Holiday Traditions

I grew up never really considering my family as having any holiday traditions. I just thought everything we did was pretty normal across the board for other families, at least Christian or Italian families.  (I never really embraced my British side until I got married and lost my Italian surname.)

Later, in my teens, we did start some traditions. On Labor Day and Memorial Day, we would play some sort of calm outdoor sport. Badminton, bocce ball, croquet; that sort of stuff.

Bocce ball. Credit: thedayofgames.com
Bocce ball. Credit: thedayofgames.com

However, now that I’ve been out of my parents’ house, and married for several years, I’ve discovered that everything we did was our holiday traditions.

Christmas Eve, Dad would dress up as Santa (we always knew it was him, and he knew it) and give us one present to open, and later he would read about the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke. When I was a kid, we’d all wake up the next morning and tear into all our presents. Mum took most of the pictures. After everything was opened Dad assembled the toys that needed it, and would likely realise he forgot to buy batteries.

Starting around the time my sister was born, we’d trek to Oklahoma to share Christmas with my maternal granddad. We joined him for every Christmas, Independence Day (his favourite American holiday), and starting with his 70th, his birthday, until he passed away in 2004.

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The first Christmas not going to visit Gampa felt weird. It was our only real Christmas tradition, in my eyes, and we’d have to figure out what to do now. It didn’t take long. As Bro and I got older, the presents we wanted got more expensive, so we didn’t have as many as our still young sister. We soon started going one at a time opening our presents.

Oh yeah, and before opening presents, we’d sing a few carols (all Christ-based, of course) and pray, thanking God for our provisions and the ability to celebrate Christmas with gifts.

Long story short (I know — too late), our current traditions (with Hubby’s family) are definitely blatant, as far as I’m concerned. Everyone takes turns playing Black Ops zombies on Christmas Eve as we await midnight.  That’s when we open presents, one at a time.  After presents, we stay up late (anywhere from 2-4 am) playing Apples to Apples, and maybe more zombies.

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Everyone’s favourite zombie map in Black Ops 2

What made me think of this topic is that this year will be different again. It’s the first Christmas without my father-in-law, as he passed away in May. It was already decided long before he died, but we’re all going to Dallas to spend Christmas at my brother-in-law’s house instead of Tulsa. While most things will remain the same, especially zombies, we’ve all also agreed that no one needs presents. Everyone’s getting them, of course, from at least one person, but we’re not making it a big deal.

This year, I’ve decided to celebrate my birthday on Christmas Day.  The only reason for this is that I want to celebrate it with the family, and that’s the only day we’re all guaranteed to be there.  I have ordered an epic cake :).  I think it’s epic, anyway, but not as epic as the one I almost ordered — a spherical cake that looks like Mars.  I was never fully set on that, so I changed it to something simpler that I know I will love, and so will others.  At least the gamers will.

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Doomsday Zombie Army

Dreams are the best. (Or at least they can be.) Most of the time I love my dreams, but usually it’s just because it’s mine and I watched it happen. Talking about it to someone else, however, usually ends with them responding with little interest.

I thought I’d share this one, though, because it involves my favourite movie (2012) and zombies.

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Original picture source unknown.

It started toward the end of the movie when people are settling into the arks. However, unlike the movie, everyone from Ark 3 was immediately boarded to other arks and people gained roommates. I arrived at my room, where Adrian Helmsley had also just arrived as my roomie. (I somehow knew that Anhauser was our other roommate –oh, the drama that could ensue, LOL–, but he wasn’t there.)

Adrian had already left for the bridge, but I soon left to explore, feeling that something was wrong. I soon found out that zombies were quickly approaching the arks and everyone was “battening down the hatches.” I ended up exploring down into the lower decks, not realising that someone who was slowly turning into a zombie was following me. Not yet a zombie, he finally caught up to me and we continued exploring together. Overall, he became increasingly more aggressive. He eventually started actually being after me, but struggling to hold onto his right mind. Right before he lost his mind to the zombie, he purposefully became entangled in a damaged part of the ship and urgently told me to escape.

I headed toward the ark’s gate, suddenly knowing that I had a friend who wasn’t on board yet. I don’t recall if I found that friend, but zombies were at the gate (it was raised a good 15 feet from the ground, so they couldn’t get in) and some people were being thrown out because they were turning into zombies. I had accidentally fallen out and into the rising pool of water below, among the zombies. I don’t remember exactly how and when I found out, but the zombies had incredibly super strength. Although I was scared of them, I was more afraid of not being able to get back onto the ark than I was of the zombies. As I watched one of the zombies approach me, I suddenly realised that they weren’t after us, but wanted to fight for us. (Though against what, I have no idea.)

There it is: my full description of a dream that seemed much longer… and better… Oh, well.