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22 December 2011 @ 10:40 pm
Getting excited about Christmas  
I'm very excited about Christmas. The house looks nice. I need to take pictures and video of it. Our tree is so beautiful this year as I got almost all the ornaments and stuff for it. The only thing missing now is a nativity scene. Being Spanish we have an interesting practice with that that I've noticed Americans don't do. When we put out the nativity scene we put everything out except the baby Jesus. We don't put the baby Jesus out until midnight of the 24th. I think this is a nice and more accurate tradition than just having him out all month since Christmas is about him being born. It's not mandatory that you put him out at midnight though. If you can't stay up that late then he's put out on the 24th. The Spanish celebrate Christmas on the 24th anyway which has always puzzled me since all their calendars say the 25th. But the nice thing of growing up with two cultures is I get to pick and chose what I like form both sides. I like doing things on the 24th just to open presents a day early though for me Christmas is really the 25th and that's when the celebrations and get togethers take place. There's also the really weird tradition I don't care for that baby Jesus brings the presents. WTF? Kids are asked, "What did baby Jesus bring you?" Sorry that's Santa's job. But I do love how they celebrate both sides of Christmas even the Santa and friends thing too so you'll see Santa and snowmen etc. with all the Bible characters on the walls and on the trees. All aspects of Christmas are loved and proudly celebrated and I think that's wonderful. I love watching videos of Christmas in El Salvador because everything's so festive and colorful and lit up.

Here's a great video from 2007.

You don't have to understand what they are saying to enjoy this. The interviews were asking people questions like "What does Christmas mean to you?" And they say things like, lights, decoations, Jesus' birth, Santa, presents, family etc. I always giggle when I see all this cold winter stuff like deer and snowmen on this tropical stone houses in the rainforest and with palm trees. I like the ladies putting up lights on the palm trees. People go all out down there. The guy with car with lights reminded my of my Cope drawing. So funny. And the guy flipping the breakers on his house to turn on his lights. Hee hee.

Chris wanted to get me one more present today. I told him I really wanted some plants. So he ordered me some Nepenthes and a Cobra Lily from California Carnivores. I wanted three plants originally but the third one was sold out. I was a bit upset about that but not surprised since it's Christmas. It was there yesterday and today there were none. But those two are great. Perhaps he'll get more in of the red bicalcaratas.

We went to Wal-mart and got more storage bins. We also induldged and bought a half dozen donuts. Three for each of us. I had some Christmas colored ones and Boston Cream. Yummy.

My chickens are laying eggs again. Some of them are laying in the coop. That's great. I found a hidden nest and removed all the eggs so hopefully this will encourage all of them to lay in the coop. It's nice they do go in and out of it during the day. But I have to keep the patio closed because given the choice they'll still come back into the house. Henrietta is still spoiled and demands to only lay her eggs IN the house.

I'm still working on the card. I do a bit every day. I think I can make it by the 25th.
Current Mood: ecstaticChristmas Spirit
elkdawn: reindeer cookieselkdawn on December 23rd, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Cool, we wait to set out Jesus until Christmas as well. If you want to have a bit more fun with it, you can have the magi travel through the house on their journey. :) As far as I can tell, around here it seems to be a Catholic thing.

I'm looking forward to seeing your decorations.
Des: YAY Dogthagirion on December 23rd, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Haha, that sounds like a fun idea! I'd never heard of that one. Most Spanish countries are Catholic and do the midnight mass on the 24th.

I'll get some tomorrow since I want to get the tree in the day and at night.
Tillyxyndarella on December 23rd, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
The Austrians also celebrate Christmas on the 24th and do the present opening in the evening of the 24th with the 25th being family time too. I've always been fascinated by my European heritage since that comes from my father's side but I never got to grow up with the traditions. That's really interesting about the nativity scene though.

It's cyclone season here and we've had to move a lot of things out of the garage and into the sheds down the back of the block for safety reasons. This includes some old 44 galleon drums and a barbeque that our hens were nesting on. The girls are really unhappy about being displaced because they have nowhere to sleep unless they go back to the hen house with everyone else. I adore Henrietta. She really is like a little queen. I think it's great she's spoiled though I'd hope she eventually lays eggs in the coop with your other hens.

Edit: The video isn't appearing for me at the moment, by the way. It's just a white square. I wasn't sure if you're aware of this or it's just me.

