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‘Tis Christmas time again. Houses are decorated, Christmas trees are lit, and the GOG forums are full of good cheer! …. Or, are they? Where’s the festive music? Where’s the good food? It seems those in charge of the festivities have botched the job, and we’re left with half a party! So come one, come all, and help us make this a Christmas we’ll never forget! Who knows, you might even find a Christmas gift in your stocking (provided you made a Christmas wish list of course) as a reward…

Welcome everyone, to PaterAlf’s and skimmie’s Christmas Surprise Party. We’d like to learn a bit about other people’s Christmas traditions. What kind of (local) songs are a necessary part of your festivities? And what’s the must-have dinner (or lunch, or breakfast, or cookies, or waffles or whatever else you like to eat in the season of good cheer)? So, in order to find out, we need your input. Post your favourite Christmas song (link to a version we can all listen to, if you can!) or your best Christmas recipe, and, if you want, please tell us why you like it so much. Stories are a great Christmas tradition, too!

To make things a bit more interesting, we’ve tied in a surprise giveaway of sorts. If you post a song or recipe, please also make sure to let us know if you’re in for the GA or not, and if you’re in, make sure your wish list is public (or set it to ‘friends’ and add us as friends, at least for the duration of the giveaway). We’ll be going around and dropping gifts in your stockings here and there if you participated (starting December 6th), so you MIGHT end up with a gift from us, sooner or later! Then again, you might not. After all, we’re just sharing for the fun of it; the GA is a bonus.
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Let the party commence :) Have fun, everyone!

One of my favourite christmas songs is ' Sleigh ride' and especially the Mannheim Steamroller version. I used to visit Disneyland Paris every year until 2010, usually ' round christmas time. This was the song they played all around Main Street during the christmas season back then. So, this song brings back many, many good memories, not just of christmas, but also of great fun with friends and family!
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I will post a song as well. It's called "Im Walde steht ein Tannenbaum". Can't really find a nice version of it, because it's not a very popular song here (it's originally from Russia). But it means something for me, because my goddaughter sang it for me when she was very little (I think she was four years old). I've never heard it before and I was really amazed that she knew that song and that she could sing all the verses. And of course she also was incredible cute singing that song (which I had a video of her version).

Im Walde steht ein Tannenbaum
My favorite Christmas song has definitely got to be "Wizards in Winter" by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I first heard this song from a Youtube video of someone who timed his Christmas light display to the music. Was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. This song also reminds me of the times when me and my family would put up a big light display. Was always the best looking display in our neighborhood. Linked below is the song and also the same light display that I saw many years ago:

I'm in for the giveaway. Thanks Pateralf and skimmie for bringing the holiday cheer to Gog. :D
While Indonesia is not a Christian country, on Christmas there will always be Home Alone movies played on national fta TV. Seeing Macaulay Culkin outsmarted crooks apparently never gets Indonesian bored. Other movies to play are Arnold's Jingle All The Way and The Polar Express.

For the recipe, here is a recipe for Kaasstengels. A Dutch influenced savory cookies. You can expect these available at houses on every religious festivities holiday. Eid, Christmas or else.

I'm in, maybe something will slipped by the chimney.
(Note: Following recipe is in Australian measuring standards, so you might need to calculate your measurements accordingly. If you treat a cup as 250mls and a tablespoon being 20mls, you should be ok)

- 1 & 2/3 cups cake crumbs (we usually buy a pre-baked "double unfilled sponge" from the supermarket for this, but if you bake your own plain vanilla sponge cakes, that will do nicely).
- 90g dark cooking chocolate, gently melted (buy proper premium cooking chocolate for this)
- 3 tablespoons apricot jam, sieved (yes, strain the chunks of fruit out please) (Americans, you call this "Jelly", yes?)
- 2 tablespoons of good rum / brandy or whatever spirit you like. (I won't be held responsible if you use something weird and have a poor result though, so try to stick to rum eh?) If you want a stronger alcohol flavour, use a stronger proof. Don't "add more" booze or it may not stick well.
- 1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

Simply combine all ingredients except the sprinkles in a large bowl. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls (just your average tea-spoon is ok, I'm not saying 5ml sizes are required). Roll in chocolate sprinkles and refrigerate until required.

Yum Yum. A family recipe leaked to y'all by Braggadar. I might be hung for this, so enjoy the secret.

I'M IN for the GA.
My wishlist is pretty extensive though. I might have to have a edit of it before I make it public lol. DONE.

NOTE: In tiny archaic scribblings at the bottom of the page I was able to make it that it makes 36. But I know this is highly variable depending on the size you make the balls.

