Friday, December 28, 2012

#Christmas Traditions

I think every family has it's Christmas traditions. Some are complex with hours or baking and caroling. Some are as simple as communal inebriation, but I believe most every one who celebrates Christmas does it in their own way.

Since my mom is from Switzerland, we celebrate things the Swiss way (or at least what she tells us the Swiss way is). On Dec. 6th we celebrate Santa Claus day. We all have to come up with an original story, song, poem, etc. and then we get our stalkings.

IMG source
This year one of my brothers came up with a list of odd Christmas traditions throughout the world. Some of them are too far outside the realm of my standard of normal to bear repeating, such as the Canager- which roughly translates to shitter, or the poop log. Because apparently what Christmas really needs is more shit. Yeah, I left links there so if you really want to know more be my guest.

One tradition my siblings and I were all saddened by. Saddened in the sense that, now knowing this tradition exists somewhere, we feel the giant void in our lives of the years spent not doing this.

Now, the tradition of the Yule Goat doesn't originally call for there to be a war over setting it on fire, but said war is what makes the tradition worth while. Here's someone else to tell it better than I do:
The city of Gävle decided to place itself on the map some 40 or so years ago by building the biggest goat ever. Of course, more straw means more entertainment to arsonists, and I think most goats have eventually been burned to a crisp. The amount of commitment the locals put into burning down this now heavily guarded – fenced up – goat is nothing short of stunning. There has been archery with flaming arrows, trucks breaking down the fence, and now a hacker attack to take out the surveillance cameras. Of course, the more guarded it is, the more people will want to burn it down. Deep down, all Swedes are rooting for the arsonists, and no one has ever been caught.(original source Björn
The Yule Goat of 2011's fate
We are totally bummed that we haven't spent our Christmases divided into teams either protecting or setting on fire a straw goat. As it stands though, our regular Christmas traditions probably make the fire marshal have a better year.

Besides, it's likely that I would continually disappoint team "Save the Goat". We've already established what would I would do:

"It's cold."
"I want a cookie."
"Is that a squirrel?"
"I have to pee."
"Aw, damn it! The goat's on fire!"

We'll probably continue with my family's tradition of meeting on Christmas Eve, eating copious amounts of bree and salami  and trying to remember who was tasked with telling the Christmas story this year. 

My sister will complain about why it is she's always asked to play the songs on the piano when she can't read music (hint: it's because you're the one mom and dad pumped money into piano lessons for) and we'll end up teaching my nieces about the Savior's birth via interpretive dance or shadow puppets. 

As an FYI, my mother, in an attempt to be fair, asked my dad one year how they celebrate Christmas in Scotland (since that's where his heritage is). He laughed and said, "By getting drunk". So, we opted to stick with our original Christmas festivities.

How does your family celebrate the holidays?

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