A few of us were sitting around the office wasting precious company time planning out the remainder of the week, when the topic of Christmas traditions came up. One staff member says it's not Christmas unless they line their driveway and sidewalk with their annual "lumineria," or, to put it more simply, lunch-bags with candles and sand in them. Others had different ones. Like, "Hide the Pickle."

"Hide the Pickle" is probably not what those of you with a dirty mind might think it is. Over 20 years ago, Amy and I received a beautiful German Christmas ornament that was, well...a pickle. The note that came with the pickle instructed us to hide it somewhere in the Christmas tree each year. Whichever family member discovered the pickle first would receive an extra present for their efforts. While fun for a few years, we abandoned the practice when our kids began fighting over the fact the taller one (my son) always found the pickle first.

A few other Christmas traditions practiced by members of our staff and their families:

  • Grandma makes Chex Mix (I'm sure it's every bit as crazy as it sounds)
  • A loud argument breaks out over who passes out the presents
  • A "white elephant" gift exchange featuring a 90-plus year old chamber pot
  • Dad destroying the kitchen in yet another totally unsuccessful attempt at making mulled wine/Glugg

Bottom line: no one in our group could think of anything really unusual or offbeat that their family does in an effort to "officially make it a Rockford Christmas."

That's too bad, really. Other places around the country and around the world have plenty of weird traditions. We need to start catching up:

(Some language may be NSFW):