Countdown to Christmas – Traditions

The final day of our Countdown to Christmas has arrived, up until now we have covered “First Thoughts of Christmas“, “Favourite Christmas Songs“, “Favourite Christmas Movies” and “Favourite Holiday Treats“, now we are on to “Holiday Traditions”, and boy are there some great ones!

Tell us about one of your Christmas traditions?

We always light a fire and have an intense games night.” –Lauren Kurdyak (The Katherines)

“I haven’t participated in any Christmas traditions in recent years but we used to go around visiting friends in my hometown and drink and play music all night. That was fun but it made christmas morning a little more challenging haha” –Andrew Rodgers (Fairgale)

“I don’t really have any huge traditions, but every year my family and I wake up and my dad makes us an awesome breakfast. After breakfast we’ll open gifts, have family members we don’t see in a while come and visit, then go for dinner with my mom’s side of the family. A considerable amount of alcohol is consumed.” –Justin Mattock

My Mum likes to buy everyone in the family a pair of these crazy print pyjama shorts every year. I end up wearing as board shorts until they fall apart while I’m back in Aus. I think I have about 4 pairs of monster/sausage dog/ robot shorts left.” –Andrew Phelan (The River & The Road)

We all eat a big, big, big, yummy yummy, Christmas dinner and all get stuffed an full oh golly!!” –Stu Kawai (Kayd)


“On December 24th,  dinner with family and parents then Church… on December 25th quiet at home with family.. the presents usually are opened in both the occasions..” –Antonio Piretti

“My mom makes a snack-ham. It’s not part of any meal. It’s just in addition to whatever else we’re having. Then on boxing day I usually drive to New Glasgow in a blinding blizzard to drink heavily and watch the Tim & Eric Chrimbus special with my friends from BU. I would not recommend it to anyone.” Chris Blades (Birds of Bellwoods)

Family dinner at my aunts.” – Mat Beyore (Kayd)

“My family constructs the largest bread in the universe. It’s super Czechoslovakian and it’s called Vánočka. It’s like, as big as the oven itself. 3 layers. There’s braids… It gets pretty intense.” –Adrian Morningstar (Birds of Bellwoods)

Every year on the first or second day in December, my son and I help my parents (Gigi and Grandpa), decorate their Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music.” –Braiden (Blackwell)

Usually I work through the holidays and don’t really go anywhere or decorate! How sad! I do make an effort to see some friends though, and last year we went to Denny’s on Christmas day which as pretty rad. I give that a solid 8/10 experience.” –Sheldon Stenning (Air Combat)

There is nothing better than just being able to spend time with my whole family during the holidays. The simplest and the best tradition.” – Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher  (The Katherines)

Christmas eve we have the whole family over for dinner, and the kids do gifts.  It is harder and harder to get everyone in the same place these days, so Christmas eve is extra special.” –Bobby Wills

Every Christmas Eve our little brother reads Clement Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” while we put out cookies and beer for Santa. It’s tradition in our family.” –Kate Kurdyak (The Katherines)

Christmas Eve party at Aaron Morgan’s” –Brad Wells (Another North)

“We all show up at a relative’s house for Christmas and pretend we actually like each other? All jokes aside, Christmas morning/brunch at my parents’ house. Even now that I’m moved out and on my own, I still come home from Christmas morning.” –Matt Stinn (Friends of Foes)

Every year I say to myself, ‘This is the year where I’m actually just going to get one of my brothers a lump of coal.’ But I usually end up folding and just getting them a book.” –Stephen Joffe (Birds of Bellwoods)


On Christmas eve my family plays ‘Night Before Christmas’ Mad Libs, where we all put words in a hat and pull them out to fill in the blanks of the story. The names of the reindeer always end up being the best.” –Cadence Grace (Runaway Angel)

I move around a lot, so we don’t really have many traditions. Every year is slightly different than the previous. One thing that stays consecutive though is that my brother and I get to beat each other up for two weeks straight. Which, as violent as it may sound, it something I look forward to every year.” –Bryce Smith (Rival Town)

Every year my brother and I go over to my parent’s place on Christmas Eve. We jam on the piano and eat delicious snacks.” –Chantel Emond (French Press)

I love going out and finding the tree. My mother, brother and I hop in the car (usually on Christmas eve) and scramble around town to find the tree and decorate it in time for Christmas Day. It’s hectic and last minute but has become one of my favourite traditions. The other is the Christmas Eve party at Fred’s Records. There are lots of great snacks and beverages and it is a great way to cap off the busy couple of weeks in the shop leading up to Christmas. Fred’s is THE GREATEST! –Andrew James O’Brien

