Happy Beadmas!

**The random winner is Jenn Abbott! Please send me your contact info at marthnickbeads@gmail.com and I’ll pass it along to Ohm. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your stories!**

It’s that time of year again, when the Ohm Beads team has 12 days of giveaways and social media fun to celebrate the beloved holiday of Beadmas! The prize I chose is a new Cold Milk bead. There are lots of pictures and combos with it here. It will be sent to the winner by Ohm Beads and this contest closes at midnight tonight, my time (EST). To enter, write a very short story telling us about a time you were away from home at Christmas. If you have never been away for Christmas, tell us your favourite Christmas tradition. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, tell us whatever you want! The winner will be chosen at random. The whole Beadmas schedule is over here

I’ll start! Many years ago my husband and I had a week off from teaching English in South Korea and we flew to Guam for the most blissful five days EVER! The airplane ride was interesting as we were the only non-newlyweds and as such were not  carrying a gift basket that had cans of Spam and Pringles. On Christmas Day we went to the beach and lazed around then went out to dinner at Tony Roma’s. It was like getting a taste of home but with warm, sunny weather and it was a perfect trip!

112 Comments

  1. Hello Martha! I can clearly remember the day before the New Year celebrations when my husband-to-be and I decided to celebrate the coming holidays together for the first time. And I was overexcited and a bit sad at the same time as before I used to be with my parents every single Christmas and New Year’s Eve and I realized that they would probably miss me. I think those mixed emotions are the kind you remember for all your life.

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  2. I was away from home for a few years and Christmas was really lonely , I used to end up going home in May and having Christmas with my family then which just wasn’t the same. It teaches you to appreciate loved ones more.xx

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  3. I always try to be in home in Germany for Christmas but I wanted to enter the new millenium with friends in New York, so I stayed in Sydney (where I worked) for Christmas Eve (the important Christmas day in Germany). I could not light any candles, because the candles had melted and curled around the candle holders; all the chocolates melted before I could get them in my mouth; the Australians gorged on hams and red wine and then sat in the sun in 30 degree heat. I have never felt as un-christmassy my entire life and have never since. On Christmas Day I flew to New York in empty planes and everyone on board had Champagne, which was nice.
    I am even more determined to be home for Christmas now!

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  4. Hi Martha….
    18 years ago, just before Xmas , I knew we would have had a baby……. Our first and only one…..
    I clearly remember me buying the pregnancy test, going home… find out that it was positive….
    I thought a sweet way to inform my husband was to buy a dummy and leave it near my husband side of the bed…. He came home and of course immediately understood what was going on 
    That Xmas was very very very warm and happy for us. Jesus was coming to earth, and our baby was just on his way home.
    That’s all. I wish all of you a very Merry Xmas time, peace, happiness, care and love ❤
    Niky

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  5. I always spent Christmas with my family: parents, uncles, cousins ​​… the only time we upset the tradition was the year in which it was born my first daughter, at Christmas she had two months and we decided to make a more intimate party only with grandparents!

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  6. I’ve never been away from home for Christmas. Every Christmas I spend with my family. When we were younger we first have a big dinner on Christmas Eve and open presents. Then we’d go to sleep, Santa would come with a LOT more presents. Then we would go to church and than another big Christmas dinner.

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  7. In Sydney we have a large outdoor carols concert the Saturday before Christmas day. It’s held in a large psrk, is televised, and pop stars & celebrities perform. It’s free to attend so as a large group of friends we use to camp out from very early in the morning to claim a good spot. We would sit all day in the Aussie summer sun, have a picnic, dress in tinsel, and enjoy the activities before the main show. Always a great crowd. Hope to do it with my kids when they are a bit older.

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  8. Hi Martha! Happy Beadmas. Never been away at Christmas. I have 3 kids. All teenagers now but when they were younger, and still believed 😞, it was tradition to open one gift on Christmas eve. I brought that tradition with me from my childhood. Always fun.
    Love Kelly

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  9. Hello Martha! Christmas for my family is always special day. We always celebrate this holiday with family. No matter where we are, most importantly together. Christmas brings hope, joy. And everybody with such faith waits for a miracle. Gifts. love them both adults and children. And of course an important meal is Turkey.
    On Christmas eve the main thing is to create a holiday atmosphere. Most of the decorations we make with our hands, that’s why our house becomes cozier and warmer.

