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Changing the world
one mind at a time
Writer's Block: Traditional Pursuits 
10th-Dec-2008 04:56 pm
There are a lot of things we see most often in December, like caroling, potato latkes, mistletoe, mulled wine, eggnog, and returning gifts. What's your favorite holiday tradition?

When I first read this, I couldn't come up with an answer. (Then again, I'm not at my best first thing after waking up.)

So, after a day of running errands all over the south side of town, I came up with a few traditions that I still enjoy.

Carol and Candle at the church I grew up in.

Usually held the last Sunday in Advent, this was one of my favorite services of the year. The congregations sings carols, the choir sings special music, and at the end, flames from the alter get passed to the congregation and we all sing "Silent Night" while holding candles. The entire thing is kind of pagan in retrospect. It still remains one of my favorite services.

Christmas Eve services

I know that sounds silly, but I always enjoyed the evening service on Christmas Eve. Then again, I love Christmas Carols, and I still remeber how, as a child, it always felt like the world was holding its collective breath.

More recently, making latkes and cookies

I love cooking. and in recent years, I've been too poor to really get "real gifts" for people who aren't family or someone I've been dating. So I fry latkes and bake cookies to give to people I feel I should give something to, but don't have cash to get them something unique. the latkes are still a work in progress (I cheat and buy the box, but I still either overcook or undercook the damned things), but I've become quite good at making cookies.

Yule circle, when I can find people willing to join in

Again, it's like a Christmas Eve service, only with a different mythos. The same sense of anticipation abounds, and hope springs up anew.

Gelt and all the noisy shit mom sticks in the stockings

Given that my sister-in-law is Jewish, mom started adding gelt and dreidles to the stockings after Richard and Lisa were married. Mom also likes sticking the noisiest toys she can find in them, so Christmas morning always has obnoxious sounds accompanying it. Also, we always get an orange in our stockings, which always seems to migrate to the very toe.

Christmas Carols

I believe I've mentioned these more than once so far, but here they are with their own listing. If it weren't for my own introversion, I'd probably go caroling. That was one of the biggest things I liked in CGMC... "Joy" was a chance to sing a bunch of things I liked without being singled out or feeling self-concious.

A Merry Snoopy Christmas

Lord alone knows how old the album is, but I have it on vinyl. I try to sneak up to the attic and play it on my old fischer-Price record player at least once during Christmas. It's basically a story of snoopy and the Red Baron getting in a dog fight, then landing to have drinks on Christmas Eve. I remember driving Dad batshit crazy with it by playing it all year round.

Speaking of Snoopy...

Dad bought Mom a plush snoopy for their first Christmas together. Somewhere, over the past 40 years, Snoopy lost his head, so Mom sewed it back on. Every Christmas, Snoopy comes out of his box for all of us to fight over.

Damn, I had more to say than I thought I did.
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