Tracker Pixel for Entry

Our opinion: Advice from a professional: Ask too many questions

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | December 19th, 2018

I’m a big fan of sharing and collecting oral histories, and then again I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t enjoy a good story. As we prepare to make our holiday treks, now is the time to share our stories as we prepare to surround ourselves with generations of friends and family.

Full disclosure: this is coming from a sentimental wannabe folklorist, but at least story sharing keeps our minds off of our gadgets and off of politics for the time being.

To quote my grandpa, “listen up kid, you might learn something.” These words seem to echo even louder at a time when everyone’s barking and no one’s listening -- or even worse, not listening and sitting in awkward silence glued to their devices.

Need some conversational cues? Take it from someone who’s notorious for asking too many questions. Also be sure to take notes or even record some of these conversations (you can find an app for that on your smartphone). You’ll learn to cherish them when those voices are no longer with you.

Looking back on holidays past, was there one holiday gift that you either gave or received that was more memorable than others? In this issue Gary Olson wrote about a memorable Christmas gift that left a lifelong impression. It’s crazy to think about how much we can learn from our early experiences in life. Depending upon the situation they can make or break you.

What are some of your favorite holiday treats? Are there any recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next? Are there any recipes that have been lost or that may seem strange by today’s standards? My family dedicates a weekend or two to baking in December. Many of these recipes need to be translated from German to English in a lovingly dog-eared German cookbook. Most of the German I know is unfit for print so my grandma has been helping me translate each recipe. It’s fascinating to think about how food can conjure memories and bring a group of people together.

It warms my heart to scroll through my social media feeds and to observe people practicing traditional baking traditions. One friend relayed his trials and tribulations while trying to make rosettes, a traditional Norwegian pastry.

In mentioning baking traditions, what other traditions does your family hold dear? Do you or your family partake in holiday crafts like stringing popcorn? Are there standard musical recordings or films that you hold dear? I mean, who doesn’t like “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Are there traditions that you or your elders brought from their country of origin?

One of our pals at the Barnes County Historical Society recently posted a photo on social media of a group of people “Julebukking,” a Scandinavian tradition with pagan roots. Julebukkers dressed up in costume between Christmas and New Year’s and visited house to house (a kind of like trick or treating, which also has Pagan roots) and left as soon as their host guessed who they were. Another friend and fellow historian commented that he remembered people doing that well into the 70s in his hometown, Robinson, North Dakota.

I had only heard of Julebukking after attending a meeting in Jamestown last spring. “Art for Life” is a program through the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) that focuses on incorporating folk activities into activity plans at participating elder care facilities throughout the state.

How do these traditions manage to disappear? Do they slowly fade away with the generation that holds them most dear? Are they shed to reflect a more americanized holiday? What traditions are starting to disappear in this day and age? On a contemporary note, how have your family traditions evolved and what kind of new traditions has your family adopted over the last few years?

I can ask questions all night and listen to answers for days. Whether you spend the holidays alone, with your family or with your chosen family we wish you and yours the best. Here’s to sharing stories and making even more great memories.

Speaking of stories, this will be our last issue of 2018 and what a year it was! Fear not dear Reader readers we’ll be back at it January 10, 2019. Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2019.

Recently in:

FARGO - Rain or shine, the Fargo Antiques ROADSHOW is scheduled to last all day on June 1 at Bonanzaville. The show is part of a five-city tour, and the venues are chosen for their historic significance. As all tickets are…

Shodan has been called the “scariest search engine on the internet.” It has the ability to expose and allow access to many devices including servers, computers, phones, fridges, traffic lights, security cameras and even control…

Wednesday, May 29, 5-8 p.m.Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave N, FargoThis event is an open house style maker’s session. Participants will receive an 11 inch canoe model and access to a supply buffet. Artist Hosts will be available…

Editorial

Congrats grads!

by Sabrina Hornung

It’s that time of year again. Recent grads are unleashed and set out to make their mark on the world. It’s funny how something can be simultaneously liberating and terrifying. If we could spread any pearls of wisdom to these…

Guns, Lockdowns, and Panic ButtonsThe girl is now a seventh grader at Sandy Hook Elementary. In 2012 she was the only survivor of her first grade class of 21 in a mass school shooting. Among the first words by this six-year-old to…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Quiche is a great addition to any brunch. It’s almost like a wardrobe staple that you can dress up or dress down. I made one for my 90-year-old grandma for mother’s day last weekend. She’s a good critic when I try out a new…

There is a golden oldie by Peter Allen called “Everything Old is New Again”, and that is certainly true about vinyl records. It is no secret that vinyl records are no longer just your parents’ musical format. Their…

Impossibly beautiful lead performers underline the YA fantasy aspects of Ry Russo-Young’s translation of “The Sun Is Also a Star,” based on Nicola Yoon’s bestseller. Russo-Young’s sharp handling of the 2017 adaptation of…

The Plains Art Museum is ready to take you back in time – or forward, if you prefer – for their 23rd annual Spring Gala. The theme for this year’s event, which takes place on Friday, May 3, is Time Machine.The Spring Gala is…

Countless examples can be found throughout the history of great art that was only recognized as such after the life of the artist that created it. Such is true of Georges Bizet’s opera "Carmen."  While its reception during his…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Last Word

Meritocracy is a lie

by HPR Contributor

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.eduIn 2017, Sociology Professor Rachel Sherman wrote “Uneasy Street: The Anxiety of Affluence,” a book which drew from 50 in-depth interviews with uber-wealthy New Yorkers in order to obtain a…