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  10. J’ai toujours aimé les fêtes de Noêl. Lorsque ma maman est décédée en 2004 cela a été dur mais par tradition pour elle, j’ai installé le sapin et nous avons fêté Noêl avec mon père et mes frères. Pour ma part celui qui à pris tout son sens est celui, qui en 2011, a été le premier avec mon fils ainé. Il avait quelques semaines. Cela a été magique, après 9 mois de grossesse, de fêter Noêl non par tradition mais pour l’être le plus merveilleux que je pouvais avoir dans mes bras. Cela a été magique.

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  11. For some reason I can’t recall, it became a tradition for my family to get together to eat jjajangmyun (black bean noodles) for Christmas lunch. Jjajangmyun is to Korean kids what hot dogs/burgers/pizza are to American kids. It may be because the restaurants that specialize in this dish are never closed for the holidays but I always found it funny that we would be dressed in our Sunday Best and eating black sauce noodles that could easily stain.

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  12. Hi Martha!
    When I was a child, my parents always let us open 1 gift on Christmas Eve (which is also my birthday). We could pick what ever gift we wanted under the tree. I have carried on that tradition with my children and hope that it will continue for generations.

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  13. A while back we bought a house that my dad said the only way to fix it was with a match and start all over. It had been deserted except for some critters for several years. No heat, water or functioning electricity so we had a big task ahead. We have always hosted Christmas Eve dinner and I wanted to do that in my new old house. For 3 months we worked to get the place to the point that people could come a celebrate the holiday with us. Living in New England the weather is never certain and a nor’easter hit the day before Christmas Eve. Water started pouring in through places we couldn’t imagine. I watched as it rose steadily towards the outlet that the stove was plugged into, water pouring in from the dining room window frame, the basement was a wading pool and the burning smell was the sump pump. I can still remember crying on the hallway steps holding on to the wobbly bannister. My husband and sons found me. I said what were we thinking. They told me it would be okay and to think of it as the house from Its a Wonderful Life. I dried my tears and we mopped what we could used more duck tape than a home should require and decorated. My family arrived the next day for dinner and of course the tree fell over in the middle of cocktails because nobody remembered to secure it but we picked it back up, swept up the debris and continued on. We still talk about that Christmas, all of us, it made for many memories.

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  14. Happy Beadmas 🙂 I moved away from home a few years ago. I know live in Texas, with my hubby. So many years I am “away from home” on Christmas. I try to make a trip back around the holidays. I love when I go back, my mom always plans the things we used to do as kids. We see a movie on Christmas Eve. Unwrap pajamas and an ornament that night, and wake up bright and early the next day! We exchange gifts then eat a huge breakfast.

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  15. I was in my first year at McGill , my older brother, Vic and I were alone for Christmas.
    We invited our friends who were visiting from Ireland, who were newly married and away from home for the first time as well. Marion and I cried a great deal, as Christmas was such a lovely, family time for us, and as my mother would say every year, ” well darlings, it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t have a little cry”.
    We braved our way through a sort of feast, while Vic and Tony stoically braved their way through every drop of alcohol they could find. Marion and I spent much of the next morning, cleaning the bathroom and nursing the two men/boys, whose bodies choose to reject their excesses from the night before. Boxing Day was oddly peaceful and happy for all of us.

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  16. Happy Friday to you all! When my sisters and I were in high school, my parents decided to take a break from the midwestern (US) cold and took us to a small resort near West Palm Beach, Florida. We went to the beach, swam and ate seafood. No tree, big meals or other traditions….just sunshine and fun. We all liked it so much that my parents took us back for the next two years. It was such a good time and as a teenager, I especially appreciated the break from traditions and experiencing something completely different.

