I admit it. My family is culturally challenged. When my Norwegian Mom and British Dad divorced and remarried our family grew by leaps and bounds. I now have four parents, 6 siblings and a wonderful family spread across the globe from Kuala Lumpur to Rio and Sacramento. I love my American siblings very much, and seeing as they are reformed Jews it's completely understandable that they are not as much into the whole Jesus thing as my boyfriend's family - who are Swedish priests and theologians.
We found out quite early that we had to make our own traditions during the holiday season, and now I see this has a definite pain-reducing potential.
We can make new traditions that are healthy and spoon efficient!
Mixing a little old Nordic midwinter celebration with Hanukkah and English Christmas may sound like blasphemy (sorry in-laws!) but it works for us. To take care of my health, I need a lot of downtime during the holidays, so I throw in the occasional PJ day and some very relaxed holiday rituals that don't require a lot of stress or traveling. Nice music, candles, long lunches, stockings with presents and a walk in the forest. Those are some of the things I've decided are the most important holiday traditions for me now.