'We Perform Surgery Every Christmas'—27 Stories Of Strange Families With Weird Traditions
Maybe it's a certain type of food consumed every holiday, or a very specific activity done every week, but each family has their own traditions that are different from the norm, and some are just outright...strange.
Below are stories of strange families with odd traditions that they still follow, as told on AskReddit.
The aunts fight. I mean like literally fight. They will get wasted and just get louder and louder and then one will shout something along the lines of, "You want to back that up?" and then they will go outside and fight.
We all watch and cheer for our favorite aunt to win and sometimes we will even video tape the fight so that we can watch it later and laugh about it. It is pretty normal.
Potatoes For Luck
Whenever anyone of us has to take an exam they take a single uncooked potato with them. This has been tradition ever since my gramps found one in his pocket after acing his driving test.
We're not a particularly superstitious family otherwise, but The Potato has proven itself indispensable.
Ice Cream Entertainment
When I was a kid, the aunts and uncles would get all the kids a gallon of their favorite ice cream on the 4th of July. They would sit us down at a table and give us all our ice cream at the same time.
Here's the fun part. The first kid to tackle the entire gallon of ice cream got $5. This always lead to all of us kids eating ice cream very quickly, and thus getting brain freeze (ice cream headache). Within minutes there are a half dozen children roaming the backyard clutching at their sinuses in pain while adults laugh at them. I'm so glad I finally caught on.
We always call each other after boarding a plane and say, "I REGRET NOTHING!" before hanging up.
My daughter-in-law is horrified by this.
My brother-in-law thought the "three wolf moon" shirts were hilarious so he bought one. My husband also thought it was funny so he bought one with more wolves on it (to up the ante). My sister and I then bought a wolf shirt for my dad so he could fit in with the guys. They wear these shirts in public when they are all together and call themselves the "wolf pack." My parents even named their boat "three wolf moon." My sister and I are both due to have little boys this winter. We are on the hunt for wolf onesies.
Celebrate With The Whole Family
I don't know if it's too over the top, but in my family, we go to the graveyard on Christmas eve and pour the dead relatives favorite drinks on their gravestones. I am from Denmark.
My mom couldn't remember if there was a "mythical creature" associated with birthdays like there is for Christmas, Easter, losing teeth, etc so in a panic she made one up, hoping it was the right one. We grew up with the Birthday Platypus.
My mom's logic after inventing the Birthday Platypus was that she couldn't get rid of him without probably also destroying Santa Claus so she kept him around. It didn't help my brother and I with not being the weird kids at school when asking other kids what the Birthday Platypus brought them. 20+ years later and we still celebrate with the Birthday Platypus.
For the last eight years my brothers and I have surgically removed a cyst from my mother's head every Thanksgiving or Christmas (one year both). It started Thanksgiving 2005, two of my brothers had just finished their first year as surgical technicians, and we had a couple nurses and an anesthetist around. My mother had always grown these horrible cysts on her head, but refused to go get them taken care of because she hated doctors and logic. So that Thanksgiving my oldest brother had enough and after lots of ribbing, convinced mom to let us cut one out. We cut out the first one using discarded medical supplies from the hospital and some local anesthetics that my brother had liberated in anticipation of his plan. The procedure was successful, my youngest brother only passed out once and we've cut one out every year since. Mom no longer looks like she has aliens coming out of her head, and we all get to work out our childhood frustrations by safely and carefully taking a scalpel to her head.
Pretty Sure It's Not A Fry Anymore
It's more between my brother and I than our whole family. Whenever we'd eat at a fast food place we would play "The last fry", and it was just that, the one that ate the last fry won, sometimes we'd hide it for hours then eat it and say "MMMM IT TASTE SOOOO GOOD WHEN IT'S THE LAAAAAST FRY!!!" One time I put my fry in my backpack and found it a couple weeks later, totally won that time.
At Least It Wasn't The Chicken Dance
Every year on Christmas before we could open anything my dad used to make us do the Ninja Turtles dance He would take lead and my sister and I would have to do it behind him while my mom recorded it. Thinking back I find it hilarious.
