Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thinking of the Holidays

The WOTD is so much fun to do, however - instead of mixing up the words for me, my sister has insisted on giving me all "heavy" words. I mean, I gave her corn dog - why would she give me criticism/reality/silence.. argh!

Before I lose some of my readers over this, I thought I would share with you something on a different personal side.. something I have been thinking about - HOLIDAYS!

September (though it's a cursed month for me) is also the month that kicks off the holiday cheer!!! I am sooo in love with life from Sept - Dec. The best part of any calendar year in my book!

First of all, you've got Back To School! No, I don't have any kids.. but I still get excited to see all of the pencils and folders and wide ruled loose leaf paper bins filling up at the department stores. I always loved school, so this time of year just brings back awesome memories!

Then we have this glorious Labor Day weekend. The weekend we take those last minute summer vacation trips, that last "summer themed" cook out, that last attempt to go swimming before the water and air turn nippy.

Then college and high school football starts. No, I am not a football fan - but that does not mean I cannot appreciate the spirit of it! There are teams I have grown to "hope to win." Doesn't mean I have to watch it! Notre Dame, UGA, Alabama, Hoover High, SW High, New Orleans Saints (going professional now).. those are perfect examples.

Ramadan is wrapping up for my husband, soon we will be celebrating Eid! Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiáš­r means "to purify"; and so the holiday symbolizes the purification after completing the fasting month which is after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.  Basically you have a huge feast for a couple of days, and it is usually done as a community! The food is phenomenal, and the atmosphere is one of love and compassion!

Just a few weeks later we get ready for HALLOWEEN!!!! I am sooo excited about this year! We have a few plans to visit a few amazing haunted houses! In Birmingham, we will go to Sloss Fright Furnace and ATROX Factory. We plan to add one more to our list - Netherworld in Atlanta.   One of the many activities I have planned for the egyptian and I is to teach him how to carve a pumpkin.
Last October we were sooo stressed with immigration, we did not get to have a good time.   THIS year - we will go somewhere and pick out our pumpkin and carve a seriously cool masterpiece for our stoop. Now.. I have to tell you, I am one MEAN pumpkin carver. I even taught a class once!

I think he needs the full effect to understand how cool the whole pumpkin carving can be! There are great little pumpkin carving kits that you can pick up anywhere. SOOO much fun! I need to take my pics to my parent's home this weekend and scan away some of the items I have in my scrap books!

After Halloween comes The Dia de los Meurtos Festival in Birmingham. TOO much fun.

The video shows how very cooool the festival is in Birmingham!
Following this festival, I will be at mass celebrating All Saints Day! Time to light a few candles and say a few prayers.
It is a beautiful time for people of the catholic and orthodox faiths. We remember those who have passed on. We celebrate the saintly life and we are reminded that spirits are alive and well, and we respect that.
Let's not forget what else the fall season brings - International Festivals!!! In 17 days we will celebrate the Greek Festival. Then there is the Middle Eastern Food Festival at Saint George's.  These are excellent opportunities to get out into the community and experience some excellent culture!
Following these busy couple of weeks - we head into Thanksgiving!! I LOVE Thanksgiving. Why? It's such a wonderful time of year. It is officially fall (in the south), the air is crisp, we still have leaves that are brilliant colors on the trees and the food -oh the scrumptious food!
I love my mom's mashed potatoes with gravy. The layered salad, the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin and sweet potato pie - I used to enjoy the Autumn Blush muscadine wine from Chateau Elan in Georgia.. ahh.. it's good times, and great conversation. Not to mention the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!!! It's my favorite thing to watch!
Next we enter Advent and the weeks leading up to Christmas!
As soon as it is socially acceptable (uh.. the night of Thanksgiving!) I pull out all of my Christmas ornaments and decoration. First thing to be set up? The Advent Wreath. I love going to mass during this month. Each week celebrates another part of the hope and miracle Christians are waiting for - and that is Jesus. It is a time of pleasantries and happiness. I have fond memories of Christmas and that "preparation" part.

I love attending cookie swaps, and christmas parties, and picking out gifts. I love sharing that happiness and hope. It is the one time of year I get super cheesy!

I also like to celebrate with my Jewish friends their season of Hanukkah. I have enjoyed some of the amazing food that is prepared during those eight spectacular nights!

But when it comes to the final countdown of Christmas, I try my best to attend some Christmas Concerts, and watch old movies like - "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Rudolph".. etc.

I buy as much apple cider as possible and have a cup each night. I reminisce more. I miss relatives that have passed, old loves that dies, and friends that have moved on. Memories come rushing back - and it is sweet.

Dare I say it? This is the cusp of the most wonderful time of year in my book. I hope you will find things in your community to do to celebrate these days. Another year is only 4 months away. This is our last chance to look back on 2010 fondly. Let's make the best of it, shall we?

Now - please share with me in the comment section some of the special events your community celebrates.


Dawn said...

I can't believe it's almost time for the Holidays already! This year has gone by way to fast. I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't celebrate Halloween but we have a "Fall Festival" at church that I help with each year!

Thanksgiving - Normally I fix the big feast with all the traditional "southern" food... Surrounded by family and friends and Thanking the Lord for all we are blessed with.

Christmas - Oh this is my favorite time of year! Not only celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior but the spirit that surrounds this time of year! When I was growing up we waited until after Dec 1st to put up our tree because my sister's birthday is Dec 1st. Now, since we are all grown and have our own houses - I put it up Thanksgiving night! I want to be able to enjoy the lights and ornaments throughout the whole month of December - not just a few days! I normally attend a few Christmas gatherings and of course throw a party of my own. Christmas Eve we have a candle light service at church. I don't normally go to activities other than that but I might just have to check out and see what is going on around town this year!

I look forward to watching all of the Christmas movies. My favorite is " A Christmas Story " Ralphie you will shoot your eye out! Of course you can't forget about " A Charlie Brown Christmas " - I am quite partial to this one since my son is Charles Brown aka Charlie Brown *hehe*

Thanks Nicole for a great blog this morning/afternoon!!

Gigi said...

OMG...this is almost stressing me out to think about the holidays being that close! However, this year I am very excited because my family is headed to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving. We are meeting 3 of the grandparents there and renting a house near the beach and will cook dinner there for Turkey Day. I am counting the days for that. And it's our 10th anniversary that week, too!

Jen G-son said...

I have a feeling that the Holidays will be even harder this year, as the vast majority of my friends have left or will be leaving. Christmas looks bleak, so perhaps I'll treat myself to a vacation.

Waikiki though, during Halloween? Is the sh*t. It is utterly fantastic, mayhem and chaos. It's like Vegas, Mardi Gras and a Rave mixed into one.

Nicole said...

Jen G-son - WOW. Sounds like a freaking blast!! Are you from Waikiki??? How did you end up there, if not? Or do I need to go digging thru your blog for all of your secrets?? LOL

package holidays to egypt said...

Wow it is amazing post and wonderful pictures you attached here. I don't have any plan with me to spent my holidays but searching for some thing interesting and i came to your post.

Laura said...

Love this post, and it certainly has me in the mood for fall. Our traditions, just to name a few, start with visits to apple orchards (they are abundant here in the Midwest), Football Sundays (my husband can't pull me away from the TV on Sundays), a great family Halloween party, lots of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then, of course, cookie baking. Speaking of Christmas, Leanne has a "Countdown to Christmas" thing on her blog! Gotta love it.


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