Growing up, I didn’t think of traditions as being ‘traditions’, they were just what we did at Christmas. My family would get together at Grandma’s house across town on Christmas Eve, indulge in the Norwegian delicacy of lutefisk (or Lute for short, as my uncle would say) and lefsa, along with all the other fixings, finished off with a smorgasbord of Christmas cookies like Krumkake. Presents couldn’t be opened until the kids did the dishes (but thanks to Grandma’s precious Christmas china we got out of clean-up duty many years until we were old enough to handle fine china).
Then after all the excitement of Christmas Eve my family would wake up early, find Santa came with his usual practical gifts (socks, underwear, toothbrush, candy or maybe a fun movie or game), then quickly pack up the car for the 11 HOUR drive to the other side of the family for Christmas. I now understand why my mom usually got sick around the holidays, pure exhaustion!
Things have changed slightly now that all the families are older and the kids/cousins have families of their own. Usually the lute and lefsa are still a part of the festivities but not everyone makes it every year. My little growing family rotates which side to go to every year and everyone else does the same with their extended families.
Once married, I found a family with their own set of traditions and to my understanding Christmas traditions isn’t the same as it once was either. (Although Lute plays a role in their family meals as well, along with the addition of oyster stew, most years)
So ‘traditions’ I would say is a loose term for together with family because who, when, how and the menu may change but family always stays the same…