10 Super Strange Holiday Family Traditions
Time to pull out those ugly sweaters, take uncomfortable family photos, and sing Christmas carols in front of strangers' houses. The weird thing about the holidays is that while these Christmas family traditions would all be totally weird things to do any other time of year, they all feel completely normal in wake of the holiday spirit. What's NOT normal might be some of your other family traditions.
Christmastime brings families together, and weird things always happen when families get together. But we roll with all the craziness because the holiday season gives us an excuse to label the most unusual things a "tradition." Plus they're family, so what are you going to do?
My family, for instance, loves to gamble after Christmas dinner. Once all the kids have migrated to the living room to watch Christmas specials, the adults sit around the dining room table and play twenty-one. Grandma usually wins, but we're pretty sure she also cheats.
Think your family is weird? We asked readers to share their wackiest holiday traditions, and the results were pretty hilarious — like singing to each other behind closed doors, or freezing their Christmas presents. See how your childhood stacks up against these 10 insane holiday family traditions.
1. Holiday Shoe Hunt
"On Christmas, we take off our shoes. Someone blind folds us, and we try to find our pair." —Stephanie Ceja, 22, Palm Springs, CA
2. The Ultimate Gift Challenge
"We find unorthodox wrapping methods. One time, I froze my family's gifts and made them chip their presents out of ice. Another year they were submerged in a fake aquarium. One year I wrapped them in leaves and moss. My brother used wire and old cassette tapes." — Sara Gallagher, 29, New York, NY
3. Sing to Me
"Basically all the guys go outside, and the girls are inside. We sing to each other back and forth (we have song lists and lyrics). You go to every door in the house (front, back, any others), and it's funny because we race to see who gets there first. The guys have instruments and candles. Then we meet inside and sing together. It's a nice tradition!" — Katie Guerrero, 24, San Diego, CA
4. Smile, You're on Camera
"My mom still video tapes us coming down the stairs. It's kind of weird at 22, and we still open our gifts together taking turns so it's all equal. We have a FAIR Christmas". — Kandice Casillas, 23, San Bernardino, CA
5. Happy Hallo-Christmas
"My family puts up Christmas decorations right after Halloween. (It's a Filipino thing.)" — Angelo Erum, 23, Riverside, CA
6. Christmas Olympics
"Every year we have Christmas Family Olympics. Everyone splits into two to four teams, and no significant others/spouses/siblings are on the same team. We play a myriad of games that are Christmas themed, like Christmas Jeopardy, musical chairs (gets very physical), charades, name that tune, etc. The BEST part is that each Christmas Family Olympics ends with the 'gimme game.' The moderator calls out an item, and the first team to bring it to the moderator wins. The items are NEVER simple — 10 shoelaces tied together, a set of wedding rings (hard when spouses are on opposite teams), a bra, two mismatched Christmas socks, a hair from one of our grandmas, and chapstick (which turned into a great debate when my uncle brought out chopsticks)." — Aimee Chapman, 25, San Diego, CA
7. Simpsons Pilot
"Every Christmas Eve we watch the ORIGINAL Simpsons Christmas special from season 1 (1989) that was taped from TV. It used to be on VHS and is now on a DVD, and we quote it all year round. It is the biggest inside joke our family has (and we have A LOT)." — Sarah Paolantonio, 26, Bronxville, NY
8. Triple Barbie Angel
"At some point during my childhood, we lost the angel that goes on the top of our tree. Upon discovering the missing angel, my sisters and I each took a Barbie doll that looked like us, made angel wings for them, and duct taped them all together to improvise a new tree topper. The triple-Barbie has graced the top of our tree ever since." — Camille Tinnin, 22, New York, NY
9. Cyber Santa
"My friends and I have a cyber Christmas party on Google Hangout where we wait for what our Secret Santa ordered for us via Seamless to deliver and eat, catch up, and open gifts we received from them as well. — Claire Zhang, 23, New York, NY"
10. Wigging Out
"It got so loud one year that someone found a few wigs and said only people wearing a wig could speak. Since then everyone brings wigs. It's loud again." — Lupita Gradilla, 29, Redondo Beach, CA
Images: Beccafawley, Jodimichelle, Thirteenthbat, Jamie, GoogleHangouts, Lisatozzi, Mike Renlund/Flickr; Jennifer Valdez