Tagged: christmas

Fun Holiday Videos: Japan-style

While I often choose to keep it festive during my December posts by either creating bad parody poetry or reading holiday comics, this year I’ve found myself taking a bit of a different spin.

I recently had a conversation with a friend where we discussed if we could just claim that Christmas is now “officially” a secular holiday. While I feel that this idea is still premature, it didn’t stop us from talking about how Christmas has evolved over the years and has been adopted and celebrated by other cultures in new and rather interesting ways. Most notably Japan and their tradition of eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas.

After this conversation ended, I pretty much went home and jumped down the YouTube rabbit-hole to see what exactly a KFC Christmas meal would look like and where the tradition came from. To save you the time, I’ve posted a couple of my favorite videos below.

Simon and Martina: Eat Your Kimchi
Simon and Martina have been living overseas and posting about their lives for 10 years now. Previous to living in Japan, they lived and posted videos from South Korea. I’ve been watching them for some time now and appreciate how they can be both upbeat and honest about their lives, even when things aren’t going well. If you like this video, I highly recommend you spend some quality time with their channel. If not just to watch videos of their dog, Spudgy (who sadly passed away not too long ago).

 

 

Abroad in Japan
A British gent now living in Japan, Chris Broad does a pretty good job at highlighting both his own culture shock and his desire to learn. He puts in enough research to add context, but if you’re looking for heavy cultural analysis, this might not be the channel for you. Instead, if you enjoy a rather snarky sense of humor and a healthy amount of self-deprecation, Chris is your guy.  Think informative without the strange yelling at the camera or bouncing “walking while talking” you can get from other YouTubers. He’s got over a million subscribers for a reason.

Colonel Santa not your thing? Perhaps you’re in the mood for a different rabbit hole that’s also filled with holiday cheer? Might I suggest starting with this list of articles from our archives?

But regardless of how you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) the season, warmest wishes to you and yours. See you in the new year!

 

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Holiday Fun Facts

The winter holidays are here and it’s a great time to learn more about the traditions your familiar with and get to know the ones you aren’t. Here are some facts and stories you may not have known about just a few of the ways people celebrate during December.

Hanukkah: It’s Not All About the Oil

Menorah, a candle holder with nine Branches.

A Hanukkah, a type of menorah with nine branches. Source: Wikipedia

If you have only a passing familiarity with Hanukkah and its associated traditions, you may know it as a celebration of the lamp oil that lasted for eight nights when it only should have been enough for one. But this is only one part of the story, and one that doesn’t show up in the narrative until later versions. The main purpose of Hanukkah is to celebrate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, a major victory in the Maccabean Revolt. The temple had been repurposed as an altar to Zeus and needed to be cleansed and reclaimed, which included lighting the menorah. The rededication of the temple does include the story of how a single flask of the kosher oil needed to light the menorah miraculously lasted long enough for a new batch to be prepared, but not in the earliest accounts of the event. Continue reading

Smalerie Reads Christmas Comics: The Return

While it’s very possible that I’m the only one getting a kick out of these seasonal comic creations, this year I decided to revisit the ghosts of blog posts past and share some more holiday themed comics with you all.

 

The Last Christmas – Story by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, Art by Rick Remender

last christmas

Image: Image Comics

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Three Christmas Cartoons for Animation Nerds

The holiday season is here and it’s a great time for animation. Any TV channel with any kind of children’s or family program has a seemingly endless supply of animated specials old and new for viewers to enjoy. Animated specials often become part of our holiday traditions. We wrap presents, eat whatever traditional foods we enjoy, and watch the same specials we’ve been watching since we were kids.

But maybe you’re looking for a change of pace? Maybe you could use some fresh viewing material to accompany Rudolph and Charlie Brown? Perhaps something with a distinctive animation style? I’ve got you covered. Here are three Christmas specials that will delight you with new animated visuals and fresh (and familiar) tales of the season. Continue reading

Cookie Monster – A Favorite Christmas Tradition

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Our wee little tree. Ornament themes include superheroes, robots, and chickens.

