Thanks for the information, Simone! I too would have guessed (from very limited experience with German -- only through songs) that it meant folk music. Yes, I'm sure we could probably all name something our parents did (or still do, ha) to 'torture' us. Maybe you'll gain a sentimental appreciation for it later down the road.
And thank you for your nephew story, Sharon. Just goes to show ... there's always perspective to be found if you stop and pay attention. And when it comes from an eight-year-old, that's something big. *shakes head, marveling* I hope your brother-in-law returns home safe and sound as soon as possible.
These are such lovely family stories... Make the most of the experience while you can, guys.
Aw, man... I give! I've been struggling to decide whether to take a three-hour trip today to Green Bay for the weekend, to spend it with my parents and my sister and her husband and their kids (my brother and his wife would be there too but she's about to have a baby any day now!). Everything sounds enticing. My dad wants to bring my nephew and niece to see all the holiday lights at this particular botanical garden just outside of town, because he thinks they'll get a kick out of it. And my mom wants to have all of us make Christmas cookies together (thought it would be fun for the kids). I know I'd have a great time with everyone, especially since I haven't had the chance to see those kids in a while. But I've been waffling because they'll be coming to town to stay at my grandmother's house next week for the holiday, and I feel like I've been fighting off an incoming cold (I've woken up with one of those stuffy-head headaches every day this week yet managed to keep it from turning into something worse, for now, but I definitely feel like it's waiting for me to let my guard down so it can pounce). I thought I should stay home this weekend, to avoid running myself ragged and getting sick for the holiday, and just see them all next week. But now your words make me think I should just go for it, go anyway, have some fun, and simply deal with it if I do happen to catch a cold. Like you said, how often am I going to have the opportunity to have these moments with them?
I've had some interesting New Year's Eve times. As a teenager I was once in on my own... when sister's boyfriend visited unexpectedly as a surprise and found her absent, surmised correctly that she was out with the Other Boyfriend, and promptly cried all over my shoulder all evening. Talk about depressing. And then there was the face off when they arrived back. Aarghh!
Oh no, that's awful!
On big occasions like Christmas and New Year my family used to go loco. They are all seasoned drinkers and seeing them all on a holiday high and together was ... well, scary at times. A kind of mass hysteria which inevitably resulted in a fracas at some stage. Once my brothers wrecked the Christmas tree in the hall by having a stand-up fist fight.
Oh my gosh, Steph! That's unimaginable to me. I mean, my mom's brothers will drink beer, and I can recall as a kid sometimes they got obnoxious and mouthy, but nothing to that extent.
I'm so sorry you had to go through that -- it does not sound pleasant.
Needless to say, my own family makes both occasions private get togethers. Just before the stroke of New Year hubby goes outside and at midnight knocks on the door and does the traditional 'first footing', which is to say, walks straight through the house without being addressed by anyone, as the first New Year visitor, carrying a lump of coal, a hunk of bread and a piece of silver. For good luck in the New Year - food, warmth, prosperity. Then we go out and watch the fireworks at a distance and listen to all the boats on the Mersey sounding their horns.. It's personal and magical.
It sounds wonderful
! What beautiful traditions. My heart's feeling all warm and smooshy now.
My family traditions? Well, like I mentioned in a previous post I memorialized one tradition my family used to have on my livejournal, but I won't repeat it here (for sake of trying
not to be so wordy -- if you're interested in reading it, Steph listed my livejournal link in the Links thread, I think).
At present, every year is different now because my sister and brother are both married and thus have obligations outside of our immediate family now. But when we do all get together, there's usually a yummy feast of some sort (and though she won't admit it, my mom is a fantastic cook), we exchange gifts, and after my nephew and niece are put to bed, we usually end up playing board games, or card games like Hearts or Dirty Eights. These games always end up involving lots of taunting and trash talking, which can get pretty funny. When we go to my grandmother's, it's pretty much the same deal. Lots of love, lots of good food and holiday music and fun gift-exchanges, and lots of card-playing. (And even my grandma gets in on that trash talking sometimes, which is HILARIOUS. She'll quietly play her cards for the most part, listening to all of us and laughing, but every once in a while if someone gives her a hard time or a nasty card, she'll pipe up with something hysterically funny that none of us were expecting, which makes us laugh all the harder.) It's fun.