Tis, the Holiday season for Food, Fun,entertaining and Traditions!

Tis’ the Season to be JOLLY, FA LA LA LA LA… LA LA LA!

Our Holiday season actually starts with Thanksgiving.

Since moving away from family back in 1998, time with them is rare.

One tradition we have held onto is our Thanksgiving time with my Mom and sis.

Every year, just the two of them come to spend it with my family.

I cook at home and we all have our part in the kitchen.

My mom makes the best apple pie…

Just sayin, they don’t last long, that is for sure.



My mom has my grandmother’s apple pie recipe down pat at this point.

I, on the other hand, NEVER>EVEN>TRIED!

“Why mess up a good thing?” is what I say!


We live in the Carolinas now, which we love..

We are natives of Western New York. I sure don’t miss the winters there.

One of the things that we love about the Carolinas is its central location, relatively close to some of the hottest spots in America.

Charleston, Greenville, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington, North Carolina, just to name a few.

Savannah, Georgia, is only a hop, skip, and a jump away as well.

It is our tradition now to take a mini-road trip, discovering new places and sites to see.

We have been to almost all of the above cities so far with my Mom and sis.

After they come, and go…

My husband’s family is right behind.

Did I mention we all celebrate Christmas, with our gift exchanging and whatnot, when they visit?

Well, yes indeed we do. We just can’t wait until Christmas, and why spend money on shipping if we can celebrate together and send their gifts home with them?

The early gift-giving with the family is always fun, and it is nice for the family to see the kids open their gifts.

It’s not every year a kid gets a hobo pie maker.

(More on that another time, but boy, is this thing fun!)

Jack even got the cookbook to go with it.


Are we a family of annual traditional, traditions?

Probably not, but that is not to say the memories we make won’t last a life time.

Another non-traditional tradition is our Holiday Bunco party.

Our Bunco group has been together for six years. Every single year…

we have our own Christmas party, instead of playing Bunco that evening.

Let me tell you about our crazy fun group, and a little bit of how we celebrate with food, drinks, and games.

So come and join the party!

First things first.

The gifts!

We all must bring a gift, valued at $20.00, NO MORE…NO LESS, and believe me, we know.

We have the BUNCO police there.

The wrapped gifts are placed in a brown paper grocery bag.

We have a greeter at the door, usually one of our kids, to take the bags as we come in.

Now here comes the fun part!

We can steal each other’s presents…

ONLY twice, and you have to make your decision before another brown paper bag is opened.

Did I mention that we have to pick a number first, and that determines the order we go in?

The hostess’s home is always so festive, and we go that extra mile for our Bunco party each year.



We have food, games and drinks aplenty.


Have you ever heard of the dice game Left, Right, Center?

It is a simple, roll-of-the-dice game.

We each throw $3.00 in the pot,

roll the dice, and depending on your luck, you pass your buck to the left, right, or center.

However, if you just have the DOT, you’re safe, and keep your money.

The person with the last dollar at the end is the winner!

Kids love this game too. I would recommend it for a party of six or more.

I hope you enjoyed my non-traditional holiday traditions.

At the end of the day, or of the season, we truly always make new memories.

I do believe that that is what it is ALL about.

This post is part of BlogHer’s Holiday Parties editorial series, made possible by Cracker Barrel.



  1. linda says

    well that was fun Deb its the best part of the year to come to your house with sis we always have so much fun
    Love ,Mom

  2. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers says

    It sounds like you have created the best traditions for your family…and that is how it should be!

  3. says

    That sounds like wonderful traditional,(or non-traditional) traditions with both families. I can’t believe you don’t miss the snow from NYS!;>)
    So…the dice game- what numbers make you pass to the right-to the left-to the center? That sounds like something our family would love- xo Diana

  4. says

    Traditions are traditions whether they’re traditional or not! It looks like you have alot of fun with them.

    You need to learn how to make those pies! Wow,they look wonderful!

  5. says

    Boy do I miss Bunco I played with a group in Utah and our Xmas parties were just as fun. I need to find one here in WNY. Love your traditions with your Mom and Sis…so special!

  6. says

    Your traditions sound like so much fun! I love that you get visits from your Mom and sister each year. And that you have more family around for Christmas. Your Bunco party sounds fun too!

    Have a great day.

  7. says

    It’s easy to see your common denominator, and it is fellowship. Your traditions clearly show how much much you love people and that people make the memories. I happen to agree with you about that, too!

    I love it that your mom and sister come every year and that you go adventuring to nearby cities. I also think the bunco party sounds fun. (We’ve played something similar, but in no big surprise we’re CHEAP. We start with a pile of pennies instead of dollars. )

  8. Lori R. says

    My Mom comes to our house in NE Ohio every Thanksgiving from Florida. We too celebrate our Christmas then. We call it Christmas at Thanksgiving. By the time my Mom arrives the house is in full Christmas decor and I set the sound system to Christmas music. We’ve been doing this for sevaral years now. I think it helps relieve the stress of the season because I’m always ready super early. I love doing this. Of course, we still celebrate with the kids during the regular season.

  9. says

    Hi Debbie: How nice that you get to have family visit for the holidays. It makes it so much more fun and you do have a lot of great places to visit. My SIL plays Bunco, but I’ve never played it. She loves it..Your mom’s pies look amazing and I bet they taste that way too..Happy Thursday..Judy

  10. says

    Such great and fun traditions Debbie! You do live in a great place..so lucky to get to all of those other locations too!! We loved Charleston and Savannah! Lucky girl! The Bunco party looks like a blast! I have the game LCR but I’ve never done it with money. I will have to try that!

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