The end of the year is always filled with different holidays and festivities; while many people tend to follow the same traditions for their specific holiday events, there are also quite a few people who celebrate differently from the rest. Here are some unique Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions that you may not know:
The Christmas Bucket
Similar to an advent calendar, the Christmas Bucket is filled with 25 small, wrapped gifts or activities, one for each day of December until Christmas Day. Each wrapping has a number on it so you can open them in order according to what day it is. This tradition is a great idea for college students who don’t want to spend a bunch of money on big gifts. Opening a gift or activity a day is a great way for friends or families to enjoy the holidays together.
Christmas Eve Box
A few families hold a tradition where the entire family opens up a present filled with Christmas movies, books, matching holiday pajamas, candy and other snacks on Christmas Eve. College students and their roommates can celebrate this tradition as well. It doesn’t have to be done on Christmas Eve, especially if you and your roommates won’t be spending the holidays together. It’s a great way to bond with your family and friends while getting ready for the big day on Dec. 25.
The New Year’s Eve Opossum Drop
Brasstown, N.C. celebrates the New Year by “dropping” an opossum at midnight, similar to New York City’s crystal ball dropping. Known as the opossum capital of the world, this North Carolina town has caught much attention for this unique tradition, including being featured in a 2004 New York Times article. Although most find this tradition interesting and fun, it has also caught some negative attention. PETA, for example, has deemed this tradition “cruel” to the opossum involved. However, the hosts of the event insist that the animal is not harmed in any way, and isn’t in fact “dropped.” Rather, it’s lowered inside a Plexiglas pyramid until it is safely (and gently) back on the ground. The opossum is then released into the wild.
Chinese Food for Christmas
While most families celebrate Christmas with a turkey or ham dinner, there are a few who have the tradition of eating Chinese food for their Christmas meal. Like in the movie “A Christmas Story,” eating Chinese food for dinner might be some families’ last resort, but the reasons for choosing it for the Christmas meal vary greatly. Some people have said that it caught on after their power went out on Christmas Day, while others have said that it’s just something special for their family to do since they very rarely get Chinese food. Whatever the reason, Chinese food for Christmas is definitely a unique tradition.
How is Santa supposed to deliver the presents if there’s no chimney? Some households hold the tradition of Santa’s Key, which is leaving a “key” (a name tag with ribbons and Santa written on it) outside the front door that Santa can use in order to get inside the house. Of course, the “key” isn’t an actual key and won’t let anyone unlock your door, but the little kids won’t know that. Plus, it’s a great way for families to get into the holiday spirit.
Taylor Downs is a junior professional writing major from Kalamazoo, MI. You will almost always find her with coffee in hand or spending far too much time on her phone texting or listening to music. She loves going out to eat, indulging in TV reruns, and spending time with her family and friends.