Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26: Almost Advent

Advent begins tomorrow! Look for the light!

I've just posed this question to Tracy over at Beyond My Picket Fence, but I'll bring it up here as well. I know a number of you who read this blog live outside of the U.S., but you have gamely put up with a multitude of Thanksgiving postings from your U.S. blogger friends these past few days. So now it's your turn: What holiday do you celebrate that's particular to your home country that you think we here in America would love every bit as you do?

I know that when my friend Kathryn, originally of Belfast, Northern Ireland, lived next door, we had a bang-up time celebrating Boxing Day with her family (mostly because the celebration included bangers!). Should Americans adopt a rigorous Boxing Day observance?

So as not to leave my American friends out, if there's a foreign holiday you think we should adopt, speak up now. Or maybe your family has its own particular holiday that we all can observe? My family celebrates Travis the dog's birthday on February 2nd of every year, and though mostly it consists of getting Travis special dog food, it's lots of fun. So you might consider celebrating Travis's birthday, too.

I've been thinking about feasts as we approach the Advent season. One of the things I want to do in the days leading up to Christmas is to eat simply in order to truly enjoy the Christmas feast when the time comes. I won't fast--fasting is more of Lenten project--but I do plan on eating lightly as a kind of discipline. A preparation of sorts. I fear that because of my love of food and my tendency to eat in response to any sort of emotional trigger, every day is a feast day for me. So I want to be intentional about my eating as we move toward Christmas. I don't want to start the party too early, before the guest of honor arrives.

I will keep you posted on my progress. More anon!


Gumbo Lily said...

One of the holidays our family celebrates is Saint Nicholas Day on Dec. 6th. If I'm on the ball, I order chocolate letters -- initials of my family members -- and give them on St. Nick's. If I'm not on the ball, I just buy some big Hershey Bars or Toblerone. When the kids were younger, we'd read stories about St. Nick and his kindnesses to others and sometimes we would have a tea party with nice goodies in his honor. A kick-off to Christmas and giving the kids the message about who the REAL Santa was. Lots of good info on St. Nick at the link below.

Blessed Advent.

Betty said...

What a lovely question to pose - It's not an official UK holiday of course, but we like to observe Midsummer Night, it was my mothers birthday, she was pagan so it was important to her - these days we usually acknowledge the day as the longest and eat good food, maybe a bbq and get out for a walk in the woods really late so we can feel close to nature.

Angela said...

Easter and Christmas are my two specials.

I have just read your thoughts on pre-Christmas eating, and I am very challenged by them. Do you have Mince Pies over the pond? In the next 4 weeks, they will be served at almost every event in the village "because it's Christmas" I ate my first yesterday - but now am considering refusing all others till The Day.

BTW do check out Ann's St Nick blog for more info on this saint.

Advent blessings x

Heather said...

We'll also be celebrating Saint Nicholas Day this year. It is new to my children and I courtesy of my Belgian boyfriend. He picked out the little chocolates and cookies. Fun!

Pom Pom said...

I like the idea of bonfire nights. High days and holy days.
We seem to have birthday celebrations one right after the other and at school we eat a hot lunch together (teachers) on birthdays. I'm in charge of the next one so I'm sure I'll be all a twitter.
I think I like small celebrations, sparkling cider in wine glasses, silly toasts complete with cheers.
Even sticking a fun candle in my bologna sandwich sounds festive, more so if I do it all alone, to celebrate life. Hmmmmmmm.

Tracy said...

Very good question Frances. I'm going to ponder and get back to you. Our public holidays all seem so incredibly Aussie-specific on first glance.

magsmcc said...

February 2nd will be fabulous! I'll read with interest. A list of participating blogs on the sidebar, please? The Northern Irish Big Day Out that springs to mind immediately is the twelfth of July- but really, Frances, it would be uncivilised to discuss it here! Couldn't even think of mentioning our pre-12th Bonfire Night to the saintly Pom. Let's just say we have never been in the country with suns on that date, exept when Mattman was three months old and we spent the week in a remote cottage as close to the border as you could possibly get! Don't you do Boxing Day? All the same food, but with a different set of relatives, less presents, and more TV? Means you are gasping for fresh air by the 27th! Like Betty PC and I celebrate Midsummer- but only after suns' bedtime when we go out back and drink wine and burn wood. It being still the frozen North! I'm very intrigued by the Advent Asceticism. My Advent reader today talks about preparing our minds for the coming Jesus. I like the physicality of your journey towards Bethlehem. I like that this month's journey has led you into another one!

The dB family said...

We celebrate Sinterklaas (It's the Dutch version of Gumbo Lily's holiday). Funny thing is as a child it was never celebrated in my home even though my parents are Dutch immigrants(as well as hubby's and it wasn't celebrated in his home either). As my kids got older I wanted to them to learn a bit more about their grandparents' heritage so we started celebrating Sinterklaas.

I love the idea of eating light and with discipline. I hope I can remember that for next year.