When Christmas cheer is in the air, plenty of nice things are said and done-carols are sung, folks dress up as Santa, mothers bake plum cakes and fathers bring home gifts for their children. But the year is drawing to an end, Santa’s tally is already done, and the new year is yet to begin. So why sit around being nice, polite and boring when it is actually the perfect time to pep up things a little.
Here is a list of five fun Yuletide traditions that will jazz up your celebrations.
Hurl a Christmas Tree
People in southern Germany have found a great way to bid farewell to Christmas celebrations and rid their living rooms of the ornamented fir trees. They heave it and throw it above high bars. It is called the Tree Throwing Championship. It has its own set of rules. The trees need to be at least 6 feet long and 10 kilos in weight. After all the trees have been hurled, the tree that covers the longest distance wins, and all of the trees are together set ablaze.
Considering its popularity in Germany, UK and US too have started holding tree-throwing competitions, but, they do it before Christmas. A nice prize awaits anyone who can throw the largest tree over the farthest distance.
So this year, after Christmas, just take your Christmas tree and shove it out of your window.
Tie your Mother to her Chair
Don’t wait around timidly being nice, and waiting for your presents to arrive. Just sneak up on your mother, tie her to her chair and demand your Christmas gift as ransom. If that does not work, try tying up your dad as well. At least, that is what kids in Yugoslavia used to do.
Grab a Bite of a Coin
Add a coin or two to your Christmas pudding. The one who finds it keeps it.
Play Ghost with a Horse Skull
Drape yourself in white sheets and run around with a believable replica of a horse skeleton. If a horse skull is difficult to find, try a human skeleton instead. You will scare away any guest you don’t want sharing your pudding. You can store the skull for your Halloween celebrations next year. This is actually a Christmas ritual in a village in Wales. While one villager moves around with the snapping skull of a dead horse on a pole, others gather around him and sing. Sounds nothing like Christmas, but hey, traditions need to be respected.
Skate your Way to the Church
Abandon the long white gowns and midnight masses. Do what people in Caracas, Venezuala do. Get on your roller skates early in the morning and zip off to early morning mass. On the way, stop to light firecrackers.
Throw a Shoe
Stand before your door and throw a shoe over your head. If it falls with its heel facing towards the house, you will remain single for yet another year. However, if it faces away, you will soon tie the knot. This is a popular practice in the Czech Republic. What if you are already married and running around a brood of children? Throw the shoe anyway. Who knows? It may portend a breeze of romance.
Get a sapling baby
In Catalonia, Spain, children tend to a piece of log by feeding it, and then covering it in warm blankets. What angelic kids, don’t you think? Then wait till Christmas morning when they start hitting their logs with sticks till it ‘poops’ out all that it has been fed. The logs are then thrown into the fire- a way of affirming the roles of reward and punishment to the young.
You could actually adopt a sapling or bring one home for your child. Your child will learn the important lesson of preserving life.
Image credit : Beatrice Murch
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