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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Christmas traditions

Well as a Potter fan you probably have realized that Christmas plays a big part of the story ... it always seems like some great revelation happens over Christmas break (mirror/cloak, polyjuice, map, ball/egg, neville's parents/harry's visions, Harry stands up to the ministry, Godric's Hollow)

I have also gotten drawn into reading the online available pages from bn.com for Jean Shepherd's book "In God We Trust; all others pay cash" - if you have a bn.com acct you can read quite a few pages.

so what is all this about then? Well in jean shepherd's book he mentions that they celebrate/open gifts on christmas eve and he didn't know why -- I think I do. (okay its not a Potter related answer, or even topic).

We also celebrated on Christmas eve but still had big Christmas dinner the next day -- he mentions that he is from a small steel town in Indiana near the Illinios border, he mentions Pulaski's candy store -- celebrating Mother's Night/Christmas Eve is a very Polish Tradition.

While I haven't ran into any indication of it, I assume that his mother must have been of Polish decent or grew up with a strong Polish influence ... since family traditions seem more likely to come with the wife than the husband.

Part of Mother's Night though is the feast - usually consisting of 9 to 11 courses ... one of which is usually fish (herring in our house) ... since I am allergic to fish, mom decided to get around this little problem by laying a smorgosbord or buffet out for us to take what we wanted. Anything not eaten on Christmas Eve (like there was much left after the 6 boys got done) was put out as 'appetizers' for Christmas dinner to keep hungry hands out of the kitchen and away from mom's turkey gizzards ... we always tried our best to remain on our best behavior so Mom would ask us to share in her private gizzard feast in the kitchen.

I remember asking my mother once why we didn't open our gifts on Christmas like all the other kids ... I was a weird kid ... one year I even vowed that I was going to open just one gift on Christmas Eve and save the rest for Christmas morning.

Mom refused to be out-stubborned by an 8 yr old, decided I was going to get only one gift that year. A toy chest. That was it -- of course it came stuffed to the gills with Barbie & Dawn doll stuff. If you don't remember the Dawn Dolls (as I called them, don't know if they were called something else) they were about 5 inches tall and unlike Barbie, the main doll had dark hair like me ... the guys had rooted hair instead of the plastic formed hair of Ken ... and she had a really neat Winnibego with a roof that folded out and doubled as the awning for the camping loving dolls.

She even stuffed in there the Barbie Airplane -- okay it wasn't the whole plane, just a single seat of the cockpit for Ken and a couple of seats for Barbie's friends...it had a make believe galley for preparing food (hey, so do the modern airplanes!) and a place for Barbie to change from her stewardess' outfit to a snazzy, jazzy number for her date with pilot Ken -- although my Barbies always seem to prefer my brother's GI Joe's over Ken ... especially the Astronaut ones .... imagine that.

ding-dong ... off topic again ...

So while I did get to open only ONE present .... it was a present that out did anything my friends got that year!!!

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