Christmas Countdown 2018!

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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Dec 25, 2018 1:41 pm

0 Days until Christmas!
A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE WORLD!!!
Our forecasts got me all excited with vague promises of snow, but the weather itself has failed to deliver on that. But it's reasonably cold, so Christmas isn't entirely ruined. Maybe we'll get a white... Epiphany?
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Dec 25, 2018 2:59 pm

When exactly is Epiphany? 5th or 6th January? In Scotland they have their main celebrations on 1st January, which they call Hogmanay. To be celebrated with shortbread and scotch whisky. Oatcakes if we can find them. We normally watch the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on New Year's Day at 7.30 pm.

You might get some snow sooner rather than later? We spent Christmas Eve with a background of ABC's offering....A couple of reindeer herders took reindeer-drawn sleighs on a trek through Lapland at the north of Finland up into Norway. On the way they explained a lot about reindeers, the terrain and much more as they greeted people fishing under the ice and snow, camping in tepees or wigwams, huddled around small outdoor fires, or just stopping to allow the reindeer to forage in the snow. The show finished with filmed shots of a spectacular Aurora Borealis. We live too close to the Tropic of Capricorn to see the Aurora Australis, which is probably occasionally visible from Canberra or Melbourne.

It is now Boxing day, at 9:25 AM, 26th December, 2018, which is also a public holiday here.

We're back from Bent's Basin
We're back from Bent's Basin
We're back from Bent's Basin
For the Boxing Day fun.

We did enjoy Christmas,
Among folks who are dear
We wish you a Merry Christmas
Today and next Year.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby coracle » Dec 25, 2018 4:40 pm

I hold Twelfth Night parties at home on 6th. In this reckoning the 12 days of Christmas begin on 26th. (some people count from 25th)
Epiphany itself is 6th - the 'Twelfth Night'.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby artsky » Dec 26, 2018 7:06 am

My favorite holiday!
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Movie Aristotle » Dec 26, 2018 6:52 pm

Well, however you count it, Merry Christmas!
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby SnowAngel » Dec 27, 2018 11:40 pm

Warning this post is long.

We had a lovely Christmas. My brother, who lives out of town, was home for several days.

Stockings are always first thing Christmas morning and my family loves stuffing stockings. Everyone's favorite stocking stuffer is the chocolate bar, and I'm not talking about a Hershey's chocolate bar...I mean one of the good chocolates like Lindt or Ghirardelli. Although the tradition was started with Hershey's king size chocolate bars by my mom when I was a teenage as an inexpensive way to add something fun to the stockings. This year I got a Lindt Dark Chocolate with Blackberry pieces and Acai. :) I also got lotion, earrings, lip balm, a purple scarf and hat (mom and Scarlet were so tired of my old stocking cap and scarf which I have had for 11 years), eye shadow, socks, and a flashlight.

Stockings are followed by breakfast usually coffeecake, this year it was blueberry cream cheese coffeecake with Black Rifle Coffee's Beyond Black. My little brother and I made the coffeecake together, it's so fun teaching favorite recipes to younger siblings.

Next more presents! We always get clothes for Christmas (and birthdays) and I for one love it. I had been looking for a hot pink long sleeve shirt and I'm thrilled I got one for Christmas plus a black sparkly jacket, pink/purple/black print shirt (no iron, my favorite kind :D ), and blue sweater. Also from my parents a pink and black newsboy cap, can't have too many hats. ;;) From my siblings: turquoise scarf/shawl, a hot pink and white keyboard notepad that says "Killing It" (Scarlet knows me so well), The Hunt For Red October Blu-ray, another chocolate bar, and a 64gb flash drive. What a Christmas! :)

Christmas menu: brisket (my mom makes the best brisket), cheesy potatoes, peas with toasted almonds, and cranberry-orange whip for lunch; and key lime cheesecake cups with raspberry sauce for dessert (although it was more a mid-afternoon snack).

The afternoon was spent playing Spinners (a domino variation) and Codenames (family Christmas gift from older brother and his girlfriend) and occasionally texting cousins. We had a blast. My dad, who doesn't play games with us very often, played Spinners and one round 6 of his 7 dominoes were doubles, it was so not fair. 8-|

Supper was snacky foods: summer sausage, cheese, crackers.

