marshtide: (Default)
[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:

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.)


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?


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?


Date: 2010-12-15 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] valborg
Brussel sprout soup?! D:

Ah, the Yule Goat. When you think about it the traditional burning of the giant Yule Goat of Gävle isn't that strange. The original Yule Goat was sacrificed after all...

(Thank you for cutting the double chin out of that photo :| )

Date: 2010-12-15 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] valborg
I have nothing against brussel sprouts, but...
(Double fluff)

Date: 2010-12-15 08:51 am (UTC)
unnique: (kuroko approves!)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Julebukk, check. Adventstjerne, check. Adventslys med sopp og mose, check. Katt, che....wait. XD;

Date: 2010-12-15 11:25 am (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Pøh, han er fin, er han! Men jeg har to katter selv, det holder plenty. Levende lys + katt er ikke en lur kombinasjon. Jeg har ikke brukt stearinlys etter at jeg fikk kattene. >_>;

Date: 2010-12-15 02:06 pm (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Jeg tør ikke engang ha dem tent om jeg har kontroll på kattene, etter en skrekkens opplevelse da en katt i lav flyhøyde over bordet veltet et tent lys og fikk pelsen full av stearin... orz De er så forbanna lynsnare!

Tygger Ynk på ledninger? Det gjør Buster.... >_>;

Date: 2010-12-15 11:16 am (UTC)
pez: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pez
That can't be a goat! It's a llama!

Date: 2010-12-15 11:28 am (UTC)
pez: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pez

Date: 2010-12-15 11:21 am (UTC)
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)
From: [personal profile] chairman_wow
I did not know anyone in England did the advent candle thing! This makes it even more annoying that I couldn't find a nice one for the flat in time.

Ooh, Christmas meals are my favourite meals of the entire year, so I'm really curious about other people's food traditions. What kind of food are you going to have on the 24th? We always always have a mainly cold meal with bread, cheese, potato salad, smoked fish and that kind of thing, and then a goose on one of the days after.

Date: 2010-12-15 03:30 pm (UTC)
tinypinkmouse: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tinypinkmouse
It never even occured to me to wonder where the yule goat comes from... it's tradition, you don't question tradition. :D

But the thing that always made the goat thing so confusing to me is the fact that in Finnish Yule Goat = Joulupukki, however Joulupukki also means Father Christmas. Did someone get things mixed up at somepoint?

Date: 2010-12-15 04:48 pm (UTC)
tinypinkmouse: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tinypinkmouse
That kind of explains it. We replaced the goat with tomten, but kept the old name. It's just slightly weird these days when the word goat when used about a person doesn't really mean anything good... and that's what we call the guy who's supposed to bring gifts to children...

Date: 2010-12-15 04:58 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (Gingerbread)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
We have the very same straw goat.

My not very successfully bilingual children refuse to believe that Father Christmas is really a goat, whatever their Finnish father calls him. They are not that thrilled by the excitement of finding an almond in a bowl of rice pudding either. However, they accept that Joulupukki starts out in Finland, visits children there while they are awake on Christmas Eve and have to sing to him (terrifying thought) and it is night time by the time he gets to England. Makes perfect sense.

Date: 2010-12-16 01:41 am (UTC)
pulchritude: (13)
From: [personal profile] pulchritude
What was in the advent calendars you had in the UK if not chocolate? :O


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