Traditions, Values and Young People

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Discussion: A traditional Christmas

In the Facebook forum set up for the project, the students were asked what a traditional Christmas was like in their households. Here are the anwers:

"A traditional Christmas in my household is waking up at maybe 5:00 a.m. (!) and opening my presents, then saying thank you to people over the phone and then passing the hours away to Christmas dinner. After Christmas dinner we all watch TV and enjoy the last hours to have everybody back over on Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve too."
C. (girl), Darlington

"A traditional Christmas in my house is waking up very early, and then opening up my presents. Later all my family will come over and we will have Christmas dinner together and then everyone will watch a Christmas film together. Then we celebrate New Year's Dat and Christmas Eve with our friends and family."
L. (girl), Darlington

"A traditional christmas in my house is waking up every morning early and opening the presents then preparing for our massive christmas dinner for all of the family. Then having an afternoon sleep!!!"
J. O. (boy), Darlington

l"We all go to the same bedroom and open our stocking presents. We then go downstairs to open our main presents. We then decide how long we have to ourselves before making christmas lunch. After lunch, my family comes around and we share presents. We then spend the rest of our day to ourselves. It is a family time."
A. (boy), Darlington

"I wake up at 7pm and go down stairs and open my christmas presents and see what i get and have christmas dinner. and some of my family come round.
S. (girl), Darlington

"We do not celebrate Christmas because we are Muslims. So we stay at home and do something else."
anonymous girl, Mülheim

"A traditional Christmas in my household is waking up early. After breakfast we clean up our house. Then I wrap the last presents in paper. In the evening my family and I eat fish or pork. After the dinner we lay the presents under the Christmas tree. Then we open our presents. The rest of the evening we spend watching TV."
P. (girl), Mülheim

"In the morning I wake up at 9 o’clock. Then I have breakfast with my parents. After that I get the presents from my parents. Yes, for real. I get them this early, because I’m at my aunt’s house in the evening. But more about this later. Till afternoon I do nothing special. I only do things like dressing and so on. Then in the afternoon, my whole family meets at my aunt’s house. There we do things like talking till we have dinner. My grandmother always cooks too much for dinner, so there is always much leftover. After dinner my cousins and I get the presents from our grandmother. We stay there a little bit longer and then go home late."
A. (girl), Mülheim

"After the breakfast my mum and I decorate the tree with christmas tree balls and fairy lights. In the afternoon my parents put the presents under the tree. In the evening we get our presents and eat fish with potatoes and salad."
S. (girl), Mülheim

"Christmas Evening is a day where the family comes together and perhaps sing Christmas Songs like ‘Oh Tannenbaum’. At this evening you get presents from your parents or your family and you give your family presents, too."
L. & L. (girls), Mülheim

"We don’t celebrate Christmas anymore ... we don’t decorate our home since I live at my father’s. We think that it isn’t necessary because it has no big meaning for us. But I also bake cakes and cookies and we give each other presents. The only person in our family that keeps the tradition is my Granny.
Every first Christmas day the whole family (a year ago we were 16 persons, right now only 5, because our family has broken up) has to come together. At first we all sit in the dining-room and eat pork or beef roast with potatoes and red cabbage. Then someone rings a bell upstairs; that means that “the Christ child” has been there. My little cousins are nervous, because Santa Claus (it’s my Dad, I found it out when I was 9 years old lol) is waiting for them to punish or laud them. Under the really big Christmas tree are lots of presents that are going to be unwrapped; later a big pile of wrapping paper is lying on the ground.
Mostly I sleep at my cousins’ but the other guests go home. It isn’t always a lot of fun, most persons can’t stand each other."
J. (girl), Mülheim

"In my family we wake up at 8 o' clock and take breakfast. At 3 o' clock we eat, later we go to church. I meet my friends with their parents. In the evening we eat the big Christmas dinner. After that we take our presents down from the Christmas tree. At night I play with my presents.
C. (boy), Mülheim

"On Christmas evening we go to church. It is the only day in the year where we go to church. After that a part of my family and me drive to our house and then we eat sausages and potatoes. Then we sing a Christmas song and wish everybody a happy Christmas and then we give each other the presents. On the first Christmas day my complete family go to a Chinese restaurant and on the second Christmas day we go to the best friends of my parents and eat raclette there."
D. (girl), Mülheim

"In Spain we eat with the family on 24 December and the 4, 5 and 6 January are the days of the 'reyes magos' and the kids open the presents which the kings bring for the kids!!"
A. (boy), Ibi