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December 13, 2009



Christmas morning breakfast is my grandfather's favorite snack: peanut butter toast dipped in hot chocolate. We also always watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve (never, ever on another day) and then two versions of A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott's and Alastair Simms')...we usually all are asleep on the couch by the ghost of Christmas future on the Alastair version :).


Watching The Snowman by Raymond Briggs wonderful movie!


We too always watched "It's a great life"
every year and I always had a special treat
for them while they were watching. Usually
it was their favorite cookies wrapped up
in an unusual way so they couldn't guess
what it was.


Christmas morning brunch with my family. Since mom and dad are gone now, my sister and I take turns hosting brunch now. Egg casserole, coffeecakes and mimosas!


Watching A Christmas Story!

Edda S Johannsdottir

The 13 Yule Lads that we have here in Iceland. The children put their shoe in the windowsill 13 nights before Christmas and each of the 13 nights they are visited by 1 Yule Lad at each time. They leave little things in their shoe, it can be fruits, coins, sweets, small toys, etc. You have to be nice during that time because if you are naughty you might get a rotten potato in your shoe. :-)


Attending our Christmas Eve Service at church is my favorite tradition.


The entire family working together in the kitchen making a really nice christmas eve dinner.


Christmas Eve was always more fun to me as a kid. We often went to the candlelight service at church, and walked through the luminaries on the the sidewalks along the way.


When I was a kid I loved waking up with a stocking full presents at the end of my bed. My mom would wrap most of the small presents inside - I suspect to give her a better chance of sleeping later on Christmas morning while I unwrapped each thing. I loved those small presents - a diary, lip gloss, barbie clothes, etc.


Awesome yarn! We have lots of traditions and it seems that most of them are connected with food. I guess for one of the most important is making Christmas cookies and candy to share with our family and friends.


just getting together with my family on Christmas Eve, and going out or Chinese food on Christmas day with my husband


We continued the tradition my parents of giving just one gift on Christmas Eve when the tree was trimmed and all the goodies cooked. It was always a pair of slippers! Our children always knew theirs would be slippers but they still pretended to be surprised!


This is totally a 21st-century tradition, but I love filling up my TiVo with Christmas movies and specials of all sorts. It's our third Christmas with TiVo, and we find new great things to watch every year.


When I was a kid the tradition was to go to a candlelight church service at about 11:00 on Christmas Eve. Then coming home to the lit tree, snow falling was magical!


Every Christmas Dad makes stuffed french toast for breakfast. It's awesome and he only makes it for Christmas.


In the weeks leading up to Christmas we like to make Christmas cookies. Several of our recipes make dough that can be refrigerated or frozen ahead of time, and then baked when needed. That's a great help as things get hectic closer to Christmas! Then we like to share them with family and friends. For Christmas itself we make Swedish meatballs for dinner.


When we were little, the majority of our gift were in our xxl stockings, all individually wrapped! Everything from candy to socks to books to knitting needles- each gift was a surprise. My mom even wrapped a guitar case one year and stuffed the neck of it into the stocking. Last year myom made my hubby a stocking exactly the same and just as big! So we are going to start the same kind of thing!


When I was little my favorite thing was making cookies with my Mom. Mom is gone now, but I continue to make all the same cookies that we made as well as some new additions of my own.

Mary A

Knitted Christmas Stockings is my favorite thing. Added to the list this year, and a big hit when given on Thanksgiving,a knitted sock monkey in PJ's & robe to watch for Santa inside a matching colors stocking. I doubled finger weight yarns for the stocking to match the monkey colors.

Nancy N

One of my favorite traditions is the Christmas stockings hung at the fireplace. After everyone has supposedly gone to bed, each family member sneaks out, one at a time, and puts something in the stockings. Somehow we manage never to see each other and have the fun of wondering who put the surprises in our stockings. Now I need to put my knitting aside and recall my quilting and cross-stitch skills to make a stocking to welcome my new son-in-law.


You stole mine, although I may have mentioned it last year! My favorite tradition is the pj's on Christmas Eve. My kids are 22, 19 and 15 and they still put in their requests for the pj's they want. This year we'll be spending Christmas at our son's new apartment in Vermont, so things will be changing. There will be a little tiny tree and the 5 of us crammed into his living room/kitchen/dining room space. And the first thing we'll do is open the pj's!


