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17 December 2012

What are your winter traditions? [More:] I'm always curious about personal interpretations of larger cultural traditions. What do you do to celebrate winter, holiday or otherwise?

For example: my niece and I come from Christmas-celebration families, but every year before Christmas, we have an annual Day! Of! Nothing! We get together, walk through the decorated streets of the bustling downtown district, and do whatever we like. It started as a way for he to do some Christmas shopping for her parents, but now it's just a day to unwind and connect and drink peppermint hot chocolate.

Do you have family traditions or personal traditions or romantic traditions or childhood traditions for the wintertime?
I allow my beard line to extend two inches further down my neck.
posted by Ardiril 17 December | 13:16
I go to more movies and let my leg hair grow out.
posted by rmless2 17 December | 13:24
So, everyone gets hairier? Sounds good to me.
posted by Elsa 17 December | 13:34
Our one tradition, and we know of only one other house that does this, is have candles on the tree, which are lit on Solstice and Christmas Eve, as part of a little ceremony.

Our daughter, since she moved out, refers to this as "our annual attempt to again burn the house down."
posted by danf 17 December | 14:35
Ha danf, my parents still have candles in the tree instead of lights. Just like when I grew up.
It makes the lit up tree something to sit around and enjoy.
It does take some extra attention though.
posted by jouke 17 December | 14:49
If I'm in California, I'll see a movie with my friend Troy and have brunch with the friends from post-college who still live there.

Here, I try to get to the cafe near the ice rink at Bryant Park so that I can have hot chocolate with alcohol and watch the skaters. And now, my fiance (squee!) and I attempt to see a musical or play on New Year's Day.

But for some reason, once the holidays and New Year's Day is over I also think winter is over, and the time period of January and February is "pre-spring" for me. Maybe it's because for so very long, I never had much of a winter, living in Southern California.
posted by TrishaLynn 17 December | 15:09
I wear the same boring outfit every day until spring. Then when spring comes I go CRAZY and buy all new clothes because I'm sick of everything I own.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 17 December | 15:11
I wear the same boring outfit every day until spring. Then when spring comes I go CRAZY and buy all new clothes because I'm sick of everything I own.

Ha, I do kinda the opposite: I'm much more likely to buy nice things for cold weather. Last spring and the spring before, I bought boots and hats and gloves at ridiculous sale prices, squirreled them away, and pulled them out when winter came. I also cleaned and sorted my jillions of scarves and hung them up together. So now I have lots of different wonderful winter clothes.

And when warmer weather comes, I'm so happy to see my spring clothing that it feels like a whole new wardrobe!

*I am wearing new leggings RIGHT NOW: plum-colored ribbed velveteen. I'm not reeeeally sure how a grown-up broad wears leggings, but I bought 'em and boy howdy are they cozy.
posted by Elsa 17 December | 16:05
Although this will be our 14th (!) xmas together, we haven't really settled on any traditions. There's been a lot of ill health both physical and mental the last few years and it's hard to come up with any enthusiasm for anything when you feel like shit. This year we're both feeling really good and are enthusiastic for the holidays. The tree is up and lit although bare of ornaments (we'll get to that sometime this week). The outside lights are up. We'll be visiting Mum sometime after xmas and before NYD.

We're doing something a bit different gift-wise. We're each buying our own gifts and wrapping them. On xmas morning we'll open each others purchases (I'll open what the mister bought for himself and he'll open what I bought for myself). The mister and an ex did this once and he really enjoyed it. It has been fun buying my own stuff. It's one way to know for sure you'll get what you want!
posted by deborah 17 December | 16:38
i used to go drive around and look at christmas lights with my grandpa. but he died in 1998 and i haven't done it since.

i should probably do that.

i also used to like to just walk around at night in the snow. but considering it doesn't snow in pennsylvania anymore, i guess i'll just walk around in this perpetual fog we've been having.
posted by sio42 17 December | 17:46
I used to have a favourite winter tradition of going to the National Cat Club Show at Olympia (which was usually the first or second Saturday in December). Lots of lovely cats to see, lots of stands selling all sorts of cat stuff (I bought my tree angel at the show years ago) and usually a fair number of freebies, little sachets of cat treats or toys.

I'd always go with a friend, and after the show we'd catch the bus outside Olympia, along Knightsbridge, past Harrods all lit up, and on to Marble Arch & Selfridges (which is renowned for its Christmas window displays).

We'd walk through Mayfair and down through Piccadilly, St James's St and Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square to see the Christmas tree, which is a gift every year from the people of Norway, thanking Britain for its help in WW2. I remember one year a choir was there singing carols. It was lovely.

After dinner in town we'd head home, tired and happy, having had a day of cats and Christmas.

But the cat show's moved now to a horrible exhibition centre in Bracknell, so no more Christmas cat show for me :-(
posted by Senyar 17 December | 18:05
Well, I used to fill a bong with the first snow fall and, uh. :) I suppose that was last in 198X or 199X; thanks for the smiles Mecha.

Happy Holidays.
posted by buzzman 17 December | 23:36
I gain weight.
posted by Splunge 18 December | 13:50
There are some cool traditions here. When I think of the whole winter topic, we have a lot of them ourselves, including:

Switch over warmer wintry clothes to the drawers and closet, and move all the boot style shoes up, the sandals down. Love seeing my winter clothes and shoes again.

Get out the blankets and flannel sheets. Ahhhh.

The treadmill, my pile of fitness DVDs, and the stationery bike and I spend more time together. My beautiful Trek bike sulks in a corner.

I get craft-y again. This year it is knitting.

We watch Its a Wonderful Life and The Grinch that Stole Christmas (original cartoon) and Scrooge, and Charlie Brown Xmas etc.

We go out on Xmas Eve in The White Couch (our big old car) and I wear my fake mink jacket and red scarf and sip a peppermint schnapps spiked thermos of hot cocoa and we look at lights and give stuff to food banks.

On Xmas morning my husband makes me Eggs Benedict. His are the best in the world. Though these days I get them with crab or spinach, not ham.

There's the whole buy the tree, decorate the tree, decorate the house, light the Hanukah menorah, put away the Hanukah menorah, take down the tree, and burn last year's "Yule Log" from last year's tree thing.

There is a lot of curling up with books and evening fires in the fireplace and watching old movies and snuggling.

It's all pretty cool.
posted by bearwife 18 December | 14:06
Why are you asking this in the middle of summer?
posted by dg 19 December | 03:58
So you'll have plenty of time to prepare for my winter visit, natch.
posted by Elsa 19 December | 09:58
Seasonal Holiday Fashion! || The documentary about the founding of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School I'm in!