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Holiday traditions series kicks off

'Stopping By' to hear about sights, sounds and tastes of various Christmas celebrations

Marcus Larson.News-Register<br><b>A traditional Filipino holiday decoration called a Parol typically made of coconut leaves. People in the Philippines decorate with artificial Christmas trees, which some put up as early as October.</b>
Marcus Larson.News-Register
A traditional Filipino holiday decoration called a Parol typically made of coconut leaves. People in the Philippines decorate with artificial Christmas trees, which some put up as early as October.

Dec 3, 2013


By Starla Pointer
Of the News-Register



Not everyone says “Merry Christmas.” Not everyone decorates an evergreen tree, whispers their wishes to a Santa in red fur, or shops for piles of presents in December.

I find that fascinating.

Each year, I seek out people who came to Yamhill County from another country or culture and ask them about their holiday traditions. What did they look forward to as children? Which traditions do they continue today?

Most people have tangible memories of their early holidays. They can still smell the sweet and savory scents that wafted from the kitchen as their mother or grandmother prepared special dishes. They can still hear the sound of neighborhood carolers, singing songs we all know the tunes of, even if the words are in a different language. They can still see the lights on the tree or illuminating the altar at the Christmas Eve Midnight scene. They can still feel their delight over receiving a certain longed-for gift, even if it was simple and inexpensive by today’s standards.

The details are different, but the underlying similarities are striking. Our traditions bring us together as people, rather than separating us.

The series, Holiday Traditions, runs on Tuesdays this month. Today, you’ll meet some Filipino women who love to get together to share traditional foods and talk about growing up in the Pacific islands. Next week, a couple married 68 years will share traditions from a rural Canadian town in the 1920s, where Christmas dinner was prepared on woodburning stoves. Other weeks will take us to South America and to other continents, as well.

Keep reading, and...

Mele Kalikimaka. God Jul. Buone Feste Natalizie. Feliz Navidad.

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