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bubbles
12-23-2007, 10:35 AM
I'm from the UK and on the breakfast news this morning they were talking about the UK being a very multi-cultural country - full of many different nationalities (the latest addition being and influx of Polish people) and religions. They said that most British people associate Christmas with presents, a tree, decorations and roast turkey (Not me we are having duck :D ) but that people celebrate Christmas in many different ways. For example the Polish celebrate Christmas Eve and have Ravioli as one of their courses. It occurred to me how ignorant I was in such matters. :o

Which country do you come from?
How do you celbrate Christmas?
What sort of food do you eat?

Please broaden my limited knowledge. Thank you. :)

lottie
12-23-2007, 12:34 PM
Over here in the caribbean, it's pretty much the same - turkey (imported in from the US), ham (imported from the US) and all the trimmings (no brussel sprouts - but there are some in the shops - imported from the US and they are really expensive!!!) .
Fake christmas trees and decorations (imported from the US). There's not a big thing about presents. As it's very religious over here (Roman Catholic), most people go to church/midnight mass or whatever it is they do (I'm jewish).
This time of year is still family orientated. We did the family thing yesterday driving up and down the country seeing my aunts and uncles giving them home-grown vegetables (dasheen, yams, pineapples, guavas, chives, sweet potatoes, tannia, plantain, limes, lemons)

Also over here, on Christmas eve, they have what's called a J'ouvert on christmas eve. There are a few places around the island that have one, which is dancing and drinking all through the night until the sun rises at 5am.....I'm doing that this year with a few friends and looking forward to it.
So due to that, i haven't got anything planned for xmas day - i'll probably be sleeping for most of it. My parents are having a leg of lamb (imported from New Zealand!)

When I was younger (living in the UK), as my father's side of the family were CofE, we celebrated christmas with his family and as my mum and I are jewish, we celebrated Chanukah - one year for chanukah (it lasts for 8 days), we gave presents on each night just after we lighted the chanukiah...now that was gooood!! :)

HTH to broaden your knowledge ;)

Daddy-h2O
12-23-2007, 02:48 PM
My in-laws are all about the catholic midnight mass. I am not a very religous person ( side note - I know there is a God, I accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins) I am very dishearted by the commercialism of Christmas.

There is a radio station that has a show called "The Blue Moon Cafe' " they play versions of songs that are not played very often, and off the beaten path artist. Lots of Bonnie Rait, Van Morrison, John Prine, Tom Waites... But the weekend closet to Christmas they but a Christmas Show out. I am not a big carrol fan, but I look forward to this show.

Christmas eve night we have our big meal of either turkey or ham (this year it will be ham)

We typically open one present just before leaving for mass, this is how I proposed to my wife by the way. I gave her the ring just before leaving her parents house.

When we get home we send the kids to bed and finish the kids presents before we get to bed.

Christmas morning we open the rest of the presents. Now if you were paying attention ealier you would have noticed that I said Christmas Eve dinner, this is because my daughter's birthdy is also on Christmas Day. We allow her to pick a dinner choice on that day.

Now it has become my habit to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas as it relates to me. I few moments away from everything, (It has to do with me and my relationship with God) It is silent reflection rather than boistrous celebration.

Well right, wrong or indiffrent, that is how my fmily celebrate the Christmas season.

For what it is worth I enjoy learning how other enjoy thier holidays and other celebrations.

I had a friend in Pa. who was married by a Bali (sp) priest. It was held outside in a circle. At the end of the final passage eveyone faced east, bowed in silent prayer. All during the ceremony there were 3 hawks circling around, this was considered a good omen. It was unique to me, and I enjoyed the opportunity very much. It was many years ago, and I don't remember much more than that.


