Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday Five: Favorite Holidays

I'm not sure why I have holidays on my mind right now. It serves for a good Friday Five though. My top five holidays:

Easter. I am not particularly religious and I don't claim affiliation with any specific denomination, group, council, sect, whathaveyou. Easter is my favorite holiday though for one specific reason. As a child, I didn't spend much time with my natural father's family (long story for another time). I missed a lot of holidays with them, but I always spent Easter with my Grandma. And Easter was almost as exciting as Christmas for me as a kid.

As an adult, I hold Easter above Christmas specifically for the memories I have of my grandmother. Easter egg hunting, the "treasure" blanket, and salami roll ups always jump at me. The "treasure" blanket is memorable because Grandma had many, many grand kids and so was not able to buy a lot of stuff for us. At Easter, she set out a number of toys and trinkets (Slinky's, water guns, play dough, etc.) and then would draw a name from a hat. Each kid was listed in the hat a certain number of times based on how many things she got for the blanket. 

It was one of the most awesome experiences of my childhood... the thrill of wondering if my name was going to be called next, planning out what I would choose and alternates in case my choice was snatched up by someone else, and the general euphoria of sitting around with a dozen other children doing the exact same thing. It was awesome.

Click the jump for the other 4!

Christmas. Again, I'm not particularly religious so the reason for this holiday is also non-religion specific. Like Easter, Christmas was one of the rare times that I got to see my Grandma. We didn't get over to her house every Christmas, but we made most of them at or around Christmas. Grandma was incredibly crafty. She made all of us girls homemade dolls one year with little dresses and hats. As us kids got older and we became "picky" as teenagers tend to do, she stopped making toys. 

Instead, she made Christmas ornaments. My brother and I have every single ornament she made us over the years. My mom keeps them for us and puts them on the tree every year. She wasn't my grandma's child, but Grandma treated my mom like family. My grandmother passed away this year and it is still hard for me to think about (I'm crying right now), but I will always cherish these memories of her. 

In honor of her, I told my family back in April that I would be doing handmade Christmas ornaments for everyone from now on. My little sisters may not understand their value now, but they will eventually learn just how precious something made by hand is.

Halloween. Halloween combines some of my favorite things: candy, dressing up, and scary stories. I don't have much of a sweet tooth but trick-or-treating was always fun for me. People give you loads of candy... for free! I haven't dressed up in many years, but it's still awesome to see the costumes. My brother has an annual Halloween party (costume mandatory) that I have never managed to get to. One of these days. Scary stories are just great. I love scary movies, horror novels, haunted houses, etc. I may not be able to sleep without a light on for a few days after a scare-fest, but it is totally worth it.

Veteran's Day. Okay, this isn't the typical holiday you'd expect on a list like this but it stands. I love my country, and while I may not support what the current politicos are doing, I damn well support my troops. I'm one of those people that will get pissy if I see someone wearing a hat during The National Anthem. I also go out of my way to thank veterans, not just on November 11th, but throughout the year when I meet them. I have been closely following the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell legislation and other military current events. 

So, if I see you at a football game wearing your stupid ball cap or talking through the Anthem, you are forewarned that I will expend an inordinate amount of self-control to not throw something at your head. In the same vein, if I see someone disrespecting the military and our veterans, I see red and wage an internal war to avoid jail time.

St. Patrick's Day. I love St. Patrick's Day. It's a little over a week after my birthday so I usually hold off my birthday celebrations until the 17th each year because there are almost always serious drink specials going on that night. It also has fallen on every Spring Break I have ever had, so that makes it even better. I don't really know if I have any Irish in me, but at least for this day, I will fake it really well.

I really enjoy the bagpipe bands if I can find them (seriously) and there is never a shortage of costumes and debauchery happening. One thing I do take offence to: pinching someone if they aren't wearing green. For one, the original color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Two, I'm sorry but if I'm drinking and someone pinches me, I might punch them. It depends on where they pinch and if I enjoy it. ;)

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

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