Baking a birthday cake for Jesus for Christmas Eve and going to the service at church.


We start off December by heading out to Virginia to cut down a tree on the first Saturday of the month and then invite all our friends over the following day to help us decorate it. It started out when I worked at a college as a way to let students have somewhere they could decorate a tree, but it's morphed into something bigger than that for me -- a reminder that spending time with friends is important, particularly at this dark time of the year.


Every year my mom would make huge batches of homemade Chex mix. I loved Chex Mix day because the whole house smelled delicious. This was before you could buy it in stores, and it was a once a year treat the whole family looked forward to. Nom!


Christmas Eve at my maternal grandparents is a tradition that I miss. It was always a huge gathering of family and friends, lots of food and fun.

Marianne C

My family wasn't huge on tradition but I loved opening presents on christmas eve!


In my family, we always opened one present Christmas Eve & it had to be from an extended family member. My grandmother's gifts were particularly appropriate, as she often included a new book or pajamas that could be used right away.


One year when we were young, someone accidentally left something in the bottom of their stocking, and found it the next year. It became a tradition for us to leave something in our stocking every year. After putting up the tree, we were allowed to open our stockings and see what we left there the year before. My kids now do it too.


My sister and I making cookies and fudge for everyone, we would always wear the special aprons out Grandma made us!

Dessie Carpenter

On Christmas morning, my husband's father makes London Fogs for everyone. A London Fog is made with cold black coffee, vanilla ice cream and a shot of whiskey. It tastes like a coffee milkshake with a kick. The kids got theirs without the whiskey.


Now that we live in Seattle, we love to go see the parade of ships covered in Christmas lights. It gives me chills and I love that it isn't about consuming anything!

Happy Holidays!


Mine really isn't a "Christmas Eve" or "Christmas Day" tradition, but more of a tradition that happened throughout December. When I was in the 4th grade, I participated in one of those elementary school "choir" trips to the local mall to sing Christmas carols, and I LOVED it. So for pretty much every year since, I have either performed in choirs at Christmas or have gone to public concerts (like our local "Messiah" Sing-in) where I could sing carols. It's the best thing for me to do to raise my holiday spirits...


The house was filled with music at Christmas. My mother had an open invitation to dinner for any of my uncle's musician friends who were alone or away from their families and performing in Philadelphia on Christmas. Musicians would show up for Sunday Dinners during the year too, but Christmas was more festive.

Some years there'd be singers, other years, instrumentalists but everyone sang (or played) for their supper.

Along with the tradition of music, there was a rule of no electricity for illuimination. Every room, except the kitchen, and bathroom, (Mom had her limits on my Dad's celebration ideas) was lit by candle light at nightfall. Even the bulbs in the dining room chandelier were replace by candles inside hurricane-type covers.

No matter where I've lived, I always carry the memories of the magical childhood Christmases.


We have always spent Christmas eve with my in-laws since our daughter was born. My father in law reads The Night Before Christmas. 3 years ago we bought him the Robert Sambuda Pop-up version.


So many things! Carefully unwrapping and setting up all the pieces in our Nativity set, pinning a new ornament to the tree on our felt Advent calendar every morning, making cookies with my mom, but most importantly Christmas breakfast: Steak, mimosas, hashbrowns, eggs, cherry coffee cake, fruit salad, coffee, and chocolate! Yum!


We are having to create new traditions. Our son has autism and has a different "perspective" on the holidays. So we try to come up with things that will entertain and involve him. The one thing he has really gotten into this year that didn't interest him before is the advent calendar. He can't wait to open the little door each evening and see what's inside!
And oh yeah, I really want to win that yarn!


My grandparents were from Denmark where presents are opened on xmas eve. My mother continued that tradition, but when I married, my husband preferred xmas day. Now that my kids are grown and I am no longer married, it is back to xmas eve for me. This works well when juggling xmas day commitments.


A Christmas Day walk with a best friend ...... after the cinnamon bun brunch, and while the turkey is roasting. Preferably on a crisp and clear winter day with views of the snowy mountains and eagles soaring.