Edited at 2011-12-23 05:03 am (UTC)
Des: Christmas Tree Bluethagirion on December 23rd, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
I have a good friend from Austria and she's mentioned this before and I thought it was neat how it's the same for Spanish countries. I'm thankful I got to grow up with two cultures and I can pick and choose what I like from each. For example for girls the 15th birthday "quince" is the big thing while in America it's the Sweet 16. Hehe, I got to do both and really streached my mother's wallet.
I love the nativity scene thing and now like Elkdawn's suggestion for the Magi. I will definitely get a nativity scene for next year. I might be able to find a nice one this year on one of those after Christmas sales. If there are any left.

Oh poor hens. I bet they aren't happy. Henrietta knows she's the boss. Yes she's definitely the queen. Today we were calling her, "Your royal hiney." Hehe. I don't know what she's going to do when we go on our trip in Feb. Sometimes when I haven't been home she'll hold her egg and be extra loud the next day. I don't know how she can do that when the other hens can't. When they have to go they go no matter where. A friend will take care of all my birds but he won't be here waiting to open the door just for her. She better do what her underlings do and use the coop.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Christmassilvolf on December 23rd, 2011 09:09 am (UTC)
I like the idea of not bringing baby Jesus out till the 24th; it makes more sense.
That video makes me feel really festive! I love all the lights.
I love donuts! Sometimes Mum buys me one from the bakery.
I'm glad the chickens are laying again; you'll have some yummy eggs for Christmas!
Des: Christmas Palm Treethagirion on December 23rd, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah it's different and makes sense.
It's great how they love Christmas and New Years. December is one big party down there.
Donuts come in so many yummy flavors. We only do them once in a while.
Yes, it's nice to have eggs again. Some of my customers were sad when I told them they had stopped for the molt.
earthmother45earthmother45 on December 23rd, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
Very interesting about not putting baby Jesus out until Christmas eve. I never thought of that, but it does make more sense. I'm looking forward to seeing your Christmas decorations.

That's a neat video. I actually think I liked it better not knowing what they were saying and could just watch their faces and expressions and imagine what they were saying.
Des: Christmas Budgie Ballthagirion on December 23rd, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I first heard of this as a kid I thought it was strange but then I got used to it. I will take pics and video today. :D

Oh good, I'm glad you liked all the happy expressions. It's just such a nice atmosphere down there during this time.
actipton80actipton80 on December 23rd, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
The only time we ever had presents on the 24th was if we were going somewhere on the 25th that required leaving at an insane early hour like when we went to Cancun or when we used to drive from Indy to Gatlinburg, TN to meet family. We have so many Nativities in our house. My favorites are the two that are on the Christmas tree. They are hand-painted gourds that have been hollowed out and have the characters inside. They came from Mexico, and they are really cute.

I love reading about your chickens.

Did you get my package?
Des: Christmas Budgie Ballthagirion on December 23rd, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. The American traditions are different. I'd love to see that gourd nativity. That's neat you have several. I like those hand made things. El Salvador has unique art and figures they make out of clay and wood. You kind of got to see the style in the backgrounds of this video.

I should talk more about them then.

Yes, sorry I forgot to tell you. It's under the tree now. Thank you.
Cheezey: Bushy Ho Ho Hocheezey on December 23rd, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
I like all the festive decorations around Christmas, too. That's interesting about the differences in the cultures. Baby Jesus brings the presents? Hmm, you'd think if it wasn't Santa bringing them, they'd have used the wise men instead. Did the celebrating on Christmas Eve come about because of how Catholics do the midnight mass on Christmas? I know a lot of the population of that area is Catholic.

Edit: Oh, yeah, I see you guys talked about that in comments above. I wrote this after just reading your post, and not the rest of the comments yet.

That's cool that your chickens are laying again. Mine are pretty much in a dry spell for the winter, but it's cold here, so I can't blame them. Nature wouldn't want them hatching chicks at a time like this. It's so frustrating when they lay in weird places rather than where you want them to and it's easy to collect the eggs.

Edited at 2011-12-23 02:42 pm (UTC)
Des: Christmas Palm Treethagirion on December 23rd, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Actually I think it's on Jan 5th or 6th that is the day of the wise men. Since they didn't arrive on Jesus' birth but much later. I never thought about it but yeah it may be because of midnight mass that it's on the 24th.

Right now it's nice down here. The highs have been in the upper 70s so things are growing and the chickens are over thier molt. It's nice to have eggs. Others have been missing them too.