For me, Christmas has always meant learning about other cultures and how they celebrate the holiday. I can remember being in a school pageant when I was in first grade. The entire program presented Christmas traditions from around the world. My role was to sit in a rocking chair on stage and pretend to knit while my classmates sang a song from Norway. In later years, my mother who was a kindergarten teacher, taught her students all about celebrating Christmas in other parts of the world. She brought many of these traditions home and we incorporated them into our holiday each year. One of these traditions was to bake Christmas breads from other countries and to learn the specific story that went with each one. It's a tradition that has been carried on to my children and my sister's as well. Sometimes mom decided that we needed to start a 'new' family tradition and she would research it and carry it out. Once such tradition was having flaming English steamed pudding for dessert at our Christmas dinner. Mom was English, and she loved this dessert and it's traditional service. Dad, on the other hand, was German with an entirely different taste in desserts. I don't think he was ever fond of the pudding, but he willingly accepted the style and manner in which it was festively served by mom each year. Who can resist a flaming pudding surrounded by holly leaves and berries as it's presented to those at the table after a delicious Christmas dinner? I am quite certain that mother's English family never served steamed pudding at their Christmas dinner. They surely missed out on a lovely part of their heritage.