We always have a crokinole tournament after Christmas dinner.

Linda B

Christmas Eve was always celebrated with all my cousins at my Maternal Grandmothers' house in upstate NY. An Aunt or Uncle would dress up as Santa and everyone received tons of presents. The gift wrapping was piled high and there were shouts of joy as each gift was opened. Then the older cousins along with Aunts and Uncles would go to Midnight Mass. Such warm, wonderful memories!


waiting to put the tree up and decorate it on Christmas Eve, then keeping it up through New Year's Day (or a few days longer). I have friends calling asking me if the tree's up yet and I keep saying no! This stems from the fact that my family owned a business when I was growing up. My dad was busy until the 24th when they closed early, so the tree went up that day. Now I work in a school, and I don't always have a chance to put it up before then either. This year the 22nd is the last day of school before the break.


The major one that's survived from my childhood is cinnamon buns on Christmas morning. Not just any cinnamon buns either--they have to be plain, ordinary, Pillsbury-from-a-can. Not the Grands, not the orange ones, not generic, not *gasp* reduced fat. Not awesome sticky ones from the bakery. Nope. Just plain, boring, canned.

And I get the middle one :-) (I used to fight with my mom over it, but now that I'm not living at home it's mine, all mine!)


One of my favorite traditions is everyone in the family (and that's now up to 37 people in just the immediate family) gathering at Mom and Dad's to open packages before the big Christmas dinner, including a birthday cake for Jesus. It gets a little crazier each year.


My husband and I are struggling to make new traditions after losing both of our mothers just two weeks apart several years ago. We now go off in our motorhome to some pretty place (in Southern California you can camp in the winter!), watch Home Alone on DVD, have a nice dinner and exchange a small gift.


After eight years of doggy school, (obedience and agility for fun, not competition), the doggy school Christmas party has become an anticipated Christmas tradition.

About 40 dogs attend. We play doggy games, laugh, eat potluck, laugh, and the dogs exchange gifts by drawing names. Did I mention we laugh a lot?


Spending the night at my mom's with our dogs.


Hmm this is a good question. I dont really have Christmas traditions in my family but it is not Christmas to me till I watch my favorite movie and that is White Christmas the one with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I love that movie. Also listening to my favorite music which is Mannheim Steam Roller. I have a few favorite songs that it does not seem Christmas till I hear them. :)


Driving around after dinner to look at all the Christmas lights. We have a big, old pickup truck that allows us to sit three across, so we can easily talk and point at all of the houses we like.


Tamales for Christmas dinner - a South Texas tradition that followed me to Iowa!


Watching A Christmas Story with the family.


We too watch A Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve. And every year from their very first Christmas I handcraft an ornament, dated and signed with their names for my nieces,nephews, grandchildren and now great grandchild.


As this is the second Christmas with our baby girl (21 months old) we are starting to establish our traditions. We have made going to the Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights an annual trip. This year we are also doing the PJ's on Christmas Eve thing for all of us. I always bake cookies the whole month long. Oh, and each year we give our daughter a trinket box.


I love seeing my family every year and making a great meal together. We call distant relatives on the phone and pass it around so that everyone gets a chance to say hello and wish them happy holidays. Watching A Christmas Story and How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a tradition over the last decade or so.


We celebrate Winter Solstice instead of Christmas... Solstice night, we all open our gifts and stay up late, even the kids. I usually make wassail, homemade cocoa, various baked goods to snack on and so forth.

Since a lot of my gifts are handmade, there's usual several someones wearing socks, hats, scarves and so forth even though we're all indoors... It's nice to be appreciated! ^_^


I don't recall any from my childhood, except celebrating at Thanksgiving time with my grandma and grandpa and all the cousins. They were always gone on a special trip at Christmas time, so we didn't see them then.

For our kids, we always go out and cut down a tree at a tree farm unless the weather is bad and we can't get there. That's only happened a couple of times in 21 years. We always sleep out in the living room on Christmas Eve, and we leave cookies, fudge and spiked eggnog out for Santa. Santa also leaves a nice note thanking my daughter for the goodies. (My son never really got into it) The first year Santa left a note, my daughter was so thrilled, I think she was about 10 or 11. (now almost 16)

This year we have a new puppy so will be taking her with us later today to get a tree, if the icy conditions let up.

