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Cecily Kellogg is madly in love with the internet, technology, and social media. She writes here at Babble about the intersection of family, technology, and social media and runs her own web content and social media consulting business, Double Good Media. She is also known for her raw tone and humor on various social media platforms including her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Kellogg lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married and is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and yes, she’s a full grown adult who loves her pink hair.

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Christmas Traditions I Just Don’t Get

By cecilyk |

Trust me: I am not a Grinch. I love the holidays, and eagerly join in on a million different holiday traditions in my area. I drive through the ridiculous light show. I listen to the radio station that only plays holiday songs. I go to the Nutcracker. I decorate my house.

I do it all!

And now that I have a daughter (she’s six!), all of these traditions mean more to me then they ever did before. I love seeing her eyes light up when we do something fun, even if it’s as mundane as seeing the Santa at the local mall. She loves it, and I love celebrating with her.

But there are still a bunch of different holiday traditions that people do every year, and I do not understand them. Maybe you can enlighten me? Go for it. Tell me if you disagree.

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Christmas traditions I just don't get

Christmas Coal

I'll admit, I'm sensitive about the whole "lump of coal in your stocking" thing; not because of me, but because my sadistic mother-in-law once did that to my husband. Grrrrrr.

There are several different versions of the coal story, one from Holland and one from Sicily, but it all adds up to the same thing: if you're a bad kid, you get coals instead of presents.

I suppose it's meant to curb kids' bad behavior, but I think of it as training kids to be sociopaths.

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About cecilyk



Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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9 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions I Just Don’t Get

  1. Kellie says:

    The Elf is kinda creepy
    I knew someone who made awesome fruitcake. She was the only one though All the rest tastes like yuck.
    I confess we might put up two trees next Christmas. Our new home has two places and I think it would be nice to have one in both. One living room, one family room.

  2. Sarah Peppel says:

    Love it. I totally hear what you are saying the Elf on the Shelf. I have one you can have. It’s a cute idea for little kids but mine are too old to really enjoy the whimsy behind it and I never thought about it as a Santa Spy (“shudder”). Eee-gads!

  3. The Elf of the Shelf creeps me out because it just LOOKS freaky. We do occasionally “notice” an elf outside the window sometimes, usually when TJ is in a spot where he can make a good decision or a bad decision. He spots elves when he’s being especially good, too. ;-)

    If we EVER get a real house – as opposed to the townhouse we own but have to share walls with two neighbors – we will have more than one Christmas tree. One will be in the living room, decorated with all of my favorite ornaments. The other will be in the playroom or other area, decorated with the ugly Godzilla ornaments and other such thing my husband has. And the not-so-cute-but-I-can’t-get-rid-of-them ornaments TJ has made in school.

  4. Christmas trees don’t lose their magic. It reproduces as well. My kids each have a tiny tree in their rooms, and I have another small tree leftover from my single days. Then we get one big real tree. My mom does a tree in the living room and one in the family room and they are each decorated differently. It means you’ve got Christmas no matter where you are. I get the Elf, but think it’s creepy and don’t want to deal with it. And I’ve ever heard of anyone actually getting coal other than as a joke. Who does that?!

  5. Heather says:

    The line about trees reproducing just made me giggle out loud. Then I remembered my mom have 7 trees up. Um, yeah.

  6. Tonya Staab says:

    Okay, so I grew up eating fruitcake on Christmas, it’s an Australian tradition and although I’m a very picky fruitcake eater, when you drown it in warm custard and top it with freshly whipped cream it is delicious. Also my grandmother used to hide coins in it (another tradition) that we would eagerly find when we were little.

    We started the elf thing last year. He’s kind of fun and I must admit to scouring Pinterest looking for all kinds of fun things to do with him to surprise the kids.

    We do the multiple tree thing too. We have a main tree in the living room that the presents go under with pretty lights that we turn on every night. Each of the kids has a mini tree in their bedroom that is decorated in their own special ornaments. That is where Santa leaves his gift for them on Christmas Eve.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I agree. We don’t mess with coal in the stockings, elf on the shelf, mistletoe, fruitcake or more than one Christmas tree. I have plenty of chaos in my life, thank you, no need to add to it.

  8. My grandmother’s fruitcake was delicious, not gross. I miss her & her making it

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