My family has a number of oddities that I thought were normal growing up. The combination of German and Hawaiian traditions while living in California made me stick out a little amongst my friends. Looking back, I think there's an equal chance that I could have been horrified or proud by being seen as so different. Luckily I was proud and happily explained another of my family's strange ways to my friends.
One of my favorite family traditions is St. Nicholas Day. Apparently it was traditional for St. Nicholas to leave presents in your shoes on December 6th. I'm not sure why we didn't do the shoes thing, but there was always an unwrapped present waiting on our chair (tucked under the table) before dinner. I wasn't allowed to touch my chair until we all sat down to dinner together, no matter how much I tried to peak. It was never the present that I was so excited for. I remember it being slippers more than one year, actually. But it was always a treat to know I was I getting one present almost a month early. I had one special day that none of the rest of my friends had.
My mom did a great job of making the whole Christmas Season magical and I try to recreate that now that I live in another state. It is absolutely not the same buying yourself a St. Nicholas Day present though.
Photo Credit: Decor8