Debbie B

Every year Santa would bring my daughter a dress to be worn on Christmas day for a big family party. One year when the party was scheduled for the day before Christmas, my 7 or 8 year old daughter was very concerned with letting mom get the outfit, was pretty sure my choice would be nowhere as beautiful as the one's Santa always brought. I did okay and now she is in her late 20's and we laugh about it.


We celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. FOr the twelve days leading up to the holiday we exchange small gifts such as a favorite snack or little bottles of lotion.
For the smaller kids in the family we have a Christmas Eve Hunt. I used to work overnight and in an effort NOT to miss out on the activities (because I would be drained by the time I got home!) we would have a gift hunt. The kids were each assigned their choice of wrapping paper and would then be set forth to hunt through the house for gifts. Nothing too big: books, the impulse items that they may have wanted from the supermarket and a small gift they could open and play with the night before.
And we do the pajama thing too. New pjs so that we don't have to get dressed the next day!

Lisa Petrovski

My favorite tradition is making gingerbread cookies with my 3 children. We make them from scratch, and then make frosting (always white, yellow, green, red, blue) and then frost them.

My Mom did this with my sister and I when we were growing up and it was always a treat. Making the dough, rolling it, cutting the cookies out, frosting, it stretches over a few days and maybe that's part of why I like it.

Best Wishes


We had several small presents aside from our main presents. Since my brother & I never wanted to wait for Christmas to open presents, we each got to open a very small present once or twice a week during the month of December. It was usually something small that would go with our big main present. So each small present was a little bit of a tease so that we could try to guess our main present.

Jennifer D

On Christmas morning we'd have cinnamon rolls and open gifts, then Mass, and always egg bake for lunch. I'm getting hungry just typing that!


Every year I buy a new decoration for the tree for each of my grandchildren. Their name and the year is written on the underneath. The first year is when my daughter is pregnant as they are with us but haven't made their big entrance into the world yet. When they have their own tree as an adult I will give them the decorations to add as a memory.

Gale Fields

I DO love that colorway! One special tradition for me is always finding Christmas breakfast in the Christmas stocking. A huge round orange or "sheep nose" apple, a fun-shaped roll, other food treats plus one tiny present all wrapped up. Anything in the stocking could be eaten or opened before the parents were awake.


My husband and I have been busy making new traditions for ourselves. One of my favorite is the anticipation. We have our gifts out and wrapped at least a week in advance of Christmas and then we start to get antsy. My husband asks if he can open one. I say no. We repeat this until I can no longer wait. We compromise and open one present each on Christmas Eve. Or maybe Christmas Eve eve. It depends on how impatient we are. It's fun and silly and ours.


We have 2 family traditions that I love. One is being allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve which is always new pajamas to wear to bed & for opening presents in the am. The pjs are usually red plaid or something else Christmasy looking. My daughter has continued this tradition with her 3. Two years ago, I bought them Hanna Andersson long johns ( to wear as jammies - green & white stripe with red trim for the boys & red & white stripe with green trim for the girl. The tradition that I liked even more was the making of Christmas cookies. My daughters & I would spend an entire day making roll butter or sugar cookies & gingerbread & cut them out with the Christmas cookie cutters. Then we'd decorate them with colored sugar, icing, sprinkles etc. We'd make 5 or 6 batches & usually end up with about 2 dozen cookies. You'd be amazed at how many cookies were broken or deemed "not good enough for company" by the girls 8-). My older daughter has most of my cookie cutters now & I have joined her in making cookies a few times. But our schedules frequently prevent us from getting together at a good time for cookie making. So she has started the tradition of making the cookies & giving each of the little ones a box of treats as part of their present from her.


Two of my favorite traditions are on Christmas eve the last thing we do before going to bed is listen to the last song on the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD Stille Nacht It is my favorite version of Silent night at the very end of the song you can hear Santa's sleigh bells off in the distance.

The other more recent tradition (since we have all grown up) is Christmas mornings as we are all sitting opening presents we have Mimosas. They are always yummy and fun. :)


We bake cutout sugar cookies and decorate them with icing and sprinkles. None but my mother's recipe will do!


