How Do You Celebrate The Holidays?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cecilie1200, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Statistically speaking, of course, most of us probably celebrate Christmas in one form or another, whether religiously or secularly. But I know there are members of the board who celebrate other holidays at this time of year. Tell us, please, which holiday - if any - you celebrate, and how.

    My family, of course, celebrates Christmas, both secularly and religiously.

    We put up and decorated the tree this weekend. I wanted to put it up sooner, but that was the first time my daughter and her kids could come by and do it, and it's really something that should involve as much family as possible, I think. Now I'm sitting in the living room, enjoying the tree lights and sewing a cross-stitched wall hanging to give to my granddaughter for Christmas. That might not sound terribly "Ho Ho Ho!" to other people, but some of my favorite Christmas memories growing up were of sitting in the living room next to my mom, the tree twinkling in the corner, and sewing or crocheting while watching TV. Every year, when the Christmas decorations go up, I feel an overwhelming urge to be working on some sort of needlecraft project.

    We don't have scads of discretionary income this year, what with all the repairs that have come up around the house and the expense of starting my new business, so we decided on just one or two presents apiece. I decided to make my granddaughter's gift because there's not really anything she could need or want that she doesn't already have showered on her in abundance by other family members. Without being a lot wealthier than I am, just about anything I buy would be redundant. One-of-a-kind handmade gifts, though, are the kind of thing a person can treasure forever, and this wall hanging is going to look adorable over her bed. It says, "The Princess Sleeps Here" in bright, rainbow-shaded letters, with a tiara in one corner and a magic wand in the opposite one done in opalescent thread.

    Right before Christmas, we'll be attending the Christmas program at the church. It just wouldn't be the holidays without stage fright-stricken little kids dressed up as angels and shepherds. :lol: And I have to admit, I actually really like Christmas sermons. Go figure.

    My friends and I are trying to plan a trip to Winterhaven to go caroling, if we can find a night when everyone's free. Winterhaven, for those who've never been to Tucson in December, is a neighborhood in the north-central part of the city whose residents all decorate their houses elaborately for the season, and offer hayrides, trolley tours, etc. through the neighborhood. Some nights are designated as walkthrough nights, with no motor vehicles allowed except by residents. The weather's been so lovely and mild this year, it's perfect for walking. There are collection points at the entrance for the community food bank, and the hayrides and such charge a certain amount of donated food for the rides.

    This week is designated as the cooking/baking/candy-making time, since that's my preferred gift for most people not of my immediate family. On the list this year is fudge - both with and without pecans - oatmeal-raisin cookies, chocolate rum balls, and beef and chicken tamales. We'll have to see what else I'm in the mood for after I get those done.

    On Christmas Day, I'll be doing a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner for the crowd of friends who don't have other places to go for one reason or another. I've never understood why so many women seem to think that cooking a turkey dinner is or must be such an ordeal. On the other hand, I cheat quite a bit. The turkey and the mashed potatoes are from scratch, but most of the rest comes at least partially pre-made. Hey, it's my holiday too, right?

    After Christmas, the local SCA chapter starts its round of 12th Night parties, and we'll be attending at least some of those, culminating in the New Year's Eve Masque at my lawyer's house.
     
  2. Blagger
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    Blagger BANNED

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    Er, get high.
     
  3. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    My holiday celebrations have changed many times over the years. The first Christmas after I left my husband, I was overwhelmed and didn't want to do a thing. My BFF #2 chided me into getting a tree and going through the motions for the sake of my child....and I am so glad I did. Those are some of my favorite memories now.

    I've been surrounded by family in some years....and alone in others. Full of cash...and dead ass broke. Riding high on life...and laid low by grief. If you ask me, a successful celebration starts with a desire to find joy in your life, regardless of the quirky ways that may appear.

    This year, I'll be with friends. The babygirl and I celebrated already, as she does not like winter travel. She has all the old ornaments on a tree at her new house, and it looks gorgeous. My plans include making cookies to share with neighbors and writing to friends so my holiday cards aren't just tokens.
     
  4. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Last year was hard, my mom had just died, Bootneck was in Afghanistan, very sad time.

    But, I kept up a "Happy" front for my daughter, and we went to my brother and SIL's house like we do every Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day it's just she and I.

    We get up in the morning and she opens her gifts, and then we eat whatever we want all day and watch movies and play games.

    It's nice.
     
  5. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    I'm so sorry to hear you lost your Mom, EZ.
     
  6. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Excellent answer. I was going to say that sometimes the best way to be happy is to act like you are, even when you're not feeling it.

    I remember the year we moved to Tucson, after my dad became so sick and just before his first major stroke. We had sold virtually everything we owned, packed our clothes and personal effects into the cars, and driven here like the Beverly Hillbillies Redux. My mom was waiting tables in a Denny's, and we had become experts on the schedules for church food box distribution while she looked for something else. Since we had moved there only a couple of weeks before school started - my senior year, no less - it was too late to get me into the free lunch program, so the school gave me a job working in the cafeteria so that I could get something to eat.

    Mom was always such a big fan of the Christmas holidays, putting up decorations as soon as Thanksgiving was over and playing carols on the piano for us to sing together (on a side note, my mother's voice and my own have always sounded nearly alike, so it's an experience to hear us doing harmonies together). That year, though, living in a crumbling duplex with no furniture (sold it all), no tree (ditto), and barely able to buy food and keep the electricity on, I had to talk her into celebrating at all. I found an old, miniature tree someone was tossing out and set it up, and one of the neighbors gave me some extra decorations he wasn't using. Took some work and imagination, but I think it looked really nice. At least we didn't have to worry about moving the furniture to make room, right?

    Christmas morning came, and there was a big, wrapped box under the tree for me. I opened it, and found that Mom had taken a list of my favorite books and authors to each of the thrift shops in the neighborhood, asking them to put aside any of them that came by so that she could buy them (most of my books had gotten sold before the move, too). The most impressive find was a gorgeously-bound, matched set of classics, including the entire works of Shakespeare, that she had gotten from a yard sale. The woman said she bought them for her son, and he had never even opened them. I still have that set of books on my shelf, twenty-four years later.
     
  7. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Christmas Eve we go out for chinese food and watch movies. :)
    (i think it's a mandatory thing... they come get us if we don't).

    Christmas Day we spend with my cousin's family.
     
  8. xotoxi
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    xotoxi Platinum Member

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