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Last week's edition explored holiday decorating. Tonight, my focus is on the traditions that make the holidays, well... traditional.  Follow me below the dingledoodle curliquecloud dKosagnocchi dividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...

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No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, it's likely you've got either a family tradition you either crave and follow, or detest and strive to get far away from.

Me, I grew up a religious and cultural Christian, so our family celebrated Christmas. Every year was the same: go over to the Woodstock Village Green at 5pm in the traditional (over 70 years and counting!) singing of carols and waiting for Santa to arrive, via a different method every year. There were reindeer and camels and I think I remember an elephant; and parachuting and via giant candy cane tubes and... the list goes on. After he was safely on the ground, he handed out stockings to all the little kids, and then we'd head back home for a quick supper of either stew, or meatball subs. Quick, easy stuff. We'd all disappear into rooms to finish wrapping presents, although it wasn't until I joined the Adult Conspiracy when my sister was little that I discovered Santa stayed up waythehell late assembling stuff and getting it under the tree! I know we went to church on Christmas Eve, I can't remember if it was before or after going to see Santa. I remember occasionally going to Midnite Mass, but more than that I remember watching the broadcast of services at the Vatican.

Christmas Day we awoke early to open presents. I mean early, too. While I apparently was happy to let Mom and Dad sleep in a bit, sometimes until after 6am even, my sister had us up before it was light. I apologize mentally to my parents every year now that I hear the scamper of feet way too early :). We'd then either host dinner at our home, or go to my Aunt's.

Fast forward a few years, and Casa Brillig developed its own traditions. While my Mom was alive, we went to visit her every other Christmas and yes, went to see Santa arrive. On the years we were with Mr. Brillig's parents, we followed their tradition of a cheese fondue for dinner, and decorating sugar cookies while a fire crackled in the fireplace. Christmas Day was a laid-back affair, a relaxed day cooking, opening presents and doing jigsaw puzzles.

All that changed after my Mom passed away in 2001. I couldn't bear the thought of being anywhere besides home, since I no longer had MY childhood to return to. So ever since Christmas 2002, we've spent Christmas morning at Casa Brillig, traveling to wherever we were expected for dinner after opening presents here. For the last five years or so, Christmas Eve has been spent with our closest friends. We all attend Christmas Eve services at our UU church, then come home to melt cheese for fondue, exchange gifts, and spend a few minutes together before heading home to finish wrapping, tuck children in, and get ready for the next day.

The irony of deciding to write a diary about traditions is that, this year, we're throwing all of that to the winds! Mr. Brillig's youngest sister and her husband are hosting Christmas in their Maine house, and due to the travel distance as well as our friends needing to be elsewhere this year, we're going up on Christmas Eve. I'm finally ready to once again be elsewhere without the absence of my Mom being overwhelming emotionally. We will miss Christmas Eve services, and will make time over the winter break to have dinner with our friends, but it feels good to be breaking new ground. The kids have never (or don't remember) being anywhere but here on Christmas morning, so we are figuring out how Santa will "know" to deliver presents so K2 doesn't worry :)

So, what is Holiday Tradition for you? Please share in the comments!

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From A Siegel:
cskendrick "would like to say" something that all of us would be glad to echo.

brillig's note: Looks like this was supposed to be in last night's diary, but got submitted today.  

From Steveningen:
In Scott Wooledge's diary GOP Sunday Villagers jump ship on marriage equality opposition, gratuitous gave us this fine rant about the bigot's rank hypocrisy.
From Yours Truly, brillig:
Tragic news from Portland, OR tonight, via LynnS. If it were up to me, mndan wouldn't have to post this every time :(.

Meteor Blades brings us news on voter suppression efforts the old-style media won't. Bindle has their typical reply

Top Mojo for yesterday, December 10th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) Thank you DeadHead by leavingthezoo — 147
  2) Thank Goodness you're all right by DeadHead — 103
  3) You did the right thing: by Youffraita — 100
  4) Like your title. by hannah — 97
  5) Rush's bloated contract & shrinking audience by FishOutofWater — 89
  6) Please don't apologize by DeadHead — 85
  7) I have a running joke that everybody loves us! by Floyd Blue — 84
  8) Since Boehner's not empowered to offer any by lgmcp — 78
  9) The lack of discipline it takes to fire that by Horace Boothroyd III — 78
10) better than a gun?  dogs - large ones! by edrie — 77
11) he actually did the only thing by entlord — 74
12) Curiously though by twigg — 74
13) Thank you for these, Scott by Dave in Northridge — 73
14) i hope she sues for the loss of her pet, too by Cedwyn — 72
15) Oh sweet Jesus. by Chrislove — 70
16) Of course it's about the money... by NonnyO — 69
17) Glad you and the others are getting help. by TomP — 68
18) I can't even begin to answer your questions.... by Floyd Blue — 68
19) That more bullets by Zygoat — 68
20) I especially love the by Scottie Thomaston — 63
21) hits close to home, it is funny how people by chaunceydevega — 62
22) So glad to hear your upbeat assessment of such by Lorikeet — 58
23) Nothing is better than Simpson-Bowles by FishOutofWater — 55
24) Let's hope like hell they break down. As Howard by hester — 55
25) "free market" definitely does not apply by wilderness voice — 55
26) you should have been scared by entlord — 51
27) I have had several interactions by Nica24 — 51
28) if there's nothing keeping them there get them out by nuclear winter solstice — 51
29) I haven't seen it.  it's interesting, though, that by mallyroyal — 51
30) She's doing the best thing with the TNR program. by nuclear winter solstice — 50
31) I took my manicurist and her husband-- both of by concernedamerican — 50
32) Greetings, friends! by ursoklevar — 50
33) Bring back the music. by detroitmechworks — 50

Top Pictures for yesterday, December 10th.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!
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