Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thinking of Christmas Traditions
I've been thinking about Christmas traditions. How they vary around the world, the country, and from family to family. They continue to change as we get married, blend traditions, have kids, kids grow up and outgrow some of them. One desire, in the northeast at least is the desire for a White Christmas. As a kid split between NJ and TX, the one thing I looked forward to the years in NJ was the hope of snow on Christmas. This year, my friends down south are getting snow on Christmas and we MAY get it tomorrow, depending on the wind, the rotation of the earth, whether or not some alien on Proximus Centuri has too much spicy food and farts... SIgh.
So my current traditions are mostly from my life as opposed to Curt's. I grew up around lots of Italians, so Christmas eve is always the La Vigilia, feast of the seven fishes. Personally, on Christmas eve I'm not being all elaborate, so I cheat. Dinner is linguine with spicy olive oil and garlic (just in case of vampire attack) and shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari(rings and tentacles) sometimes lobster - not this year, haddock and cod. Curt gets his with just the haddock and cod cubes. Then later in the evening we have an appetizer/tapas party, which adds some more fish in the form of salmon, tuna, eel and other sushi fish.
Then midnight Mass. There is something about the pageantry of midnight Mass that I just love. It really doesn't feel like Christmas with out it. The music, the decorations, the incense, the candles (the butt falling asleep). Fortunately, our parish starts at 11pm and finishes around 1am - as it is I'm not 100% awake when we leave.
Then it's spiked eggnog and the Angie gets to pick one present from under the tree to open. This year, she opened a silver cuff bracelet.
Christmas morning with friends, there is coffee for grown-ups, hot chocolate or chocolate milk for the kiddies. Homemade cinnamon rolls. (nothing like getting sugared up BEFORE the excitement of presents) The yule log on tv. Play some video games before heading to the grandparents. We go to my mom's first, because she likes an early Christmas lunch. We exchange gifts with my mom, Anna, her ? joe, Sarah (the akita - she always gets rawhide, something big, this year it's a wreath, she knows it's coming too) and Stardust the cat (only cat I know that doesn't like catnip - she needs to spend some time with Fe, my friend's cat) One of the gifts I always get Anna is a wine. It has to be a good wine, but the label or name of the wine must be amusing. This year she is getting Spy Valley, because she is always convinced people are trying to find out what she's doing.
Then off to Curt's Dad. ( we did try to get them both to our place, but it was a dismal failure - my dream is a 3 ft blizzard on Christmas allowing me to stay home) We have dinner. and exchange gifts with him and my sister in law. My SIL is a pain. She inevitably e-mails out a "wish list" a week or two after Thanksgiving. I keep saying if I get the list before Thanksgiving, I'll get stuff from the list. But as a matter of principle, if I did accidentally get her something that turns up on her list, I won't give it to her. This past thanksgiving, she was talking to Curt's cousin about something and "Kung Fu Fighting" came up. And she kept humming it. So she got a cd with the song, a dvd of Kung Fu Panda and a bottle of Kung Fu Girl wine. I got her the dvd of some play she was talking about never having seen but wanting to as well.
I then usually pass out in the car on the ride home.
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!