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  17. I always spend Christmas with my family but in 2001 I needed to go to another city for business. I missed my parents very much in a such joyful day. And all this year I was in traveling – for business and for pleasure. I visited Israel for the first time and lived in the USA within half a year. It was f remarkable time. And I have proved the example correctness of a sign – where you will celebrate Christmas, and will spend the whole next year ))

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  18. Christmas in our family – a very favorite holiday. Celebrate Christmas in our big family, I have three children, always at home. Christmas – it is one of those occasions when the whole family can gather for a festive table, just to be together and enjoy each other’s company. We give each other gifts and read Christmas poems and wishes!
    The whole family to dress up the Christmas tree, light a lot of candles in the house, bake cakes, cook delicious dishes, decorate the house with garlands, fairy installations. And of course, at Christmas we’ll go with the children to the temple.

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  19. I would have to take it back to a Xmas in the early 80’s when I entered this world. Yep I am
    A Christmas baby, mom always tells me i and was the best present a mother can ask for 🙂 Merry Xmas bday to me 🙂 🎄🎈

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  20. Many years ago (more than I want to admit), we spent Christmas in California with my stepson, daughter-in-law and 15 month old grandson. A blizzard hit Boston the morning we were scheduled to leave and we were the last plane out of Boston that day. Seeing all the decorations in Southern California was so much fun – without the cold weather they can go all out with their decorations. It was so pleasant to be able to walk around the neighborhoods appreciating the lights, enjoying the block parties – all the things that it is impossible to do in sub-freezing New England weather. We hit the day after sales at Nordstrom’s and ate lunch at their outside cafe JUST BECAUSE WE COULD! Spending the holidays with my stepson’s in-laws and experiencing a totally different holiday season was priceless. We still talk about that holiday trip and dream about warmer holiday weather!

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  21. We are always home for Christmas. My favorite tradition is Christmas Eve. Our family celebrates with a roaring fire in our huge kitchen fireplace sharing our love over cocktails and snacks. Nothing fancy just lots of love

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  22. Hi Martha..oh..i always stay at home at Christmas. But there were many years in which I was alone undercthe tree because my hubby had to work. So I’m happy about every year he doesn’t have to work.and this is now.

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  23. My first Christmas away from the home I grew up in was my first Christmas as a newlywed. My husband and I were just starting out and we had no money to give gifts to one another. Instead we focused on spending time together and just creating memories and planning all the traditions we wanted to start in our new little family. It was our very best Christmas ever!!

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  24. The Christmas of 2004 was the best for my daughter and i. Normally here in south Texas we rarely (pretty much never) get snow. After watching our favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, and opening one gift my daughter went to bed. The following morning after opening gifts and going outside to play with the new toys we were greeted by Christmas snow! This was a first for my daughter so we had snow fights and made snow angels, it was a blast!

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  25. One Christmas, I was 2 weeks away from giving birth to my 3rd baby. The family didn’t want to be a burden by coming, and I couldn’t go, so it was decided that we’d celebrate Christmas with just our 2 kids. Then my husband and his parents were to drive 3 hours to meet each other halfway, so the kids could spend Christmas break with their grandparents, and I could rest.
    Needless to say, even after opening presents in the morning, it’s pretty depressing to be alone and pregnant on Christmas day.
    Then my husband came back, and his parents had packed my favorite treats for me, even though I already had opened their gift in the morning. I felt so happy with this unexpected and thoughtful gift!

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  26. We always celebrate Christmas with my parents. The night before, we prepare delicious meals on the table, and in the early morning run up to us neighborhood kids and sing Christmas carols! But when I was little, it was away for Christmas to Grandma. Grandma baked unforgettable fragrant sweet pastries, which is now nowhere to be to try it, because my grandmother is no longer with us.