On Christmas Eve, the kids in our family are allowed to open one present that the parents pick out. It's always something that's immediately useful - new pajamas or a book or such. It always made us more excited for present-opening the next morning, as well as giving us something practical.


From my childhood, tradition that gets the most laughs was my mother refused to pay more than a dollar or two for a Christmas tree, so we would wait until a couple of days before Christmas to buy a tree after the prices were reduced. This led to a couple if instances when there were no trees left to purchase. This did not stop my mother, she went around to the back of the store and found a couple of trees in the trash. SCORED! A free tree that Christmas. Then with a overnight soak we would usually decorate the tree on Christmas Eve.


When the girls were little, we always make sugar cookies for Christmas. They would help mix up the batter and roll out the dough. Then we'd cut the cookies (yes, with Christmas cookie cutters). Their favorite part was icing the cookies when they were done. Now I have grandkids to carry on the tradition with them.


Our family grazes through Christmas: German sweet bread, cheeses, Indian samosas, smoked oysters...


Growing up on a dairy farm meant that the animals got taken care of first so we opened our gifts (except from Santa) on Christmas Eve. Our dinner that night was ALWAYS homemade clam chowder. Mom started Christmas baking right after Thanksgiving so there were lots of candies and cookies too: especially rosettes, krumkake and fudge.


One of the tried and true holiday traditions that my mom and I share is making cranberry relish for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's the only time of year we make it and it's so much better than the stuff from a can.

Shirley Nygaard

Every year our families gather on a Sunday afternoon to make lefse, a Norwegian flat bread made with cooked potatoes. We have done this for more than 30 years. This year, however, is our first Christmas without Grandma and we just couldn't bring ourselves to get together for what was her favorite Christmas tradition. Maybe we'll be ready next year.

Terri Brinegar

We have a special Christmas brunch each year. I make an oven souffle on Chrismas Eve day and I bake it while we open gifts on Christmas morning. With cinnamon rolls, it is a great way to start the day!


I started the pj tradition last year but my favorite is Christmas Eve service at church.


When I was a kid, we celebrated St. Nicholas' Day as well as Christmas. It's December 6, so it makes a nice beginning to the season. We put out a boot or shoe the night before, and by morning St. Nicholas has filled it with chocolates. (Sounds like the Yule Lads mentioned above, but St. Nicholas only comes one night a year.)


Every Christmas Eve, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to my daughters (who are, I'm afraid, 24 and 21). I am not allowed to skip this, even though we're talking about an 80-page chapter book. It's the funniest book ever written and one of the great family reads.


We always give my girls (12 and 9) new PJs on Christmas Eve too. Also each year we give them each a new Hallmark Keepsake ornament on the day we decorate the tree--usually something that reflects their interests or a book they've read, etc. They'll have a fun collection to take with them someday when they have their own families. On Christmas Eve we always have fresh dungeness crab with my inlaws--YUM!!


We do something special on Christmas Eve day (NO shopping, or other preparations -- what's done is done). We've gone to a live production of "A Christmas Carol" or visit The Domes in Milwaukee (one is a jungle, one is a desert, last one is decorated for Christmas---very peaceful and pretty there), then we go to our church's Christmas Eve service, and come home and open presents, slowly, one at a time, and enjoy each moment. If it's not too late, we watch "It's a Wonderful Life." We have French Meat Pie for Christmas Breakfast (handed down on my dad's side of the family) and then spend the day with extended family. Before Christmas, going to hear "The Messiah" performed goes way back in my family, too. Went to hear it last night --- magnificent! We have more traditions as well, more than any other time of the year. Lots of wonderful memories, and we enjoy making new ones.


Some of our favorite traditions include a trip to downtown Cinti to check out the train display and then to Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park for the flower displays and live manager scene.


Our tradition is eating a major dinner on Christmas Eve. The dinner is eating seven kinds of fish, angel hair pasta with sauce, an orange salad, and italian pastry for dessert. After dinner we exchange gifts.

