Festive Tasks, Door 23
Task 1: How do you get through the festive season? Do you throw yourself in whole hog, are you happy to go with the flow, or do you hunker down and wait for it all to be over? Are you a traditionalist, or do you hop out of the mainstream and find your own groove?
In recent years, I’ve been so busy right up until the end of the year that I haven’t even had much time to even think about the holidays a long time before Christmas. There’s the Christmas market if I go into town and plenty of holiday-related merchandise in stores all over the place, of course, but somehow that’s becoming other people’s Christmas more and more; it only has relevance to me on the few occasions that I deliberately brave the crowds to find gifts for the few people with whom I exchange them.
So what it comes down to for me, for most of the holiday season, is my set of candles and whatever other holiday decorations I can get myself to put up in the living room at some point in early December, a plate of Christmas cookies, gingerbread and chocolates (to be consumed bit by bit until Christmas is over), some sort of Christmas tea instead of or added to the assortment of teas I consume over the course of the day — and loads of Christmas books. Though, in the past five years, Festive Tasks has become a huge part of my holiday season, too (and not only because I’m co-hosting it) — it really is one of the things that most put me in a holiday spirit. So, thank you all for helping make that happen!
Task 2: Nostalgia isn’t always a bad thing – if you are struggling this year, remind yourself of your best holiday seasons from the past. What made them meaningful, and how can you incorporate that meaning into your holiday today?
The most important thing was always being with loved ones and appreciating them while they were still around — and that hasn’t changed, no matter how many years have gone by.
Task 3: Do you have any personal traditions that mean a lot to you as an individual, and not as a member of a family or community? What are those traditions and what makes them special for you? Share them here.
Other than going to church and having Christmas dinner with my mom, the two things I really would not want to do without are my nightly stroll around the neighborhood on Christmas Eve and my annual holiday movie binge, usually beginning with Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version) and The Blue Carbuncle on Christmas Eve, with the other movies following on Christmas Day.
Task 4: (Cheeky) which traditions have been forced upon you, that you would toss out the window into the snow and why? Let us support you in your desire to up-end the world!
Fortunately, nobody in my family ever came up with any traditions that I hated — and even if they had, I’d have gotten rid of those decades ago!