The Online Community Of Christian Geek Central


    How Do You Christmas?

    Share

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 9th 2015, 10:33 am

    I'm curious what things people here like to do as they celebrate Christmas. Doesn't have to be specifically geeky, just whatever traditions you've held on to or new things you look forward to doing this year.

    For us, Christmas Eve involves Lasagna and seven-layer salad with Garlic bread and andes mints or mint fudge brownies for dessert.

    This year we'll be singing in the Christmas Eve service, which I haven't done in many years but it used to be a given each year growing up.

    Christmas morning I make cinnamon crumb-top strawberry muffins before we open presents. Then we usually spend a quiet day at home or got to my parent's house nearby, where every other year we do a hidden message hunt around the city that my dad plants clues and puzzle messages for all over town days in advance.

    Each year I also organize a caroling ministry at our church, assembling gift bags and then visiting some of those in our church who are suffering or experiencing some difficulty. We sing them a few carols, and give them a bag of baked goodies, and for some reason I can't explain, God seems to use it on a very powerful way. ALmost every year I come away with a new story of how someone became more engaged with the church because of our visit, or finally began the grieving process for their recent loss because of our visit, or who was praying and morning their inability to attend and worship in song in church moments before our surprise arrival. For such a "cheesy" thing, God continues to orchestrate things I never expect. As a result it's become a vital component to my Christmas experience each year.

    Leading up to Christmas we've started some advent traditions, including a daily calendar with a different activity each day. They are mostly for the boys and are often very short (sing Christmas carol, read picture book). Although it adds a bit to our schedule I like it because it spreads out and prolongs the experience while also giving opportunity to talk about the significance of the birth of Jesus slowly and casually, rather than trying to force a "teaching moment" on our boys or a "reflective moment" on ourselves on one or two days when Christmas comes around.

    I also make a point of not listening to any music but Christmas music from Black Friday to New Year's Eve. (Strange, I know) I'm a big fan of 181.fm (website) and their Christmas Classics channel. Sounds great while playing Fallout, too!

    Speaking of, I've also started a tradition of keeping a small candle in my office that I light each night while playing video games and sometimes during the day while working. Just a nice little atmospheric touch that inexplicably relaxes me an extra drop.

    So how about you guys? What does Christmas look like for you?


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    ComiKate

    Posts : 288
    Activity : 366
    Geek-Cred : 21
    Join date : 2012-07-01
    Location : Netherlands

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  ComiKate on December 9th 2015, 2:54 pm

    Sounds cosy but also very busy!

    Our family tradition was to gather at my parents' place, my parents & I, and to spend some days together just the three of us. With card or board games, hanging out (in our living room Very Happy ), watching christmas programmes and movies, and lots of gift giving on christmas day.

    Since my father passed away things changed a bit, of course. This will be our second christmas without him. The first christmas after his passing my mother came to my place (breaking the family tradition, which we both silently and intuitively agreed upon) and though we did give eachother a little gift it was nowhere near our gift giving family tradition. Also, silently and intuitively agreed upon. Too much memories I guess.

    This year I invited her over to my place again, I just couldnt bring myself to be at her place with christmas just yet (maybe next year). Some days after my invitation, to my joyful surprise, she suggested we re-install our family gift giving! Which to me is a very big deal! It's not about the gifts per se you see, it's just that it's a family thing for us, it's our own language of love, a special way in which we express how much we feel and care for eachother. For instance, since my dad passed away I've been giving my mother a gift, small or large, each and every time I'm meeting her. All year long, no exceptions. A way of saying, I love you, I feel you.

    So re-installing our christmas tradition I guess means we're moving forward, slowly but steadily, and are now creating our own christmas memories with just the two of us.

    Also, I'm surprising her with a live performance of The Nutcracker Sweet ballet in our local theater, on christmas day. santa

    mikel.withers

    Posts : 432
    Activity : 534
    Geek-Cred : 8
    Join date : 2014-10-27
    Location : Homer NY

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  mikel.withers on December 9th 2015, 3:13 pm

    Those both sound very nice in two very different ways.

    Me? Well, I'm a bit of a spoil-sport, I guess.
    Maybe I was dulled by too many childhood Christmases of getting an old used toy from the Salvation Army store, but gift giving and receiving fills me with a lot of apprehension. I want every gift I give to be ideal, so much so that I usually end up wandering around for days looking before giving up in stressed out frustration.
    I imagine that one day I'll be the doddering old grouch sitting in the armchair, "Really dad? You didn't get the kids anything?"
    "What? Of course I did, "digs out wallet..."Here you go, twenty bucks a piece, Merry Christmas."