We love to play dirty Santa gift exchange.  Where you open gifts and can steal each other’s gifts. It a bunch of fun! “ –Clayton Bellamy

There’s so many! But one is giving someone a gift at midnight when Christmas Eve turns to Christmas just to get a little bit of the excitement out so I can sleep before Santa comes! This year I’m gonna give my girlfriend a body part of mine in a box like Justin Timberlake did….kidding!…kinda” –Seamus O’Neill

I’m obsessed with Christmas movies. I write a list every year of ones I need to watch.” –Jason Golden (Kayd)

Singing Christmas carols around the piano – my Dad on the keys and my sister and step-mom and I join him in four part harmony!” –Ali Raney (The Lovelocks)


Every year we have a Christmas beer pong tournament. We have friends come over along with family, there can be between 12-20 people at the house and the tournament goes on all night. We also do Christmas crackers after dinner amongst the family that’s always fun.” –Cory Marquardt

On Christmas eve we go for Chinese food at the same local restaurant which is fun and then on Christmas wake up and open gifts one by one.  We play board games until late and it’s always the best part!  lots of traditions and family laughs!” –Marty Zylstra

One Christmas tradition would be to take a minute and think about all the people who might be alone and hope my thoughts could bring them some joy somehow.” –Curtis Hayes (Shark Week)

“Cailin and I moved from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia 3 years ago and we left a lot of friends, family and traditions behind and are creating new ones. We open our house to those who wish to come over for visits turkey and Cailin has a couple of relatives who share our dinners too.
But the New Tradition that means the most to is sending a package to my only child who, now almost 24, still lives in Vancouver. We make him open it on Christmas Day when we are on Skype and he has to open it according to instructions. One year it was 50 envelopes with… stories and gift cards, lockets of dog hair and packets of candy, leaves from the forest and poems of love and longing. We laugh and cry and miss each other more. And miss each other less too, thanks to these internet chats.”
–Robert Campbell

Waking up while everyone is still sleeping to see what Santa brought me in my stocking. He would leave it on the end of my bed :)” –Danielle Marie

Every year I tease my mom about the silly decorations she puts up and hide one of her Santa’s on her. I think ‘Ho Ho’s’ still up on the ceiling fan. SHHHH!” –Kayd

I think the biggest tradition is just being with family and spending some down with them. Family dinner with the an all-out vicious gift swap game lol” –Tyler Wilkinson (Small Town Pistols)

Playing at Clancys on Tibbs eve! My favourite new one.” –Dave Shears (RocketRocketShip)

“One that we haven’t done in the last few years because my brother and I don’t live home anymore is a Tibbs Eve tradition. My mom is a fantastic baker, every Christmas she does up cookie trays and pies for friends and family out home and it used to be mine and Taylor’s (my brother) job to deliver the baked goods. It was always a laugh and we’d usually end up with a few Christmas treats from various people along the way.” –Evan Aucoin (Port of Call)

In my family, I always set the table for our big meal. It sounds simple, but being in the warm kitchen with my parents while they’re making the gravy for the turkey dinner… I really enjoy it. I have 4 siblings so having the 7 of us around the table is something I really look forward to, and I love making the table nice and festive.” –Catherine Allan (Fortunate Ones)

Hanging out at my parents’ house by the fire place with some form of yummy beverage listening to some tunes.” –Harry Parsons (London Above)


“I always loved getting bundled up and going to downtown Toronto to see the Christmas windows. I would always have a warm bag of chestnuts and a hot chocolate with my family, and of course watch Home Alone!” –Mike Robins (Autumn Hill)

“For the past couple of years when everyone is back in Sudbury everyone heads over to one of Shawn’s families places for their family holiday get together. Food, drink, charades…the whole shebang. It’s a lot of fun, we kinda are one big extended family after all.” –Sea Perry

Waking up late, putting on pajamas, lighting a fire, eating too much food and listening to records all day.” –Roy Viser (Jon and Roy)

Me and my cousin who’s like my best friend buy crazy gifts for each other every year and give them away weeks before Christmas for no reason at all and then we always go to Tim’s on Christmas Eve for a candy cane hot chocolate.” –Jordan Coaker (Waterfront Fire)

My family does these special gifts called “Santa Gift’s” and what it is, is a letter from Santa with usually a joke gift. If someone in the family does something monumental or stupid throughout the year, you can usually bet that a Santa Gift will be waiting for them under the tree at my grandparents’ house that day.” –Jordan McIntosh

