Something Gorey for the Solstice

In our home, the winter holiday celebrations are about family, food and sharing gifts.

I was raised in a small village. We had a lot of food—if we could grow it, we ate it with gusto. We had shelter, enough clothes and pretty much anything we needed to survive. There was no extra money to speak of, but we always got a few presents for the winter holidays: shoes, socks, school supplies, other necessities and at least one toy.

My mother practiced Caribbean Catholicism, so we got presents from the Megi. Witchier families received gifts from Krampus. On the night of January 5th, we placed our shoes under a table facing a window. We left offerings of hay (for camels or goats) and cookies, drinks and cigarettes for the Megi and Krampus (I might have left them a note detailing how nicotine would eventually kill them)

The moment the sun came out, we ran out of bed shrieking with delight; celebrating our school supplies—fine, I did!—before going outside to play with our toys, and to see what everybody else got. January 6th was a day of laughter, cheer and screaming whenever someone broke his or her toy three minutes after getting it.

Today, my family and I exchange presents on the Winter Solstice…Two weeks later, we put our shoes by the window with a respectful tribute for Krampus. We don’t want the horned-cheerful-wild Yule Lord to beat us to a bloody pulp. And we wish for Mother Earth’s rebirth.

I will always be the little girl who grew up in a small village and rejoiced at the sight of practical gifts. So this year, my Piano Man and I are giving ourselves cooking pots. We haven’t found the perfect set yet, but we’ll find them eventually. Then I will make something yummy and show them off. My toys will be… can you guess? Yep, books.

Your little wicked witchy woman child wants a few bookish yummy bits by Edward Gorey:

The Recently Deflowered Girl: The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion
  
I stole this Gashlycrumb Tinies’ page from Winter Moon. Can you see why I want them? 
One more! I know, Im totally hopeless *sigh* The Evil Garden 2014 Calendar

How do you celebrate the holidays?
Do fly by and tell Ms Misantropia (on Sunday).
She, too, wants to know how you celebrate, my Wicked Luvs. ;-)

33 comments:

  1. Your childhood celebrations sound lovely! (The cigarettes made me laugh out loud.) There's definitely something to be said about those simpler times. I think gift giving was more meaningful and gratitude more abundant in days gone by.

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    1. Simpler times indeed, with such complex memories...

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  2. Edward Gorey is an artist I really wish I'd known earlier. I love his stuff and there's such a feeling of recognition when I see his images. Such wicked whimsy. Your Christmases, past and present, sound wonderful and there's a special joy in a practical gift which happens every time it's used.

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    1. I didn't find him until I was an adult. How I would have loved to have grown up with his kind of humor and insight ;-)

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  3. What a lovely, homely, heart-warming post, I've enjoyed reading about your Winter celebrations. Practical gifts are most definitely the most remembered and oft used, especially cooking pots. I'm looking forward to seeing what delicious delights are made in them. Of course, your choice of books is just perfect. I adore The Gashlycrumb Tinies & The Evil Garden, and am adding The Insect God to my list of must-have books.

    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for linking to me, that's really sweet of you.

    I love the sound of your Winter Solstice gift giving day :)

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    1. I have you to thank, my dear Winter Moon. Thanks for sharing his work right as I was trying to figure out what to give myself for the Winter Solstice ;-)

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  4. What a lovely mix of different influences you guys celebrate!
    But I'm confused about the dates; If you put out the Krampus gift 2 weeks after the solstice, wouldn't that be a whole month too late..?

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    1. Aw, the magic of eclecticism. I will explain the whole thing on a post, tomorrow. But it has to do with mixing it up and having a huge party ;-)

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  5. You ARE an Edward Gorey fan, aren't you!

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  6. sweet Magaly......it is such a joy to read of the way you kept holidays in your childhood. And I love your talk of how you do so now. I love a good pot and pan to cook in. None of mine match but they all are well worn with love and work the magic I need them to almost every time.
    My SM and I bought our presents for each other this week. He picked out his and I picked out mine and we will wrap them up and be happy and practical, well sort of. All of my gifting except for the traditional making of the Pajamas is all done and wrapped for all the naughty Cuckoos here at the Casa. Now we have fun to be had.

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    1. I bet they match in the yumminess they put out!

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  7. I love Edward Gorey. We have several of his.

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  8. Stupid iPad. Here's the rest of my comment: I would read them to my grandkids when they were little.

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    1. I would have LOVED to have learned the alphabet with Gorey ;-D

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  9. Did you really leave a note about the dangers of nicotine? Wonderful! That is just so Magaly!! And I love your stories of growing up. I suppose it was warm out too. What a lovely post!

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    1. Francie, every now and then my creativity got more hands on. My mom was a smoker. I used to find all kinds of opportunities to steal her cigarettes and throw them in the burn pile or throw them in the latrine... Once or thrice, I buried them. Then I started wondering if it was bad for the soil. Yes, I had many worries growing up LOL

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  10. ...with food....always with food.... i don't care for presents, but I do like to buy and make some special foody treats for the feast days. On Boxing day my mum would always serve fresh home made chips with cold turkey and salad cream(much nummier than christmas dinner) :D XXX

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  11. I loved hearing all the details about how you celebrated when you were young and how you're celebrating now. I hope you find the perfect pots and get a load of new books! :-)

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    1. I hope so, too! Something black and red ;-D

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  12. My grandmother's parents were from Germany. The immigrated to Florida from Germany in 1899. My grandmother was born in 1903. She grew up with the Krampus traditions when she was a kid and kept those up during my childhood until she got very sick in 1984. Krampus isn't a tradition I kept up and my kids know little about it, but I think I may resurrect that tradition next year. For the Germans and Hungarians, the day was December 6th instead of January. It will be interesting to see how my husband and sons react to Krampus.

    I love stories of your village. You should write more of those! :)

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    1. I can't wait to see how your babes and hubby will welcome (or not) Krampus. I bet you'll have lots to tell us, right after.

      I promise to write more about growing up in my tiny Yamasá. Right now it's a little hard. Home reminds me of my little brother, so I have to take it slow...

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  13. I am learning so much this year. I like to borrow traditions from many different ways of life and fit together something that works for me. Growing up we had a typical religious education, not strict or restricted. Sunday school until after confirmation and then as long as we attended church for a couple major holidays... especially since we had several preachers in the family.
    I have a wonderful set of red pots and pans (can't remember the famous brand name right now) but I generally use the battered old things I took with me to college.

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    1. I'm all about borrowing from things I admire and respect and playing with them until they work for me. Fun should be shared!

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  14. Magaly, this is so special! I loved reading how you celebrated and how you are going to this year ;o) Have fun finding your cooking pots ;o) Hugs ;o)

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    1. One of these days, I must write about the dancing... ;-D

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  15. I love learning about different traditions. We celebrate with food and spending time together. Nothing too special, just quality time.

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    1. Food is quite special *wink, wink*

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  16. Your childhood celebrations sound absolutely wonderful, dear. I am a huge fan of practical gifts. This year hubby is getting me a Dremel and workstand. :-) Pots to cook in together sound lovely.

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    1. A "Dremel and workstand"? Now THAT's sexy.

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  17. Did you get to see how the tv show Grimm portrayed the Krampus? Most enjoyable!

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    1. My Piano Man and I are about 3 years behind on TV watching. We are currently watching Dexter, after that we'll finish Breaking Bad and some Arrested Development... not sure what comes after that. But it might be Grimm or Once Upon a Time.

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