I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Task 1: Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade.
As I've done for the last 4 years, I've made an advent calendar for MT:
It's a craft beer Advent calendar. One new-to-him beer a day, from a craft brewer somewhere around the world. And a Carlito-Cat, just to keep things real.
Task 2: The holidays season is in full swing – tell us: What’s your favorite tradition?
Unless my annual freak-out in the first week of December counts (OMG, Christmas is coming? Already?), we don't really have any traditions. Before I moved here, I had a lot of traditions with my family. Two stand out the most: Christmas Card Lane and the annual making of Cappelletti.
Christmas card lane was something our community did. It started in the 1970’s and was held on a vacant lot owned by a local family. Originally the Lane was organized by the Young Women’s Group, then in later years it was adopted by the Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce, I think).
Local artists and students of the High School art program would help create the cards for local businesses; they were about the size of a small billboard (I'm guessing, but probably about 10 foot tall by about 4 foot wide?) - big enough to clearly see from your car. They were lit up, and at after dark, families would load up in their cars to drive through the winding Lane, admiring the different "Christmas Cards". If I remember correctly, there were prizes for best, most creative, etc.
Sadly, I couldn't find any pictures of it online; happily I understand the community is trying to revive it this year. Hopefully they're successful.
The annual making of Cappelletti, is a long family tradition; every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, the women in my family gather to make this stuffed pasta (Cappelletti is a corruption of the Italian for 'little hats'). We start with the mound of semolina on the counter, beat in the eggs, and start cranking out the pasta sheets. The stuffing is a mixture of ricotta, leftover turkey, and various herbs. Once they're made, they're put in the freezer, and on Christmas day, they're used in a soup we have as a starter before dinner.
This year I got a text message with this photo, to let me know that tradition goes on without me, dammit.
(When they're done perfectly - they look like the little hats they're named for; when done not so perfectly, they look a lot like tortellini; either way, they're delicious.)