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Deck the Halls (Roman Style)…

December 7, 2012

I loosely based the Deizian Empire on Ancient Rome, so I thought it’d be fun to talk about the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.

Saturnalia was a festival to honor Saturn, the god of agriculture. It was a week-l0ng festival of fun and frivolity that took place during the darkest days of the year around the Winter Solstice, usually culminating with the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus (the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun”) on December 25. Common practices included decorating the home with candles and evergreen wreaths, singing in the streets, drunken revelry, feasting, and the giving of gifts. Masters served the servants, and society’s rigid rules were forgotten during those days. So the next time you deck the halls, light a candle, go caroling, indulge in too much eggnog or holiday dishes, or give someone a gift, you can thank the Ancient Romans for starting those traditions.

What silly or fun holiday tradition are you looking forward to?

I’m giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card to one commenter below. Drawing to be held on Dec 14th!

Don’t forget to check out what the other authors participating in the hop are giving away!

Diane Alberts
Rachel Harris
Ophelia London
Lisa Burstein
Nicola Marsh
Jenna Bennett
Barbara DeLeo
Sarah Gilman
Chloe Jacobs
Kate Avelynn
Aleah Barley
Candace Havens
Tiffany Allee
Natalie J. Damschroder
Robin Covington
Coleen Kwan
Karen Erickson
Crista McHugh
Patricia Eimer
Roxanne Snopek
Taryn Elliott
Michelle McLean
Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Victoria James
Annie Seaton
Boone Brux
Robin Bielman
Lisa Kessler
Christine Warner
Jus Accardo
Rosalie Lario
Stacey Kennedy
Robyn DeHart
Laura Kaye
Cari Quinn
Stephanie Draven
Paige Cuccaro
Katee Robert
Bronwen Evans
Rita Oberlies
Nina Croft
Marisa Cleveland
Michele de Winton
Jennifer Shirk
Amy Andrews and Heidi Rice
Ros Clarke
Rachel Lyndhurst
Hope Tarr
Aimee Carson and Kate Hardy
Sara Daniel
Lea Nolan

48 comments

  1. I don’t really know of any silly holiday traditions, but I really love Caroling. I haven’t gone in forever, but I think it’s really fun. I just love the joy of it. Singing with a group of people and spreading holiday cheer.


    • I forgot to put my email. booklovingme AT gmail DOT com


  2. Making snow angels, seriously. It`s silly, but, oh gosh, so funny! And it gives a lot of positive emotions and laugh. :)
    Thanks!

    dita(dot)skarste(at)gmail(dot)com


  3. I’ve never understood why my parents still insist that we kids not get up before 7 am on Christmas morning. We’re all in our thirties, for Pete’s sake! In fact, most of us sleep in. We have to send in the hounds for my younger brother, lol!
    rwschwarz11ATgmailDOTcom


  4. My favorite holiday tradition is to get together every Christmas Eve with family we only see once a year. It’s a group of about 15-20 people in a small house.. with great food, crazed animals running around.. we sit around and play music, chat, open gifts, walk around and look at Christmas lights. It’s one of my favorite days of the whole year. :)


  5. Watching Christmas in Connecticut on Christmas Eve — my mom and I stay up late after everyone else is asleep and watch it together! It’s the best!


  6. [...] Candace Havens- Tiffany Allee Natalie J. Damschroder Robin Covington Coleen Kwan Karen Erickson Crista McHugh Patricia Eimer Roxanne Snopek Taryn Elliott Michelle McLean Melissa Bourbon Ramirez Victoria James [...]


  7. My favorite holiday tradition is horror movie Christmas Eve.

    What— not everyone does that?


  8. Opening gifts with my family and having dinner.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com


  9. making cookies with the kids! It has taught me patience thanks! sstogner1 at gmail dot com


  10. I don’t have any silly holiday traditions yet!

    mamamoss08AThotmailDOTcom


  11. Every year my MIL gets a gingerbread house that we try to put together Christmas Eve. It never looks nice I think now we go out of our way to make it look ridiculous but it’s turned into a fun and silly tradition. We eat it all right after the pictures are taken :)

    Merry Christmas


  12. I’m boring…I don’t have any silly holiday traditions. I need to work on that so I’ll have something to comment about ;)


  13. My sister and I always go sledding in our matching footie pajamas, santa hats, singing ontop of our lungs to christmas songs! We’re going to be 80 yr old and still doing it! and if it doesnt snow? then cardbox boxes down a hill! ha ha


  14. Our silliest tradition is hiding the christmas pickle. No, I’m not kidding. It’s a pickle ornament that you hide in the tree and then the person who finds it gets an extra little gift to open. We hide one pickle for each kid. So silly!


  15. We open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas day. I always look forward to that!


  16. One thing I enjoy with my daughter and her family during the holidays is to watch the movie The Christmas Story…it’s sort of become a tradition.


  17. Decorating the tree to old christmas music! :D


  18. I love driving through the neighborhood with the lights off and looking at all the Christmas light displays.

    Thanks for the giveaway and happy holidays!!!!

    romancingrakes(at)gmailDOTcom


  19. Our whole family (which is dozens by now) gets together and we play all kinds of games including bingo which we all bring little presents and when you bingo you get to pick a mytey present…or if someone got something you wanted already you can take it. There is more rules ot it but that is the gist lol It’s always a ton of fun.


