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[personal profile] marshtide
[personal profile] brigid posted about Christmas traditions. Obviously, this year mine are in flux.

In my childhood we had:

1. advent ring (a red candle for each sunday in advent and one white one for christmas day)
2. advent calender (no chocolate)
3. holly wreath on the door occasionally (only acceptable exterior decoration)
4. real tree bought after the traditional terrible school nativity play and put up on christmas eve along with any other christmas decorations; lights must be white and not do any funny blinky things; red and gold were most acceptable colours for decorations but a deep blue could also pass.
5. each child (myself, brother, two cousins) issued with a cardboard box to put all presents in after opening and supplied with as much coloured paper, glitter and glue as could possibly wish for. cunning parental trick to both keep small people busy on christmas eve and avoid a great pile of presents of uncertain ownership on christmas day.
6. stockings on christmas morning containing chocolate, silly pens, cheap books, etc., along with obligatory clemantine in the toe. stockings issued also to adults but smaller.
7. presents opened throughout christmas day in rounds. very orderly. everyone issued with a present, presents opened one at a time and collectively admired. Present-opening interrupted by food/walk/people coming to the door armed with handbells. Repeat.
8. someone else's dog must at some point on christmas day eat a whole raw turkey/the christmas tree/sixteen pairs of socks, a quantity of which lodges somewhere unholy and makes it violently ill. Surgery phone rings in the middle of christmas dinner. hurried exit by one of my parents to perform traditional christmas intestinal surgery.
9. Boxing day: everyone is comatose. Brussel sprout soup.
10. Tree not to be taken down before the twelfth day, unless sufficiently mauled by cat first.

And since then I've either been home for a simplified version of the above or family have come to me and we've done pretty much business as usual, but less formal.

And now I'm in Sweden! I'm keeping hold of the mince pies, but that's about my only concession to Britishness this year. It will be presents and insane amounts of food on the 24th, and complete collapse on the 25th. Different food, etc. (More fish. Don't even pretend you're surprised.)

We've also got different advent decorations:

SA401049
Advent candles. That's moss in the base with little mushroom decorations attached into it. You can have things other than mushrooms - Val's parents also have little birds - but that's what we've got!

(Yes, that is a glass statue of a raised fist of solidarity in the background. It's a candle holder. ...what are you looking at me like that for.)

SA401048

Advent star. A lot more people in the houses around us have the flatter-looking sort of star you can see in most of these pictures. Pretty sure this is a German tradition, but what about christmas as celebrated here isn't?

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Well, maybe this. Yule goat! There is a story to how goats are involved but I gather it is Definitely Not Pagan No Not At All Nothing To See Here.

That's all we've got up for decorations here. The tree and all that will go up at Val's parent's as we'll be there for christmas anyway and the cat would only do something terrible to a tree if we had one.


P.S. How many limbs does this cat have? And how on earth does it arrange them like this? And can that really be as comfortable as his face seems to indicate he thinks it is?

SA401040
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