The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a festive honoring the God Saturn in the month of December. Many of the traditions that we now associate with Christmas came from this festival. I will provide links below for those interested in the history of the festival.
The week long celebration started on December 17. My wife and I decided to celebrate it this year as we always have to travel for the traditional holidays and it would be nice to have a nice holiday of our own. Plus its fun to invent new "traditions"!
The Romans would set up an alter to Saturn, decorate with moon's and stars, feast, gamble, give gifts and let the lowliest members of the house hold feast and be in charge for a bit.
We were inspired by a blog post on Geeky ways to celebrate Saturnalia.
First, at least in our household, we don't worship Saturn. So we dedicated the festival to a Prosaurpod dinosaur that is actually named after the Holiday.
Second. We baked star and moon-shaped cookies, a somewhat traditional holdover from the Roman celebration.
Third. We went out for pizza and gave Saturnalia a place at the table.
Fourth. We played a game of backgammon after dinner, we both wagered a dollar, it was a high stakes game!
Fifth, we gave each other gag gifts.
Sixth, We fed the dog a really good dinner
We had a lot of fun with this and hope to make it a new family tradition!