  20. Decorating the Christmas tree is great fun. It’s fun to open the boxes and see the decorations again.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com


  21. I love the homemade tamales friends bring each year…

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com


  22. The kids and grands are not allowed up till we get up and we sleep in LOL we did start putting stockings in their rooms and they are allowed to play with those.


  23. We started playing rock band about 2 years ago and we have so much fun. I love the decorating, the smell of baking, the lights and the music and movies. I just love the holidays. Happy Holidays everyone!!!!!

    readingdiva@ymail.com


  24. There’s a neighborhood in my area where there’s about 4-5 blocks of houses that decorate their home with Christmas light every year (I heard it was part of the contract that comes with the purchase of the house). My family and I would drive out every year and walk down to each house to look at the decorate. Thanks for the giveaway!


  25. One of my favorite traditions is the advent calendar. We have two that we use every year. One is a countdown with a sleeping bear, and a “candle.” The other is a wall quilt my mother made. Every day we put another ornament on the quilted Christmas tree, saving Santa for the 24th and the angel for the top on Christmas day.


  26. We don’t really have any silly or fun traditions other than laying around eating and watching movies… it’s a great tradition though:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com


  27. Even though the kids are in college, my husband still writes letters from Santa to them detailing their naughty or nice deeds for the year. The kids love them! Thanks for the giveaway!


  28. It’s an unspoken rule in our family that that everyone has to wear crazy headgear on Christmas Eve: reindeer antlers, bells, rabbit ears, anything, as long as it’s silly! We cook, bake, tidy the house, and then sit down to a delicious dinner together. Thanks for particpating in the bloghop, Crista! [eaudr(at)hotmail(dot)com]


  29. One of my fave things is to hang lights down the fence. We live on a farm, and we have *acres* of fence to string lights on!
    horses5@frontier.net


  30. It’s so small, but every year my family gets new Christmas pajamas, and we wear them all day, even to visit other family! This year, though, my mom and sister have moved 12 hours away and we won’t be together for the holidays. So, no Christmas pajamas :(

    Bekka
    prettydeadlyreviews(at)yahoo(dot)com


  31. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I need books for the holiday break! My fav holiday tradition is wayching A Christmas Story every day until Christmas!
    grapeapril75(AT)gmail.com


  32. My absolute favorite Christmas tradition actually happens the day after Thanksgiving. We get the tree out and decorate it and the house. Once this is done, we gather around and watch White Christmas. And depending on how much holiday cheer we have had, we will sing and dance along with the movie. It is great fun, year after year.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the blog stop.

    Bookworm (dot) judy (at) gmail (dot) com


  33. decorating the tree together

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com


  34. I love getting together with my sister and SIL and our 8 kids to make Christmas ornaments every year. I think the best ornaments for the tree are the ones that are homemade and we all have fun. We have also made some really cute ornaments over the years.


  35. I really haven’t heard of any silly holiday traditions. At least not with anyone I know. We just go out and cruising the neighborhood looking at all the lights and decorations. there are some spectacular displays around here. Hope you have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com


  36. Haha, my holiday traditions are really nuts in all honesty. People always look at me funny when I describe them. See, my Dad was raised an Orthodox jew, so we clearly celebrate Hanukkah. (Happy Hanukkah by the way. As I write this to you, it’s night 3! <3) But my Mom was raised celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas. She loved having a tree and despite the fact that my Dad gave up his orthodox ways to marry her, he REFUSED to have a Christmas tree (some old habits are impossible to kick after all!) But my Mom wanted one desperately, so she created the…HANUKKAH BUSH! Yes, I'm serious. We have this plant and it grows insanely fast, so we let it grow out for November (no shave november tree style!) instead of trimming it and we decorate it with a bunch of ornaments to satisfy our mom without allowing our dad to have a heart attack. All of this while we gorge on gelt and latkes. It's more or less a Merry Hanukkah, don't you think?

    Have an amazing holidays! (Mine has been great thus far! <3)

    reflectionsbylili@gmail.com


  37. we spend a whole week baking cookies, usually about 150 dozen. Then my kids make a list of people that have influenced them during the year..and they give out cookies to them as a thank you :)

    Merry Christmas !
    ~Kym
    flwrs4ever(at)yahoo(dot)com


  38. I’m looking forward to the carolers.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com


  39. We don’t have any silly traditions. My favorite tradition is we spend a week making cookies and packing them to send to soldiers. My kids friends fight over who get to help.
    planterofhope at aol dot com


  40. One tradition I have is serving Mexican tamales with our usual traditional dinner. The person that gets the tamale with the olive in it will have good fortune in the New Year.


  41. Our fun tradition is playing The Great Dalmuti (card game) with my brother’s family while they’re visiting.


  42. I love the fun tradition of just doing lots of baking :)


  43. We don’t really have silly traditions, unless of course your talking about my dad with a santa hat on trying to put together one of those fake trees that we lost the instructions to every year :D it’s fun having to color code the branches then look for their snap ins. But after, mom and I enjoy decorating it!


  44. With one of my favorite cousins visiting I think we’ll continue our tradition of a wild night playing Dance Central 3… with plenty of ‘liquid courage’. lol It’s a great way to beat the holiday stress.


  45. We dont really do anything silly

    bacchus76 at myself dot com


  46. We love playing games on Christmas Eve.


  47. I love decorating the house to Christmas music and dancing around. It always puts in a great mood! :)
    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    trb0917 at gmail.com



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