Have Yourself An Awesomely Weird Christmas

Have Yourself An Awesomely Weird Christmas

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,23 December 2014

There was a point in my manic preparations for this DIY Christmas where I began to believe I’d either have to quit my job or give up sleeping in order to finish all these damn gifts. As my house was overtaken by paints and salts, drills and ribbons, and more butter than should be legal, feelings of resentment grew towards the eventual recipients of these crazy-ass gifts I’m making. Now in my right mind, I realize these feelings are completely unjustified and brought about solely by my own psychotic decision to take on more projects than a team of Martha Stewart clones could finish on time. Since my right mind isn’t a place I visit often, I’ve taken to finding even stranger Christmas traditions to make me feel less cray-cray. Enjoy!

1. Poop equals good yuletide luck in the Catalan region of Spain. The Caganer (“the crapper”) is a little figurine that’s been featured in Nativity scenes for more than 200 years. Sometimes he’s a political figure, sometimes he’s a sports icon, and sometimes he’s a traditional peasant but one thing always holds true; his bare little ass squats above the ground in the act of defecation. Merry Christmas!

2. Greelanders (Greenlandians? Greenies?) have come up with a dish that makes my mom’s Christmas Eve dinner of Tuna Tree seem downright gourmet. That’s because the traditional dish, kiviaq, features hundreds of dead seabirds that have fermented in a seal skin for 3-18 months. Mm good!

3. Walking in a Winter Wonderland with…a snake? If you’re Alice Cooper, this is how you spend your Christmas Eve. Strolling around with a snake. He also likes to take the snake shopping. Yet another reason to avoid the mall this holiday season!

4. Stairway to heaven? No thanks, I’ll take the express roller derby lane when I’m in Caracas. That’s because in Caracas, Venezuela the devotees skate their way to mass. It’s so popular that many streets are closed early mornings before Christmas to keep the church-bound skaters safe.

5. Is there anything more festive than stewing in the juices of your gross neighbor’s nakedness? Not in Estonia because that’s where Christmas Eve will find most Estonians buck-nekkid in a sauna with their nearest and dearest. So if things start to get dire around the family table on Christmas, just imagine everyone naked and sweaty. But first, put your therapists on speed dial.

6. Now, Noche de los Rábanos is a tradition I could totally get behind. This “Night of the Radishes” is celebrated in Oaxaca, Mexico on December 23rd and involves radishes, radishes and more radishes! Compared to the Christmas Crapper, a nativity scene made out of radishes doesn’t sound so bad.

7. Dressing up like demons and running around the streets with cowbells and sticks to scare the crap out of children sounds more like a Halloween tradition but not in Austria. That’s where packs of young guys dress up like Krampus, a goat-devil, baaaaaad Santa who will beat the bad out of you to get you on that Nice List.

When pondering these exotic Christmas traditions, I don’t think of them as stupid or foreign. I think of them as a sign of the fact that all over the world, people are seriously nuts. Whether it’s dressing like Santa and going on a vomit-strewn pub crawl, eating deep-fried caterpillars, suffering through the feats of strength, or endangering our mental health and physical safety by turning into crafting maniacs, we’re all weird in our own special way during the holidays. And for this we should be truly thankful because normal is boring. Happy holidays, you wackmobiles!


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