Evening movie was The Bishop's Wife (another family Christmas gift) which most of the family watched. Scarlet and I chose to read by the wood burning fireplace, she was reading Cold Water by Samuel Parker and I was finishing a Christmas novella. It was a wonderful Christmas.

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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby johobbit » Dec 28, 2018 2:50 pm

Christmas is now -3 days, but not for us. ;)) We have another family gathering tomorrow (extended family), then our kids are coming to our house until Jan 1: we will be celebrating Christmas with them this Sunday. \:D/ Everything is set and ready to go. :D So excited. Then we'll have New Year's with them on Monday—games and fondues, mmm!

Happy New Year, 2019, everyone!
:o) B-)
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Movie Aristotle » Jan 12, 2019 9:16 am

So, how soon is too soon to start the Christmas 2019 countdown? ;))

Also, I am wondering about ways to eliminate the after-Christmas let-down. I think celebrating all twelve days is a good start, but what do you do to keep each of he twelve days unique and exciting? After the feast is eaten and the presents are opened on the 25th, what’s next to keep the momentum going?
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Jan 12, 2019 11:41 am

Spending gift cards! :D
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby fantasia_kitty » Jan 12, 2019 12:29 pm

I was gonna say playing with toys. ;))

Well, I only just yesterday started taking down Christmas decorations. I think I'm going to make it a new tradition for me to leave things up through Epiphany, even though I don't actually celebrate it. I'm like you Movie Aristotle, I like Christmas to linger a while. :)
Another thing this year, I finally got smart and made a Christmas channel on Pandora, which introduced me to a whole new world of Christmas songs (like, actual Christmas songs), so I'm still listening to Christmas music. ;)) Normally I'm like "OH THANK GOODNESS CHRISTMAS IS OVER AND I CAN GO INTO STORES AGAIN!!!" :P :))
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Lady Arwen » Jan 12, 2019 2:44 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:When exactly is Epiphany? 5th or 6th January?


January 6th--and sometimes considered to be the 12th day of Christmas, depending on the tradition.
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 12, 2019 6:20 pm

Thank you, Coracle, & Lady Arwen for your identifying both Twelfth night and Epiphany as January 6th. We spent it taking down the Christmas Decorations, but they still have not yet been put into storage.

Oh by the way, when did the Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas? I believe it is also about 5th or 6th January.

Movie Aristotle wrote:So, how soon is too soon to start the Christmas 2019 countdown? ;))


Oh dear! I confess I might have started something? :ymblushing: I did say, or sing:

We wish you a Merry Christmas
Today and next Year


However, you might have a word with one of our local supermarkets who have already been selling Hot Cross Buns as from 6th January. According to them, every day is a day for celebrations of one kind or another. When is Easter, by the way? And what other holidays do we have in between now and then?

Movie Aristotle wrote:Also, I am wondering about ways to eliminate the after-Christmas let-down. I think celebrating all twelve days is a good start, but what do you do to keep each of he twelve days unique and exciting? After the feast is eaten and the presents are opened on the 25th, what’s next to keep the momentum going?


Sing another verse of the Partridge in a Pear tree song each day? One of our ministers at church once tried to calculate the cost of all these things to your true love. By January 2nd, though, I suspect we would have partaken of too many liqueur chocolates, shortbread biscuits & wee drams of Scotch Whisky to remember how far we got up to. What are the words of the song?

1. Partridge in a pear tree. Well the pear tree might be useful, if both survive the journey, & haven't been impounded by customs getting here. Especially on Christmas Day. I really worry about that Partridge, especially if it decides to go wild. While the partridge dukes it out with the Australian Native Ravens (Drongos), Galahs & the occasional Kookaburra, it might have to struggle against other flourishing pests like the Indian Mynahs & the very ubiquitous Pigeons. Maybe I should say nothing should it ever be mentioned, & pretend that a passing pigeon was the missing Partridge?

