Christmas, what are your traditions?

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Lily
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 02:45 pm
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 06:03 pm
@Lily,
Trying to make new ones,
i'm having duck this year
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:52 pm
@sometime sun,
http://i46.tinypic.com/9bagi0.jpg
 
Lily
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 09:46 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;111708 wrote:

Caution: Tree looks slightly more awesome in photo than in reality.

It really is a highly decorated tree, you wouldn't find a tree like that in Sweden, we do it more... spartan. I'll post a picture when we've decorated our tree.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 10:03 am
@Lily,
Lily;111785 wrote:
It really is a highly decorated tree, you wouldn't find a tree like that in Sweden, we do it more... spartan. I'll post a picture when we've decorated our tree.


Honestly, there is not that much on the tree. I've gone green this year and bought LED lights which are about ten brighter than the sun (and save about 90% electricity). So the brightness of tree really belies its true appearance. Does LED lighting really negate the fact that I bought for a chopped down tree? Probably not, but it looks pretty sweet.

Interestingly enough, when I first moved to Philadelphia, I had a Swedish Christmas tree... from Ikea. LOL! Which I have to wonder (you would probably know best) whether or not Ikea is genuinely Swedish.
 
Lily
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 10:50 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;111788 wrote:
Honestly, there is not that much on the tree. I've gone green this year and bought LED lights which are about ten brighter than the sun (and save about 90% electricity). So the brightness of tree really belies its true appearance. Does LED lighting really negate the fact that I bought for a chopped down tree? Probably not, but it looks pretty sweet.

A real, chopped down tree, is much better than a plastic one, since it takes a lot of energy to make the plastic tree.

VideCorSpoon;111788 wrote:
Which I have to wonder (you would probably know best) whether or not Ikea is genuinely Swedish.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:48 am
@Lily,
I also like to think that a Christmas tree has the added benefit of cleaning the air in ones house/apartment. Its known that the air inside your home is just a polluted as the air outside... even more actually. So I suppose my little Christmas tree is the gift that keeps on giving because its taking all my CO2 and converting it into sweet sweet oxygen. But after trying a fake Christmas tree, you never experience the same thing with the smell of the real thing or the texture, etc. You definitely need a real tree, no matter how big or how small. And its interesting that you mention saving energy as far as getting a real tree as opposed to a fake one. Its like getting a hybrid car. People seem to flip out rotten when they get a car with maybe 10 plus miles a gallon more out of their car, but then the reality is that the manufacturing process for the batteries in the car alone (in the case of the prius) necessitate that it be shipped literally all around the world for various stages of manufacture and end up leaving a carbon foot print five times larger than any benefits gained in the entire life of the car. And transport ships pollute a lot. You think you are saving the rainforest, but you are actually killing flipper the dolphin.

On Ikea, I would be proud too, were I Swedish (and cant we all say we are at heart? well... not really. LOL!). Notice the Billy bookcase in the left corner of the Christmas tree picture. No where on earth can you construct an entire library for under a grand when a thousand dollars would buy you probably half of a Billy book case at any other furniture store. I salute thee, Ikea, I salute thee. Hilariously, I never thought of what the names would be in Sweden. In the US, the bookshelf in the picture is literally advertised as a "Billy bookcase." If Billy somehow means bookcase, then I just bought a bookcase book case. Incidentally, what do they call the Billy bookcase in Sweden?
 
Catchabula
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 02:04 pm
@Lily,
Ok, that drove me over the edge Smile . Billy bookcases are indeed among the best in the world. Solid, functional, neutral, discreet, a true classic and continuously available since decades. No, I don't work for IKEA, I'm just a satisfied customer...

Oh, and in Belgium we still work the 24th and only the 25th is a free day. Christmas eve is mainly a family event here. We gather for a good meal (not necessarily turkey), we talk and laugh, and of course there's the time of the presents. In our family part of the presents is their being a surprise, nobody knows who will receive what. It makes the kids almost crazy :bigsmile: .

In the end when we go home spirits are high and all feel the almost magical character of that night. Is there a midnight mass in Sweden? Too bad we rarely have snow here...

Merry Christmas everybody! :flowers:
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 02:11 pm
@Lily,
I just tried roasting chestnuts the other day and boy were they tasty. I think I will make that part of my tradition from now on.
 
Lily
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 03:56 pm
@Zetherin,
VideCorSpoon;111805 wrote:
Incidentally, what do they call the Billy bookcase in Sweden?

Billy is a pet name for Bill, it's called "Billy bokhylla" in Swedish

Catchabula;111836 wrote:

In the end when we go home spirits are high and all feel the almost magical character of that night. Is there a midnight mass in Sweden? Too bad we rarely have snow here...

Merry Christmas everybody! :flowers:

Midnight mass? No, I don't think so, but we have one really, really early in the morning on Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to you too:a-ok:
 
Lily
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 09:31 am
@Lily,
Me and mum decorated the tree yesterday, usually it's just me and my sister who does it, but she's abroad, so mum had to help me. Pretty nice, isn't it?:sarcastic: http://www.philosophyforum.com/members/lily/albums/swedish-christmas/1532-christmas-tree-pretty-picture-isnt-you-can-see-snow-outside-window.jpg
 
Caroline
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 10:06 am
@Lily,
Lovely tree Lily, I like the heart.
Happy Christmas everyone!
 