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  27. It’s not really about being away from home but it’s close. A few years ago, my parents went to the countryside to see my grandparents for Christmas, my brother went with his girlfriend so I went to spend Christmas with my boyfriend (now my husband) and his parents. It was the first Christmas of our nephew so everybody went to my sister in law’s. I got stuck in a corner at diner and I could’t move. The only person I knew was my boyfriend next to me but he could not spend the entire evening speaking only to me. So it was really lonely. We didn’t get any picture with our nephew and in his family they don’t give presents to the grown-ups so there was nothing to do and no Christmas spirit. It was awful! Now, even with my kids, I make sure we spend Christmas with my family so we can enjoy the magic of Christmas even for us and not just for the kids.

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  28. In November 1989 my mother died unexpectedly two months before my wedding. It was a terribly difficult time. I was living in NY and my fiancé worked nights and we knew we wouldn’t be with either family for Christmas. As a surprise, he made a reservation for dinner at The Rainbow Room (remember Sleepless in Seattle?) on Christmas Day. It was so lovely and romantic and a world away from the stresses. We did that every year until they closed the restaurant. (Now it is open one night a week for the public and the rest for private events.)

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  29. Wow, so many good memories. I guess the one that sticks out the most is from a sewing rocker I came across in my closet the other day. My late Husband knew I wanted one. We went out Christmas eve to his parents. We came home and the Christmas tree lights were on and I was freaking out. I knew I turned them off. I walked into the front room and there was my rocker. He had his cousin come in a place it by the tree. The cousin even grabbed out a plate, put some cookie crumbs on it and had a glass with a splash of milk in it to look like Santa was there. That was so thoughtful. Ok, I have to go dry up some tears and compose myself now.

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  30. I’ve had the privilege of spending every Christmas with my parents and usually other family members ❤ My favorite tradition is decorating the house each year, setting up the tree, lighted village, garlands! 🙂

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  31. I have never been away for christmas, because my favourite xmas tradition is “christmas at home” with tree, lights, children, santa, relatives, food, presents and “tombola” and being in the evening stuffed, stunned, tired and happy.

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  32. Christmas Day is usually hectic, as my family and my in laws live only a few miles from each other, and we spend the day going from one home to the other. We decided years ago to make Christmas Eve special just for us. We go to our favorite restaurant, Sushi Thai Aroy Dee, then go home and watch the Pee Wee Herman Christmas video. Our girls are now 20 and 25, but they insist we never change our special time together.

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  33. We live in that part of California where it snows less than once in a blue moon. One Christmas years ago, we went to my in-laws in Indiana for Christmas where of course, it snows. Our kids were about 5 and 7 then and they were delighted with the falling snow. We have pictures of them outside with their mouths open, catching snowflakes into their mouths. A wonderful, happy memory!

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  34. I studied overseas a couple of years ago. On my first year, I got really homesick as I would not be home from Christmas (plane ticket prices to go home during festive season was really exorbitant), So, me and a couple of other foreign students had a mini celebration instead. We bought ham and other food items from supermarkets and played games like charades, It was really special because when I was with them, I forgot that I missed my family. These friends became my second family.

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  35. Never been away from home for Christmas so I will tell about a tradition. Every year since I was about a teenager, we go to a park in the city. They have it all lit up with lights of Christmas displays and you drive through slow, listening to Christmas music on the radio. It’s beautiful! Then you stop halfway though and go in the building on the small lake to shop for handmade crafts and goodies, have some snacks and cocoa, and then finish the ride. You can even choose to do it by horse and carriage, which my husband and I did one year for our anniversary.

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  36. There is a place in the South Pacific that is more than a thousand miles from land in any direction, a place so distant from civilisation that the nearest humans are those 250 miles above you in the International Space Station. They call this place Point Nemo.

    Sailing solo with a Van de Stadt Samoa 47, the sea calm and cornflower blue with barely a hint of swell, this was Christmas Day at Point Nemo. Just a speck of aluminium in the midst of millions of square miles of ocean. Sat on the deck, eating canned turkey and singing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’

    A Christmas, far, far from home.

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  37. In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7 and New Year’s Eve on 31 December. The day of my birthday falls on Christmas Eve, Christmas (December 24). I’ve never celebrated Christmas and New Year away from home. In our family we have a good tradition, we are always going to have a family and grandparents. Giving gifts, we laugh, sometimes we do kostyumirovpnnye scenes. Last year, the guests put on the chairs and they told Christmas poems. Let them always salutes and go to the tree on the central square. There’s a lot of people, BME congratulate each other, having fun, riding on the ice slides, pictures. At Christmas we singing carols. Discharged girls and boys go from house to house singing carols (special songs) for this they treat goodies

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  38. I have never been without family on Christmas…..but we have a couple fun traditions!! Every Christmas Eve we drive to my Inlaws (@2hours away) and spend time with the family. While there, they would track Santa crossing the globe on a website and on the drive home my boys (now 20 & 14) would watch the dark sky all the way home looking for Santa and his reindeer in the sky!
    Then on Christmas Day, it was always my husband and boys all day- presents with hot caramel iced cinnamon rolls while watching A Christmas Story – then we go to a movie in the afternoon and then have dinner at Waffle House or at a Chinese Restaurant……traditions! ❤️🎄❤️

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  39. Remembering Christmases past has brought out a lot of amazing stories! I have only ever been away from home once at Christmas but I was in Winnipeg ( my last year of school) so I got to spend it with my aunts and uncles and cousins and both grandmothers so it was kind of magical in its difference.

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  40. I used to work at a movie theater but I would usually get to spend sometime at home for Christmas and work in the morning or afternoon. But one year we made a schedule where I would be off all of Christmas Eve and do a double on Christmas. I thought it would be good to try and see if it would work better that way, to celebrate on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas. It was fine but I never did it again because even though I had the whole day off before Christmas it still wasn’t the same, and working a double sucks.

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  41. 💞Good evening, my dear Marta. Thank you for participating in bidmasn and for sharing your memories. I am from Russia and we have traditionally been the main holiday is New Year. On this day we always be together with their family and friends, and on the other can not be. And I am pleased to celebrate this holiday with his family every year. First you have the child and expect a miracle, then arrange the wonders of their children. Both magical.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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  42. I have never been away for Christmas. It’s difficult to pick a favorite tradition, but I think I enjoy both the decorating and the gift wrapping. Everything looks so festive and beautiful this time of year. I constantly get to feel like I’m in a magical wonderland 🙂

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  43. Hello Martha! Happy Christmas!
    I was away from home on Christmas more than I’d like to be. But, the first time was one of the many times I’ve had to spend it in the hospital. I have liver disease, due to diabetes. And need a liver. But, all of the floor nurses would get decorations and hot cocoa and come into our rooms and do carols. It was lovely of them. My family brought Christmas to my hospital room, complete with a little tree. So it made it not so bad. Thank you for doing the giveaway! I enjoy your blog. Happy Beadmas!

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  44. We tend to stick pretty close to home for Christmas, but one of my favourite Christmas traditions is going on the “Santa train” with our kids. The tourist train here does special trips throughout December where Santa and Mrs Claus come on board to talk with the kids. Local musicians provide Christmas carols, we get cookies and hot chocolate or cider, and every kid leaves with a GIANT chocolate Santa. But the best is seeing the anticipation when Santa comes into the train car as each kid peers around the seats, and then the nervous excitement when Santa finally gets to our row. Our kids usually get a little shy when it’s finally their turn to sit with Santa, but they are soon telling Santa all about what they are doing for Christmas and what they hope to get (which isn’t always what they have told us that they want!) Every year we wonder if they’re getting too old for the Santa train but I think it’s one of their favourite parts, too.

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  45. My most cherished Christmas memory is picking a tree with my father and sister. It was always such a special occasion. When we arrived home, with the best tree of course, my mother had made hot chocolate with christmas cookies. Such a sweet memory now that both my parents have passed away….

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  46. Well, we weren’t exactly away from home for Christmas. We had been home and got into a roll over accident on Christmas Eve. It ended up being a unique Christmas. My brother picked us up from highway patrol, we stayed at his house that night. The next day, we followed most of our traditions but had to depend on others to get around,didn’t have clean clothes or gifts. We left early and took an airport van to a train station to get home to Chicago.