2. Two turtle doves? On Boxing Day? Don't we have enough to do cleaning up, after the poor Partridge? And all the other pigeons that infest Sydney, which have accumulated over the years since 26th January, 1788? No wonder the Aborigines didn't like us very much! Pigeon pie wasn't part of their diet, either. Perhaps we should institute one of those traditional Boxing Day hunts, celebrated elsewhere on the planet, to get rid of pigeons of the non-turtle dove variety? Or send them to Tasmania with our traditional Boxing Day Sydney-Hobart yacht race? By the way, I did love Warren Brown's Boxing Day newspaper cartoon: a couple of seasick convicts all decked out in old fashioned prison garb, guarded by an equally seasick red-coat, forecasting that two centuries later, the same journey would be considered sports and Boxing Day fun. :-\ :)

3. Three French hens? Hasn't the sender considered that we are definitely NOT part of the European Union? And that the exchange rate between the Aussie dollar and the European Euro bounces about as much as a real Australian Euro does? What is wrong with the other varieties of hens that might be here, anyway? I used to have a Rhode Island Red, which was my pet, years ago, whilst at school, though I don't remember which Rhode Island that particular breed originated from. The one where there was a Colossus of Rhodes plus the Knights of St John? Or the USA state? In this part of the world we no longer keep a chook run at the bottom of the garden. Council regulations, of course, though I could still donate the hens to the local high school, which teaches agriculture. I hope somebody keeps them fed & tended to, before school goes back the day after this year's Australia Day. Meanwhile it is 27th Dec & the supermarkets are open, so I'll buy a new carton of eggs, free range I hope.

4. Four, um what? Calling birds? What is with "calling birds"? The Australian native
ravens can kick up enough racket already, with their disapproving mating calls. Even the galahs, with a more musical tone of squawk wouldn't let more imported "calling birds" a screech in edgeways. Whilst the Kookaburras are always good for a laugh. :)) Don't forget the human variety of drongos and galahs who also like to kick up a riot around about this time of year. :-$ Sadly, it might be domestic disputes or an emergency, not roistering, and it is a good idea to ring the police, on triple O, here.

5. I think I'll pass on the five gold rings. I hope they were not merely costume jewellery, since receipt of them might have gone to pay all the duty & fines on the imported stuff "my true love" sent to me". Which is all I received in the first snail mail we got over Christmas. :D Just joking. We are now up to 30th of December and starting to get ready for New Years' Eve...... Especially now that the gold rings have been sacrificed as a prize for the winner of some yacht race or other...what was it again? Never mind, we still do have gold mines in Australia, notably in the Kimberleys and at Kalgoorlie.

6. I don't know quite what to do with "six geese a'laying". The eggs might be fantastic, but although there might be occasional guard geese around famous buildings, not to mention Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, and some imaginative businesses, we don't as a rule actually eat geese, not even for next year's Christmas Dinner. Especially since a half or quarter turkey or a roasted chook might be quite enough to feed shrinking sized families, or people living on their own? Just as well it is December 31st and all we have to worry about is seeing in the New Year, with Scotch, shortbread, & oodles of fireworks up and down Sydney Harbour, especially around our Harbour Bridge, on TV. This year, our flourishing Australian raven population complaining about several local fireworks displays, kept up their own celebrations long after the rest of us went to bed.

7. Seven swans a'swimming, believe it or not, is by far the most expensive item in the Minister's list. Not only are swans protected species in UK but the same is even more true about black swans, a unique variety, native to Australia. On the threatened species list, the black swan is Western Australia's state emblem, and linked to the Swan River where the first WA settlements were founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829. The fines for keeping captive as many as seven swans would not only be ruinous, but our swimming pool, emptied to save power in the winter, is still only 3/4 full despite several heavy showers of rain last month, and isn't big enough to accommodate as many as seven swans.

8-12 are the cheapest of the list to think about as you return to work on 2nd January, New Years' resolutions firmly remembered beyond last night's screening of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Take 8 maids a'milking for example. They are probably work for the dole volunteers, at best, if you could find so many as 8. You'd need at least two or three cows per maid to milk, for a start, to make it worth their while, and if you had that many cows and were an average cash-strapped farmer, worried about other costs of a crippling drought, you would have long ago invested in a milking machine. A model of a large sized version, called a Rotalactor, housed in one of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons, imitating a revolving restaurant, adapted for milking cows, has shown why milkmaids can look for more profitable work elsewhere.

