Dictators, Dragons, and Other Strange Christmas Traditions

dictator cookie

Snowmen cookies become world dictators. And yuck! Are those silverfish crawling on that tree?

‘Tis the season for all of the quintessential holiday traditions–trimming the tree, baking special cookie recipes, ringing the Salvation Army bell, and the like. But, as with most families, I imagine, there are some traditions that are unique…very unique. I’d like to reflect on those for a moment. Each Christmas season I find myself wondering if we are just a really strange family or if everybody has some strange traditions. I’m hoping for the later.  I’ll share some of ours and I hope you’ll tell me about some of yours.

Strange Tradition #1: Dictator Cookies

I’m not sure what year this started, but it has become a favorite tradition. My boys are history buffs and they like to do things their own unique way. So, when I bring out the snowman cookies to decorate, they carefully trim of the brims off their hats and turn them all into world dictators. Each Christmas we get to eat trees and bells and angels and snowmen and…well…Genghis Khan.

Strange Tradition # 2: Zock the Christmas Dragon

When my oldest son was about 4 or 5, he asked me if Santa was real.  I had vowed that whenever the day came that my child asked me this question I would be truthful. I just didn’t know it would happen at such a young age. I told him the true story of Saint Nicholas, but warned him not to ruin the fun for other kids. About a year later, he and his brother decided that they really didn’t like the Santa story anyway. They thought it was kind of ridiculous having some old, chubby guy delivering presents. They wanted a fantasy they could sink their teeth into…so they made up their own version. From that day forward Zock the Christmas Dragon has put presents in our children’s stockings. Zock even has his own version of The Night Before Christmas that we read….”his eyes how they sparkled, his dimples how scary, his teeth were serrated, his nose was so hairy…”  You get the picture.  Oh, and no cookies and milk. Zock prefers to be treated with Pepsi and Hot Tamales.

Strange Tradition #3: Inquisitive Call on December 23

Our last strange tradition has been going on for more years than I can count.  It started when I was a little girl. I used to (ok…still do) get so excited before Christmas that I would get confused as to which day Santa was coming. Being from a German family, we always had a big party on Christmas Eve, so I would get just as excited about Christmas Eve as Christmas Day.  I was so excited about Christmas Eve that I would have to ask my dad, “Is Santa coming tonight or tomorrow night?” As I got older and, obviously, could read the calendar for myself, I kept the tradition going.  I don’t think a year has gone by that I haven’t called my dad on December 23rd to ask the question.  In fact, I just hung up the phone with him tonight. He told me it was tomorrow night. Bummer.

So there you have it. A glimpse into some of our strange traditions. Do you have any? I’d love to hear them. Or are we just strange?

3 thoughts on “Dictators, Dragons, and Other Strange Christmas Traditions

  1. You are weird…dictator Christmas cookies. 🙂

    My partner is originally from Germany. He immigrated to Canada as a little boy. So I know very well the strong traditions of Christmas that his mother loved to undertake…and some of it has transferred to him.


      • My blog does have some snippets of our bike and rail trip in southern Germany a few year ago. Just type in Germany in blog search box.

        His mother was formally trained at a technical college before WW II on pastry chef techniques. He grew up in GErmany and Canada where his mother always baked German multi-layered tortes (hazelnut crumb, etc.) different flavours. She loved her marathon Christmas baking of German cookies, stolen, etc. Festooning home in Toronto with freshly cut evergreen cut boughs. She is no longer alive. So dearie seems to have habits..like making sure to buy stollen from a local high end bakery, etc. He does make dumpfenudel and spaetzel…other times of year. 🙂

        And now his son, who is a chef in Canada, does make dumpfnudel now.

        Liked by 1 person

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