Tag Archives: hidden


  • Context: The following informant, S, is a 59 yr. old man with three kids and a wife. Though the family does not identify as Christian, they celebrate Christmas and participate in the Christian tradition of Advent. This conversation took place when the informant was asked about any specific family traditions surrounding holidays. 
  • Text:

S: “So… for those who don’t know… Advent is a Christian celebration… uh… I think it’s tied in to the Twelve Days of Christmas too when you add it up, but I could be wrong… I don’t know about that… but, basically it’s the entire month of December it starts on December 1st and the day is December 25th… where you actually don’t get an advent… oh and each day you get a little… a little gift… sort of leading up to Christmas. But on Christmas day, you don’t get a little gift for Advent, you get your Christmas gifts. Um… and that… for me at least, started when I was… well as long as I can remember with my mom. And she would have an Advent calendar and we would open that up and… I think she had clues for us, if I’m not mistaken… and we would go find the little gift. It was was usually like a piece of chocolate for each of the three of us, I had two brothers… uh… nothing big… and maybe on the weekend a toy… but you know, nothing massive.

And that carried over when I first had, at least for me, I don’t know about my brothers, I’m sure it did, knowing my mom… but when I had my first kids, I started to get a box in November… from my mom… around Thanksgiving time… with all of the gifts and clues to go with them for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. So all I had to do was put the clues in the Advent calendar and run the process, and all my kids loved it… well of course my mom passes away a few years ago and… a couple years before that, I think actually, I started doing the clues myself and getting the gifts and what not.

Me: “What are the clues like?”

S: “Well, it’s a shame, I don’t remember what they were like as a kid. But what I do now… um… I either do a little sort of rhyming scheme sort of couplet thing… or I do a riddle… or I do something to do with the number of the day… umm or some combination of that stuff. Plays on words all the time ‘cus that’s sort of riddling. As [my kids] have gotten older I’ve tried to make it a little more challenging to figure out what it is and hidden them a little bit more… they used to be in plain sight way more often than they are now.”

Me: “And is it like each kid gets a clue or…?”

S: “One clue for the three [kids]. And [my kids] actually rotate, [they] decided to go youngest to oldest… uh [the youngest] does the first, [the middle] does the second, [the oldest] does the third and then [they] rotate through. Uhh…”

Me: “Reading the clues?”

S: “Reading the clues out loud. And then everybody… well it depends what kind of mood people are in… some days [my kids] decide to sit and not participate and sulk, but most days all three of [my kids] go and look, and of course mom, when she figures out the clue, can’t hold herself back and has to yell out where it is ‘cus she’s so proud of herself for figuring it out.”

  • Analysis: This version of Advent is similar to other versions I have heard of. Mainly, I have heard of pre-made Advent calendars with chocolates or small gifts inside each day. The main difference between this version of Advent and others is the addition of clues and hiding the presents. This type of Advent is more of a game, that includes riddles and rhyme schemes that lead to the hidden presents. This is the Advent I grew up knowing, and until I began to go over to my friends houses around the holidays I was unaware that Advent was not a game in all other households as well.

Body Art


Me: Do you still have that tat?

David: that what? Tat

Me: U know, that tattoo

David: ooooooh yea. When people ask I tell them I was young and in love.

Me: Yea we were craaaazzzy

David: Well at least its hidden, its not on my arm or anything, could you imagine?

Me: Ouch…

This is a conversation I had with my ex boyfriend after we broke up. We are discussing tattoos that we decided to permanently ink on our body. They are of each other’s first name initial. Stupid, I know but at the time it seemed like a good idea. My parents do not know, of course, they would kill me.

Tattoos in the western world have for a long time been the subject of much opposing opinions. Some people are very conservative and completely against tattoos, some people get one or two, others cover their whole body. It is a form of personal expression that dates back thousands of years between 5000 and 4000 BCE to the Neolithic Stone Age. Yet, even though this practice is ancient and full of historical significance, parents of modern teenagers still shun it as being a taboo. This is especially true in my religion, Judaism, where there is a myth that one who has been tattooed cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery. This is in fact false as I readily researched after hearing this rumor as I have two tattoos and was horrified to hear of this prior to my inking sessions.

The reason I think that tattoos, which I believe can be a beautiful and artistic form of self expression, are shunned is because of the western interpretations and transformation of the art. In many other societies, such as the Polynesian culture, tattoos are found to usually be of one style and help to establish cultural identity. However, Americans, as they notoriously do, myself included, guilty as charged have interpreted the tattoo to mean whatever they desire. In our world, variety is highly coveted and tattoos can range from flowers to star wars characters to spousal names to portraits of loved ones. While this is an amazing advance in the tattoo industry, tattoos in the US do not have the same historical significance like they do in other cultures. It is not as much looked at as a tradition or bodily celebration, but rather shunned by much of society as inappropriate. I think many conservative parents are worried because of the availability to their children to choose basically anything they wish as long as they are eighteen and can pay the money and take the pain. Indeed, my parents would be very mad to learn of my secret tattoo. I now look back and realize it probably was not the smartest decisions. However, I to not think I am alone. With 50% of marriages failing in the United States, there are bound to be more than a few people in the same tattoo situation that I am in.

Source: Wikipedia- Tattoos