Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Question of the Day #49

I grew up in an illdyllic little historic town called Basking Ridge. Aptly named for the deer that basked in the sunlight on the ridge. And every Christmas Eve for most of my life, my family and I enjoyed a tradition of crowding around the lit Christmas tree in the center of town with hundreds of other Basking Ridge natives and singing Christmas Carols.

Unlike the other idyllic families, before we joined the other carolers, we scoured the attic and delved into closets to find the ugliest hats we could. Cowboy hats, hideous wide brimmed 80's fashion statement gone awry hats, orange hunting caps complete with ear flaps - whatever we could find. Then we'd head down to the event, a little noggy, and sing very loudly.

Our favorite song was "We Three Kings," thanks to Ruthie. One year, after a wee bit of wine, she approached the upswing of "ohOHHH star of wonder, star of night" with such gusto, that we mad hatted hooligans could only join her in uproar. Which in turn, caused the sober town natives to turn around and glare at us.

Therefore creating a tradition within a tradition.

Now, since my parents have retired to Vermont, we've created another tradition in an even more idyllic town. Every Christmas Eve we attend services at a tiny church. (We're talking eight pews here.) My sister and I elbow each other. Giggle over the choir singers. And once mortified our parents by stuffing $2 (We were broke!) in an envelope and writing "From the Pruiksma Children" on it, as if we were 3 and 4 year old girls - not 33 and 34 year old women.

And of course, we still sing very loudly.

So, whatever holiday you might be celebrating, what are some traditions you have?



  1. Visiting BR as usual tonight - it'll probably be too rainy to do the Whoville thing again this year. We did it last year though, and I was surprised at how many alumni & other old friends I ran into. Take care & merry Christmas, old friend.

  2. We had the tradition of the Advent calendar. Each kid in the family took a turn opening the door. With 9 siblings, that meant each kid had 2 or 3 doors to open. Of course, being the youngest, and therefore most excited about this, I was often given an extra door or two by generous older siblings.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Tony - We're jealous! We want to carol with you! In fact, Heather's right next to me whimpering in sadness.

    Clayton - Thank you for sharing your tradition with us. Great Advent Calendar!

  4. I never did the carols in downtown BR! My family was always too hammered but if I knew you guys were gonna be there....
    Our tradition is Christmas Eve & we go to my mom's, drink wine, open gifts, then play Trivial Pursuit and Scattegories. As tradition has it, my brother wins Trivial Pursuit, and I win Scattegories. Our spouses know better than to mess with that tradition. :-)
    See you in LA next week Suzie!!!! Yee haw!

  5. No traditions to speak of yet. We're deciding what exactly we want to do regularly.

    Happy Holidays and Many Book Contracts to Come! (2009 is a good year for that, yes?)

  6. Yes, Sarah. 2009 is a great year for book contracts! ; )Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and Deb.

  7. All of the above.
    Happiness to all considering the hour.

  8. Considering I have already had twice as many pomegranate martinis as Suzie and Evelyn, I think my NEW Christmas Eve tradition will be to get really hammered for the church service. I can't wait to get there and start heckling the choir: "Do that Star of Wonder song! Or... or... do Free Bird!!" Yeah. This is gonna be AWESOME. Suzie, is it weird that we like hanging out with our parents so much?

  9. Hi Suzanne. That's funny. I live in Warren, like a mile or two from the border of Basking Ridge, so I'm there almost every day.

  10. Hi Corey. I saw that you live in Warren the last time I visited your blog. It really is a small world, isn't it?

  11. Since we had kids, it seems like staying up until 2 am Christmas Eve, getting everything ready, has become a tradition. I have to wonder, did our parents always do this, or were they better planners?

  12. Just to update everyone, Suzie and I elbowed each other at church at the following moments:

    Minister mentions "hole of the asp"

    Adorable little red-headed boy sings Away in a Manger. So freakin cute.

    Reader says "the ox and the ass"

    I attempt a descant in O Come All Ye Faithful, with limited success

    The offertory is passed - neither of us has any money on us this time, not even two bucks.

    Tenor soloist gets pretty close to the high note in O Holy Night

    We nearly set the church ablaze with those lil tiny church candles during Silent Night - this strikes me as an insurance nightmare, frankly

    Probably some other mention of the ass at some point. Why do they say ass so much at church? It just doesn't seem appropriate...

  13. We have a tradition on Christmas Eve to go to our Candlelight service at church. My better half never ever wears a tie anymore. Tonight when he took his jacket off I saw a bright red tie w/Frosty the Snowman on it. During a quiet part in the service he folded his arms and all of a sudden we hear Jingle Bells coming from the tie. No more ties on Christmas Eve.


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