Disco Balls and Cabbage... My Kind of Christmas
Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions, Martini-Style
So, the three cents I will get in ad revenue will not make up for the $14.00 it cost me to create this post. That is how important Christmas is to me. I Freaking LOVE Christmas! And I'm old, so it's not even because I get presents. I love the tradition of it, even though no one would disagree that my "traditions" are a bit, um, non-traditional.
Take Christmas Dinner. When I was growing up, everyone would pile into the car on Christmas Eve and go to grandmas house in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha, if ya don't know, is a little enclave of ethnic diversity, dominated by Italians, but with lots of Eastern Europeans sprinkled in for good measure. My family would be one of those Eastern European sprinkles. And apparently, in Eastern Europe, sausage (pronounced Saaaaaaa-sage) is a big deal. So unlike most families who have baked ham or a beautiful roast turkey, we would have kielbasa and sauerkraut.
I went to Grandmas every Christmas Eve for over 20 years before trying this delicacy purely because it looks like something that was barfed up by a cat, and the smell could gag a maggot.
Turns out it is actually quite yummy. I finally got the balls to try it the last Christmas I trekked back to Kenosha, when I was like 26. There was plenty of alcohol involved...mostly so I could make it through the evening with my family. To set the scene a little, my aunts and uncles think beer can wind chimes are holiday décor, and someone always winds up falling into the tree, which until 2005 was decorated with real candles.
Well, Grandma has passed, and now that I have kids I insist on doing Christmas at my house. So now, my family has to pile in the car to come to Indianapolis every Christmas Eve, and guess what's on the table? Yep. Kielbasa and Sauerkraut. Every. Christmas.
Another non-traditional "tradition" that screams Christmas to me, but would likely leave most people thinking they're at a roller rink in the 80's, is Disco. Macho Man by The Village People and It's Raining Men recorded by The Weather Girls in particular. So, I guess it's your traditional Gay Disco Christmas...
Every year I would come home a couple days before Christmas and help "decorate" my parents house. Decorating really only consisted of putting a silver bell on top of the TV and frocking whatever raggedy Christmas tree reject was left in the parking lot of the bar down the street. Sorry dad, your trees were kinda... um, scraggly.
And since my folks aren't really Christmas Crazies, we always had lame ass non-Christmas-Christmas music. Those Darned Accordions was my mom's favorite. And since my brother and I patently agree that accordion music SUCKS, and would rather suck on the broken tree lights than listen to it, we instituted Gay Disco Christmas. We'd put on one of those compilation albums, like Disco Favorites Number 87, and skid around on the floor in our socks trying not to knock down the tree as we launched glass balls from varying distances toward said tree. At the end, one of us would hoist the other one up just high enough so they could grab the pathetic top branch to attach the crowning hula Santa. You know, those hula dolls you put on your dashboard? Yeah, our tree topper was one of those. But Santa in a grass skirt.
All the while, belting out lines like "I'm gonna go out, and let myself get, absolutely soaking wetttttt!" And "Dinggggg, Dinggggg, Dinggggg,.... You can ring my be-e-e-el, ring my bell. Ding Dong Ding, Ringalingaling".
See. Gay Disco Christmas. Who wouldn't love that tradition?