As you could probably imagine, Duggar Christmas isn't quite your classic Yuletide jamboree. Not that it's an outright nightmare; some of their year-to-year celebrations seem almost human. But other traditions, like their war on trees and Santa, seem very, very un-Christmasy. Scroll down to unpack just how the famous family celebrates their fave holiday, Jesus's Birthday.
Keeping the Christ In Christmas…and Like, All Over the Compound
Honestly, if you couldn't already guess this, the Duggars are all about making Jesus the reason for the season. Which isn't…wrong, just a bit aggressive. Essentially the holiday is one big Jesus birthday party. They hang up banners that say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus," "Christ is Born!" and "Joy to the World!" Then they sing "Happy Birthday" to the son of god. Which…OK…
"JOY" by the way, is an acronym that matriarch Michelle holds dear during the holidays. In the video it's explained that it stands for "Jesus first, others second, yourself last." But for real, JESUS FIRST GUYS, don't forget.
Jim Bob reads the story of the first Christmas from the scriptures, and recite a particular fire passage from the Bible, Luke 2:11. He probably doesn't do it as well as Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas
It doesn't stop there, though. Their house is littered with Nativity scenes, with three spotted in their 2014 Christmas tour video, a light-up one seen in a 2009 NBC news segment on the fam's traditions. Jim Bob even gifted the group a fancy AF Nativity scene for everyone to put together.
Likewise, Santa Claus Can Shove It
Gift-Giving Runs on a System
Although the Duggar clan has a vendetta against St. Nick, they're not entirely anti-presents. In the past the family had a method to make exchanging gifts simple (because let's face it, it's hard enough finding something for your own brother, let alone 18 near-identical siblings). The family exchanges names during Thanksgiving, with older siblings matched up with older siblings and younger siblings matched out with younger siblings. The parents also pick up gifts for the gang and have been routinely hiding the presents in the outbuilding year after year.
And on Christmas Eve each little Duggar gets a personalized gift bag containing Pringles, beef jerky, and a jar of pickles. According to Michelle, "Almost all of us like pickles, but each one likes a different kind. Same with the Pringles and the beef jerky. Christmas is the one time of year when every child gets their favorite flavor of each treat."
And Gift Baskets Are Given Out Throughout the Community
They really look more like bowls in the video (weird? why?) but year after year the Duggar family puts together care packages for friends, neighbors, and the less fortunate. Each basket contains little trinkets like fruits, mugs, candy, tissues, Vitamin C packets for…some reason, and of course, a Bible.
The Duggars also routinely bake for members of the community year after year. They hit the kitchen and make everything from bread and honey butter to cheese biscuits to, of course, chocolate chip cookies. Usually they deliver their goods to the police department, the fire department, and other people who have been having a "rough year."
We have no shade for this. That is objectively a very decent thing to do.
Duggar Decor: No Tree-Trimming for the Gigantic Family
There isn't a giant Tenenbaum for the Duggars to put all their presents under, because, you know, the tree is distracting from the whole Jesus thing. All they get is a fake little evergreen. This wasn't always the case, though. "When we were growing up there was the big tree and all that and we knocked it over several times," Josh shared.
No Josh, Either
We can't formally confirm this 'cause, like, we're not spending the holidays with the Duggars year after year. But it would appear that Josh has been canceled from recent Duggar Christmases because…well, you know.
Duggar Christmas Dining: The Line Forms Here
If you're going to feed an army of children, then you're definitely going to need to form a line for food. From what we can tell, there's nothing super avant-garde on that front; this isn't the time to break out their infamous tater tot casserole. Their offerings, instead, are pretty standard: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and their beloved homemade yeast rolls, which seems to be a family fave. Sattelite extended family members bring in fancier foods and desserts. "Different family members will bring specialty dishes, like my sister from Ohio, who brings the peanut butter and chocolate Buckeyes," said Michelle. "That's always something we look forward to after dinner."
For drinks it's pretty standard fare, hot chocolate and cider (with hot cinnamon candies to spice up the latter). Oh, and apparently there's a whole pie buffet (they need at least 15 each year) featuring every flavor from pumpkin to pecan to apple. No complaints there.
And of course, everyone pitches in with cleaning the dishes assembly line style once the festivities are over. Because, God, how else would you be able to get 50 plates cleared?