Cee surprises us with a special holiday edition for this weeks Share Your World Challenge. So her questions have to do with your favorite holiday you celebrate during the year, may it be Christmas, birthday, New Year, Hanukkah, Diwali. Since our international blogs are great for teaching us traditions from around the world, this will be about different cultures different traditions. What a fantastic idea! So let’s do this! Let’s share our traditions…
What is your favorite holiday?
Very clearly Christmas. It’s just such a wonderful time. Although Christmas was always about being busy, it still feels like such a calm time. When growing up Christmas was basically the beginning of our high season. Everyone was working hard, getting ready for our guests to arrive. This also meant that everyone was sort of tense as you never knew if people would do their shopping in town or not. And of course the fact that there needed to be snow did it’s thing too.
This of course often sort of created stress. If there was no snow people got nervous. Would the guests arrive at all? Would the hotel rooms be filled, the shelves in the stores emptied? Would the town triple it’s population or would the locals stay among themselves? In the end it always worked out. Even if there was not much snow, people still came. They escaped the fog and the grey of the city. They needed their change of scenery and for some it was truly only about tradition.
I have to admit that I’m glad I’m far away from this now. I think that winter arrives so much later now back there and that does create a lot of stress for the ones depending on it.
It’s busy here too. But in a different way. It seems like everyone wants to quickly get everything sorted before the Holidays. Then it’s about getting out of here for many. I’m always surprised about how many people actually go away here. I find this time of the year the best time and it’s so nice over Christmas here. But I guess it’s also in a way about traditions. The tradition to spend summer somewhere else.
In any case, Christmas for me has something calming. Maybe it’s the lights, maybe it’s the being made aware of what we have and who we spend time with. Maybe the fact that we feel like we need to buy presents for the ones that are important to us makes us think about who really matters. I’m not sure. But it’s for sure a time spent with family and friends in a different way than usually.
What types of food is associated with your holiday?
Turkey and also ham. Then of course potatoes to go with and cookies. There is no Christmas without cookies… well… if we continue in this house there won’t be any left on Christmas (poor Santa will have to do it all without cookies) if I don’t make anymore…
Do you travel for your holiday?
I guess I kind of answered it before. We tend not to. We like it here and we like to spend Christmas at home.
Is it a religious or spiritual holiday?
I’m not really a religious person. So if at all it’s more of a spiritual holiday although I’m totally aware of it’s religious history and origin. I think it’s simply a tradition with a religious background in my case…
Is there a gift exchange?
Oh yes. Usually the kids make something for my husband and for myself. And we head out and find them the things they really wish for. Often we say that it’s not about the presents and I do believe it should not be the main thing. It should be about being together, spending time together, telling stories, making memories. It’s a tricky thing to say that gifts belong to it as well and at the same time saying that it’s not about the gifts. It’s also a slightly courageous thing to say that I believe the kids would be fine and also happy if there wouldn’t be any gifts under the tree for whatever reason. But I actually do believe they would. The gift giving is not so much about the material side to it, I think. It’s about the thought that goes into it. About the effort made. About wanting to give something and make someone happy…
…and by saying that I get myself in huge trouble as I’m the worst when it comes to finding a gift for my husband…
How long does the celebration last?
In a way our celebration lasts for the entire month of December. We put the tree up on the 1st and then the kids put one ornament up each until the tree is fully decorated on the 23rd. Then on the 24th we will put the star on the top of the tree. We will spend the 24th celebrating at Grandma’s and then on the 25th she will be over at ours. The 26th we spend with our friends. The tree usually stays for the last week of the year. So in that sense our celebration lasts for the entire month.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
The kindness I experienced and the love and support of the most important people in my life. It’s what last week was all about. I’m looking forward to Christmas and spending some quality time with my family before a very busy January.