What's A Little Bloodshed Between Family
The men in my family have epic towel fights at most get-togethers. We've been doing it for nearly a decade and we play pretty rough. Welts, bruises, and some occasional blood is shed. It's barbaric. It's painful. It's a good show.
Every year our Thanksgiving consists of all the neighborhood strays, usually around 25 people. The food is glorious and wine is plentiful. When everyone is seated for dinner, my dad does a toast and then turns on the song Alice's restaurant. Our entire family and regular guests sing the song as it's being played. The newcomers are usually a little mortified and stunned that A) 20 people are singing the same song around the dinner table. B) we know ALL the words C) the song is so long. I've grown to love this tradition.
Irish Catholic Jenga
Thanksgiving. Pass the spoon. After we've eaten and your sitting around the table someone puts whatever on a spoon and hands it to the right. Then next person repeats the process. Pepper, food, sugar, paper, a hair, booze etc. Whoever spills the spoon has to eat it's contents. It's like Irish Catholic Jenga.
Worst. Game. Ever.
Pretending to be asleep. Whenever a family member or a guest arrives at our home, everyone, no matter what they are doing, will be fast asleep snoring obnoxiously.
-User Account Deleted
Who Are They?
My sister accidentally started a tradition when she was a kid. She wandered into my parent's room one evening after watching TV and asked them, "Who is John Belushi?" I think she was 8 or 9 at the time. My parents, who were big fans, told her who he was and then asked her why she wanted to know. Her response was "oh, he died" and she wandered out of their room. She did the same thing about a week later with another celebrity and my parents, having forgotten about how she asked about John Belushi responded the same way, explaining who the celebrity was and then asking why and got the same response from my sister "oh, he died". Now whenever there is a celebrity death, everyone in my family and several family friends rush to call/text someone else in the family so they can be the first person to report it and the call/text always starts with "Who is ___?!" and usually the other person responds with "oh no, how did they die?!"
The person who manages to tell someone else first usually is referred to as "winning" that round. We're a little morbid.
Never Enough Traditions
Every once in a while, my mother gets this idea that we don't have enough traditions. So... she makes some up! "Oh let's hold hands during prayer like we always do!"
We have literally never done that.
Have A Slapping Good Time
Whenever we make a turkey or goose for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have to slap it. I don't know why the slapping takes place when the turkey is in the roasting pan, you just slap it with moderate force, about the force you would use to slap a fly or mosquito on your leg.
Whenever I asked my grandmom she would sing "it's tradition!" and never answer the question beyond that.
This One Is Too Relatable
We have this great one where on every holiday we start drinking right before dinner and by 9 o'clock we all hate each other.
Egg Hunt With Weapons
My extended family, we have insane Easter egg hunts. My youngest first cousin is 12, but the only way to get out of egg hunting in my family is to spawn someone to take your place. So we have a bunch of 20- and 30- somethings (plus a couple teenagers and 1 8 year old) running around with Nerf swords beating each other up over plastic eggs filled with candy. It's excellent entertainment for my aunts and uncles.
At Least It's Only Once A Year
It might not be the strangest thing, but it's certainly the most pretentious thing I do. Every year on Easter after church we go to the front lawn in our Sunday's best and play croquet.
I Scream, You Scream
We have a couple but my favorite is "ice cream runs". On a school night my mom would tuck me into bed, turn out the lights and pretend to go to bed too. Then ten minutes later she'd come barreling into my room, flick the lights and scream "ice cream run!" The whole house would get up and go for sundaes in our pajamas. I'm definitely going to keep this up when I have kids!
To Absent Friends
My mom has always been the "cool" mom who took in stray friends of mine who had problems at home or other needs. One year one of the stray friends I had living at the house had his necktie get accidentally packed in the Christmas decorations. So every year when we decorate we place his tie in a prominent place to remember friends not there. He has since passed and it seems fitting to look at "Bernard's Tie" on the mantle and think about those we still care about who can't be with us.
We have a family reunion every year at Christmas and hold a White Elephant gift exchange. There's this really awful statue of two chipmunks that gets re-gifted every year, always with something new added to it (paint job, little outfits, etc.). Everyone dreads getting it.
