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What does this time of year mean to you?

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This time of year is special to many people around the globe. When I was little, each December in my school we would study the traditions of another culture around the holidays. It was so much fun; we learned songs and read stories from other places. I figure a good, seasonal way to start off this group is to ask: what are your holiday traditions? What do you celebrate? What do the holidays mean to you? What do you love or not love about the holidays?

For me I celebrate Christmas although in the United States it has become more of a societal or commercial holiday than a religious one it seems. For me Christmas is a time of to celebrate and be with family. One tradition my family has is that my parents, my brother and I always go chop down a tree since we live in the Northwestern United States where there are plenty of tree farms. We walk around and around assessing options and arguing over which tree is best. My Mom however always gets the last say. Then the process of cutting down the tree begins. My brother, Dad and I take turns sawing. When we were little my Dad would do most of it and then let one of us get down there right for the last bit so we could have the pleasure of getting through and having the tree crash to the ground.

Another family tradition we have is on Christmas Eve the four of us always sit down and read The Night Before Christmas. We have a special book that has little moving parts, you can make sugarplums dance over the family's heads and Santa disappear up the chimney. My brother and I take turns reading and my brother likes to always read in strange voices. One year Sean Connery's voice, the next Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

One last thing about my family's Christmas is that there is a strange tradition passed down by the men in my family that any bow from any present must be stuck to ones head. It starts on their foreheads in the younger years and then seems to move progressively higher on the head as the years move on and their hairline moves back. You can see the beginning stages of this phenomenon in this picture of my brother here.

Peace be with you this holiday season!

In love and friendship,
Lindsay

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