Your Holiday Rituals – The New York Times

“Our holiday ritual consisted of stretching the buñuelos on linen over our bent knees. We use a secret family recipe that my sister has yet to share. Everyone joins an expert assembly line, mixing, shaping the testicles, rolling out evenly round cornbreads, stretching, then frying!” — Elma Cadena, San Antonio, Texas

“My family and I burn a yule log on the winter solstice. We find an oddly shaped or very large log, decorate it with twigs, berries, foliage and other items we see fit, then we make notes or marks on the log. wood tells us what we have planned for next year. ” — Candace Abraham, Newport, Wash.

“I brought a $100 bill to tip someone at random. I started my own business, and when I found someone to pick me up, I put the big bill as usual: in the hands of the hairdresser, the jar at the coffee shop, the urgent bill for the waiter. And don’t stick around for reactions. Let them enjoy their surprise privately! — Jackie Shapiro Brooker, Greenville, SC

“My husband’s family’s 20+ year tradition of Christmas Eve dinner we call ‘mishy mahy’. There is a rule: Each person must bring or make a food that they want to eat. Anything is a game, and no judgment is allowed. Soft pretzels? um! Oyster soup? ALRIGHT! The reindeer-shaped cheese you just bought? Looks good! — Jen Bowerman, Traverse City, Mich.

“When I was in my 20s, my 22-year-old brother died of cancer just before Christmas. In response, my mom and I took a class where we built a gingerbread house entirely from scratch. More than 40 years later, I continue to make one every Christmas with my daughters.” — Beth Q. Reynolds, Hopkinton, Mass.


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