Thursday, December 20, 2018

I’d Love To Read About: Christmas Traditions



Have you ever learned a strange fact or seen an unusual thing and thought, I wish there were more books about that? It happens to me all the time. Authors, if you’re listening, here are four Christmas traditions that I wish somebody would write about. (Or take inspiration from. I’m not picky!)







Christmas Traditions






Bringing Scary Back


“There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago”

- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Have you ever wondered why so many old Christmas stories have ghosts in them? Before the commercialization of Christmas, holiday celebrations were a bit different from what they are today. Christmas traditions had a lot in common with Pagan Winter Solstice festivals. The Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Solstice festivals of Yule and Sol Invictus celebrate the death and rebirth of the Sun. What goes well with death and darkness? Ghosts. On the Solstice, ghosts can push through the veil and complete their unfinished business in the world. Even after Christmas branched off from the Pagan festivals, people still gathered to tell scary stories.

Art source and more info.


Now, the ghost story tradition is disappearing. Probably because we don’t gather to tell stories anymore. We gather to watch Elf on TV for the 10 billionth time. I vote we bring back ghost stories.








Bad Santa Krampus


“He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows when you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake"

- Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town


Did you know that Santa Claus has an evil assistant? While Santa delivers gifts and gets all the love and attention, his (probably unpaid intern) Krampus does the dirty work. Krampus is part-goat, part-demon. He’s responsible for punishing the naughty children while Santa rewards the nice ones. In many Alpine towns, Krampus is celebrated with a parade. Every Christmas, men dress up in creepy costumes and make nuisances of themselves. This is my kind of Christmas fun!


Art source and more info.








The Incontinent Christmas Log


“Shit, log
Shit nougats
Hazelnuts and mato cheese
If you don’t shit well
I’ll hit you with a stick
Shit, log”

- Caga TiΓ³


In Spain, children spend the weeks leading up to Christmas decorating a hollow log and stuffing it with treats. They even put the log under a blanket at night to keep it warm. The log’s name is TiΓ³ de Nadal. This story isn’t going to end well for it. On Christmas Eve, the children sing traditional songs (like the one up there ^) and smash the log with sticks until it “poops” out treats. After the log is all pooped out, they toss it in the fire. Poor TiΓ³ de Nadal. Such an undignified ending.


Photo source and more info.









Kentucky Fried Christmas


“Kentucky for Christmas!”


Most people in Japan don’t celebrate Christmas, but that doesn’t stop them from having traditions. In the 1970s, the American fast-food restaurant KFC ran an advertising campaign in Japan that was so epic it spawned a whole new tradition. The campaign was called Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! (Kentucky for Christmas!) It encouraged people to eat fried chicken on Christmas Eve. The fried chicken bucket was rebranded a “Party Barrel” and colored red and green. The advertisement was so successful that 3.6 million Japanese families still visit KFC every year on December 24. I love fried chicken. This is a tradition that I fully support.


Photo source and more info.







Do you celebrate Christmas? What are the Christmas traditions where you live?










43 comments:

  1. Okay, as someone who lives IN KY, I find it hilarious that eating KFC is a tradition for many in Japan. And that poor log in Spain - sheesh!! I do like Krampus. I'd be all about Krampus parade.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It is weird that people wait in line for hours on Christmas Eve to get KFC. I wish Krampus parades happened here. I want to see one.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I would totally eat KFC for Christmas, who doesn't love fried chicken?? One tradition we have is with my mom's family - we're Italian, so we always try to incorporate at least a couple fish dishes on Christmas Eve. I don't know that we've ever gotten to 7, but pretty close! My poor husband, though, can't eat shellfish, so there is always a steak for him!

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    1. I don’t like fish very much, so I’ve never done the 7 fishes thing. I did see a show on Food Network were Bobby Flay made 1 meal with 7 kinds of fish in it. I guess you could get all the fish in 1 bite.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. If you like creepy, Krampus-esque stuff, check out the movie Rare Exports. ;) We don't have any traditions I think are that unique.

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  4. I'd love to read a great Krampus book that wasn't so heavy on lore. I definitely think these traditional tales would be fun to read about!

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    1. I’ve seen Krampus books around, but none of them have sounded very good. I’ll find an awesome one someday.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Fun post! I had never heard of most of these traditions. And now you have me craving fried chicken, haha!

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  6. I no longer bother with Christmas-decorations, presents etc. I used to love it but it has never felt the same since my mum died so my dad and I just watch TV all day and eat. I like the idea of the Krampus parade though!

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  7. oh these are fun! I mean KFC on Christmas Eve isn't the worst idea. And I can't get down with more ghosts.

