What do you miss about Christmas?

I’m second generation Polish on my mother’s side. When I was a kid, all my aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather at my grandmother’s farmhouse on Christmas Eve (Wygilia). We would have a dinner of traditional Polish “soul food” consisting of the following dishes, served one after the other:

Kapusta on boiled potatoes
Pea soup on boiled potatoes
Borszcz on boiled potatoes
Pierogi

After dinner, my grandmother and her daughters (my mother and aunts) would sing a few Polish Christmas carols. Then it was time for the oplatke. An oplatek is a wafer that has been blessed by a priest. Everybody takes an oplatek, then goes around to everybody else and gives them good wishes for the coming year while breaking off bits of the other person’s oplatek, then eats the pieces and kisses/hugs/shakes hands. Finally, we would start in on the huge pile of presents that were from the uncles and aunts to the nieces and nephews.

Now THAT was Christmas and I miss it very much. (Although I don’t miss the side effects of eating all that Polish soul food!)

Horehound.
No, I’m not calling anyone names, its a candy I used to get when I was little but only around xmas time. Might have misspelled it.

I grew up in New England, so I miss the snow. Don’t get white christmases around here very often.

Having a tree. My apartment is way too small for one.

Me and my sister running into my parents’ room at oh-dark-thirty and jumping on their bed begging to open presents. We stopped that tradition when we were, oh, maybe in our mid-20s.

Stockings.

Religious songs and decorated churches. I was raised Catholic, and boy oh boy did Christmas feel more Christmasy with the “Oh Come All Y’eh Faithfuls” and “Silent Nights” playing, and mangers scenes set up in the church with lots poinsettias and Peace on Earth and that sort of thing.

That’s why ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ rocks.

And I’m an atheist.

I miss Christmas Eve. We would go to my paternal grandparents’ house, which was fun, but the best part was after. We would go home and watch It’s a Wonderful Life (and when I was older, we would drink Southern Comfort on the rocks), then go to Midnight Mass at my church. It was beautiful. A few years back, my parents and youngest sister moved 5-6 hours away (depending on the road conditions on Christmas Eve), and we do Christmas Eve with my fiance’s family. About 8 pm, we hit the road to get to my family… but we miss *It’s a Wonderful Life *and midnight mass… plus I hear the mass at their new church isn’t as pretty and magical as it is at my church here. We don’t get there until about 1-2 am.

I miss family gatherings, too. We used to gather on Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house, all the aunts and uncles and cousins (usually around 20-25 people), and eat lasagna and Italian nougat candies and tell stories about each other and exchange gifts. After my grandparents died, my youngest aunt was left the house and we still gathered every year.

When the city wanted to consolidate the middle schools, they took the whole block of houses and churches under eminent domain and destroyed them. (My Christmas present that year was a bannister post from the house from the bannister in which I’d gotten my head stuck when I was two.) Since then, about 4 years ago, there hasn’t been a family Christmas gathering because nobody else has a house that size that we can all be together in. I really miss those Christmas Eve parties.

My family, such as it was, opened presents on Christmas morning. I am the only one left, and my husband’s family opens presents on Christmas eve. When I wake up Christmas morning I feel ??? Not that I’m greedy, but it just seems as though the holiday has been co-opted.

Also, a tree. My allergies have gotten worse, and I can’t handle a live one. We haven’t bought an artificial one. So we have none at all. It feels empty. I want to get out all the ornaments and lights, but there is nothing to do with them. :frowning:

As I posted in this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=543118

My mother still does all the traditional Slovak goodies on Christmas Eve which are very similar to the Polish goodies. (I remember buying extra oplatke from the nuns in grade school to eat at recess.) I will miss them this year as we are spending Christmas with my in-laws.

You can still find horehound candy. I often put some in my dad’s stocking. A quick google search finds it at both Target and Amazon if you are so inclined :slight_smile:

Two nieces and a nephew. Especially as kids. I last saw them at Christmas three years ago. Last time before that was eleven years ago. And now I have a great nephew (2 years old) and a great niece (23 hours old), and I’ll probably never get to see them.

Maybe one of these years I’ll spend the hoidays in New Mexico instead of Florida.

Does a Slovak Christmas include lighting 764805 candles at sundown on Christmas Eve, listening to church bells, and reading from the Bible just before pigging out?

I’m pretty sure Cracker Barrel sells it in the “country stores” they tack onto their restaurants. Don’t know how authentic the candy is, but I know I’ve seen candy labeled “horehound” there before.

I miss just that general feeling of being a kid and the almost unbearable anticipation of Christmas morning. The way Christmas Eve seemed like it was two days long and you thought the morning would never get there, peering up the chimney to see if you can catch a glimpse, and listening for the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof.

I still really enjoy Christmas, even as an atheist, but this is the one time of year I really miss believing in the magic.

I miss doing the giftwrap booth at the mall with Mom’s PTO. For several years when I was in college and after, her school ran the booth as a fundraiser, and I put in a lot of time there while I was home for the holidays. It was a lot of work, and Christmas Eve was always frantic right up to closing, but it was a good kind of work done for a good cause with my mother and people I’ve known pretty much all my life.

I miss Christmas Eve at my grandma’s house with lasagne and board games and my aunts barking Jingle Bells and Bob reading the Christmas story from the Bible before we open presents. But I moved far enough away that I couldn’t make it in, and then got married and had inlaws to juggle, and Bob and Grandma got in worse health and weren’t up to hosting the big hoorah any more. I missed it anyway, but this year is worse because it’s Bob’s last one, if he makes it quite that long and that really ramps up the intensity a lot. Next year will probably be pretty intense, too, and then it will start to fade back into the general nostalgia that it’s been for the last several years.

Being 7 and living with my brother and sister, and my parents being alive and healthy. And the stuffed animal I got every year. And the stocking. My mom always found really neat stuff to put in those. And going to Grandpa’s to hang out wiht my cousins in our shiny new holiday clothes.

This thread is making me both laugh AND cry!

I miss having Christmas with my parents. They live in Colorado and I just can’t chance getting waylaid by weather, etc., so I see them in the spring and/or fall. I miss Christmas breakfast (pancakes and sausage), Mass with anyone besides myself, the traditional ornaments and fake tree, the little wooden puzzle my Pop has from his childhood.

Some of it is irretrievable since they have downsized and have a mini-tree now. You can’t go home again.

I miss the candy store we used to go to as an annual Christmas trip for things like ribbon candy and divinity. The place is no longer there and I really long for the tradition of the thing. Same as picking our own Christmas tree out in the wild. I miss that too.

I miss my dad.

I miss having my younger brother bunk in with me on Christmas Eve so we could count the minutes and listen for Santa together.

I miss being able to get together with all of my siblings for some kind of Christmas celebration. Sometimes it was a few days prior to Christmas, sometimes on. Now, though, I’ve got a brother in the Orlando area, a brother in Austin, a sister in Tulsa, another sister that’s MIA (long story) … just not feasible anymore. Kind of sad.