I rambled on sorry, please continue...

rubber chicken
12-24-2007, 09:30 AM
I havn't celebrated Christmas for years. I usually offer to work on Christmas day as this means that my colleagues can spend time with their families - plus triple time salary and a day off in lieu for me.;)
For several years, a group of friends and I would, instead, hold our midwinter celebrations on the winter solstice. We would travel to a particular hilltop in Southern England and have a predawn picnic with mulled wine and mead before setting off some large fireworks as the sun came up and exchanging gifts, we would then go into the nearest town for the largest cooked breakfast that we could find.
Now that i live in Australia. I go diving!:D

bubbles
12-24-2007, 09:32 AM
LOTTIE - the J'ouvert sounds like a lot of fun - the Jamaican's definitely know how to party - hope you have lots of fun. :) Shame that its all artificial trees etc. Don't think you are missing out where brussel sprouts are concerned! I hate them ever since I watched the 'Vicar of Dibbly' epposode where she had a brussel sprout eating competition having eaten about 3 Christmas dinners made me feel sick - can't look at them now!!! What do the Jews believe about Christmas? What do the 8 Chanukah candels symbolise?

DADDY-H20 - I don't think you rambled on I found what you had to say very interesting. What a lovely way to propose and how nice that you should give your daughter the choice of meal Christmas Day. I know what our Kirsty would choose - pasta! She has got the choice this evening and she went for Carbonara (not cause it is her birthday - more because she is quite fussy and I was trying to ensure she actually ate with us rather than just grabbing a microwave meal!)

I do agree with you about the Christmas commercialism - it has got way out of hand and many children/adults do not know the true meaning of Christmas. As children, we used to be in a church choir, and we would go to the crib service, midnight mass and the Christmas morning service - we never minded and we loved singing the carols - I think then Christmas was a lot more magical. Now we never go to church, not even at Christmas - I seem to have lost my faith over the years but I am sure that that is why Christmas is not as magical! It strikes me it has just turned into some kind of present giving competition. :( You didn't say which country you were from!

Now I'm rabbling on - sorry - I wish you both a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2008. :)

COME ON THE REST OF YOU OUT THERE - HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?

lottie
12-24-2007, 01:10 PM
LOTTIE - the J'ouvert sounds like a lot of fun - the Jamaican's definitely know how to party - hope you have lots of fun. :) Shame that its all artificial trees etc. Don't think you are missing out where brussel sprouts are concerned! I hate them ever since I watched the 'Vicar of Dibbly' epposode where she had a brussel sprout eating competition having eaten about 3 Christmas dinners made me feel sick - can't look at them now!!! What do the Jews believe about Christmas? What do the 8 Chanukah candels symbolise?


The Jamaicans know how to party? - don't you mean the Lucians???!! lol :D

I absolutely hate brussel sprouts (well used to), but could do with having some now :S

Jews don't believe in christmas - as it's to do with jesus - and we don't believe in jesus, the virgin mary or the holy ghost.
Chanakuh is aka the Feast of Lights. The chanukiah marks the time when a single cruse of oil, normally sufficient for only one days lighting of the temple menora, miraculously lasted for eight days.
More info can be found here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanukah

Daddy-h2O
12-24-2007, 06:25 PM
You didn't say which country you were from! Sorry, I live near Syracuse NY, United States of America.

I forgot to add that as my duaghter's birthday is Christmas, and she does Alter service, was part of the children play on the nativity until she became to big, and is well know to the congragation, the Preist has them sing Happy Birthday to her. She is some what embarassed and overwhelmed at the same time.


I seem to have lost my faith over the years but I am sure that that is why Christmas is not as magical!

With me it is less about faith and more about humanity. As a group I think we lost sight of what I think the lesson of the season is about. (Keeping in mind that my opinion on this changes as I learn and meditate on it) The line that best represents Christmas for me is "...good will towards men" While not exactly what the season represents, it is how I see it. The rest of the year we are all clawing our way to achieve what ever goal we are striving for, and more often than not with no regard for the rest of the world. ( I am just as guilty.) There is this sense that someone can make up for all thier misdeeds on this one day. This is why I like the idea of reflection. I think I make myself a better person, just a little, by this approach.
Is it really that hard to treat everyone with a little respect year round?

Any way enough of me and my wanderings

Merry Christmas.