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    1. I’ll happily eat fried chicken at any time of the year.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I have heard of the KFC on Christmas Eve tradition before! I mean, I would never do it because I hate KFC with a passion but I love that people do it in Japan. The Spain decorating log tradition is cool and I really like it too! The evil Santa assistant one is one I have never heard before this post. Loved this :D

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/12/bloods-revolution-book-review/

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    1. I love fried chicken, but KFC is kind of disappointing. Where I live, it’s usually bland and salty. Fried chicken should have spices in it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. I've always thought Krampus was super creepy. Didn't they make a movie about him recently? Ugh, no thanks. Also, what is he doing in that picture? How exactly does he "punish" children??

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? πŸ’¬

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    1. I’m not sure how he punishes children. This is why we need more books about him!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I've always thought the KFC on Christmas thing is fun. I remember reading somewhere that some people pre-order their KFC orders way in advance because it's so popular? That's dedication. The Christmas Log one is hilarious, and I'm 100% on board with the ghosts at Christmas time. Bring on the ghosts and scary ghost stories!

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    1. Yep, they do preorder their KFC in advance. If they don’t, they have to wait in line for hours. That’s dedication to chicken!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I knew about Krampus, but I didn't know about the others. That's interesting about ghost stories and Christmas! That log one is... unique lol. I actually just learned about some Icelandic (I think) Xmas folklore from a youtube channel I watch. All these other traditions make our Santa seem kinda plain!

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    1. I agree. The research for this post made me realize that Christmas in the US is pretty plain and boring. We need more epic Christmas legends.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. :D Awesome post! I'd be up for more scary ghost stories at Christmas time.

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  13. These are fabulous! I did know about Krampus, but I had no idea about KFC in Japan and that adorable log thing. We are German, and there are always all those scary tales they pass on to German children to keep them in line. So, I am well versed in that business.

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    1. I need to look up some scary Christmas stories. I guess my parents were too nice and never told me any. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. Bwhahaha LOVE this! I hoped that Krampus would be on here but the other ones are new to me and I love them. Like I am over here applauding KFC Japan for seizing the opportunity. And poor, poor Shit Log. I mean, talk about a crappy time of it (bwhahahha such a bad pun).

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    1. Haha, the Shit Log does have a hard, crappy life. I kind of want one, though . . .

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  15. We celebrate both Christmas and Yule. Christmas only because it makes things easier with family and friends, and days off from work. It always falls within Yuletide (Solstice-New Years Day), so we just exchange the big gifts and have the big meal that day. We give a book and cookies on Christmas Eve, eat Chinese take-out and play Scrabble. πŸŽ„

    Yes! Victorian Christmas ghost stories! My stepfather was a Civil War re-enactor and we used to attend the Christmas in Gettysburg events most years, and some of the different groups would sponsor traditional holiday parties, complete with ghost stories. πŸ‘»

    I love Krampus. One of my friends has a Krampus in the corner instead of elf on the shelf for her kids. πŸ˜‚ There are some Krampus books if you look around. I read an anthology a couple of years ago in December. πŸ˜†

    I had never heard of poor old TiΓ³ de Nadal. Oh the humanity! πŸ’©πŸ”₯ Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜ƒ

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    1. If I ever have kids, they are getting Krampus in the corner. He’s way scarier than Elf on the Shelf. Christmas in Gettysburg sounds awesome. I’d love to attend a Victorian Christmas party.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. Krampus is creepy. I love fried chicken too. We're having salmon for Christmas. We like fish. Anne - Books of My Heart

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  17. I am ALL for bringing back the ghost stories and creepy christmas tales. Like A Christmas Carol was fully onto that with all the ghosts and dead things coming back. DELIGHTFUL. And I was watching the Christmas special of Sabrina on Netflix and it had some seriously creepy stuff going on. πŸ˜‚

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    1. A Christmas Carol is the best Christmas story ever. We need more books like that one.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. We always eat KFC for Christmas! It started four or five year ago and ever since then we celebrate Christmas with KFC - although we don't live in Japan!

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    1. That’s awesome! I wish KFC tasted better where I live. I’d eat fried chicken on Christmas for sure.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  19. I could get behind some fried chicken on Christmas Eve. If I don't have to make it, even better! The log is new and a little strange to me.

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    1. The best food is always the food that someone else cooks. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. The Immortal Nicholas tells a story of Krampus... pretty good. That's kind of funny that people have KFC for Christmas. Kind of like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer began as an advertisement for Montgomery Ward. The store is gone, but Rudolph lives on.

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    1. I’ll have to look up The Immortal Nicholas. It is weird how much advertising impacts our lives. Images of Santa in the US are based on an advertisement, too. He looks very different in other countries.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  21. After this year, my family will now have a tradition of watching Krampus every Christmas Lol

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  22. I love how you incorporate the songs into some of these--yes, these were part of the tradition. Look up pictures of mummers in Newfoundland; those are pretty creepy looking as well.

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  23. I could TOTALLY get in the Kentucky for Christmas tradition. Krumpus looks yikes - scary. I would be good for sure! It's pretty awesome that these traditions go on.

    Mary

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