More Christmas Traditions

I broke tradition (if you can call 18 weeks’ worth of something a tradition) by not posting last Tuesday.  A particularly stressful work week got the best of me, but I’m happy to say it’s all over now. I’m off until January 2 and I can’t wait to dive fully in the manuscript and finish my revision.

When last we met, I blogged a few 100ish-word pieces about Christmas traditions from the points of view of my characters. I’ll pick that up again today with a few more.  Whatever your holiday traditions are, I hope you and yours enjoy a blessed season full of joy and love!

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When you say Christmas, my mind goes to soup kitchens.  My parents dragged me to volunteer at one every Christmas Eve.  They were the ones volunteering. I was the one griping about volunteering.  My mother said you’d never know when you might need the generosity of others, so you should help people when you can. It used to amaze me how joyful some of the people there were. Even at their worst, they were grateful.  The Christmas after my parents were killed I found myself on the other side of the ladel with my mother’s voice echoing in my head.  Then I was grateful.

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I have two words for you- Rankin and Bass.  Most people these days don’t know who they are.  They made a bunch of Christmas vids for kids over 150 years ago-classics, if you will.  Each Christmas we make a large bowl of popcorn and snuggle into the couch and have a Christmas vid retro-fest.    My brother with his blonde hair and I with my red, like to reenact Heat Miser and Snow Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus.  It never fails to make my parents laugh. That’s what’s supposed to happen at Christmastime I think.

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My family celebrates Hanukkah.  Long ago Jews were forced to participate in pagan culture. Soon they began to assimilate and practice impure acts. They even allowed a pagan god, Zeus, into their temple.  A group of Jews called the Maccabees, finally said ‘Enough is enough! This is not the way God intends us to live!’ So they reclaimed the temple, pushed out the pagan impurities that were hurting the Jewish culture. They cleansed the Temple and rededicated it to God.  That’s what the word Hanukkah means-rededication.  I find it interesting how closely that matches our society today. It’s time to cleanse our people and rededicate this nation.

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I always got twelve days of Christmas. Not the literal twelve days, mind you-what’s a kid going to do with three french hens? (Although I did have one Christmas celebration in my mid-twenties when I bought myself nine ladies dancing in Santa suits. THAT was memorable.)  I’m talking about getting gifts from December 14 through December 25. They got more extravagant with each day until Christmas.  My fifth Christmas I spent in Walt Disney’s apartment at Disneyland. My seventh, I got an actual-sized remote control airplane. At ten, it was an island.  My dad’s estate was willed to me when I was sixteen. Since then, it’s Christmas year-round for me.

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