Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Traditions

In the Hungarian tradition Saint Nick arrives to fill your shoes in early December. The angels bring your tree and gifts on Christmas Eve.

Since our little angel spends Christmas in New York, we have another Christmas with him a few days after the calendar dictates. This provides an excellent opportunity for community building.

The problem: we need a tree after Christmas. You can't even buy fresh cranberries anymore. I tried. I got the canned instead.

The solution: Our neighbors take down their tree the day after Christmas and leave it for us on their front lawn.

We trudge down the block, me in my tree-collecting monstrosity of a Wild Tibetan hat, the others with thick gloves to protect against pine needles (which are decidedly dried out by this time in the tree's decorative life). It is a short block back to the house with our needle-shedding prize.

Thus, the recycled tree is reincarnated in our living room. We decorate it with szalon cukor candies (yummy zseles are our favorite) and knotted strings of orbular lights. Later, when we leave the house for a walk around the block, the angels visit us and leave our gifts. Now that is a holiday tradition.

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