They were shocked to learn this wasn't the norm
I always thought it was so strange that my friend and her family would have a full breakfast before breaking into the Christmas presents every year. It was like a gift massacre at the crack of dawn in my house! There was no way I could wait while my parents cooked a massive breakfast then slowly eat when there was a mountain of gifts mere feet away from me.
Every family does things a little differently, which is to be expected, but these families took their weird traditions to the extreme.
Getting Clean for School
My mom throws water on our first day of school. Like, we would walk through the door on the first day of school, and she would throw water from a cup into the lawn. She’s Yugoslavian, and it’s apparently a tradition from her youth. It supposedly symbolizes “cleansing you from your past.” I thought it was normal until my older brother pointed out when he graduated high school that no one else does this.
I wrote that she still does this because I’m in grad school. I don’t live with my parents, but my mom apparently still does it at the beginning of September even if I’m not there. I love my mom. (collageofechoes)
The Lettuce Dance
Every New Year’s my dad buys a cabbage, and it’s sort of like a this “good luck” ritual for him to dance around the house with it and peel pieces off and place them on things for good luck. We’d all take turns dancing with it.
I remember talking to a friend in elementary school about dancing with the cabbage for New Year’s and them thinking it was extremely odd. (the-han-man)
The Christmas Capades
My parents had a deal with Santa.
He’d give us good presents; but we had to earn them even if we had been good. How did we earn them? My parents would booby-trap the house. Nothing lethal or harmful, of course. But we had to make it through them without awakening our parents (we never succeeded). From trip wires to scarecrows in hallways; nuts on the floor to make you slip, doors tied together – even the circuit breakers were turned off (no lights). My parents went all-out. About two weeks before Christmas, all the flashlights and bladed objects (scissors, pocketknives, etc.) mysteriously disappeared from the house.
The best one was the one year I was in the lead (I had three siblings) and was nearly to the den where the presents awaited.
I spotted a tripwire across the doorway. Thinking myself clever, I moved in and snipped it with the scissors I had stashed earlier that month. This…was a mistake. I look up just in time to see an old Halloween decoration flying straight at my face (big, hairy spider). Oh how I screamed. To this day, my dad won’t let me forget it. Woke the whole house up, my dad is rolling with laughter and I’m traumatized for life. (cybercifrado)