Our Holiday Traditions

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Like many, fall is the season Rob and I love the most. The leaves change and drop, the high temps disappear, and the wildlife changes patterns. We sit quietly as Nature prepares for dormancy and we make our own preparations for the colder months ahead.

Being in Maine for nearly a year has taught us a great number of lessons. I take little for granted now, given power outages, new insects, failing wells, and erratic weather patterns. We now have a generator, a Water Bob filled with water in a spare bathtub, and plenty of snow-salt for winter. Studded snow tires are on next week’s agenda.

Fall was short this year, though no shorter than I remember it being in NC or NY… it’s never long enough, in my books.

We celebrated 3 weeks of leaf-peeping, as you saw in an earlier article I wrote last month. I never had a chance to fully prepare the yard in time but I’m OK with that… my coworkers have the same complaints. I work with expert gardeners and Mainers; if they’re behind on fall plantings, I’m not doing too badly!

Our average daily high temp dropped from the 50s-60s to the 30s and low 40s nearly overnight. As it coordinated with the shorter days, getting home from work and getting outside isn’t as easy as it was during the summer months. The ground is frozen and after 2 snow showers, we have potted plants outside covered in snow and ice. I’m not overly anxious to get out there and winterize them but this is part of acclimating to a new location.

Weather’s no excuse and Mother Nature’s taught me to prepare better in the future… it’s not just what’s in my immediate focal point that needs attention.

Amidst the changing season, we have holiday traditions I wanted to share for fun. (Besides, writing this delays us having to shovel 8” of snow in 9-degree weather, just so we can plug in heating tape for our water pipes and so the heating company can get to our oil tank.)

Our traditions are admittedly mostly Rob’s creations and revolve around seasonal movies. I handle seasonal foods, he handles the entertainment factor… see why our Food Flix venture worked so well!?!

Here’s a peek into our holiday movie traditions that emphasize the season or day being highlighted. How many of these movies do you recognize?

  • Horrortober – Rob’s month of horror movies, listed here.
  • Giallovember – Rob’s month of Giallo movies. These are artsy Italian murder mysteries from the late 60s and 70s I’ll explain once we wrap up November!
  • Thanksgiving – Home for the Holidays, Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz, Wonder Boys. This is the day we turn our tree around, as well. (It’s a small lighted tabletop tree that has Halloween decorations on one side and Xmas decorations on the other side. From January-November, the Halloween side faces out; from Thanksgiving on, the Xmas decorations take center stage!)
  • December – we enjoy Xmas movies and cartoons that most will recognize. We dust off the old holiday cartoons from our childhood such as Rudolph, A Year Without a Santa (which we played for one of our Food Flix Cinema events), and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Along with the standard flicks such as A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street, we enjoy lesser-known movies such as Krampus and Rare Exports.
  • Christmas Eve – an evening of BBC Xmas ghost stories! The BBC has an interesting tradition of releasing a ghost story on Xmas Eve, which we lavish. The British have a wonderful cinematic style and we love ghost stories. Who doesn’t appreciate the good ghosties and ghoulies during the Xmas festivities!?! This tradition began in the 1970s with M.R. James narrating
    chilling tales which terrified yuletide viewers for decades to come.” (There’s a boxset titled “Ghost Stores for Christmas,” if you’re dying to check them out!) 😉
  • Winter snow days – Maine has a few more snowy days than we’ve ever encountered and is admittedly, one of the reasons we moved here. I’m sure you can find the common theme in each of these movies and understand why they’re “snow-day movies”: The Thing, The Shining, 30 Days of Night.
  • Nights between Xmas and New Year’s – documentary time! We enjoy a little winter education with Mankind, BBC Earth Collection, and The Universe. Anything narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson or Morgan Freeman is just dandy by us!
  • New Year’s Day – our day of box set movies. Enter the world of Twilight Zone, Planet of the Apes, and The Blind Dead Collection.

It may appear odd that we sit still for such a large quantity of movies when I teach that most people waste 4 hours a day watching TV or social media. We rarely watch movies to completion – we’ve seen these so much, they often play in the background while we cook or focus on other holiday tasks. Sometimes they play silently while Rob listens to music and I read.

Winter is a season of going within and being quiet – it’s nice to give myself permission to zone out during this time of year and watch a little more TV than usual. These movies now have a special place in my heart and have created a tradition I absolutely adore.

What are your holiday traditions (movie-related or not)? One lady I work with started her holiday season with the Hallmark channel October 26th, when they start playing Xmas movies. Leave a comment and let me know!

 

What are your thoughts?