Whatever you celebrate and however you enjoy the holidays, take a break, crack a smile, and skim through the Good JuJu team’s seasonal customs and holiday traditions – you might just be surprised!
I was raised Jewish and didn’t celebrate Christmas. Like most Jewish kids, I didn’t understand why my family didn’t decorate a Christmas Tree and revel in holiday music and seasons greetings. My wife, Marci, was raised Catholic and loves Christmas. When we started dating, we brought our cultures together and began a tradition we continue to this day with our kids.
At the beginning of the season, we decorate the house and the tree and listen to Christmas music all day. Marci makes latkes and brisket for dinner. We finish off the night with some holiday cocktails and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Ellie (Digital Marketing Specialist)
My mom took me to see The Nutcracker for the first time when I was 3 years old. I loved the show, and I told my mom that I wanted to be in The Nutcracker. So, she put me in a ballet class. A few years later, I auditioned for my first Nutcracker production and was cast as a mouse. Every year after that, I performed in The Nutcracker until I graduated from high school.
The Nutcracker was the only show I got to perform every year and it was a great way to highlight how much progress I made from the previous year. I still see The Nutcracker at a local studio every year and reminisce on the fun and excitement that came with performing in the show.
My early childhood was spent in Namibia, so Christmas was in the hot summer. Every year we would have a “braai” which is Afrikaans for barbecue. Although it didn’t really feel like Christmas because it was 90 degrees and sunny outside, my mum would always bake mince pies to keep our tradition alive.
My later childhood was in Ireland, so Christmas was far more traditional. We always have Christmas crackers at dinner and make a serious amount of mince pies throughout the season. The tradition is to make the mix/filling, then can it, and use it for next year. That stuff sits in a dark pantry for a whole year and tastes amazing! To this day I wouldn’t even dare to buy mince pie “meat” from a shop or skip our tradition – even in another continent.
Ricky (Full-Stack Web Developer)
My tradition is straightforward, but I look forward to our family gatherings each year over the winter holidays. I have a large family (50+ people) and it’s an incredibly fun affair.
We’ve been gathering for holidays at the home of the matriarch of the generation since before I was born. The holidays are important to me because it’s too difficult to bring together such a large, spread-out family at any other time, so everyone tries to make it home for the holidays and I get to truly enjoy my extended family.
Growing up Jewish, we did the typical eight nights of gifts, lighting Hanukkah candles, eating latkes, and everything else. My family still enjoys those traditions, but I’ve also really loved Christmas – the music, the movies, the magic, and more! But since my family doesn’t open gifts on Christmas morning, I started my own tradition when I turned 16…my early morning “Christmas drive.”
I make some coffee, get in my car, and drive for hours while the city is quiet, the streets are empty, and there is no one on the road but me. Sometimes I take my kids or my dog or whoever wants to go. But it’s usually just me. By myself. Solo and so happy. Listening to holiday music, enjoying the cold weather, and exploring the backroads and side streets of my town with no one around, no other cars on the road, nowhere to go, and no place to be.
Seandean (Graphic / Digital Designer)
I can’t place when it started, but during most of my childhood years, my mother would always want to send or deliver homemade cookies early in the month of December as a fun, yummy Christmas gift to family and friends. It was an exclusively mother-daughter tradition. It was a way for us to spend our own quality time and also create something we could give to our dear ones. As I became an angsty teenager, personalities conflicted too much to where we took a hiatus from our traditional cookie baking/decorating.
Drumroll, I just asked her this year, if we can pick the cookie tradition back up. As a child, I had a lot of fun, but we can still share these special moments as we’re both growing older. Still no boys allowed.
Jeff (Video & Content Production)
My favorite holiday tradition is putting Christmas lights up on the roof. I mean who doesn’t want to almost fall to their death once a year in the name of trying to outdo all the other dads in the neighborhood? This year I was on the roof putting up the lights, and my ladder fell down. Since my wife was out shopping, and my kids were on their devices with headphones on – I was stuck up there for 3 hours until my wife got home. It was actually the mellowest three hours of my holiday season!
Kat (Copy & Content Writer)
Each Christmas morning, even after moving to Pennsylvania at 13, my family and I celebrate with breakfast burritos and mimosas (the latter when I turned 21.) Plot twist, I’m happily sober now, so no mimosas for me. I will, however, go hard on some breakfast burritos. Three, to be exact.
We started our breakfast tradition during my childhood because, let’s be real, who doesn’t love burritos, especially with so many tortillerias in Tucson? (We used to live next to Anita’s Market, and oh my gosh, if you haven’t been there yet, you’re welcome.) My favorite combination is refried beans, eggs, potatoes, peppers, avocado, fresh cilantro, sharp cheddar, and looooots of hot sauce.
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