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People Break Down Their Family's Best Unspoken Traditions

People Break Down Their Family's Best Unspoken Traditions
Image by Emily Heidt from Pixabay

This time of year, many families take part in their respective holiday traditions.

Our family's festive ritual was nothing unique, but special to us nonetheless.

Now, we were not a fancy family and we hardly went out for dinners – save for the occasional trips to the golden arches.

But when we went out for our annual Christmas Eve dinners at Lawry's Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, we spared no expense.

We could always count on the Dickensian carolers to entertain us in the enormous dining area festooned with garlands and wreaths as we feasted – me with au jus reliably dripping down my chin.

That was how we rolled on Christmas Eve.

Curious about other families, Redditor TheAwesomeJunk asked:

"What is your family's unspoken tradition?"

Three-Hour Gift-Opening Session

"Even though there are numerous Christmas presents under the tree, the family tradition is this:"

"Only one present can be opened at a time so that everyone in the room can see what the other person received."

"It makes the gift-opening session last up to 3 hours, which sometimes seems like an eternity when everyone is hungry and wanting to have Christmas dinner."


Make Way For Santa

"All 'children' must vacate the living room at 9 pm on Christmas Eve so 'Santa' can put out the gifts."

"The youngest 'child' is 30, but it makes my mother happy to put out the gifts and have us surprised on Christmas morning."


Kids Go First

"We open ours in the morning. The kids like to dish the presents out to everyone from under the tree and we have our own piles then each person opens their presents in turn, usually the kids first. We only have Christmas day the four of us and told everyone else when we first had the kids that we won't see anyone else on Xmas day to save potential arguments with whose turn it is. We then chill out until dinner which we have about 3pm."


Leaving A Mark

"When someone in the family turns 16, they have to sign underneath my grandmother's kitchen table. It has to be something witty/funny/personal and then their name and the date. Of course, those who 'join' the family late (by marriage/long-term relationship or even just very good friends who have been to a family function or two) sign whenever they're inducted. It's a big deal and everyone takes pictures. Very neat to go under the table from time to time and see some of the faded sayings from old family/friends who are not with us anymore (either from passing on or falling out). All the grandkids looked forward to turning 16 so we could finally add our names under the table."

"I wonder who will get it when Grandma passes."


On Noche Buena

"Christmas Eve dinner is always after 10 pm. I don't know why but it always is. If you're Cuban, you know the tradition of la caja china on Noche Buena. My uncle always does the pig roast and even though he claims he starts early every year, we never eat earlier than 10 pm. It's rare. Last year we didn't eat til almost 2 am and we didn't leave his house until 4. It's always worth the wait though. That and my grandmas Thanksgiving turkey are both the best dinners each year."


Tasty Treat

"Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Been doing it for 32 years. I'm sad that I can't visit my parents this Christmas due to the risks involved."


"It's A Book!"

"One non-close-family gift can be opened on Christmas eve. This usually turns out to be something a bit rubbish."

"All presents get opened before breakfast on Christmas day. We take turns. If (when) you open booze the bottle must be opened immediately and then passed to whoever also drinks to try."

"Brother gets drunk and starts a fight or skips actual Christmas dinner (dinner is at lunch time)."

"Pretty much every gift gets a little squeeze and an exclamation of 'it's a book!' (last year I did this with a clearly not-a-book mug and there was a tiny book hidden inside it - well done dad)."


Oh, Mom

"No matter how many times we get her gifts, no matter the quality or quantity of said gifts, my mom will go through 20 minutes of: 'This is too much! Why did y'all do all this? I didn't get y'all anything this nice!'"

"For the past few years we start saying it all before she can, but she still keeps doing it."


In Iceland

"I live in Iceland and there we traditionally open the gifts after dinner on Christmas Eve. Aaaaallllll dishes, cutlery and everything must be HAND WASHED after dinner before we get to open the presents."


Casual Therapy

"Getting high/drunk and having intimate conversations that end up really therapeutic."


"Forced Perspective"

"We are huge fans of the Disney Parks and we go all the time. A common method they use to make things look taller (Like the castle) is forced perspective, which is basically trying to orient the angle of which you see an object to give the illusion that it's taller than it actually is, just to increase immersion. Also Florida has a rule where any building over 200 feet tall needs lights on top of it for planes to see, and Disney wouldn't want to do that. My grandfather is very supportive about this and one Thanksgiving he claimed to have one fact/trivia that none of us would know about the Disney Parks, and then went on a 10 minute rant about forced perspective that he probably found on Google, while we all acted amazed. Now whenever the words 'forced perspective' come up, or if we are in the parks and encounter a building that uses it, we all act amazed, even though it's one of the most basic facts someone who is really into the architecture of Disney Parks would know."



