Because it’s tradition.

There are those of us who like to use emotional pressure to make everyone keep on doing the same thing. We hate change, and once something awesome has happened once, we demand it every single year.

We call it tradition, and Christmas is our kingdom.

There are so many Christmas traditions that I love, like how we always eat fondue on Christmas Eve, or how we like to change the tunes of Christmas carols (did you know you could sing them all to the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun”?), or how my mom always gives us library books… that we have to return after Christmas.

But one of my favorite traditions is a newer one, only about six years old. On Christmas Eve (or in this case, the Saturday before Christmas, because now we all have crazy schedules), my group of close high school friends has a White Elephant gift exchange… at 8am at Bob Evans. Everyone told us that we wouldn’t stay close after graduating, but I can honestly say that these are still some of my favorite people and I love getting to come together every year, catch up, and welcome new people into our group.

Plus, who doesn’t love White Elephant gift exchanges? In the past years, some of the best gifts included the life size Orlando Bloom Legolas cut-out, the dancing N’Sync puppet, the book of Conversational Klingon, Elevated Friend Status, and a giant lump of actual coal.

Don’t be confused — this is a serious gift exchange. Before we got out of the car, I might have given James the rundown on how to win (and yes, there are winners and losers in White Elephant, anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t gotten stuck with the half empty container of marshmallows). Always go for Jordan’s gift, though Shannon’s is often edible and delicious, and Rachel’s is usually entertaining for all.  This year boasted some fantastic gifts including lots of silly string, favors from a wedding that was several years ago, a book of awkward family photos, a nerf gun, and a tic-tac-toe kit. And after the paper settled over our breakfast dishes, I am pleased to announce that we walked away with a second year of Elevated Friend Status and a box of floppy disks. Wegmanns for the win.whitelephant 2012

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions, be they sacred, ceremonious, or ridiculous? I love them all.

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6 Responses to Because it’s tradition.

  1. Shelly says:

    It was so much fun! I will take the liberty of speaking for all current (and future) spouses when I say that you guys really are like family and it’s a cool thing to marry into!

    P.s.- Let it be noted that I am commenting despite being Wegmann two-timed for elevated friend status.

    • Hannah says:

      We love you soooooo much!

      and sorry… the Wegmanns are just too addicted to having Elevated Friend Status that we couldn’t give it up!!!! At least you made that old lady so happy with the wreath!

  2. Emily Walsh says:

    Haha! I love that you do your exchange at Bob Evans, and so early in the morning! How did that start?

    When we were growing up, my parents would put our coolest/biggest gift (like a bike, paint set, etc.) on display out by the fireplace, along with magazines, a big bowl of fruit, fun cheap toys like balsa wood planes, jax or marble games, brain teasers, peg boards, or decks of cards, and our Christmas stockings. We called the big gifts our “Santa gifts” (but we knew that although Santa brought them, he gave our parents the bill). 🙂 I think this tradition started so that my exhausted parents could sleep in Christmas morning without being woken up by overly-excited children, but my brothers and I still love it, and know we’ll pass it on to our children. It was wonderful for so many reasons: It made us love being together on Christmas morning, and it was such a fun, special thing as a kid to celebrate with each other before anyone else was awake.

    We also would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and enjoy cake and hot tea or cocoa as we opened our presents, which was always in the afternoon, after a late breakfast. Since my mom is Italian, the Bartlett family always has lasagna as part of the Christmas Eve or Christmas feast, along with the typically traditional ham or turkey.

    Ryan and I have started our own family Christmas tradition: We always listen to Bing Crosby’s Christmas album on the drive to cut down our tree!

    Have a wonderful first Christmas as a Wegmann!

    • Hannah says:

      You know, I don’t even remember how it started. I think we were just trying to find a time to get together one year and it was the only time no one had plans yet. : )

      Also, I love the Santa big gift idea so much that I might just steal it…. partially because it is adorable and fun, and partially because I love sleeping in. : )

      Merry Christmas to you, Ryan, Lawrence, and Baby #2!

  3. This post is Jordan approved.

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