All the rest are returning performers from last years' Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with plans for this year's performance in Edinburgh Castle in August 2019 and looking for somewhere to rehearse. ;) Now you are up to January 5th. Your time, that is. =))

Have a very happy, healthy :D and prosperous New Year to you all. :D
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby johobbit » Jan 15, 2019 10:38 am

Movie Aristotle wrote:After the feast is eaten and the presents are opened on the 25th, what’s next to keep the momentum going?

My initial thought is to use what you received to encourage someone else. :) For examples, if you were gifted a game, invite a lonely person over to play it with you; if you received a new cook or bakeware set, have someone who is marginalized over for a meal or special treat; if you have a movie theatre gift card, ask someone who may not be able to afford this to go with you.

Actually, long story, which I will not relate here, but we still have to have our immediate family Christmas. ;;) Not sure when it will be, but hopefully sometime in the next couple of months. At least before spring comes. ;)) So, our (live) tree is still up (and drinking water, albeit less and less :P), looking very lovely; the gift-bagged presents are all under it; the stockings are stuffed full. It's kinda weird, but we're sure all looking forward to being together for our very belated Christmas. :D We had to give away our local farm turkey, because it wouldn't fit in our freezer (which was quite full at the time), but at least a local low-income supportive housing organization got to enjoy that delicious taste in a turkey chili, turkey soup, and fresh turkey sandwiches, yum!


fantasia wrote:I'm like you Movie Aristotle, I like Christmas to linger a while.

Definitely. And our gatherings are usually very nicely paced out, but this year is a bit too much. :))
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby Cleander » Jan 15, 2019 10:49 am

Good ideas there!
Our church just took down the Christmas decorations! The Christmas tree was hauled out to the lot out back, and someone had the bright idea to burn it.(Pun intended there). :D The flames were SO deep and orange they didn't even look real, and a fresh pine scent went all over the church. It was kind of an unusual finale to the Christmas season!
But I still haven't spent my Christmas money....
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 16, 2019 4:04 pm

But I still haven't spent my Christmas money....


Hmm! The next Public Holiday here, is Australia Day on 26th January. If I still had any Christmas money left, I'd be worrying about the beginning of the School Year the day after, when the summer holidays are definitely finished, heatwaves or not. School fees, school uniforms, second hand or not, text books, writing materials & school backpacks to carry it all daily, like little tortoises, whose hope will be to get there eventually, to go up to the next class, along with the class hares of last year. This year, reused single use shopping bags won't be an option any more, having been phased out to protect the environment. The charities are out in force, showing how disadvantaged children may suffer when the basics are not met. Home schooling is an option, run by the State, the same as the network of state schools. OTEN & the School of the Air, were established for children in remote areas who have to travel long distances to get to the nearest school, or for those who for one reason or the other cannot attend a regular school. So now conferencing softwear, laptops and PC's are a must.

You may know an Australian dollar by Her Majesty's head on the obverse & a mob of kangaroos on the reverse. An Australian dollar is currently worth 0.71% of one USD. Now how many of these coins should I bounce into the collection tins at cash registers at the local supermarket, in aid of "Support your local school" sponsoring schemes? There are probably much more urgent causes, such as Drought relief, to worry about I agree. Not to mention the necessary work done by Salvos, Vinnies, Anglicare, Australian Red Cross and Smith Family, not only overseas charities like World Vision, UNHCR etc. After all, even countries considered relatively wealthy by world standards can't help natural disasters happening, especially along the Pacific Rim, the so-called Ring of Fire. :)
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Re: Christmas Countdown 2018!

Postby SnowAngel » Jan 18, 2019 10:34 pm

Most of our decoration are still up. We did change the Christmas tree ornaments to silver, gold, and blue after Epiphany. Also changed the tree skirt to a navy blue and silver one that mom bought a couple years ago just for January, the mantle greenery has bits of silver and blue in it, and Christmas village is still on top of the family room bookcases. I do miss having a live tree, but a fake tree can be left up until the end of January or even into February. :-bd

For Epiphany, we got some small gifts. The younger siblings received the final season 1990s' Zorro show. And once again we didn't have a special dessert. January is full of special dates for my family, so we don't have big desserts for all of them.

We've mostly stopped listening to Christmas music, still have the instrumental Christmas albums on all the cellphones and computers.

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