Leonard
 
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2009 07:00 pm
@Lily,
We also celebrate on the 24th and open presents in the evening, but the usual routine is visiting once on Christmas Eve and then staying almost all day on Christmas Day. I enjoy our church enough that it isn't a burden, and I go myself on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve we have breads, cheese, and a fish dish (with too many things for me to list, so i'll skip to Christmas Day).

We usually have upwards of 20 people in a small suburban house, with everyone bringing in a different dish. Of those, there are the main dishes (potatoes and either ham or turkey), caraway cheese, borschch, red cabbage, white cabbage, pierogi (with ham, not entrails), pickled fish on fresh bread, and baltic sprats (from only one store, none of the others taste quite the same). I usually bring fish or salad or something else I know how to cook. Our tree is pretty humble, often a little taller than me, decorated with a few small ornaments and plain lights. We don't have stockings, but having family from the East Coast, Sweden, and from out of town come in is even more fun.

That's about all, nothing too special, no insane mother(s)-in-law bickering in the kitchen other than on one occasion. Love the tree by the way. I better get to work on the food, so Merry Christmas.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 02:31 am
@Lily,
I love your Charlie Brown Christmas tree Lily! Mine is a dead rosemary tree that I killed because it has not been sunny much here in Wisconsin over the last month. My building does not allow Christmas trees so I have a skeleton of a plant that still smells awesome.

My normal Christmas traditions involve me getting together with my Mom and Brother, and catching up on things over some good food and drinks. The weather here in Wisconsin will stop me from doing that this year so my girlfriend and I will enjoy a maple-smoked duck (marinated in garlic and rosemary), sweet potatoes, garlic-artichoke-spinach-dip, and some good wine--hopefully starting new traditions for future years! I also have to figure out how to employ some good Brie cheese from Normandy...any ideas?

I am also starting a new tradition for Christmas that involves aging really good beer for a year, or two, or three, or even more. I have some really good stouts and barley wines that I am going to sit on for a year or two and see how they turn out.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 12:59 pm
@Theaetetus,
Not here too! I pretty much avoid Xmas traditions as best I can and tolerate those that are necessary so that friends and family members don't get all upset with me.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 05:13 pm
@Lily,
Lily;111563 wrote:


For Lily:

Sweden's bizarre tradition of watching Donald Duck (Kalle Anka) cartoons on Christmas Eve. - By Jeremy Stahl - Slate Magazine
 
salima
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 06:28 pm
@Lily,
i used to make lasagna when i was grownup and queen of the kitchen. (i'm a vegetarian)
real trees are the best, and since they are grown in nurseries for the purpose i dont see how it harms the environment, but it is a shame they cant be recycled for a purpose.

my favorite things to watch were charlie brown's christmas, it's a wonderful life, and a christmas carol. never had any luck starting traditions because nobody was interested, so finally gave it up altogether. something i really miss never having had!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 06:55 pm
@salima,
Lily, I'm going to need some verification on this. Is it true that it is a Swedish tradition to watch "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas?"



In the United States, god knows how many channels are playing "Charlie Brown's Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman." Neat to see that most if not all cultures partake in classic programming like old Disney cartoons. I also know for a fact that in Italy, they replay a 1950's eras special called "Topo Gigio saves Christmas." For any who may not know, Topo Gigio is like the Italian Mickey Mouse... only slightly more freakier... and copy-right infringeable. Gotta love the reruns. LOL!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 07:04 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;114118 wrote:
Lily, I'm going to need some verification on this. Is it true that it is a Swedish tradition to watch "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas?"



In the United States, god knows how many channels are playing "Charlie Brown's Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman." To tell the truth, it has been something so obvious like these shows that I never really thought about how universal old classic Christmas shows are.


Two hours later we seat ourselves in front of the telly and watch Donald Duck's and his friend's Christmas.
 
Lily
 
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 06:18 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;114118 wrote:
Lily, I'm going to need some verification on this. Is it true that it is a Swedish tradition to watch "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas?"

Hmm.. It feels as if I ought to explain this for you. Yes it is a Swedish tradition, and I think it's about one third of the population that watches the show. I didn't watch the whole show yesterday, because my little cousin was very eager to open her presents(which was a bit complicated by the fact that she couldn't read to whom the presents were). I think that was the first time, at least as I can remember, I didn't watch the whole show. And laugh if you want, but aren't all traditions a bit... weird, at least to the unitiated? I think of it more as a modern version of sitting around the fireplace telling stories and fairytales. To me, nowadays, watching Karl-Bertil Jonson's Christmas is more important :shifty:. Yes, the telly is a big part of the Swedish Christmas. Oh, and by the way, today is Christmas Day, which doesn't mean much to me, but still MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
 
 

 
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