The Holidays - what are you up to?

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Holidays mean so many different things to each of us, I'm sure.

What holidays do you celebrate during the months of December and January?

For my family, it's Christmas and New Year's, though Christmas is the bigger headliner. Over the years, as the older generation of my parents and in-laws, and almost all my aunts and uncles have passed on...and cousins have dispersed, it's not the big family event that it once was, however we usually invite friends and a neighbor or two to share in our Christmas Day meal. This year, will be quite different for us - as our offspring is heading off to spend the holidays in Japan! So we've opted to forgo our traditions as well and will head down the road share a meal in the Austrian tradition - carp and stollen!:drinks:

What are you all up to and/or do you just head to the movies? There's something very nice sounding about that...no crowds and there are some good ones coming out here in the New York area.
 

texascbx

Veteran
Jul 10, 2010
103
Canton Texas
Ricky
Sounds like you will have a great holiday. Saturday is my birthday and not planning anything special for Christmas.

I sold my old Panny G1 and lenses and ordered a Tamron 200-500 for the A77 so that's my big Christmas/birthday toy. New Years we are going to slaughter and smoke the last remaining turkey and my wife is also cooking a ham. We may go see Buddy Guy up at the casino in Oklahoma New Years day too.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
123
We do Christmas (more about family than anything else) and New Years. Christmas involves family, but that seems to be dwindling for us too (except babies keep showing up!) and it ebbs and flows from year to year. This year we plan to be low key with a few local day trips planned with the kids. For New Years, we always cook a grand feast and stay home.

BTW there is some tension among my wife's siblings between the desire to stay home and cozy on Christmas day and the expectation to travel across bridges for an extended family meal - you know, people you see at Christmas and Easter and maybe weddings and funerals (Lyle Lovett had a song about that). I often long for a quiet Christmas day, but feel a sense of obligation to do the family thing. If it was friends and not family it might be different, not so much of an "obligation". How do others feel about that?
 

Hyubie

Top Veteran
Jun 8, 2011
103
Massachusetts
Before East Timor came about, we folks from the Philippines "bragged" that we are the only Catholic nation in Asia. :) So, naturally, the biggest holidays are Christmas and Good Friday. However, as far as celebrations are concerned, Christmas rules. It's not unusual to see a good number of houses, buildings, or even whole streets aglow with Christmas lights or even hear Christmas songs as soon as September comes.

However, ever since me, my wife and our kids moved to the US, we have had relatively small Christmas dinners - sometimes with friends, sometimes with just a few other family members. I think I can safely say that all of us Filipinos outside the Philippines dearly miss the way we celebrated back home. We try, but home is home.

Personally though, this Christmas is a bit different. I am spending Christmas with my mom and dad in tropical Manila (as my friend put it, I am sweating like a sinner in Church!!), while my wife and kids stayed in frigid Boston. As soon as Christmas is done, I'll be flying back just in time to celebrate my birthday and the New Year.
 

jhawker

Regular
Aug 30, 2011
68
Springfield, Illinois
What are you up to?

BBW,
It's so nice of you to pose the question.
Your life's habits and custom is changing, that 's good.
We're going to be around home for Christmas and New Year's.
It's nice to have the week off between the two.
It always goes so fast. Our three year old is up for events.
Of course there will be photographs of all kinds.
JH
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Andrew, I think it is different - usually - with friends as opposed to family, when it comes to feelings of obligation...but not always. All families are different. Some of us do seem to have very close knit families, while others of us probably have a friend or two that they're closer to.

For those of you who have little children, like you JH, I know there will be visions of sugar plums dancing...if it's a Christmas celebration at your homes. Children grow up before you know it - so enjoy! Now I sound like a grandparent!?! Haven't quite reached that stage yet - but I do miss that little child stage, at this time of year.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
A bit of Chanukah, most nights with just my wife, but my younger daughter, who lives nearby, will stop over for a couple of nights of candles. And for Friday through Monday, my other daughter will be here from Seattle, as will my mother-in-law from upstate NY, and my niece from Baltimore will show up for Friday night Chanukah candles and a visit. Nice to be at a station in live that people start coming to you, instead of us having to travel every year... I'm already enjoying it - first night of candles last night, and it'll get really nice when everyone is here...

