Families across our beloved state of Michigan have many traditions, some pretty common, others are well, lets just say...a little left of center and unusual. That's what we found out when we polled our listeners on their Christmas traditions and it seems no matter what Christmas celebrations we honor or partake in, one Michigan tradition stands tall and above the rest. A real Christmas tree. No fakes for us Michiganders.

Why wouldn't real trees be the real deal when it comes to a list of Christmas traditions in Michigan. According to our state government: Michigan ranks third in the nation for the number of Christmas trees harvested, supplying about 2 million fresh trees – with an annual net value of $30-40 million – to the national market each year.

There are more than 560 Christmas tree farms on a combined 37,000 acres in Michigan, ranging from large wholesale farms, to choose and cut farms, to small farms with a few acres selling pre-cut trees.

 

“Real Michigan Christmas trees are an important tradition for many families, whether you visit a Christmas tree farm or a retail tree lot,” said Gary McDowell, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director. “You not only get a fresh, fragrant, beautiful tree as the centerpiece of your holiday decorations, but at many locations you also get the experience a variety of activities like hayrides or sleigh rides, petting farms, visits with Santa and more.”

Other traditions shared by our listeners included:

*Wrapping paper is put up in the doorway leading to the tree and presents and the family has to tear through the wrapping paper at the same time like a football team does a banner at a game. Lots of fun and video opportunities;

*A long time ago we gave my father canned meat for a gift - the following year he re-gifted it and gave it to me. The following year I re-gifted the same can of meat and gave it to my sister. Now it's an annual tradition for someone to get that damn can of meat...lol

*Our family does Chinese food every Christmas Eve. Started years ago and now it's never even questioned what we are having for dinner on Christmas Eve.

*Traditions born out of poverty are the best. Ours is one of beans and franks on a Christmas Eve that was born out an experience with my parents. One year they were so poor they had spent all their money on our gifts and didn't have any leftover money for a Christmas feast. My Dad suggested cooking the only thing we could afford at that time over the the open flame of the fireplace - Hot dogs and and a pot of beans. We had so much fun doing that, we've kept up the tradition for over 30 years.

*Our family is strange. We have a Christmas tradition of smacking each other with the brown wrapping paper tubes. It started from me and my sister battling each other with Mom's brown wrapping paper tubes and now it's grown into such a big tradition that we now have tournaments involving so many of our family members that we now need several rounds of elimination to determine who the Christmas wrapping paper tube champion is. We even have a silly cheap trophy awarded to the winner.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and please feel free to share with us some of your families favorite Christmas traditions.

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