Unusual Winter-Holiday Traditions
Last month, The Atlantic asked readers to share their strangest, silliest holiday traditions. The Family section commissioned illustrations for a handful of the responses; we’ve rounded up some of the other weird and wonderful submissions here.
When our children were young, they helped my wife make an “angel” to go on top of the tree. It ended up resembling a chicken more than an angel. So every year, once we’ve completed decorating the tree, we have a Christmas-chicken-placing ceremony where we play a song from the Muppets chickens while placing the chicken on top of the tree. Our kids are now in their early 20s and we still look forward to this tradition.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Every holiday season my family gathers together to make hundreds of pierogi—traditional Polish dumplings. My great-grandmother used to make them without any kind of recipe, but before she passed away my grandma (whom I call Mimi) spent time with her in the kitchen and was able to get a recipe down. Now it’s become a Pisarczyk-family tradition and everyone from my dad’s side of the family comes together on this one day. There aren’t many times when we are all able to be in the same house together, but the hours we’ve spent rolling out dough, making balls of potato and cheese filling, and eating “noodles” made from the leftover dough strips are some of my favorite memories. We don’t all celebrate Christmas together, but everyone eats the pierogi on Christmas Eve, which gives us a sense of full-family celebration even if we aren’t all sitting around the same table.