    Anyway, Christmas is always melancholy for me, I feel like there should be more, something grander, but I've never come up with a way to make that reality.

    So... I rely HEAVILY on my wife to pull off the gift stuff (my son should be quite happy with his PS4-ST Battlefront edition) while I smile and nod and enjoy my packet of socks. (really I do, I seriously LOVE a new pair of socks...like hugs for your feet). After that... say half an hour after getting up, we have a breakfast...maybe I'll make pancakes and bacon... then we'll watch a family movie, and release the kids to their new toys. (Can you imagine getting the boy a PS4 then making him wait four hours before he gets to play with it? ...that is about all the cruelty I have in me)

    AdamCollings

    Posts : 184
    Activity : 211
    Geek-Cred : 1
    Join date : 2013-12-10
    Age : 38
    Location : Tasmania, Australia

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  AdamCollings on December 9th 2015, 7:57 pm

    Obviously Christmas is a little different down here.

    We start thinking about Christmas from 1st of December. It's trying to squeeze its way into late November with shops etc. these days but to my wife and I it's always been a December thing. I start listening to some Christmas music - especially some Relient K Christmas tracks. We'll watch lots of Christmas movies and TV as a family. Lots of British comedy like "Some Mothers Do 'ave 'em" and "Keeping up Appearances".

    Christmas is a big time with our church. We have a hamper service where we invite underprivileged people to be our guests of honour and present them with a hamper of food. These people would otherwise have a dismal Christmas so they are very grateful. We also have our annual Christmas production. This year we are doing 'A Christmas Toy Story'. I'm involved doing live video mixing (we recently started broadcasting a live stream to a satellite congregation in a remote area so this is very exciting).

    We don't tend to have a Christmas morning service unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, but we always have a Christmas eve service. This year we'll probably go to my parent's church Christmas morning because my mum is preaching, and my kids will be a living nativity set while she talks. Then it's my parent's place for Christmas lunch. My in-laws are all interstate so we don't have to juggle two families.

    We have a traditional roast turkey for lunch (because it's delicious) despite the heat. In my teenage years we'd be into the swimming pool for the rest of the day once lunch was over, but my parents sold the house with the pool when I got married and moved out.

    On boxing day, we usually head off for a holiday somewhere near a beach, although this year we're not doing that because my wife just started a full-time contract as a nurse. We cap it all off by watching the Doctor Who Christmas special boxing day night.

    Just for fun, here's a little video I made of my Christmas Beach Holiday a few years ago santa

    Rickster

    Posts : 1197
    Activity : 1954
    Geek-Cred : 16
    Join date : 2010-07-05
    Age : 33

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Rickster on December 10th 2015, 12:47 am

    We've been in a transition period on how we've been celebrating Christmas Last year we went to Downtown Disney and saw the movie Annie. My mom kept telling me I didn't have to go because I was sick with Laryngitis but I'm glad I went because it was her last Christmas. This year we're still trying to decide on what we're going to do for Christmas probably see a movie but besides that its up in the air.

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 10th 2015, 9:42 am

    ComiKate wrote:So re-installing our christmas tradition I guess means we're moving forward, slowly but steadily, and are now creating our own christmas memories with just the two of us.
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope this Christmas is wonderful in all-new ways for both of you.


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 10th 2015, 9:47 am

    mikel.withers wrote:Anyway, Christmas is always melancholy for me, I feel like there should be more, something grander, but I've never come up with a way to make that reality.
    I can totally relate to this, although I usually experience that feeling after New Year's Eve, looking back on the season. I'm thinking it has some connection to the fact that God has placed eternity in our hearts, so we long for something that is complete, perfect and unfading. Something grand and amazing that never gets old or disappoints. This Christmas in particular I'm feeling "world-weary", and so the hope of eternity has been a recurring theme as I think of Christmas this year.

    Nothing wrong with looking for bigger and more exciting ways to celebrate Christmas though! And the good news is that one day "Christmas" will be even grander than our grandest hopes!


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 10th 2015, 9:50 am

    AdamCollings wrote:Just for fun, here's a little video I made of my Christmas Beach Holiday a few years ago  santa
    CUTE KIDS! (Can't believe that's something I would say these days. Being a parent screws with your head...well, maybe more your heart...)

    Are the trappings of Christmas kind of an ironic joke down under? I notice folks there still use the versions of Santa where he is all bundled up in a furry coat. Also, doesn't he come through the keyhole or something instead of the chimney for you guys?


