Monday, December 04, 2006

How do you celebrate the, um, holidays?

We put up our Christmas lights this weekend—well, we tried to put them up, but seeing as how four of five strings of icicle lights, which worked when I tested them individually, decided not to work when I had already gotten them up on the frakkin' house, I guess I've gotta run to Target on my lunch break tomorrow. Here in Bakersfield, of course, the first weekend of December is already late—Christmas-happy residents tend to follow the big-box retailers' decorating lead and get stuff up by Thanksgiving eve, if not before. Notice, however, that I'm saying "Christmas." Here in Bakersfield, California's own red-state-within-a-blue-state, we don't take nicely to all that p.c. secularizing "holiday" talk. And the fact that, you know, there are other holidays, like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Diwali, the winter solstice, Secular Capitalist Shopping Days, whatever? Well, that kind of talk just ain't kosher. Heh.

[You wanna check out the kind of stuff I gotta "monitor" on my company's community blogs? Check this one out as an example.}

Anyway, in my household, with our toddlergirl old enough to enjoy ripping paper off of presents this year and my Filipina Catholic better half covering the religious part of our daughter's education [though my dear wife keeps cracking up watching me read The Pumpkin's current fave bedtime story request, a Christian kiddie prayerbook that she calls "Dear God, Amen"], I do my part to mix it up, pun intended, by reppin' secular ethnic (half-)Jewishness with brisket and latkes sometime in December. Not sure how to incorporate sansei grandma's Buddhism yet—though, of course, the brisket recipe is hers.

So, dear readers, how do you and yours celebrate the...winter holidays in all their myriad and hybrid incarnations?


tanilan said...

We usually start by going Christmas shopping, which almost always results in me wanting to slit my wrists.
Then we stay with my mother-in-law for a few days and just relax. Her home is the most relaxing place in the world. This is usually interrupted by the ton of guilt my mother puts on me for not coming to see her...but for the past few years...she's been out of state for the holidays and makes it impossible for me to get to her.
My main goal this Christmas is to not stress and just relax. Hope yours is a Merry one!

eliaday said...

I woke up this morning, and it was snowing out and I almost cried. Tae and I spent a good 15 minutes with our noses pressed against the foggy windows taking in the snow.

I didn't realize how much I love Christmas in New England. I'm not religious, but I just love Christmas lights and for lack of a better word, "the holiday spirit."

We'll eventually have a Christmas tree, and lights. In New England, people put little "candles" in their windows. It used to be a symbol that would let travelers know that they were welcome if they needed a place to stay. Now it's just part of Christmas lights. But still, I love it all.

Pete Aldin said...

We usually have a barbeque, stay in the shade when outside to avoid sunburn, try to keep the doors closed to keep the flies outside, have waterfights with the nephews and my own boys, kick a football around .... oh, did I mention it's Summer in Australia?

We seriously have trouble relating to a winter christmas let alone a white one. And yet all of our Christmas cards and our stores are decked out in northern European snow themes. But it's usually hot enough to fry an egg on your car roof here. Wierd country.

Merry Christmas folks!

Anonymous said...

we do the christmas tree thing. we do the presents thing. we do the food thing.

this year we may actually put up some lights . . .

honglien123 said...

I love this season because no matter who you are or what you believe, there's something to celebrate. We have four, count 'em, four days of holiday joy (not including all the shopping days)which includes gift giving and stuffing ourselves silly. One with our friends, one with my hubby's mom's family, one with my hubby's dad's family, then one with my family which usually consists of a huge feast in honor of some dead relative because, oh yeah, sometime around Christmas, one of my ancestors kicked the bucket back in the day and so we have a death anniversary feast/get together every year. Did I mention that only the hubs grandma is even a practicing Christian?
Also, at some point in all of that, we crave for snow (me being from Michigan once upon a time and the hubs from Illinois) and so we also make an annual trek up to Lake Tahoe.

Lumpyheadsmom said...

I'm struggling with how we'll handle the holidays. When I was growing up, Christmas was a religious holiday, and Santa had no part in it. I'm not sure how to pass on a tradition when I'm sort of anti-Santa (when the kid finds out, how do you admit you've been lying about the Fat Man all these years?) and won't be passing on the religious meaning of Christmas. It leaves me feeling even more pressure to come up with our own holiday traditions - which I guess will develop on their own over the years.

Robyn said...

no kids yet but i think we'll probably celebrate christmas even though we're very not christian. i should really be opposed to the consumerist side of it too but what does that leave? i guess it's just family tradition.

Puka said...

I don't have an ounce of religion in me :P and neither does the Mister. We celebrate xmas in the secular way. Love the lights, decorations, giving presents to the little ones. The Mister wants A-chan to grow up believing in Santa, which I guess I am fine with. I'm not gung ho about it because I didn't grow up believing in the tale of Santa, and don't think it's necessary to have fun at xmas. But whatever. We usually spend xmas with the Mister's side in SoCal. On xmas day, we go to an auntie's house where there's about 40 other relatives gathered and eat local food all day. Mmmmm!