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  • #31
    Originally posted by zoebird View Post
    Our focus is mostly on experiences and traditions. December is probably the most hectic, to be honest.

    Dec 1: wet on wet watercolor painting for our decoration making.
    Dec 2-6: decorating the house.
    Dec 6: feast of St Nicholas -- making ginger star cookies, gathering oranges and candy canes: we place these outside of each of our neighbor's doors overnight.
    Dec 7: prep for bodhi day (make a paper bodhi tree, telling the story of the buddha, leaving off his enlightenment; make bodhi leaf cookies)
    Dec 8: Bodhi Day (day of buddha's enlightenment) -- morning tea time -- finish story of enlightenment. light candles (enlightenment, buddha, darma and sangha candles), have warm milk, rice balls, tea and cookies
    Dec 9-13: several different events set up for the family including going to a particular holiday market (like an austrian christmas market);
    Dec 13: travel to firebird festival location;
    Dec 14: Firebird Festival -- awesomeness;
    Dec 15: Longwood Gardens decorations, carol singing, etc;
    Dec 16-20: food prep for
    Dec 21/22: Yule/Jul -- this year, Jul will be celebrated with my whole family. It's typically a Jul log (large, fat stick with votive candles around it), talk about the longest night. Am -- early morning walk before sunrise, hot vanilla (milk, vanilla, cinnamon) from the thermos, and then back home and we typically go back to sleep for a few hours. Then we plant seeds in the windows for early spring herbs and stuff.
    Dec 24/25/26: Christmas/boxing day -- we're doing this low-key at home with a special meal and some movies and other activities around rest and relaxation.
    Dec 27-29: my ILs visit for the weekend -- we celebrate christmas with them on this weekend;
    Dec 31: New Years Eve -- noon countdown PJ party (hopefully with some kids from school);
    Jan 1: NY Day -- special good-luck/new-years meal.
    Sounds idyllic.
    Mine looks like this:
    1-31st: work
    Double pay around the holidays, makes sense to me!

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Jenry Hennings View Post
      Sounds idyllic.
      Mine looks like this:
      1-31st: work
      Double pay around the holidays, makes sense to me!
      Same here! Actually Christmas falls on a double whammy for people at my work this year.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by RittenRemedy View Post
        Same here! Actually Christmas falls on a double whammy for people at my work this year.
        I work in a restaurant/hotel so naturally, old people are the best tippers! Double pay+tips= a very merry christmas indeed!

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        • #34
          Oh, I'm working too. We own our own business. All of this is worked around it.

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          • #35
            My family did little gifts in our shoes/boots for St. Nicholas Day. Usually, it was new PJ's.
            Depression Lies

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            • #36
              My parents were totally materialistic at Christmas, but looking back, I realized that it was because my father grew up pretty damn poor so he was compensating. Big tree. Mom had to put the tinsel on one strand at a time. Lots of presents, with only the occasional "useful" gift. Even the year he started his own business and the four of us (and a big dog) were smooshed into a 900 square foot house, Christmas was a biggy.

              My mom liked giving gifts, and didn't like giving us money. She felt that giving money showed a lack of thoughtfulness. But one year, I really wanted money (spoiled brat had everything I needed/wanted, really). So she put a small draw-string hippie purse under the tree with a nice chunk of change in it. So, we both got our way - I got money and she got to give me a purse/gift.

              Our big meal was really Christmas Eve - lots of fish/seafood, hors d'oeuvres, usually some big bird, icy pitchers of Manhattans, and loud relatives. Christmas Day was usually sandwiches, stuff-on-a-cracker, a late night lasagna, and just us four mostly hanging out in our PJs/robes.
              "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

              B*tch-lite

              Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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              • #37
                Joanie's post reminded me of when my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together as a serious couple. In his family, the big celebration was on Christmas Eve and they opened all their gifts except the ones from Santa then. In my family, people were still shopping and wrapping and it was just any other night. Christmas morning was the magical time. Now we sort of blend the traditions and have a huge meal at his sisters on Christmas Eve and I make a traditional meal for both families and friends on Christmas Day.

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                • #38
                  ^My family always went to Christmas Eve services and then we'd have some snacks (mini hot dogs in BBQ sauce, deviled eggs, Christmas cookies, bread w/ port wine) and open one gift each before bed. "Santa" would deliver gifts overnight (though neither my sister nor I ever believed, my brother did/might still) and we'd open the rest in the AM. Christmas dinner was up at my grandparents' house in Maine, later that day, for a long time. After my grandfather died, it was mostly just hanging out and playing with our new stuff. Dinner was never anything huge, IIRC, but something nice anyway. This will be my first Christmas married and we are going to stay in as much as possible, but will probably swing by our parents' places (we all live in the same town) for gifts & visiting briefly. Also to see the adorable niece and nephews. Not sure what we'll do for dinner.
                  Depression Lies

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                  • #39
                    As a child my family celebrated Christmas day. When we kids grew up (there were 9 of us) hosting Christmas day eventually became too much, so my mom started having an open house on Christmas Eve. Hubby and I have never been into the whole commercial aspect of the holiday, I've always found the obligation of buying presents overwhelming. In fact I used to dread going to his families house for the holiday because they were over the top with presents.... quantity over quality. Now that we've moved away from our families we celebrate the season our own way.