The holidays can be a tough time for folks, I know – there’s the stress of shopping, there’s cold and dark and nasty weather, there’s expectations that can’t be met. And yet…I love the holidays (pretty much all holidays, except for St. Patrick’s Day, but especially the fall and winter holidays). I love lights and food and gathering with friends and family. I especially love holiday traditions. There’s something magical to me about doing the same thing, year after year in celebration with the same people; it’s like the goodwill builds and grows with each repetition. It’s comforting and powerful. Whether it’s reading the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve (and my father still does this with my niece and nephews every year), or putting a favorite ornament on the tree, it just makes everything a bit more meaningful to me, that chain of years behind the moment.

So I was pondering this here Christmas Eve blog post, and I didn’t have a clever Christmas poem for you, or an amazing Christmas craft to teach you. But I do have this, one of my very favorite traditions – our annual cookie decorating party. I’ll share it with you and who knows, maybe you’ll start this tradition, too.

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Non Traditional Christmas Songs to Add to your Playlist

Last year inspiration struck and I created A Parademon’s Christmas.  This year, I am in the middle of moving, so my more creative juices and general energy are directed towards methods of self-preservation.  Happily, one of those methods is the time-honored tradition of not thinking about an upcoming stressful event by distracting yourself with other things.  And the distraction of my choice has been Christmas/Holiday music.  My Pandora list is mighty, my Google Play collection knows no boundaries..and so I have decided to share with you a few of my more non-traditional favorites.

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Getting all sorts of festive!

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Cartoon Sara Watches Three Muppet Christmas Specials

December is upon us, which means – like it or not – the winter holidays have arrived. It’s once again time for walking through winter wonderlands, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, and desperately trying to ensure that all three gifts for your fellow Ladies arrive in time. (Maybe that last one is just me.) It’s also an excellent time to get your Muppet fix. The Muppets have been making Christmas appearances on TV shows since the 1960s and started their own catalog of Christmas specials in 1970 with The Great Santa Claus Switch. Over forty years later, Muppet fans have a lot of holiday themed Muppet material to choose from. These are my three picks for the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, and Muppetational Muppet Christmas specials.

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Merry Christmas – And One Woman’s New Year

Merry Christmas everyone!

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The Menace Household Christmas tree. A close look reveals a large number of robots, spaceships, and chickens.

To be honest, the responsibility of writing a post that will update on actual, factual Christmas has been weighing on me a tad – it’s a big responsibility! Plus, what’s a lady to do? I can’t give you gift suggestions – it’s already too late! Smalerie and Cartoon Sara have covered us on comics and specials pertaining to the holiday spirit. And there’s no way I can top Tiny Doom’s craft from last year!

But then I realized – beyond wishing those of you who celebrate it a joyous holiday, I don’t need to focus this post on Christmas at all! Because hot on its heels is another holiday I can help you prepare for – New Year’s Eve.

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Cartoon Sara’s Top Ten Christmas Specials

The holiday season is upon us once again and along with snowstorms, visiting relatives, and frantic last minute gift shopping, that means holiday specials on TV. Seasonal specials have become part of our holiday traditions, something we come back to every year along with the old decorations to remind us of and connect us to holidays past. We all have our old favorites, but there’s always room for a few new ones to add to the yearly rotation. Here, in no particular order, are ten of my favorite Christmas specials. Some are well known classics, while others are a little less well known. So get your hot chocolate ready and prepare to revisit some of the old greats and discover some new ones.

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Parademon Christmas: A Poem of Unspeakable Cheer

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*Inspired by the ornament above, created by The Red Menace

Poem by: smalerie

There is a special day,
that comes but once a year.
A very special day,
that fills all Apokolips’ hearts with cheer.
Instead of shock and despair,
The smell of cookies fills the air
For today is the day the Parademons have their Christmas.

There are no trainings today
On the land or in the sky.
Darkseid takes a break
And no one wonders why.
He visits bearing gifts
All Parademons’ hearts he lifts
For today is the day the Parademons have their Christmas.

This Parademon got shiny jet wings
And a new doll, who smiles and sings.
There is no sweeter joy than this,
A day you (for your own safety) should not miss
For today is the day the Parademons have their Christmas.

As the day draws to a close
All the Parademons collect in rows
They deck and then burn down the tree.
Tis a wonderous thing to see
All Hail to the Parademons and their Christmas.