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7-Eleven Trips, Chinese Food and Other Unusual Christmas Traditions

Every year, a few days before Christmas, my family walks into a superstore and with Mom and Dad’s help, our children scatter and purchase pre-budgeted presents for one another. They bob and weave like spies to avoid detection, hiding in clothing displays or playfully posing as mannequins.

We meet up front when we’re done, purchase and triple bag the inexpensive gifts, then head home. It’s a highlight of the Christmas season that dates back more than 30 years to my own childhood with my own siblings.

Other traditions have persevered, as well. Just as in my childhood, all presents are opened one at a time as we go in a circle around the room. Candy and fudge fill the countertops and it’s the only day of the year the kids don’t have to ask before diving in at any point throughout the day. The stomachaches are tradition, too.

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