That my uncle will always carry a dirty tissue in his left back pocket, "Just for emergencies." There has not yet been an emergency where a dirty tissue was needed.


Taking Turns

At Christmas we take ages to open presents (6 of us).

Starts with mum/dad picking a present at random from under the tree and giving it to person on label. Person opens it and everyone has to wait until they're done and then they pick another gift (can't be another one of their own) and vice versa. I actually quite like it



we have this pickle ornament which we hide in the tree and the person who finds it gets to open the first present


Every single time 

Everytime we all meet up, everybody starts talking about politics and half an hour later we all hate each other. This is usually fixed with alcohol later.


In a galaxy far away

My family always watches the Star Wars series at Christmas time. It isn't really something we acknowledge, we just do it.


All jokes

While opening gifts, if someone is taking a while/struggling to get a gift open, someone else yells "HURRY UP, THE PUPPY CAN'T BREATHE IN THERE!"

Going strong for at least 25 years.


Dinner's served

The cook serves him/herself last. I thought this was a common thing, but the number of times that guests will insist that I get my plate before them ("You go ahead, you cooked!") makes me think otherwise.


Wrap it up

Every Christmas someone gets to spend extra time unwrapping their 'special' gift. This is because wrapping just gets layered on, usually tripling the size. It also isn't limited to just wrapping paper layers, duck tape is common. I also have once created a cage of hot glue for a smaller gift.

This year my sister is the lucky victim. She's getting some pots and pans per request, however every piece is getting individually wrapped at least once before being put in a plastic tub to also be wrapped.


Oh lord

Alternating between who has the "job" of sitting next to my dad in church and nudging him every time he starts to snore


Cat's out of the bag

If the cat is on you, you're not expected to move (doing the washing up / taking out the rubbish and so on)


Take prisoners 

During the Christmas dinner, noone can leave the table. I heard that it´s a custom in other households as well, but my mom takes it extremely seriously. Everything must be within arm´s reach of someone sitting behind the table. Since most of the time we spend Christmas at my grandma´s place, where the living room is quite small, we put when we can on the table, and the rest is on a small side table, or on the bed and sofa. Also, before the dinner, we take turns on the toilet, and try to do both number 1 and 2 even if we don´t feel like it.

Also, back when we could (when everyone had jobs that would allow them to take vacation for Christmas), all of my mom´s siblings would gather at grandma´s place. Since me & sister found out the truth pretty early on in our lives, we had the duty to take them out to wait for Jesus to come around (in Slovakia we don´t have Santa, we have Jesus, holy f*ck catholicism is wild). We would light sparklers and stick them in the snow outside of the house while the elders put the presents under the tree (I once fell into a drain full of snow, my shoes were full of sewage water, and I had only my head sticking out of the snow). Then, some elder would ring a bell from inside the house, and we´d run in.



We hug each other every single morning, if we're all at home. You could be mad, happy, grumpy, dying, doesn't matter. You get hugs. If we have people over, well, they get hugs too.


Stocking stuffers

Skipping it this year but in the past The whole family would bring all their presents over to whoever had the biggest living room at the time and put the gifts under THAT tree on Christmas Eve.

At Christmas, the oldest child (the duty passes to someone else once you hit like 17) sits at the bottom of the tree and distributes the gifts to everyone (throwing gifts is only acceptable if you KNOW the gift isn't fragile, and the receivers capable of catching it).


Sounds like a blast 

Every New Years Eve we have a family bottle rocket fight. The youngest one of us is 28. My dad is 60. All adults who know better. My mother does not like fireworks at all, and every year we try to get her to join. My dad always yells from the yard that if she doesn't come out and join the fight then we are going to bring the fight inside to her. So far she has called his bluff.

But for real, nothing brings a family together like shooting consumer-grade explosives at each other.


Let them have cake

12 layer chocolate cakes are the only "acceptable" birthday cakes and you never tell which baker you got to make it- everyone has their own secret baker. ~never reveal your sources~


Feeling lucky

Everyone gets scratch offs in their Christmas stockings and we have to do those first before anything else on Christmas. It has been this way since my earliest Christmas memories.


Playing dress up

My grandmother has been forcing me and my two cousins to do a corny Christmas pageant. I think the other two like it because they are sisters and they are thirst for attention. But I am an only child and hate attention. She forced us to start this when I was like two. I am now 12 and I am t he middle cousin. I just hate it


Dinner time

A game of nose-goes at dinner where we talk about what the best/worst part of our day was. The person who loses nose goes then gets to say it next at any time in any discrete way.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.