A strange holiday story

Familiesí Weird Holiday Traditions, Illustrated

a strange holiday story

Strange Fruit - the story behind "The Song of the Century"

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Per her request, the waiters stopped serving and the room went completely black, save for a spotlight on her face. When Holiday finished, the spotlight turned off. When the lights came back on, the stage was empty. She was gone. And per her request, there was no encore. This was how Holiday performed "Strange Fruit," which she would determinedly sing for the next 20 years until her untimely death at the age of Holiday may have popularized "Strange Fruit" and turned it into a work of art, but it was a Jewish communist teacher and civil rights activist from the Bronx, Abel Meeropol, who wrote it, first as a poem, then later as a song.

The prompt was simple enough: Write about the year-end holidays in a couple of hundred words. In the breezy sala with the old rectangular narra table, the usual suspects are there. Tita Beth has brought her famous binagoongan , and her husband Tito Boy also has his Lucky Strike to curb his equally famous smoking habit. Their son, my cousin Anton, is there, with his red eyes and awfully quiet demeanor. Yaya Rose is in her usual spot in the kitchen. Lola sits at one end of the table, where Lolo used to sit. Our usual prayers felt mechanical and sounded the same, because they were.

Life can be pretty surreal at times. And travel is no exception to the rule. We seem to have some of our strangest experiences when we are on the road. Some of them are completely out of our control and we just have to hang on and enjoy the ride. While others have been completely our own doing.

Photograph: Roelof Bakker. I run home from school.
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Please enter the email address that you use to login to TeenInk. When I went to Italy in about forth grade, I remember sitting on the plane and wondering what I was going to do the whole time I was there. Two weeks is a long time and the only thing I brought was a skateboard and a rugby ball. I was so exited because it was summer there and they, meaning the friends that we were staying with , had the nicest outdoor pool with diving boards and slides. That was a lot for me since in London, people have small yards and no way enough room for their own pool. I was also looking forward to seeing their wolf since the last time we were there it was only a puppy. I thought of it as a big dog but I should have thought of it as a wild animal.

Part of the allure of the holidays is all the traditions: A turkey-and-mashed-potatoes feast on Thanksgiving, wrapped presents nestled under the bedazzled tree for Christmas, the lighting of the menorah during Hanukkah. Families conjure up their own traditions to attach to the holidays, from the heartwarming to the gross to the downright silly. And in a modern twist on the Rockwell prints of yesteryear, we had Dan Bransfield, an artist in San Francisco, illustrate eight of our favorites based on the photos the families sent. Everyone got presents from at least one person in each of the families my mom is one of five, and sometimes even more extended family would show up with gifts for the 15 grandchildren. This produced a lot of torn wrapping paper, ribbons, packing material, product packaging, and Sears toy catalogs used to weigh down gifts so the kids couldn't guess what was in them.

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Strange and Surreal Travel Moments


A Creative Short Story on My Strange Holiday

The holidays are full of surprises and changes from the normal routine. Often we are with family that we rarely see or other people which take us out of the routine experiences. It's refreshing and good in many ways. Other times it brings challenges and even strange experiences. I've had a few of those strange experiences over the last few days.


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