first snow on Saturday, it feels like the winter festivities can finally begin, and just thinking about it makes me excited. No matter what you celebrate, winter is a time for comfort and spending time with your family. I’ve realized that this is the last winter that I will spend at home, and I intend to make the most of it. While I love decorations, there has been enough controversy on the SWC blog about that, so today I will focus on my favorite family rituals/traditions associated with this time of year, some holiday-related and some not.

Hanukkah- my dad’s side of the family is Jewish, and my mom converted, so naturally we celebrate Hanukkah. As the sun goes down, my parents turn on our Hanukkah playlist and we hold hands and dance around the house, in something that resembles a disjointed Horah. Of course we make latkes with applesauce (NOT sour cream), and we finish the evening playing dreidel with m&ms, my dad’s family tradition.

Pippi Longstocking- this is kind of a strange one, but a couple years ago, someone suggested that we turn on a Pippi Longstocking movie. My family used to be obsessed with these movies when I was younger, and we have a photo of Pippi perched on our living room bookshelf.  One year, my mom even hung our Hanukkah presents in the trees outside our house like Pippi did for Tommy and Annika. Now it has become a holiday tradition to turn on one of these masterpieces on a cold winter night when my sister is home from college and revel in the strange special effects, bad English dubbing, ginger wigs, and catchy music. If you haven’t seen these movies, I would highly recommend them. Pippi is fun for the whole family!

Family celebrity- When my mom’s side of the family gathers for the holidays, one of our favorite traditions is playing celebrity. Celebrity is similar to charades, but with a few key differences. It starts by everyone writing down at least three celebrities/politicians/fictional characters/anyone famous or recognizable, folding them up, and putting them in a bowl. For the first round, you can use unlimited words, for the second round you can use only three, and for the third round, you can’t use any. I love seeing my 83 year old grandpa having to dance like Michael Jackson, or my very serious 32 year old cousin doing an impression of Kim Kardashian. It’s always the highlight of the evening and I’ve already started to think about who I’m going to write down. 

Tea party dinner- This is a tradition passed down from my mom’s family. Every year, on Christmas Eve her family would make a tea party dinner with pastries, tea, deviled eggs, tiny sandwiches, etc. Although deviled eggs are disgusting, I love this tradition. It makes me feel like I’m in Downton Abbey and I love the sense of connection to my mom’s childhood. Making dinner is my favorite part, and the atmosphere in the kitchen is so festive and fun.


3 thoughts on “Winter Traditions By Claire Borden

  1. Claire,
    Your family sounds so fun. I watched Pippi Longstocking as a child, and even dressed as her one Halloween. I’ve had the YouTube snow scenes playing at all times in the background lately, so I definitely agree with you about the love for coziness associated with winter. Though, deviled eggs are delicious. How dare you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *