How do you spend Christmas? In Hungarian, we have a saying: 'different house, different tradition' (except for it rhymes), and I'm sure it's true here as well. My Christmas tradition is a mix between Hungarian and American. Background: In Hungary this is what we do: - Santa comes at the night of December 5th. Kids put their polished boots (just 1) in the window, and Santa comes and fills it with all kinds of yummy stuff. Because Hungarians believe that kids are not all bad or all good, each child gets goodies (candy, fruits such as oranges, tangerines, bananas, which were only available during the winter) and a switch as well. - So on Christmas the parents say that the presents are from Baby Jesus. It's like this even in families that are not very religious. - Christmas is a 3 day event. - We decorate the Christmas tree on the 24th, in the afternoon, never before. This is a close family event - we eat Christmas dinner, usually around 6,7 or 8 pm, very traditional, formal, quiet, candle light dinner. Only close family is present, so for example, even though we were very close to my grandparents, they still had dinner themselves. After my grandpa died, my grandma would have dinner with us. - by this time we all put our presents under the tree - after dinner we each get the resents we put under the table, and give it to the person. We wish them merry Christmas, hug and kiss. - The 25th is a quiet family day, other family members come over to exchange gifts, such as grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. - we don't have formal dinner, but we do have a lot of food. - 26th. The 3rd day of Christmas. Only starting this day friends may come and visit. For example our boyfriends couldn't come visit until this day. When my sister was engaged, her fiance could come over on the 25th, but not on the 24th. - we take down the tree by January 6th. And that's it. Some things I like more Hungarian style, and others American style. So this is what I do: - I like to put up Christmas lights and the tree early, around 2 weeks before. (American style) - Christmas dinner and exchanging the gifts: Hungarian style. We have dinner, (I cook) then exchange gifts. I've been doing it like this for about 3-4 years (since my daughter was about 11-12), until then we had the dinner the same way, but opened presents the next morning. I wasn't raised religiously, so we don't go to church, although it would be nice to start doing that. -25th - I don't have any family here, so it's nothing special really, just relaxing, spending time with my daughter. I guess it is special - 26th and after: these are the days I meet up with friends to exchange gifts. So how do you do it? I am wondering about this though: if someone has Christmas dinner on the 25th. what do they do on the 24th?