Celebrate The Rodent
We celebrate Groundhog's Day as the biggest holiday of the year. We get each other cards and have a party and watch the movie. We don't really give a crap what if the little guy sees his shadow or not; it's more of a family celebration.
For Good Health
When someone in my family loses a baby tooth we have to chuck it onto the roof after reciting a chant. Something to the effect of "take this rotten tooth and bestow me with a healthy one", but in Portuguese. I don't understand it myself. Cultural superstitions, I suppose.
It All Ends In Disappointment
Every time someone has predicted the end of the world (The Rapture, December 21 2012, etc.) my family has a get-together and a teaparty.
Over time the teaparty evolved into a "teaparty with crazy-hats", as my aunt has a crate filled with ridiculous costumes. So we're all a group of people sitting around a table drinking tea while wearing tophats, WWII helmets, turbans, bunnyears, etc.
Then at the end of the day we gather outside and watch the sunset as we prepare for the world to be destroyed. Then we get in our cars and drive home disappointed.
History is made on a daily basis.
Indeed, there is little more exciting than having witnessed the accomplishments of people like Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams, and Greta Thunberg knowing that they have firmly reserved a space for themselves in history books.
Of course, most of the people who paved the way to make the world what it is today have long since passed away.
Not all of them, though!
It may surprise you to learn that there are people who made an indelible impression on history who are still much alive today.
Some of whom even continue to make a difference to this very day
Redditor enginearz was eager to hear about historical figures people were surprised to learn were still alive, leading them to ask:
"What famous person from history is still alive?"
Forever Leaving His Name In Science
"He's the only currently living man with an element on the periodic table named after him."- snowflake247
Quite The Story To Tell
"Last human to hold the title of Tsar, as leader of the Kingdom of Bulgaria."
"He was exiled along with his family when the Soviets invaded Bulgaria in 1944."
"In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Simeon returned from exile to Bulgaria and July 2001, was democratically elected prime minister."
"The private citizen is now 85."- DirectionNew5328
Making Nature Cool For Decades
"David Attenborough."- random_username_96You Can Do It Uoftartsci GIF by U of T Faculty of Arts & ScienceGiphy
The Fought For Freedom And Justice
"The last surviving airman of the battle of Britain."
"He is 103 years old."
"He helped with the liberation of Auschwitz."
"He is 99 years old."
"He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials."
"He is 102 years old."- Ashtar-the-Squid
"The last living member of the german anti-nazi resistance group 'White Rose".
"Most well-known members were the sibling Sophie and Hans Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis when they were identified."- ChrisTinnef
The One Who Made One Giant Leap For Mankind
"Buzz Aldrin, and I’m not even American."- mukaltinState Of The Union Salute GIF by MSNBCGiphy
Opening Doors For So Many Others
"She was one of the first black kids to go to an all-white school."
"There is a famous picture of that first day."- mumwifealcoholic
He Continues To Surprise Us
"Ozzy Osbourne."- CaptinDerpI
Admirably Defying So Many Odds
"98 years old."- Back2BachJimmy Carter Drilling GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
We've Still Got Two Out Of Four
"Paul and Ringo"- HMKingHenryIX
Inching Close To The Big One Double Oh...
And Still Practically Perfect In Every Way
"Julie Andrews."- aslrulesjulie andrews snap GIFGiphy
Who Could Forget About Dick Van Dyke ?!?!?!?!
"Everyone just forgetting about Dick Van Dyke, he's like 97 and still going."
"If you've never heard of him, he played in Marry Poppins, along with a bunch more movies"- Longjumping_Drag2752
And Still Stunning
"Sophia Loren is still kicking."- The_REAL_McWeasel
Continuing To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
"William Shatner doesn't look it but that dude is in his 90s wtf."- flubberF*ckWilliam Shatner Fun GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
Perhaps what's most admirable, is that even when these astonishing people do eventually pass, they will continue to live on and change the world with the remarkable work they did.
The Most Overrated Food Chains Of All-Time
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
People Break Down Which Movies They Wish They Could Watch Again For The First Time
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
Non-Sexual Things That Strangely Turn People On
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!