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  47. Last year I spent christmas in colorado (i live in nj) with my brothers family. Was wonderful watching my nephews open their gifts. And all the warm and fuzzy family time. ♡♡♡

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  48. Never been away from home for Christmas. One of my favorite tradition is to make gingerbread cookies with my 2 daugthers. Cooking with family is such a great way to spend time with your kids. Happy Christmas Martha!

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  49. Decorating the Christmas tree has always been a special thing for my mom and me. We’ve had some of our most meaningful conversations while decorating the tree. So I was a little sad when I got married, thinking that would stop. Well, that first Christmas I was married, my mom came over to help me, because I had morning sickness so bad that I could hardly function. She basically decorated my tree for me. And since decorating is not something my husband enjoys, she came over the next Christmas to help me get it done with the twins crawling around. And ten years later, she still comes over to decorate with us. And as the kids have gotten older (three now!), we all help her decorate her tree too. The only thing my kids enjoy more is when my mom spend the night on Christmas Eve so we’re all together on Christmas morning.

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  50. Three years ago, we were in Morocco for Christmas. My girls were nervous but hopeful that Santa would be able to find them on the other side of the world. I assured them that he likely would be able to, and to their great delight, he did indeed find us. He brought my oldest girl her first Pandora bracelet and bead, the silver globe clasp. It has been so much fun over the last couple of years choosing new beads to add to her bracelet to mark special occasions in her life. And funny enough, last year we were in Vietnam for Christmas, and wouldn’t you know that Santa found us there as well and brought her a second Pandora bracelet, this time a braided leather one. I hope that wherever we are in this world when my youngest is a bit older and ready to receive her first one, Santa will find us once again. ❤️🎄

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  51. I’ve always been home for the holidays. I’m a Christmas baby too so it’s just the way it’s always been. The Christmas tradition I love the most is decorating the tree. My mother has given me ornaments since the day I was born. I currently have enough to decorate 3 or more trees. I forget about the ornaments during the year so when I open the box it’s like a flood of wonderful family memories.

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  52. This is a bit sad but well….it’s my Story. Last year it was the first Xmas away from home as my daughter had her tonsils out few days before. So we (all coming from a neapolitan family where food is the first thought over Xmas time) had to struggle all over holidays to let her eat or drink something. It was so painful to see her suffering. This year radical change!!!there weeks back in Naples!!!!!

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  53. Hello! Martha! We love Christmas. Previously, we celebrated in our house in Donetsk. We were going all offer large family. Decorating a fireplace and a home. making gifts and delicious meals. Now we left our house. But we with a smile and warmth remember those days!

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  54. I’ve always been home for Christmas. My favorite tradition is having my whole extended family over for Christmas lunch. I love being the hostess and cooking for everyone.

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  55. Hello Martha, I had a lot of Xmas spent alone in hospital when I was a child and my parents was so far. Perhaps it is for that reason that I like to live Xmas time with my family. On midnight we go to the holy mass and on Xmas we meet us at my home or of my brother, everyone bring something ready to be eaten. After lunch, which takes many time, we play with ‘tombola’ which is similar to your bingo. We stay together till late evening. If the whether is fine we go for walking or to the cinema 🙂

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  56. Because my Mom made Christmas so special when I was a kid, it always seems like I am away from home at the holiday season. Mom loved Christmas and always made it so magical. As an artist, she could whip up a delightful display in no time at all and had many special decorations that she’d put out each year.

    When I got married and moved out of state, even in my own home I felt slightly off-kilter. I have tried to replicate a lot of what she used to do, and I have lots of things she made for me, but it’s still not quite the same. I put up her Nativity; I make pomanders from oranges and cloves; I use her Advent wreath; and we have her chili recipe for Christmas Eve dinner.

    Yet I still long for the Christmas of my childhood and feel the pull of the past. I have a lovely home–it’s just not *home.*

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  57. The one time I spent Christmas away from home, we traveled to another country were the tradition there was nothing like in the U.S. Initially I was bummed to not see the usual trees and lights and presents. On Christmas Eve we walked into town to attend midnight mass and it was one the most memorable Christmases I ever experienced.