                    When DS was about 9 he asked us why we celebrated Christmas when we weren't Christian, it seemed like a good time to find a different way to celebrate the season. We decided to celebrate the Solstice. We include rituals that revolve around nature and acknowledging the darkness of that time of year. For example on the Solstice we turn off all the lights except for the tree (we kept the tradition of tree). Gift giving is mostly for DS (he's now 15) Hubby and I still aren't into the commercial aspect of the holiday. Sometimes on Christmas we visit friends. Now that it isn't our holiday it feels more relaxed. It's like we get an extra holiday.
                    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                    • #40
                      Well, I grew up celebrating New Years, but it was basically the same thing - tree, presents...

                      This year I already got all I want for X-mas - yesterday, my baby and I finally found a purple ziggo-cactus and (what we hoped) a light-pink one, so now we have a display of 5 colors (scarlet, white, yellow and yep! purple and pink) - just need to find a plain vanilla dark red that seem to have disappeared, lol.

                      Then, mid-month, I will bake some 8 or 9 gingerbread houses and a castle, and we'll have a bunch of my baby's friends over to decorate them and make a temp village on the dinner table and have all the fun 7 yo can imagine with candy, icing and colors.

                      Finally, on the 24th we'll trim the tree and on the 25th my mom will fly over and we'll have the present unwrapping (everyone gets one, except for kiddo, that will get a bit of odds and ends, like new swimming goggles in her stocking and a couple of toys she asked Santa for) and uhm, make a meal, and that's about it.

                      We don't do much on the New Years, or our anniversary that comes on Jan 2nd. Maybe mom will stay with the kid and we'll go watch a movie if the latest Thor is still in theaters.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Hannakb View Post
                        Umm, am I the only one out there that thinks Christmas isn't all about presents?
                        I think it was probably originally about slotting in a celebration at the most dismal time of the year when the days are shortest and the nights longest, and when food might be short.

                        Sunrise and Sunset for United Kingdom – England – London – coming days

                        In agricultural communities people probably needed a fillip to carry them through.

                        Fairly early on (in the 4th century A.D. if I recall correctly), the date of Christmas was moved to coincide with that time of year and with existing festivals. A sensible move, I guess. For it certainly makes sense to have a big party around that time if you're in the Northern hemisphere, for the reasons already mentioned. I guess in Australasia the festival has been rather detached from all that. There, it floats free not anchored into the movement of the Earth and night and day and suchlike.

                        From another point of view, and what I guess you're getting at, the "commercialisation" is rather offensive. Sure. I don't know what we do about that besides trying not to let it affect us, however.

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                        • #42
                          Fairly early on (in the 4th century A.D. if I recall correctly), the date of Christmas was moved to coincide with that time of year and with existing festivals. A sensible move, I guess. For it certainly makes sense to have a big party around that time if you're in the Northern hemisphere, for the reasons already mentioned. I guess in Australasia the festival has been rather detached from all that. There, it floats free not anchored into the movement of the Earth and night and day and suchlike.
                          I think that the epitome of common sense! One would only wish that modern society was just as practical. I for one would like to have those holidays in the summer. Winter SUCKS for both stay at home and travel. I'd much rather work through December and January but have time off in the summer or early fall when the weather is great and the garden needs a lot of love! I think we need to have a choice when to take those 2 days off to get a break (I am sure skiiers don't mind winter break)!!! unfortunately, my employer took in the other direction and took our former floater and added it to Christmas. (Sigh). Great, one more day of enforced staring out of the window at the frozen land. Or paying overinflated prices and dealing with delays that eat away hours of holiday time.
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Lewis View Post
                            I think it was probably originally about slotting in a celebration at the most dismal time of the year when the days are shortest and the nights longest, and when food might be short.

                            Sunrise and Sunset for United Kingdom England London coming days
                            For it certainly makes sense to have a big party around that time if you're in the Northern hemisphere, for the reasons already mentioned. I guess in Australasia the festival has been rather detached from all that. There, it floats free not anchored into the movement of the Earth and night and day and suchlike.
                            .
                            Well it is still a solstice. Just summer instead of winter.

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                            • #44
                              I see that Sarah Palin has a new book just out that is all about Christmas. Just in time for, well, Christmas. I am psyched. Christmas has been missing that slutty librarian vibe for way too long.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Hannakb View Post
                                Ok I know a bit early for some (I'm in Australia, no Thanksgiving & not to many do Halloween).
                                Part of a conversation with another mother:
                                This was on Facebook for Christmas ideas: something they want
                                Something they need
                                Something to wear
                                Something to read.
                                Me: that's heaps
                                OM (slightly shocked): it's only 4 presents! I'm not happy unless there's at least 10 each.

                                Umm, am I the only one out there that thinks Christmas isn't all about presents?
                                How many is too many?
                                I'm not anti presents or anything like that, I just think that most children these days are given way to much.
                                I feel as if 1 good present per person is enough, or a few smaller things. I'm thinking of getting my girlfriend a book or two, and some nice soaps. I quite like that facebook idea, so maybe I'll do: 1 book, 1 item of clothing and the soaps. But in general I feel that money should be spent on experiences not materialistic possessions.
                                Last edited by AMonkey; 11-19-2013, 08:47 PM.
                                http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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