Family Holiday Traditions | Vlogmas


I made it a week without missing a day! Yes! Welcome to day 8 of Vlogmas! Today, I wanted to talk about my family’s holiday traditions. Obviously, you have two sides – my dad’s side and my mom’s side. My mom’s side, we don’t really have any “special” traditions. It’s pretty much a traditional Christmas. Getting together with family, have food, open presents. Nothing that special. That’s my mom’s side. Most live in here in Washington state. On my dad’s side, many live in Alaska. That’s where we’re going this Christmas, to Alaska.

My dad’s side has two sides. His parents divorced a long time ago, both re-married a long time ago. So… On my grandpa’s side, we usually will spend a few hours with him on Christmas morning, and his family. My grandma is the one we tend to stay with when we visit Alaska. That side has traditions. We have three traditions, I guess?

First, we started doing this more recently for the adults in my immediate family. Me, my parents, grandparents, my dad’s siblings, their spouses. We draw names for who we gift to, like Secret Santa. My cousin is still young, like seven, eight years old. So she gets gifts from all of us.

Second is with my grandma and her husband’s family. I call him my grandpa because I grew up with him my whole life so… What we do is kiiinda a “White Elephant” exchange, but it’s not really White Elephant. I’ll explain why. We follow the same rules as White Elephant. Meaning one gift for each person, we can steal up to two times, blah blah blah. The difference is, all of the gifts are honestly good gifts, not White Elephant gifts. Like for example, good gloves. One year, my mom happened to get a cooler full of meat, like salmon, steak, delicious, good meat. It varies, a lot of different things. But they’re all GOOD gifts, useful gifts. That’s the difference between what we do and White Elephant. White Elephant is just useless gifts.

The third is technically two in one. I won’t go into it too much because I already explained it in a video last year. But basically, every year, my grandma will “build” a Christmas village. Like, I’m not even kidding, a literal village. Go watch the video, seriously. It’s huge. She starts about mid-October to the beginning of November, starts building it and finishes it. Then she’ll take it down in February, sometimes March. That is one tradition that started when my parents bought her her first house, so of course they blame my parents for starting the whole thing. Earlier, I said that it was a two in one tradition. That second tradition started only when the village was an actual village. What happened is my aunts thought why not? They decided to stage an invasion of that Christmas village. What they do is they will–every year, it’s different. On Christmas Eve, they’ll go into the house, put things in. Then on Christmas, she’ll discover what they put in. It’s different every year. One year, my family was there, we put rubber ducks, the little ones. One year they did the green army men, but they were painted white, so they disappeared in the snow. One year they did Barbies, so it was like a giant invasion. Another year was farm animals. Lizards… All kinds. I’m not sure what this year will be yet, maybe you’ll find out if I film anything. Seriously, if you haven’t watched that video from last year, go watch it. It’s really… Wow.

Oh, one more tradition, I guess you could call it that, is that my family (my parents and me), will make caramels. Like, homemade caramels, we cut them, wrap them individually, every year. It used to be just plain caramels. But over time, we added coffee, we’ve added cinnamon. Delicious! We’ve tried a couple other flavors, but we haven’t really experimented with flavors. We mostly just stick with the original recipe.

This is a little bit of a joke, but also kind of serious. I, for sure me, have started a new tradition *chuckling* of going to see the new Star Wars movie every year. No really, I have gone and seen Star Wars in the theaters every year since The Force Awakens came out. In fact, I watched Force Awakens twice in theaters, when I was in Australia. I got lucky and was able to get tickets for two open caption showings, at different times, but yes. So I saw it twice in theaters. Then Rogue One, I watched it in IMAX, in Seattle with my parents. That was really cool. Now, soon The Last Jedi will be released in theaters. My dad and I will go and watch it with open captions next week on Dec. 17th. Yes!!!

So that’s my family holiday traditions. I’m curious, what about your families? Do you have any unique traditions that you do every year? Let me know in the comments below. And that’s it for today.

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Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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