Christmas Traditions Old And New

Today is Christmas day.  I hope everyone that celebrates Christmas has a wonderful holiday.  I happen to be Jewish, so I don’t celebrate Christmas.  Even though I don’t celebrate the holiday, we still have some Christmas traditions that we tend to follow.

First, we watch the Christmas day parade.  Often, I’ll work on Christmas day.  (I can take that time off another day and tend to get a lot of work done without a lot of incoming e-mails or phone calls.)  Finally, though it might be a bit stereotypical, we go out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner (or at least bring Chinese food in).

This year, we’re adding a new Christmas tradition.  I got into Doctor Who late last year.  Soon afterwards, B got into Doctor Who.  Finally, after some tempting using a book titled When’s The Doctor, the boys became addicted to Doctor Who.  Every year, Doctor Who has a Christmas special.  Not only is this our first year watching it together (live or DVRed as opposed to "catching up"), but it’s going to be an extra-special episode.  Matt Smith is stepping down as The Doctor and Peter Capaldi is taking his place.  So my boys, B and I will see our first live (or DVRed but viewed soon after the live showing) regeneration.

What Christmas traditions do you have?

Conflicting Messages To Santa

Santa Claus didn’t factor heavily into my life growing up.  He’s appear on countless holiday specials, and would be sitting in malls waiting for children to sit on his lap to ask for certain Christmas presents.  Being Jewish, I didn’t care for the Christmas specials and has no interest in siting on a strange man’s lap.

In fact, my feelings towards Santa didn’t end at indifference.  On Christmas eve, I would ask my father to light a fire in the fireplace.  I wasn’t intending this to be a signal or a warning to Santa Claus, but a trap.  I was actually hoping that Santa would somehow forget that we didn’t celebrate Christmas, would come down our chimney, and would get roasted.

Five years ago, my nephew came up with this idea on his own.  Yesterday, JSL brought home a letter that he wrote to Santa as part of a school project.  (I’ll leave aside for now that he was told to write a letter to Santa in his class when he doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  That’s a completely different subject.)


Here’s what he wrote:

Dear Santa,

I don’t want you to get stuck in the chimney so here is my advice: Don’t eat so much not healthy food on Christmas or on any other day.



JSL seems to want to help Santa out, not have him burned alive.  A much different sentiment expressed than the one I had for Santa when I was young.

Happy Thanksgivukkah

Tonight begins the celebration of Chanukah.  And, thanks to a freak occurrence with the Jewish and secular calendars, tomorrow Chanukah and Thanksgiving will collide and merge into Thanksgivukkah.  The next time this will happen will be in the year 79811.  So tomorrow we’re going to enjoy spinning the dreidel as we eat cranberry sauce and we’ll have some latkes with our turkey.


Happy Thanksgivukkah, everyone!

NOTE: I created my "Thanksgivukkah" image using "Turkey" by Pippi2011 and "Simple Menorah for Hanukkah" by semjaza.  Both are available via

A Halloween Story Starring The Doctor, Harry Potter, Captain America

Once upon a time, the Doctor accompanied Harry Potter and Captain America.


(I wear a costume now.  Costumes are cool.)

They set off on a quest.  Now considering these three, you might think it was a quest to save the world, but actually they were just looking for some candy.


(Peanut butter and chocolate.  Is there a better combination in this world?  I think not.)

It was a bit wet and cold, but they soldiered on and pretty soon they had quite a lot of candy.


(Sweet, sweet candy!)

Along the way, they braved some scary sights… such as Snoopy stuck into a pumpkin.


(Don’t worry.  He sent Woodstock to get help.)

As they arrived home, they were greeted by a group of haunted pumpkins.


(Grim grinning pumpkins come out to socialize!)

Luckily, these were the ones they had carved earlier so everyone went in, warmed up, ate dinner, and then had a celebratory sugar cookie.


(The candy wasn’t eaten yet, but it would be.  It would be!)

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

The Fourth Goes Boom!

On the Fourth of July, we had a very lovely time at a family’s house near Saratoga Lake.  The exciting events, however, happened not on the Fourth, but on the Sixth.  That’s when more family was present and we got to watch fireworks.  Yes, the "more family" also equaled "more chaos" from time to time and the fireworks meant that the boys were up WAY too late.  (They fell asleep in the car at around 10pm, though NHL had passed out much earlier and missed the entire fireworks show.)  Still, it all added up to a very fun day.

As we prepared for the fireworks, Aunt S broke out a series of glow sticks, hats, glasses and more that she had purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop.  Apparently, they stock many of these things for only a dollar each.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for these in the future.


We sat and waited on the porch and eventually it was time for the show.  The blasts came up into the sky and exploded with color.  Meanwhile, mosquitos defied the lit citronella candles and feasted on what they obviously saw as an all-you-can-eat human buffet.


I observed the fireworks the way I observe much of life, through the camera’s lens.  (I could launch into a detailed psycho-analytical self-study here about how I deal with Asperger’s and social situations by seeking the balance of social isolation and social participation one gets while taking photos nonstop, but that would be off topic.)  During the photos, someone asked me why I was taking so many.  I answered that I had to.  For every twenty that I took, only one was likely to be usable.  When asked for what, I replied "You never know when you might need fireworks photos for a blog post!"

Therefore, to keep myself from being a liar, here’s a selection of fireworks photos.  Feel free to add booming noises as you see the photos and/or say "Oooooh!  Aaaah!"  (Bonus points if you Vine or Instagram Video yourself doing this.)

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