The Pirate George Advent Calendar: Day Twelve

The Christmas tradition I miss most is making cookies with my Grandma Carney.

Although I’m sure that cookies for the holidays is quite traditional, the feeling of tradition I’m speaking of is more personal than global.  The current global traditions surrounding Christmas cookies is a good one: The Baking Exchange, where you bake your specialty and swap them with others.  But the tradition of cooking with Grandma Carney had a special resonance: I was allowed in the kitchen. Continue reading “The Pirate George Advent Calendar: Day Twelve”

The Pirate George Advent Calendar: Day Thirteen – Gimme 5: British Christmas Traditions

(Note: this day is dedicated to John Sewell (the one in England.  I have two…), in thanks for letting me bug him about cultural topics.  And for not having me assassinated for calling him Johnny Seaweed.  Thanks, John, for great musical introductions, superfluous “u”‘s, and tolerance.  Happy Christmas.)

1. The Ashen Faggot

Yes, you can say it out loud; it’s a real thing.  Wassailers(think “drunk carolers”) carry around a bundle of sticks from an ash tree, which is ceremoniously tossed into the fire.  When one of the willow stems that bind the sticks burns and pops?  Drink!  Nothing says “Happy Birthday, Jesus” like fortified cider punch and fire. Continue reading “The Pirate George Advent Calendar: Day Thirteen – Gimme 5: British Christmas Traditions”