“Going for a Christmas Eve drive with the fam to check out the neighbourhood lights, everything is so quiet and peaceful.” – Kristian Montano (Sun K)

I celebrate Jesus’ birth by buying him a cake and eating it to myself.” – Grant Kawai (Kayd)

For a long time my family would invite over anyone who didn’t have somewhere to go for Christmas.  We’d fill the day eating apps and watching movies, so no Christmas was ever the same.” –Stacey Zegers (Runaway Angel)

Boxing Day at my aunts! There’s a lot of people on my dad’s side, so having them all in the one place is great. Every year we do a White Elephant Gift Exchange, and it’s always a laugh to see what everyone opens!” – Kirsten Rodden-Clarke (Quote The Raven)

For years, the one consistent thing I’ve done around Christmas is drive down the 401 from Toronto to Windsor to visit my mom and sister. Lately they have been reversing it and coming here so Santa can visit my daughter in her own house!” –Patrick Ballantyne

I always make seafood chowder on Christmas Eve!” –Scott Gilbert

In honor of Frank Costanza my friends and I have been celebrating Festivus since high school. There are Airing of Grievances – where we anonymously write down how someone else at the party let us down thatyear, then put it in a hat, pass the hat around and read what other have written aloud. Feats of strength – Names are drawn for who has to wrestle, crying is an automatic disqualification.  And an aluminum pole instead of a tree. Sometimes there is also a cheese plate.” –Louis Wu (Fake Shark Real Zombie)

“We each get to open one present on Christmas eve! I love that one!” –Zoe Neuman (The Lovelocks)

I don’t really have a Christmas tradition aside from getting together with family. If anything my unofficial tradition is doing my shopping last minute and/or forgetting to buy at least one person a gift haha. It seems to happen every year without fail, does that count? lol In all seriousness though we always end up playing card games after Christmas dinner.” –Made Them Lions

We have a big family/friends party and play a gift stealing game.  People can either get a normal present or a gag gift….It is always a riot! “ –Amanda Wilkinson (Small Town Pistols)

“I am allowed to shovel the driveway. What a great honour.” – Kintaro Akiyama (Birds Of Bellwoods)


One of my families holiday traditions is that my mom, sister and I get cheeseburgers and go driving around looking at Christmas lights. We’ve been doing it since I was a kid! I also get together with my big Italian family and we all sing and play music together.” –Madeline Merlo

One of my traditions used to be to shop for all my gifts on Christmas Eve (hence the song “The Christmas Eve Shoppers”). At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I don’t buy many presents anymore; I have been trimming my Christmas traditions down to the absolute minimum. I don’t think I have any left. Well, I drink!” –Steven Hardy

“Regular stuff: gifts, visiting friends, drinking-eating, and all that!” – Max Kolosov

My family always goes for a big long walk together on Christmas day while the turkey is cooking. Because leaving the oven unattended is fun! There is also a big bash every boxing day at the Deep River legion which is always fun. It’s a high school reunion every time!” –Ann Chaplin (Runaway Angel)

One member of my family ALWAYS makes a Pavlova. It’s a traditional New Zealand (or Australian… a matter of great debate that I won’t get into here) dessert consisting  of a giant, fluffy meringue, slathered in whipped cream, and topped with fruit (in our case, strawberries and kiwi fruit). Maybe that’s my favourite holiday treat? There are so many to choose from!!” –Steph MacPherson

Every Christmas Eve, my mom makes my brother and I put the star on top of the tree together so she can take a dorky picture of us. She takes a million photos and I’m really glad nobody will see them because she doesn’t understand how to use Facebook.” – Ryan MacDonald (The Honest Heart Collective)

“Well, this will be the 3rd Christmas I’ll be spending in Australia which is kinda nuts. Although my mother wouldn’t want to hear this, I’d love to make it a tradition! I don’t mind lying on the beach Christmas Day and then heading to the Woodford Folk Festival on Boxing Day 🙂 Now, part 2 😉 In Canada, what we’ve done for years is all of my 1st cousins (there’s 54) go skating on Boxing Day afternoon then end up at our Aunt’s house nearby. We eat lots of food, talk over each other, break out the instruments and have a helluva time. Just a great classic hang with family, can’t beat it.” –Tim Chaisson

On Christmas day we go caroling around our neighbourhood. Since we are on the West Coast, it doesn’t get too cold, so we can bring our instruments outside and sing Christmas carols door to door.” –Twin Kennedy

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