P Susan Peterson

Long term tradition - Making lots! of cookies, first with my siblings and now with my children. More recent tradition - new pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Cybèle de Jong

We haven't got any Christmas traditions as such, but my kids have dual nationality (I'm Dutch, their dad is British), so we celebrate Dutch traditions too. On the 5th of December we celebrate Sinterklaas (St Nicholas, which is where the words Santa Claus come from). This is when you give presents to each other in The Netherlands. The best bit about being both Dutch and British for my kids is that they get the traditional British Christmas too, so they get to have presents twice... which for me is a good reason not to go too over the top with Sinterklaas! But I wouldn't skip it for the world.

Betty Peterson

The very first Xmas for my son ended up with him in a hospital far away from home and husband. He was diagnosed with cancer. I had not taken any of his presents with us and he missed out on the Children Hospital Xmas present. 18 years later, I start every Xmas day with a thought of love and gratefulness, of joy and hope I meditate/'send' throughout the world to all who might need it that morning. Through his childhood, every following Xmas was filled with presents to open throughout the day as they would 'magically appear' around the tree. I would divide boxes of Lego's and wrap fancy socks, biscuits, even treats to give to his cat: anything so he had LOTS of things to open. One year I counted 60. That was OUR present: to watch his face light up as he opened yet another tiny packet of 'something' or other. Today he is 18 and there will only be 3 presents. The heart in my throat and the gratefulness we remain. I had my Xmas miracle: he is alive and smiling nowadays :). No matter what present he wraps for me, his life is forever my Xmas present!

Lennette Daniels

Making sugar cut-out cookies for Santa with my daughter. She is almost 14 now but she said we can't forget to make them this year.


We open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day. I love the presents!

Kathy in KS

My favorite family tradition is one my mom did with my brother and sister and me when we were kids - baking cookies. I always plan it for a day when the floor needs washing anyway. My boys get flour everywhere and it's a ton of fun. We wait to decorate them for a day or 2, and that's almost as fun as the rolling out and cutting.

Carla in MT

One of my favorite Christmas traditions actually happens several weeks before Christmas - St. Nickolaus Day!! Dec. 6th. We have the kids put their shoes outside their bedroom door, then during the night, the shoes are filled with little gifts & candy. It is a German tradition that we adapted while we were living overseas. The kids, now young adults, still look forward to it, and even share it with their children.

rasa chambers

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with a traditional meal. We all gather together, break bread and wish each other a happy Christmas. The main course is fish. Then we sort of break tradition and have cookies. This is a very emotion filled night for me and will always be special.


Now that it's just my husband and myself, we have a lovely candlelight dinner at home on Christmas Eve and then a leisurely morning usually with some yummy, luxurious baked goodie, like homemade cinnamon rolls and warm fruit compote for breakfast.


Christmas crackers!


A childhood tradition was to open a gift on Christmas Eve. An adult tradition is to watch/listen to Drummer Boy sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie


We love the midnight service at our local church. We used to live just across the road so we'd just walk down the road to the service and after it had finished we had hot chocolate to warm up.

This year we'll have to go in the car, but I think we'll still be having the hot chocolate when we get back.

Kathryn Sigman

We watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and frost Christmas cookies. I've been doing this sine I was a child and my oldest child is 31!


My mother always puts weird fruit in the toe of our stocking... star fruit, pomegranate (ok, that's not as weird these days, but 20 years ago...)... many others I've forgotten.

Molly Johnson

Hmmm...well, I have just started this with my girls (ages 3 +6) and hope it will be something that will carry on. I have made sort of a 'count down' chart of sorts. I cut a strip of ribbon and sew it up so that it makes little pockets that you can slide candy canes in. When it gets to be 14 days before christmas, I fill the slots with candy canes and each day my girls will get to pull out a candy! This will help them know how many days are left till Christmas(without constantly asking) and they get a little treat!

Mary Ann Westfield

I used to make fudge for Christmas and we'd set up our fake Christmas tree.


My mom always got us new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve, so we'd look extra cute on Christmas morning. Those were the days.


The Christmas Eve "feast" (sandwiches, nuts, Christmas cookies, fudge, etc., etc.) is a tradition we observed when I was growing up. I've continued it with my own family, and now my grandchildren look forward to it too! It's a way to connect them with relatives they never knew.

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