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 10th 2015, 9:51 am

    Rickster wrote:This year we're still trying to decide on what we're going to do for Christmas probably see a movie but besides that its up in the air.
    I had no idea seeing a movie on Christmas was a thing until I worked at a theater after High School. I guess I'm such an introvert that the last place I want to go Christmas day is somewhere public! (Or is that agoraphobia?)


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    mikel.withers

    Posts : 432
    Activity : 534
    Geek-Cred : 8
    Join date : 2014-10-27
    Location : Homer NY

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  mikel.withers on December 10th 2015, 1:49 pm

    Paeter wrote:
    I can totally relate to this, although I usually experience that feeling after New Year's Eve, looking back on the season. I'm thinking it has some connection to the fact that God has placed eternity in our hearts, so we long for something that is complete, perfect and unfading. Something grand and amazing that never gets old or disappoints. This Christmas in particular I'm feeling "world-weary", and so the hope of eternity has been a recurring theme as I think of Christmas this year.
    New Years doesn't even register with me, except as a way of forcing me to remember it is a new number each time I write the date out. The last time I purposefully stayed up to midnight was 2000... I figure if nothing special happened then, it isn't going to.
    I definitely agree that we have eternity in our hearts, but that is something I feel weekly if not daily. As someone whose job it is to get everything back to a neutral position while fighting entropy (janitor/handyman) I am confronted with the absurdity of human struggling on a daily basis. (I ever mention that nihilism is my natural worldview?) Purpose and The Profound are a constant source of consideration for me. I truly believe that had God not interrupted my life about 15 years ago, I'd either have killed myself or be in the process of killing myself through self-gratuitous diet and lifestyle. Living in a parent's basement playing video games, drinking soda, and eating candy all day every day... not that any one of those things is bad, but in an absurdist/nihilistic perspective I guarantee I would do them with no thought toward moderation.
    I guess what I am trying to say is 'how do I make Christmas special compared to any other day?' I'm of the inclination that if I see something I could get as a gift for someone, I'll just do it, and who cares about what day or season it is... that I should be considering Christ's presence on earth and His mission constantly, and if I set a day aside for that, then what does that say about the other 364 days?
    Let me be clear: I don't think "I am right" on this subject... this isn't a self-righteous statement, but rather a query I've pondered for a long time. Perhaps the fact that (even) I do find something special about Christmas or Easter, is something I find condemning about the rest of my time. I'm not real certain. Why am I still typing? Mostly because I am trying to work this all out, and doing so "out loud" as it were, is sometimes helpful.
    anywho...

    Morfinwen

    Posts : 24
    Activity : 33
    Geek-Cred : 1
    Join date : 2015-11-12

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Morfinwen on December 11th 2015, 4:02 am

    We might have started decorating a little later than usual this year, since we moved about a month ago, but the entry hallway and living room are lit up with a lot of lights. My mom finally has a really good spot for her Christmas village (i love those things too). Usually we have something in every common area, but the basement doesn't have much yet. Probably because there's still a lot of boxes and stuff everywhere.

    My family has a number of traditions, but some of them aren't really options anymore. We moved from Wisconsin to Nebraska five years ago, and while some people have made new friends we still don't have the roots we used to. One of the things i miss the most is Bethlehem Marketplace: every 2-3 years, a very large local church would set up a replica of historical Bethlehem in its gymnasiums and people would volunteer to dress in costume and work at the various shops set up (wool and dye, spices, animals, bread and honey, produce, etc.). It was a huge undertaking, and every year they worked harder at making it more authentic. We volunteered as a family more than once, and it was always a highlight of the year.

    Since moving to Nebraska there's been a change in church attendance as well. Some members of the family attend a Messianic Jewish congregation, which understandably has Hanukkah celebrations rather than Christmas ones, and others attend a nondenominational Protestant church, which does have a Christmas Eve service. We all went as a family last year to the latter service, though, and i expect we'll most likely do the same this year, but it's not the same as the Christmas Eve service at our church back in Wisconsin.

    One tradition we still keep is that of exchanging family presents on New Years' Eve, rather than Christmas Day. I think it got started because of when my dad had to work one year, but we kept it up in part because it made Christmas with extended family easier, and because my mom thought it would be good for when the kids started getting married and having other families to visit on Christmas.

    Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year. One of the only good things about the winter season, if you ask me. What it's looked like and felt like has changed a lot over time, and at present i feel like there's more to miss than to look forward to, but it's still important to me.

