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Holiday Celebrations (Christmas etc.)

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(I tried to search for a topic for general Holiday discussion but couldn't find any, so I made a new one. Sorry mods if I missed something!)

 

~ Do you celebrate something in the winter season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Yule etc.) and if yes, how? ~

~ Are you excited to celebrate this year, what are your plans? ~ 

~ Are buying presents for anyone, do you have gift ideas you are excited to give? Do you have any gifts you'd like to receive? ~

~ Do you have any Holiday pictures you'd like to share? ~

 

*~* Any Holiday related discussion is welcome! *~*


I just finished my last exam of the semester so I'm starting to get that holiday hype up! I celebrate Christmas (joulu here in Finland), and I'm going to my parents place to spend it with them, my sister and her husband, my aunt and her kids and their families, like we do every year. The most important Christmas things for me are the food (roasted ham, salmon, potato and carrot casserole, gingerbread cookies and christmas pastries), the company of my relatives and decorating the Christmas tree!

 

One of the weirdest traditions in our family is acting out Tiernapojat (Star Singers in English it seems), a musical play based on the Gospel of Matthew's that kids used to go out and act in houses to gain a bit of money in the Christmas season since the 18th century. We usually do it with my cousins (already aged around 40) and my sister, and it's just a whole lot of nonsense with us forgetting the words and tunes, using pans and pots as helmets and crowns and trying not to hurt anyone with my cousin's and her dad's doctorate swords. For sure it's different every single year, but always as hilarious!

 

Here's some of my favorite Christmas pictures from recent years:

Spoiler

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Frost on the window (2014) | Old wooden decoration (2014)

 

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Sometimes it's the perfect winter weather... (2012)

 

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Sometimes not so much (2016, 2017)

 

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Ham!! (2016) | Roe mousse sandwich (2017)

 

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~ Do you celebrate something in the winter season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Yule etc.) and if yes, how? ~

We are Celebrating Christmas....well Kind of. We have the typical Christmas Tarditions (A tree, Cookies, Lights everywhere, Presents, also Nativity (from Cobi but Nativity XD) But to me it is more like Winter Solstice and a festive of Light in the Dark Cold winter.

This year my parents are here with my husband and me, we are having Potato Salad and Sausages at Christmas Eve and some Deer the next day.

~ Are you excited to celebrate this year, what are your plans? ~ 

Just what I wrote for the first Question...oh and my mother an I are visiting a Show with horses, that was something we did when I was in sixth grade or so...Kind of Childhoodmemories renewed :D

~ Are buying presents for anyone, do you have gift ideas you are excited to give? Do you have any gifts you'd like to receive? ~

We are buying presents mostly Little things for my parents, and some funny toys for my husband. We are playing a Video game with tanks, and so he gets two remote controlled tanks to battle in the flat. I know he will love them. I will have a nice Modell to build and paint, will be a over 1 meter Long Submarine from WWII. I love the shape of submarines XD

~ Do you have any Holiday pictures you'd like to share? ~

Not right now...no really nice Christmas Pictures :(

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I celebrate both Christmas and Yule, and then my family celebrates Hanukkah since one of my moms is Jewish :D I get to see my family this year, and also partake in a Yule celebration with my pagan friends since I'm visiting up north. I'm very excited! 

I'm really bad at buying gifts. That reminds me, I should probably go buy some... 

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My mom and I celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts, she is really the only one I get gifts for anymore. I have waaaay too many gifts for her this year, her birthday is the end of November so in October I started buying gifts for both Christmas and birthday, a little at a time so it wouldn't break my budget, and I totally overdid it. She really loves angel figurines and religious wall hangings, and (un)fortunately the local Goodwill always has *tons* of that kind of thing for really cheap. 

 

My mom is always really into decorating for Christmas, we've had our tree up and decorated since before Halloween (seriously). Unfortunately this year we have a 'Scrooge' in our building who complained to management about mom's excessive outside decorations, so she had to take those down (I admit there were a lot). This is the first year I'll be attending an outside candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve, the past year I've been getting more interested in the church and taking part in things there so this year the whole season kind of has a different feel for me. (Not that I would ever count myself as 'religious', but....)

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~ Do you celebrate something in the winter season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Yule etc.) and if yes, how? ~

My husband and I celebrate Solstice together, and then Christmas with my parents. It turns into a busy week!

For celebrating Solstice, we have a tree up in the living room. Since my husband's mother is deathly allergic to real pine trees, ours is plastic. It looks just like you'd think of a Christmas tree (which makes sense, as Christmas trees are basically just yule trees), with white lights and various ornaments. Instead of Christmas's red and green, the colors decorating the tree are black (for the long nights) and gold (for the sun). Normally we have a yule log as well, but this year we couldn't find the "right" one, so we're lighting some special candles I have instead. My husband's work doesn't give Solstice off as a holiday (Christmas is this country's standard), so we celebrate Solstice on the closest weekend day. This year, Solstice falls on a Friday, so we'll celebrate Saturday. We have friends coming over who also celebrate Solstice, and we celebrate with a feast, light some candles, and exchange presents. If the weather is good, we'll walk through the woods, but we'll skip that if the weather's too bad since there will be an infant in attendance. 