Tradition: Our traditional christmas is a little more reserved than it was decades ago. We'd often cook a spread and invite close family for lunch (dinner wasn't fair to make them travel). Turkey never graced our table, but ham freshly carved off the bone is the norm, fruit mince tarts, rum balls (shhhh!!!), and perhaps a nice pavlova for dessert. But as time passed, and family passed on, the numbers have dwindled. Now it is mum dad & myself, and perhaps my last grandparent if she doesn't have elsewhere to be (she doesn't celebrate Christmas, but we invite her regardless). Christmas movies are still our tradition. Die Hard, the first Lethal Weapon, Home Alone etc are common, but the clincher is always National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It is the definitive movie in our house for Christmas.
Presents are now nolonger done in our house. Times are tough, and It's actually refreshing to get away from the commercialism and just enjoy the simple things in life.
Post edited December 04, 2018 by Braggadar
can I give things away in this thread?
Coolest xmas song for me always was - "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade. This is very often played at my home at the end of december and I remember this song since childhood.

I'm in for the giveaway.
NickZah: Coolest xmas song for me always was - "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade. This is very often played at my home at the end of december and I remember this song since childhood.

I'm in for the giveaway.
for me, it is this.

EDIT: This is better
Post edited December 04, 2018 by swsoboleski89
İ like xmas movies actually. Any advice on Netflix pls post.

İ am in for giveaway too.

Fun and cheers
Nice one Skimmie and PaterAlf:)

Favourite song - Good King Wenceslas, couldn't find a nice recording. Favourite singer for Christmas songs is Luciano Pavarotti.

We have croissant and coffee for breakfast, usually too hot Christmas dinner.
So, for us, a big part of Christmas tradition is the local community Christmas concert. It just happened this past Sunday. It's a pot-luck affair - everyone brings something to eat. It happens in the old school - old as in built in 1926 in the middle of nowhere (as of today, there is still no running water. The bathroom is still an outhouse!). Everyone gets together for some food, and then we have the concert. Kids and adults can sing songs, or act skits, or play instruments - whatever they want. There's a little stage in the corner for them. And then we sing Christmas carols. It's the same lady at the piano every year - she's about 85, and a fantastic musician. I don't thing she can actually see the sheet music anymore, but it doesn't matter. Every year, "Here Comes Santa Clause" is about the sixth carol, and midway through the carol, Santa Clause shows up. Parents pre-arrange the gifts, so Santa calls every kids name, and hands him / her a gift. The gifts are always small and thoughtful, and everyone goes home with the feeling that Christmas is something bigger than themselves. Sometimes I think my kids look forward to the Christmas concert more than they look forward to Christmas.

It's events like these that remind me that I absolutely love the community that I live in. I hope that thirty years from now, my kids are the ones carrying on the tradition of the local Christmas concert, regardless of where we live.
Great idea, thanks! I’ll share two Christmas traditions from the region I was born - Greater Poland.

In preparation for Christmas there are two important days: Saint Nicholas Day (6th of December). On this day there is a tradition to put some candies and small gifts in the shoes - this one is known in the whole Poland. In Grater Poland, however, there is another special day, namely Saint Lucia Day (13th of December). On this day mothers should put some salt into twelve bowls, each of them representing a month. Each bowl should be placed in a different place around the house. On the Christmas Day, early in the morning everybody should check these bowls. If salt become wet it means that this particular month will be very rainy.

We also have a special recipe for Christmas: carp with a special gravy. First you boil carp heads with some vegetables, strain this decoction, add some raisins and eventually melt some gingerbreads in it (obviously without chocolate) so you end up with thick gingerbread-fishy gravy. Does it sound disgusting? Well, trust me: it TOTALLY is! I still cannot understand that some people love it, to me mixing fish with sweet gingerbread is totally revolting but that’s a tradition around here ;)

As a bonus I’ll share rock/metal versions of Polish Christmas Carols

I’m in, my wishlist is open :)
im in :german tradionell chrismas song

"O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu*) sind deine Blätter.
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit:
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
dein Kleid will mich was lehren!
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
gibt Trost und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
dein Kleid will mich was lehren!"
Hey guys! You two are awesome!

I'd like to participate for the full extent of the event, I certainly wouldn't mind to find a gift under my digital tree this year! :P

Anyway, coming to the substance: I won't post traditional Christmas songs in the traditional sense, but I will share some "traditional" non-traditional songs that became tradition for my family. Tradition tradition. Tradition.
My absolute favourite Italian band is Elio e le Storie Tese, an absurd/experimental/demential/generally weird group of "Zappian" inspiration that ha a lot of fun in deconstructing musical tropes. For Christmas they usually come up with a new crazy song, sometimes talking about the scientific property of ginger, some others about high-tech nativity scenes.
These are two of my favourites:

They are hard to appreciate if you don't speak Italian, but they have a good musical value nonetheless, even if you don't get a word. They are a half-mockery-half-tribute of more famous songs.

Also, there is no Christmas without Panettone. Here's a recipe:
Still, I wouldn't advise trying to bake one yourself, as it has been recognized to be one of the hardest "patisserie" goals to achieve, and it must be prepared with an almost surgical precision to be done correctly.