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 11th 2015, 10:48 am

    Well Jesus never asked anyone to celebrate his birthday. We can do it or not do it. We can have special days or treat them all the same. (Romans 14:5-6)
    The only instruction we have is to do everything (whatever we choose to celebrate or not) for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

    So don't feel the pressure to make Christmas anything special over any other day. You have the freedom to just let it come like any other day and see what God might be doing that you can get on board with. :-)


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 11th 2015, 11:22 am

    Morfinwen wrote:One tradition we still keep is that of exchanging family presents on New Years' Eve, rather than Christmas Day.
    I grew up doing it this way! We still did stockings on Christmas morning, and those were the only presents from "Santa". All other gifts came after the Christmas Eve service and Lasagna. This was a HARD thing to let go of when I got married. I'm long past the point of anxiously waiting for my presents (Mainly because I no longer put anything on my wish list I would want to wait for. Growing up and having your own money has its advantages! And if I have "fun money" it tends to cry out to be spent!), it just "didn't feel like Christmas" to do it another way. But like you, Christmas has changed for me over the years and I'm discovering new experiences and feelings to attach to it.


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Rickster

    Posts : 1197
    Activity : 1954
    Geek-Cred : 16
    Join date : 2010-07-05
    Age : 33

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Rickster on December 11th 2015, 2:57 pm

    I've never made a Gingerbread house before. So this year I got a kit and going to try and make it on Christmas Eve and maybe star a new tradition

    AdamCollings

    Posts : 184
    Activity : 211
    Geek-Cred : 1
    Join date : 2013-12-10
    Age : 38
    Location : Tasmania, Australia

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  AdamCollings on December 14th 2015, 5:40 pm

    Paeter wrote:CUTE KIDS! (Can't believe that's something I would say these days. Being a parent screws with your head...well, maybe more your heart...)

    Are the trappings of Christmas kind of an ironic joke down under? I notice folks there still use the versions of Santa where he is all bundled up in a furry coat. Also, doesn't he come through the keyhole or something instead of the chimney for you guys?

    Haha. Yeah Parenthood does weird stuff to you.

    Yeah some of it is ironic joke, but a lot is just that we're so saturated with 'northern hemisphere' Christmas on TV that we just kind of accept stuff that makes no sense. The Santa suit is no different to yours. I never really gave much thought to the fact that he is dressed for winter. That's just what he wears. I haven't heard the keyhole thing.

    We do have fun with some stuff though. I once sent a card to someone that had a snowman made of sand on the beach. And of course there is the 'Aussie Jingle Bells' song by Colin Buchanan.

    The thing I notice about Americans, that is different from us, is that you guys make a big thing about the seasons but we don't. When you talk about Christmas, you talk about winter. When you talk about Easter, you talk about spring. We don't do that so much. The seasons are less of a big deal (or maybe this is just a Tasmanian thing, since we can have four seasons in one day, regardless of the time of year).

    Paeter
    Admin

    Posts : 3509
    Activity : 5053
    Geek-Cred : 50
    Join date : 2010-02-17
    Age : 38
    Location : Mesa, AZ

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Paeter on December 16th 2015, 1:07 pm

    AdamCollings wrote:


    The thing I notice about Americans, that is different from us, is that you guys make a big thing about the seasons but we don't. When you talk about Christmas, you talk about winter. When you talk about Easter, you talk about spring. We don't do that so much. The seasons are less of a big deal (or maybe this is just a Tasmanian thing, since we can have four seasons in one day, regardless of the time of year).
    That's really interesting and makes a ton of sense. I can only imagine how weird it must be to sing "Jingle Bells" the normal way down there!


    _________________
    -Seek The Truth!

    www.spiritblade.com

    Rickster

    Posts : 1197
    Activity : 1954
    Geek-Cred : 16
    Join date : 2010-07-05
    Age : 33

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Rickster on December 26th 2015, 1:56 am

    So today we did somethings that might become yearly Christmas traditions

    We went to a park and opened our presents there and then went to a Italian restaurant for lunch and then went to Downtown Disney and Ice skated and went to a movie (Good Dinosaur) so it was a pretty fun and I think my mom would have been proud at how we celebrated her first Christmas with out her

    AdamCollings

    Posts : 184
    Activity : 211
    Geek-Cred : 1
    Join date : 2013-12-10
    Age : 38
    Location : Tasmania, Australia

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  AdamCollings on December 27th 2015, 6:26 pm

    That sounds great Rickster.

    Sponsored content

    Re: How Do You Christmas?

    Post  Sponsored content Today at 6:49 am


      Current date/time is December 11th 2016, 6:49 am