People Shared Their Unique Holiday Traditions, And Some Of These Are So Wholesome

It's almost holiday rom-com season, and EXmas is one we're excited about this year. It stars Leighton Meester and Robbie Amell as a couple of exes who unexpectedly have to spend the holidays together with his family.

leighton meester in exmas

Among other chaotic events, we get to see some of the family's holiday traditions, which is, to be sure, one of the reasons I love a holiday rom-com.

BuzzFeed Studios / Freevee

So, recently we asked you all to share your weird or unique holiday traditions. We didn't get many weird ones, but we did unexpectedly read a lot of traditions that were super sweet and wholesome. Thank you for sharing yours! If you need a few minutes of holiday joy, here are our favorites:

1."Every Thanksgiving my family watches My Cousin Vinny. It must be 10 years or so now. It started by accident the first couple of years, but now, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition we can’t do without. We laugh just as hard every year."


marisa tomei in my cousin vinny

2."Every year on Christmas morning, a bunch of my family meets at my grandmother’s house, and we sit on couches and chairs with Hershey's kisses and have a competition throwing them in the air to see who can get the first one to stand up on her ceiling fan. It gets loud and crazy (we are all throwing at the same time), and the winner gets $5. My grandmother is 91, and we have been doing this as long as I can remember."


3."My family would cut our tree down from a tree farm every year from when I was a kid until I moved out of the house. And every year from the age of 15 until 24, I would find the tiniest, most scrawny-looking tree and cut it down to put in my room."

scene with tiny tree in a charlie brown christmas

4."Not so much a tradition, but in my family, that whipped cranberry side dish was always called cat brains. It has been that way as long as I can remember, and I legit thought that was what it was called. I was telling people at school once about our yummy turkey dinner and mentioned we had stuffing and potatoes and cat brains. There was an awkward phone call home from the school, LOL."


couple on phone
BuzzFeed Studios / Via

5."My mom made these ceramic candle holders that spell out NOEL, each letter about 5x5 inches. And they were always placed on the fireplace mantel, clearly visible. One year I rearranged them to spell LEON. And waited. And waited. It took a few weeks before anyone had noticed."

"My mom got such a kick! Told her friends, coworkers, church ladies. Since then, someone always spells out LEON even if I can’t make it home."


6."The first few years, my partner and I struggled with anniversary gifts because the timing is awful. My birthday is late November, our anniversary is early December, then Christmas, and her birthday is early January?? It was a lot of money to spend on gifts each year. We came up with two rules: #1 Birthdays are experiences only (a visit to a museum, a party, etc.), and #2 We can only spend a dollar amount of the number of years we've been together on an anniversary gift (and it cannot be food/candy)."

"We started this tradition at five years, so we each spent $5 — she gave me a Lisa Frank sticker-book, and I gave her two button pins. Six years = $6, Seven = $7, and so on. It's been great! It's so much less stressful during the season and shows how well we know each other. I love the challenge, and I love seeing how creative she can be. We've gotten keychains, blind boxes, enamel pins...little things we both enjoy. This year, we get to spend $10!"


7."When my mother was dying and I was many miles away caring for her, my husband wanted to make the Easter holidays special even though Mom wasn’t there, so one of the things he did was make leek soup in a beef broth, and served it the way one does French onion soup — with a thick slice of homemade bread, lots of cheese piled on top, and broiled under the broiler. Everyone absolutely loved it, and we have made it a tradition to serve it on holiday eves of all types."

"(My son-in-law is the only one who doesn’t buy into this, so it has become his tradition to have Hamburger Helper while we have our leek soup night. Each to his own.)"


french onion soup close up
Tasty / Via

8."Bert is our tree topper. Yes, from Bert and Ernie. I went to a Jim Henson exhibit and bought a Bert puppet. I had gotten a tiny Santa hat for my cat, but he hates it (no sh*t, right?). So in 2009, I put the Santa hat on Bert, and he fit perfectly on the tree."

"He’s been our tree topper since. And yes, Bert and Ernie were and are still my favorite. I do their voices all the time with my 5-year-old."

April Money

bert and ernie from sesame street

9."On my mom’s side of the family, we have always done this thing where the children will leave their shoes under the Christmas tree, and every night they would wake up to something like a snack they like or a small toy or craft. And it would go on like this starting from the week before Christmas, to Christmas Eve."

"Also, one more thing about this: It’s the reason we don’t do elf on the shelf, because the elves are already putting candy and toys in our shoes."


10."Instead of buying each other gifts or doing a grab bag, we play 'wrap the crap.' Basically, you regift a crappy gift you were given, and then we use all the gifts to do a yankee swap/white elephant. It’s quite interesting to see what everyone brings."

guy shaking present
BuzzFeed Studios / Via

11."I let my kids cuss from 11:40–midnight on New Year’s Eve. They’re only allowed to say bad words for 20 minutes a year."

Benjamin Gable

12."There’s a Christmas light show at a local raceway that usually has its own radio station to play synchronized music. The first time we took my niece (who is now a teenager, but she was around 4 when this started), we couldn’t get the radio station to work for some reason, so we put on the only CD in the car at the time: the 1996 Space Jam soundtrack. It was an immediate hit, and we’ve tried to do it every year since! I at least listen to it on my own every holiday season."


that's all folks animation from space jam

EXmas is a hilarious and heartwarming holiday rom-com starring Leighton Meester and Robbie Amell, about two exes who are forced to spend the holidays together. It's coming to Freevee on Nov. 17! Check out the trailer here:

Note: Some responses have been edited for length or clarity.

Additional thumbnail image via Getty Images