Academic journal article Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

From the Editor

Academic journal article Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore

From the Editor

Article excerpt

In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm the one who asked his mom to share her Gingerbread Cookie recipe and Christmas story as guest contributor for our new Foodways column. And, why not? It's really not that we couldn't find someone else [be in touch, if you're interested!]. Rather, I think it's good practice and quite humbling to turn the cultural investigator glass upon oneself from time to time, and to participate in at least a bit of the intimate sharing that we routinely ask our subjects to do for our profession.

The Christmas of my youth is an example of a wonderfully layered holiday tradition, with religious and secular elements, family and community all intertwined. We were not immune to the Christmas of 1960s-1970s. We got caught up in the trappings of a rosy cheeked Santa with a reindeer sleigh led by Rudolph, a real tree decorated with colored glass ornaments and aluminum tinsel, multi-colored lights outlining the house, and the many TV specials. We kids expected the overload of toys and gifts, marking up the Sears Christmas Catalog as a wish list of our many desires. I remember being quite shaken when my older brother, home from prep school, labeled it a "manufactured holiday of corporate commercial interests."

Of course, we knew "the real meaning of Christmas," as recited in the final scene of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It reinforced what we were learning at our United Methodist Church--in an Advent season full of Gospel stories, familiar hymns and carols, costumed pageants, and choir cantatas, leading to the finale of the candlelight service on Christmas Eve and the birth of the baby Jesus, adored by his earthly parents and surrounded by the gaggle of shepherds, wise men, and angels. …

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