Lottie, what is the correct Chanukiah greeting?

lottie
12-25-2007, 01:18 AM
I also forgot to add that they also have something called black cake over here as well - it's basically a fruit cake that is stuffed full with raisins, currants, sultanas, cherries, prunes and dates that have been soaked in rum for months and is gorgeous.
For drinks there is sorrel juice - which is a case of taking the red leaves off a sorrel bush and soaking them in water for a good few hours (or if not longer) to get all the flavour and it's absolutely gorgeous - non-alcoholic as well..but saying that the local brewery do do a sorrel flavoured shandy which is nice as well.

For those of you that buy poinsettia trees/bushes from the shops around this time - they grow wild over here..my parents have one in their garden!!!

Daddy h2o - the correct chanukah greeting - "Happy Hanukah". But hanukah finished on the 12th :)

acelockco
12-25-2007, 04:49 AM
That Black Cake sounds really tasty. I will have to make a point of trying that out when I am in the area.

What we do for Christmas (My wife's family celebrates Christmas).

My wife always has a tree that she decorates with lights, glass balls, beads, and other orniments. I never had that growing up, so it is a new experience for me. I really enjoy everything about it. The money to buy the tree goes to help the local fire department. I get to spend time with my wife decorating it. The smell in the house from the tree is really sweet, and the lights are really festive. It brings out that fun holiday spirit.

So besides that, we go to her parents house on Christmas morning for some late breakfast. After everyone gets there and is finished eating (this takes a while as they are a very extended family!!!), we go and open gifts. The kids play for a while and then we go home. Not too exciting, but it is just the way I like it, short and sweet.

Daddy-h2O
12-25-2007, 09:33 PM
Thanks Lottie. I hope your celebration was enjoyable. (now over Happy "belated" Hanukah)

What are your plans for New Years?

lottie
12-25-2007, 11:52 PM
Thanks Lottie. I hope your celebration was enjoyable. (now over Happy "belated" Hanukah)

What are your plans for New Years?

I'm still recovering - mainly due to lack of sleep than being alcohol induced
As for New Year - I'm still trying to find out whats going on for NYE as i've got some friends coming over next saturday from the UK. Xmas is more of a bigger thing over here than new year so from what i've been told, there's no J'ouvert

So - sorry about this bubbles, but it is sorta related (now) What's everyone else doing for New Year?????

Daddy-h2O
12-26-2007, 01:41 AM
I will be working for a guy that rigs those big ballon drops this year. In past years the dive club does a new years evev/day night dive. In at 11:45 pm out after midnight In in Dec. out in Jan. BNut after seven years of this it isn't happening this year so I am going to work. Besides I need the money for a motorcycle.

bubbles
12-26-2007, 08:54 AM
BIG THANKS to all of you who joined in this thread - don't mind in the slightest if it turns into a 'what do you do for new year' thread now! Sure I could do with some education in that department too! :D

To answer some of your posts:

LOTTIE: Sorry - have Jamaicans on my mind having spent our holiday this year with them! :o I meant to say West Indians in general - we have had some great parties in Antigua and Barbados as well. Sure the St Lucians are equally as much fun! Thanks for the website address will check that out. The Black Cake sounds gorgeous - I am a great fan of rum hic!

DADDY-H20: Was very interested to read your comments re humanity and do agree with you.

RUBBER CHICKEN: shame you had to work. What do you do, anything interesting?

ACELOCKCO: what a good idea to have the profit from buying a Christmas tree go to something worthwhile like donations to the fire department. Are there lots of such schemes in your country?

Well thank you all of you once again - this has been a very interesting post and I have enjoyed hearing all about the way you celebrate Christmas. :) Have a great New Year - however you celebrate that -maybe you will let us all know! In the UK new year is not as big as Christmas but people do let off a lot of fireworks - the number has increased greatly since 2000 - I think that is what started the popularity. I have my elerly parents staying so we won't be doing much - we plan to play some family games. (My husband bought us the game: Pirates of the Caribbean as one of our Christmas presents.)

Best wishes for 2008 - may it bring health, peace and happiness - oh and lots of diving! :D