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Ghost Light

“So the ghost light is that light you leave on in the back of a stage, or any theater. And you do it for, like, the spirits in the theater, or like, um, the souls of the departed who wish to participate.”

This folk object/tradition was described by a friend while we were eating lunch at a restaurant. I asked him when he had first heard of this tradition.

“Uh, my production and design overview class, uh, freshman year of high school.”

The Christmas Pickle

“So what it is, is like, every Christmas on Christmas Eve, um, my family, like, after we go to Christmas Mass (unintelligible) my family does it personally, I don’t know if it has to be like after mass, but like, that’s just what we do. ‘Cause we always go to the midnight mass too, so we come back like super early in the morning. And, I think the reason we do that, honestly, is because my mom has been, like, has been Santa growing up, so she hasn’t gone to Christmas Mass. So, like, I think that’s probably why it happens. Um…so family, whole thing there. But, um, what happens is, like, all of the kids like go upstairs, and it’s like me and my…my brothers. Um, so we all go upstairs, and while we’re up there, my mom, like, and dad like hide this green pickle ornament – in the tree, is what it used to be. Um, and, so it’s like, it’s hard to find, right? ‘Cause you have all the other ornaments there, and it’s, like, deep in this, like, green tree and it’s, like, reflective, so you just, like, you’re going around this tree for like…a while trying to find it. Um, and so…yeah, so like, after they end up hiding it, um, there…the (unintelligible) and stuff, they like run down, they tell us to come down. And, um, whoever finds the pickle first gets the first gift of Christmas. Um, and then there’s kind of a competition ‘cause there’s three kids, and so, like, we all want this, like, gift. Um, so it’s pretty much what I was – I think it’s like – I think it’s a German tradition. From what I, like I’ve heard it’s supposed to symbolize, like, the first gift of Christmas.”

This tradition was described by a classmate after class ended.

Garden of Eden Myth

This version of the Garden of Eden myth was told by my friend outside of a performance venue. He was not raised in any religious setting, and he was never taught the story in an official setting. I started by asking him to tell me the story of Adam and Eve:

“Well, they were created by God, and they were put in the Garden of Eden. And from my understanding, which is limited, um, they were told, you know, ‘Free roam, but don’t go to the apple. Don’t touch the apple, don’t do it, there’s a snake, it’s Satan. Don’t mess with the apple.’ So they were like, ‘aight.’ Um, but temptation got the best of one of the two, I don’t remember who it was. And they succumbed. And they mess with the apple. And um, God kicked them out of the Garden of Eden. And um, it just goes to show that we as humans are not perfect, and will succumb to temptation.”