-Ray
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Taking the two Mondays after Christmas and New Year's off. Otherwise, I'll be staying put and working.

For Christmas eve day, going to church w/ my GF and her family, having dinner w/ them, and opening gifts. Then on Christmas day, having brunch w/ my sister and her family.

@Hyubie - I went to a Filipino/Catholic church Christmas celebration last weekend. It was fun! Food was great too.

I loved the stick dance! Didn't have my camera with me, but used the iPhone to record some video of the dance.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I almost forgot that today, December 21st, is The Winter Solstice! I used to go down to The Cathedral of St. John The Divine for their Winter Solstice concert...with Paul Winter... Did it for several years, and it was always fantastic - and freezing in that big old place.

Here's a taste - it was an amazing experience in that cathedral in NYC: http://www.stjohndivine.org/

Winter Solstice Celebration at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, by Paul Winter - YouTube

[video=youtube;N64tBKDqM_o]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N64tBKDqM_o[/video]
 

Hyubie

Top Veteran
Jun 8, 2011
103
Massachusetts
@Hyubie - I went to a Filipino/Catholic church Christmas celebration last weekend. It was fun! Food was great too.

I loved the stick dance! Didn't have my camera with me, but used the iPhone to record some video of the dance.
If I'm guessing correctly, the stick dance you are referring to is called tinikling. Tried that once before, but couldn't keep up with the beat. My foot barely made it out of the dance alive. :)

To anyone who's curious, here's what a quick search in youtube yielded, one of many variations on the dance:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8SqZRQWC6AQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
... I often long for a quiet Christmas day, but feel a sense of obligation to do the family thing. If it was friends and not family it might be different, not so much of an "obligation". How do others feel about that?
Believe me, once you have those quiet Christmases because everyone is gone, you'll be wishing they could come back. I wish I had family obligations but I don't. Only child who never married and parents now gone for over 20 years. I learned well from my mother how to be a hermit. Most Christmases I spend alone, and miss my Mum and Dad even though its been so long.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Sue, I hear you, though I have siblings. I think that the holiday season can be a tough one for many...and that's why it's great if one can get together with friends or find a group that is doing something one cares about.

I find music is a very important aspect to this season...and, of course, it does bring back memories. My parents have been gone for a long time, and I miss them both, too. I don't think we ever stop missing those we love.
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Sue, I hear you, though I have siblings. I think that the holiday season can be a tough one for many...and that's why it's great if one can get together with friends or find a group that is doing something one cares about.

I find music is a very important aspect to this season...and, of course, it does bring back memories. My parents have been gone for a long time, and I miss them both, too. I don't think we ever stop missing those we love.
I hear you too, BB... it can be tough, even if you do have a family.

I like to spend some time with friends at this time of year, and usually do lunches and dinners out with a great deal of enthusiasm, but on the day, I prefer to do nothing. Somehow, joining others with their families, makes the absence of loved ones more acutely felt. I don't go without the good stuff though, ham, pudding, mince pies all yum.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
If I'm guessing correctly, the stick dance you are referring to is called tinikling. Tried that once before, but couldn't keep up with the beat. My foot barely made it out of the dance alive. :)

To anyone who's curious, here's what a quick search in youtube yielded, one of many variations on the dance:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8SqZRQWC6AQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Yep, that's it! Not quite as elaborate, but nonetheless challenging! The dancers were breaking a sweat. Glad they didn't break their ankle or feet!
 
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Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
123
Huntsville, AL
Jason
My girlfriend and I most years go down to Florida and visit my Parents and Sister. Last year we were unable to visit, so we were home by ourselves. Luckily, we had snow on Christmas day which was a nice distraction. This year, we won't be going to Florida, so we will be home here in Huntsville. Christmas eve we will be going over to a friends house for after dinner partying. Chirstmas Day evening some friends of ours have kindly invited us for Christmas dinner.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, even if it is alone or without family.
 
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