Growing up, my family's Christmas traditions were mainly food-based. Each member was in charge of contributing their signature "dish" whether it be the infamous green bean casserole, eggnog (yes, we counted eggnog as a dish), or my Aunt Carol's "cheesy-things" appetizer. Our attempts at establishing non-edible traditions really culminated in our "tradition" being that we did something different each year. We tried the Christmas pajama thing, we tried the crazy big family photo (that included our 10+animals and Santa Claus, of course...), we tried assigning themes for gift-giving such as "yard sale Christmas," or "handmade Christmas..."
Now that I have my own family I'm even more tempted to maintain a handful of wonderfully creative rituals that will make my children cry in sweet nostalgia when they reminisce twenty years from now... (I'll let you know how that goes). And so we've visited Timbuk Farms for TWO years in a row (a.k.a. every Christmas of Ruthie's life), and a precedence is set. It's a wonderful place full of hot chocolate, Christmas lights and carol-singing bus passengers where you hunt for the perfect tree and saw it down yourself.
Looking back, in the midst of trying to establish a tradition, most years we'd find ourselves around the little kitchen table playing games on Christmas Eve until Midnight when we would each open a present and then head to bed. No pomp or circumstance (and often playing games that only Dad would win), it was a few hours of our anticipating the holiday together, with little interruption, and some of the sweetest Christmas memories I have. So here's to being together - whatever you're doing, however many times you've done it.