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  58. In 1994 I had my first ever Christmas in another country! It was Vancouver Canada! Being Australian, this was my first white Christmas 🎄, it was so beautiful. I loved the chestnut roasters on the street corners, the beautiful decorations and the snow ❄ First snowman ⛄ too!The Ohm bead would be so special, not only does it remind me of snow, but it would be my first OHM BEAD! so reminiscent of that special Christmas 🎄 xxx

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  59. Our favorite tradition that carried over from my childhood was opening 1 present on Christmas Eve. A new tradition we started with our children is hiding 1 present, usually small. Sometimes it was actually in the tree, a small box or something, like jewelry for my daughter. If it wasn’t in the tree, it was hidden somewhere in the house. LOL. It could take awhile for them to find it sometimes which was pretty fun!!! 😊

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  60. Wow ! What wonderful stories. My favorite Christmas family tradition is to have Christmas Eve dinner at my Aunts house. We play games, build gingerbread houses, have a large meal. Family is the most important thing this time of year. Being together is such a blessing. When is saw your bead offering, it reminded me of when I was a child my Mother would leave milk and cookies for Santa Clause. In the morning the milk would be mostly drunk and the cookies gone except for crumbs.

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  61. One Christmas when I was a young woman living on my own in a cabin in the north woods, it snowed so hard that I was unable to travel. I had planned to spend Christmas Eve with my parents. I was heart broken. Christmas Eve was always our traditional celebration night and I was alone in a cabin. I made a package of “powdered” chicken soup and set the table for four. I didn’t want to eat alone and decided to play “Tiny Tim” and leave a place setting for 3 deceased relatives. I had a table top Christmas tree. We normally opened gifts on Christmas Eve so I took my most favorite possession, an antique white sapphire ring, and wrapped it up and placed it under the tree. That night the snowstorm miraculously stopped and I was able to drive to midnight mass. I remember the roads and trees laden with snow in the moonlight. For a greater part of the journey a herd of deer ran beside my car. It was perhaps the most spiritually memorable Christmas of my lifetime.

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  62. Hello Martha! I spend pretty much every year away from home. I moved away 22 years ago. I rarely get to spend the holidays with my primary family. My husband and I have created a new tradition. We go out for dinner, usually Indian, and also go see a movie. We aren’t really Christmas people and tend to prefer just exchanging gifts around Yule. We like the quietness of it and it feels like it brings us closer each and every year.

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  63. I haven’t been away from home never, my mother wouldn’t allow that hahaha. For her tose are very familiar dates and she enjoys a lot making mountains of meals and cakes for these days (so I always take some kilos extra). I love to see her happy, smiling just enjoying being together.
    I hope I can enjoy Christmas time with my parents more years.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. I went to Brasil 2 years ago to visit my family. There the summer is hot and for a Spanish person this is quite strange. I enjoyed the day at the beach learning surf and drinking coconut water. During the night all my cousins ans I made a special dinner for Christmas Night.
    All was fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Every year I plan a big big dinner with my family, all my sons live in other cities, so ´I’m really happy when I see all them seating on my round table. This year I will be cooking some new recipes, as I became vegan this year, I hope everybody will enjoy it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I went to Germany few years ago, I always wanted to see a white snowy Christmas.
    So I made all the arrangements to visit a good friend of mine for these dates. She have been always a genius and her parties are very wellknown between our friends. She preppared everything. Was an incredible night full of laugh and joy. There I knew my boyfriend, the memories of that party are really specials for me ….<3

