December 15, 2020
That’s a Star Trek reference in the article title. The traditional Vulcan holiday greeting as used by Mr Spock is: “I hope you experience a most pleasant celebration of your planet’s winter solstice and a most logical New Year”.
Christmas won’t be the same this year but, vive la difference, pick some traditions from elsewhere that might work for you.
There are plenty of alternative traditions that provide food for thought. For instance you might decide it’s time to celebrate the Night of the Radishes which falls on 23 December in Oaxaca, Mexico. Since 1897 locals have filled Zócalo square with n ativity and political scenes sculpted from giant radishes.
The tradition of holding a yearly radish carving competition dates back to when Oaxaca City’s mayor, Francisco Vasconcelos, decided to make the contest part of the Christmas market, which sold traditional flowers, herbs and ingredients for holiday dishes as well as decorations for the home. Because radishes had always been integral to Oaxaca’s Christmas cuisine as both an essential ingredient and a decorative garnish, the radish contest was seen as a fun way to promote local agriculture.
Here’s the cat
In Iceland they have a Yule Cat, a huge and vicious cat that lurks about the snowy countryside during Christmas time (Yule) and eats people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. The threat of being eaten by the Yule Cat was used by farmers as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. The ones who took part in the work would be rewarded with new clothes, but those who did not would get nothing and thus would be preyed upon by the monstrous cat.
Downtown Reykjavík hosts a 5-metre-tall metal cat in Lækjartorg Square. It has proven popular with travellers and locals alike, creating a festive scene in the city centre. The sculpture is six metres wide and lit up with 6,500 LED lights. It is installed by the City of Reykjavík and will remain throughout the holiday season.
In Sweden it’s a goat. The town of Gavle in Sweden creates a 40ft tall goat made out of straw and every year, without fail, someone tries to burn it down. The Yule Goat tradition has been going strong for over 50 years. But each festive season, like a red rag to a bull, people will try to set the sculpture on fire. It’s become as much of a tradition as the goat itself, with ludicrous heist style plans to remove it – including one attempt in 2010 which involved a helicopter to kidnap the goat.
Keep it simple
We’re not trying to burst any Christmas tradition snow globe here. Christmas is about spending time with others to share and enjoy, not about spending money because the M&S or Waitrose Christmas commercial lured you in to buy things that you didn’t really need.
It’s time to rethink what traditions are worth your time and effort. 2020 has been a tough year for all of us, some more than others, so celebrate what you want, when you want.
At 10Eighty we favour champagne but mulled apple juice works too and so does rum punch, Merry Christmas!
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