My parents and sister celebrate Christmas, so on Christmas day (which my husband does get off) they come over to my house to celebrate (it's a long story. My house is best). They go to their church in the morning, and come over to my house after. We do a "Secret Santa" style gift exchange, and a potluck style dinner. Then we usually watch old movies until everyone goes home. 
 

~ Are you excited to celebrate this year, what are your plans? ~ 
 

Pretty excited, because my best friend had a baby this year, so it's Baby's First Solstice! We're going to take roughly a million pictures. 😂

I've already sent out cards, so everyone should have them by Solstice -- I get cards that are ambiguous to double up as Christmas cards for people who celebrate Christmas instead, or are in an area where paganism is frowned upon so they can still display the card (this year's have a pretty snow picture, and say "Yuletide Blessings"). 

For the Solstice feast, we're making veggie hand-pies, roasting a squash, and having stollen with hot non-alcoholic of glögg for dessert (my husband doesn't drink alcohol and my friend is avoiding alcohol while she's breastfeeding). 

For Christmas, everyone brings food, so we'll supply the table with veggie pies, and chips, dip and guacamole, and mimosa makings. Mom always brings a million cookies and muffins (even though she's diabetic and shouldn't eat them) and my sister always brings some sort of side dish. 

 

~ Are buying presents for anyone, do you have gift ideas you are excited to give? Do you have any gifts you'd like to receive? ~


For Solstice, I've bought my husband some computer parts he's been wanting to upgrade his machine. For friends, we've all agreed to do a pet gift exchange instead, so my friends' cats are getting some special hand knitted toys with catnip (extra potent!), and the dogs are all getting some nice chew bones and balls. 

For Christmas, my family uses Elfster to do a Secret Santa gift exchange, and I've bought my person most of the gifts on their list. They asked for a specific sweater from their favorite soccer team, and some candies and chocolates. 

I'm really hoping to receive a new wand stand (I've been hinting at it to my husband for months) and some books that I've been drooling over at the bookstore. 

Edited by Nimras

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~ Do you celebrate something in the winter season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Yule etc.) and if yes, how? ~

We have a tradition in my family that involves us and many of our close relatives (my parents' living parents and some of my uncles) getting together at my parents' place to eat a Christmas dinner. Traditionally it was always a feast of ham, two types of salmon prepared by my grandfather, herring, different casseroles, boiled potatoes and rosolli, but nowadays we also have some vegetarian option for ham in addition to all that to allows me to participate as well. After the dinner we hang out together until the evening when the relatives usually leave, then sauna and open gifts that have been placed under the Christmas tree. The celebration does have its roots in Christianity, and for the longest time our family was officially Evangelical Lutheran like many people in Finland. Over time we all separated from the church though, 3/4 of us because we had been atheists for years already and my mother because she ended up feeling like her faith was more of a personal belief in angels and some kind of a divine force than something tied to the church and their texts.

 

~ Are you excited to celebrate this year, what are your plans? ~ 

I am quite looking forward to it as usual, it's a fun family tradition. My boyfriend will also be flying over from Belgium like he has for the past couple years to participate in the Christmas and New Year's celebrations so I'm happy I'll be able to spend some time with him again as well.

 

~ Are buying presents for anyone, do you have gift ideas you are excited to give? Do you have any gifts you'd like to receive? ~

I have bought a present for my boyfriend that I'm pretty sure he'll like, but other than that not really. You don't buy that many gifts on a student budjet and I'm not expecting a gift from anyone but my boyfriend either so the whole gifting side of Christmas is not that essential to me right now irl. I was planning on getting my mother some kind of a decorative angel or candle and still am if I manage to find one before Christmas, but if I can't find any that I can honestly see her liking I'll just pass on that idea. I generally prefer gifting things to people when I find something nice I could give them, rather than just because of a holiday.

Edited by Nagapie

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~ Do you celebrate something in the winter season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Yule etc.) and if yes, how? ~

My family (me and my parents) celebrate a non religious Christmas... With the tree, presents, Santa, etc. We also go to both my grandmas houses on different and have dinner and open presents there... My dads side of the family is a lot bigger, so the party is more uncomfortable for me, but my mom's side we only have a few people and it's usually more fun. 

~ Are you excited to celebrate this year, what are your plans? ~ 

Mostly excited about winter break from school. :lol: We did everything I said above and watched a lot of Christmas movies, listened to a lot of Christmas songs... I had a good time. :)

~ Are buying presents for anyone, do you have gift ideas you are excited to give? Do you have any gifts you'd like to receive? ~

I always buy presents for my two best online friends and have them shipped across the country... ❤️ And no, I'm horrible at coming up with a wish list. :wacko:

 

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