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Happy Beadmas! I’ve been blessed to have had many joyful Christmases with friends and family so I’ll share one of the most emotional.
    A few notes of background, my grandmother: a student of dance all her life, she was an active member of a Polynesian dance troupe for several decades prior to this particular Christmas. She had never had the opportunity to visit despite her lifelong admiration and study of the many dances and cultures.
    My grandfather knowing this, booked a secret vacation to Hawaii for their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary and placed the brochures and itinerary in an envelope amongst the Christmas cards on the tree.
    On Christmas morning, we opened our stockings, ate a lovely brunch, and exchanged gifts. After everything was upwrapped, my Grandfather removed all the cards (and the special envelope) from the tree and distributed them to the addressed recipients.
    As my grandmother removed the brochures, she didn’t notice the itinerary and booking slips and exclaimed, “Oh, Hawaii would be a lovely place to visit!” and set the pages aside.
    We explained several times that it was she who would be visiting in April before the realization struck. In disbelief she snatched the pages for a closer look and fell speechless. As she realized her lifelong dream was to come true, there was nought a dry eye in the house.
    Everytime I reminisce on this memory, I relive that surprise and joy and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. My favorite Christmas tradition while was growing up was sharing bread. It was like the bread you receive in church, only much larger. Everyone had a piece and one by one we would wish something for all of the others. After your wished for health or happiness or whatever, you offered your bread to everyone else and they break off a piece to eat. It was not necessarily a religious thing, just a really thoughtful nice moment to share among family at Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. I think I was never away at christmas. We always spend the time with our family, but more and more members passed away now.
    Our tradition is to eat german selfmade “Kartoffelsalat und Würstchen” before we unpack our christmas gifts. My daughter is waiting for this dish the whole year…. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  70. I’ve been away too many times to count because I’ve lived in 3 different countries so once I moved away each Xmas was different. My family tradition, being a Latina, was to celebrate on Xmas Eve but now living in Australia and with young kids we do the Aussie thing and wake up early on Xmas morn to open the pressies. This year will be different yet again as it will be the first time in 8 years that we will actually be in our own home that day, maybe we’ll even go to the beach after Xmas lunch. Happy Holidays to everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  71. Our first Christmas away was the year we went to visit our son in Thailand. On Christmas Eve, we wanted to find a service to celebrate Christ’s birth. We trekked forever and thought we would never find the church & starting to get a bit grouchy with one another, but finally came upon it. Even though we did not speak Thai, it was wonderful to be in an atmosphere with others sharing our Christian faith to celebrate the holiday. There was a peace and special feeling inside the church even though we could not understand the language. After the service, we were walking through the parking lot when a person called out “Merry Christmas” to us in English. A special Christmas Eve with my husband, daughter & son in Thailand -celebrating Christ’s birth. This is how I envision heaven – people of all nationalities living peacefully together and honoring our Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. I have never been away from home and family in New York. This summer we lost our beloved family matriarch, my grandmother, unexpectedly. She was the salt of the Earth type woman who would always welcome company, feed an army and kept the entire family together from all walks of life even in her eighties. With my mom and my grandmother now gone it will be different this year. Bittersweet for sure as I still have three wonder-eyed little miracles and a husband who bring me much joy, but the extended family has dispersed some. My hope is that I can one day be half the woman my grandmother was and I pray that my children and grandchildren come home to me AT LEAST every Christmas 😘 🎄.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. I was 13 and away from family. Was with many friends and it wasn’t the same at all. Although it was a time to reflect upon what I had, and what it meant to be family with other’s. It was never the same that year. I did learn about other family traditions, and I shared my love of an Advent Calendar. It was nice and a change, but id never trade it again away from my immediate family.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Wow! I have to say that I am completely overwhelmed by all of these amazing Christmas stories!
    When I was about ten years old, my parents decided to celebrate Christmas time in the Bahamas. This was quite unusual for my very traditional New England family. It was a lovely tropical vacation but, because I was an only child, I desperately missed my neighborhood friends! It was a Christmas tradition to visit with the neighborhood children on Christmas Day and enjoy each other’s company while playing with our new Christmas toys. The tropical vacation was indeed special but, it just didn’t feel like Christmas! Needless to say, that was the last time that my family vacationed during Christmas time!

    Liked by 1 person

  75. It was hard when I moved away from home for the first time and wasn’t able to spend the holidays with my family. I remember I cried a lot, but I was able to see them in January. I always try to spend it with them if I can, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way!

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