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Chelsea’s Top 10 Tulsa Christmas Traditions

7:00 AM EST on December 11, 2012

Despite my resentment towards anyone with more than a four days off work, I'm pretty much down with the whole holiday season. They are a great reason to eat eighteen cookies in one sitting, and the perfect excuse to go to the bar on a weeknight. Christmastime, especially in Tulsa, is a beautiful thing.

To fully understand what it means to be a Tulsan at Christmastime, you must participate in a handful of traditional activities over the last few weeks of December. Ch-ch-check them out after the jump.

1. Rhema's Christmas Light Extravaganza. Two million lights, seven people in line for the bathroom, five cups of cocoa, three fussy kids, a mile and a half of traffic, and a partridge in a pear tree.


2. Family Game Night. There's nothing like a little friendly competition to bring an extended family together. While some families organize recreational football scrimmages or craft elaborate brackets for beer pong, my family goes the sedentary route and opts for more traditional pastimes like Monopoly, Catchphrase, or Taboo.

The key to enjoying family game night is all about the seating chart. For example, I can't sit by my grandma during any sort of competition lest a four letter word escape me. From Thunder games to tic tac toe, sometimes my excitement gets the best of me. And you definitely don't want to sit by my aggressive, one-upping tiger mom--she once accused a six-year-old of cheating at Trivial Pursuit.


3. PSO Christmakkuhwanza Holiday Winter Ambiguous Parade. Actually, this may have already occurred. Take a tip from Prince, and Sean Puffy Diddy Daddy...once you change your name, people move on to less finicky subjects.


4. Reunion on Brookside. Ah, it's that magical night of the year where all of your old friends ask you what you've been doing with your life. Have your elevator speech prepared--you don't want to be the person who looks down at their shoes and mumbles "uhh, selling life insurance" when all your friends have amazing stories about investing in cyber start-ups or building houses for children in Ghana. Last year I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide on surviving holiday small talk. You can check it out here.

Anyways, the other crazy/awesome thing about these sort of nights is that the most unexpected things happen. Your best friend will end up making out with their high school crush. You will take shots with people you hardly knew but thought were really cool back when you were 16. Someone you know will get arrested. Just make sure that someone is not you.


5. Wake up on your bedroom floor surrounded by Whataburger wrappers, the shower running, and your front door wide open. Okay, maybe things like this only happen to me.


6. Fall to your knees in gratitude that your car is still where you left it the night before. Nothing says "bah-humbug!" quite like discovering that your car has been towed from the bank parking lot you left it at. Except for discovering a boot on your tire. That's even worse.


7. Participate in the angel tree. After a few days in a row of indulgent debauchery, you may feel moved to give back to the community that has giveth thou so much. After all, you had Lite Brites and Nerf Guns and Pet Rocks underneath your Christmas tree--shouldn't you help ensure that another sweet kid's dreams come true as well?

This is all good and well, that is unless you end up drawing the only punk of the bunch that wrote down an iPad, a Kinect, and a leopard-print Kitchenaid mixer on their list.


8. Punch someone at Woodland Hills Mall. This may or may not occur during the following activities: a) when you request a new needy child on the angel tree and the guy behind the counter refuses, b) when it takes two clerks and a manager to figure out how to exchange a pair of Pajama Jeans for a Magic Bullet at the As Seen On TV store, or c) when a bratty kid cuts your sweet and unassuming kid in line to see Santa Claus.


9. Winterfest Downtown. As a last attempt to really seize the last days of Christmas, I highly recommend the ice skating rink holiday winter wonderland they've built outside of the BOK Center. They've got a gigantic decorated tree! They've got rentable ice skates! They even have a heated tent, and churros available for purchase! It's cheesy, romantic displays such as this that make me long for Nick Collison a very tall and handsome guy to hold my hand while riding in a horse-drawn carriage, snuggle with me while watching Netflix, and kiss me oh-so gently under the mistletoe as my friends gaze at me and sigh, hoping that they too will one day have a love like ours. But, then I remember that having a significant other over the holidays often requires purchasing that said person a gift. And well, funds are tight.


10. Burn your christmas tree...and maybe a few other things too. Thanks to the new ironclad trash rules in Tulsa, tossing your brittle tree at the edge of your driveway and hoping for the best is no longer an option. Instead, partake in the annual Tulsa Burning of the Greens, which sounds kind of violent and weird, but is actually a rather family-friendly soiree. You might also want to rid yourself of the disgusting sweater from your great-aunt and whatever you acquired at the office white elephant exchange while you're at the bonfire as well. While you're at it, toss in Battle of the Sexes and Apples to Apples too. Trust me, those games lead to nothing but angry cuss fights with your immediate family. Just ask my mom. Or my six-year-old cousin.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock

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