Downsides: There is a large homeless population in Santa Cruz, with drugs and crime associated with that. You remember to lock your car and never leave valuables in it overnight, even parked in your driveway. Bike theft is *very* common. There are occasional gang related crimes. There is a Yellow Laces Jeff Marek shirt college student population in town, and when there’s not college students, it’s tourist season. So many of the locals have their known fast routes through town, lesser known restaurants that are favorites and not crowded.
I’m half Mexican, a bit Italian, and some other European stuff. I remember learning about the Mayans, the Aztecs, and Yellow Laces Jeff Marek shirt maybe Poncho Villa. I learned almost nothing else about Mexican culture, the history of Mexico, the interaction between America and Mexico in more modern times and so on. There could have been so much time to discuss these things at a higher level if we weren’t deep diving into the names of rivers crossed by dead people.
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In America (or at the very least, everywhere I’ve lived in America), it isn’t really an option. I can practice whatever I like in my own home, but as soon as I step outside, I’m culturally obligated to celebrate Christmas. Sorry, that’s a bit dramatic. It isn’t EVERYTHING, really. Just tv, movies, radio, billboards, music in any public place, and any clerk/waiter/cashier/person I come in contact with. It’s being forced to celebrate a Yellow Laces Jeff Marek shirt that I’m excluded from. For the entire month of December. It isn’t that I don’t want to celebrate Christmas. It just isn’t mine.
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Another was a Yellow Laces Jeff Marek shirt of young kids having a snowball fight, only for some NPC bully to throw a rock in a packed snowball up at an elderly curmudgeon who was yelling at them, causing him to fall to his death. His hat drifted down to the street, and the PCs got it. They put it on his grave the next day, and continued playing until it was time to go inside (though one was an orphan and got taken in by another family in the session due to good rolls). Hours later, every snowman came to life and started freezing people, and they had to keep warm, escape the snowmen, and find a way to break the curse on the town. They succeeded with one set of living parents fleeing with the two PCs after everything and everyone else was frozen.
Since the Gospel accounts aren’t mean to share humour, you direct the audience to other themes. The Father Christmas theme, the reindeer theme, the Nativity Play theme, the giving of odd presents theme, the Christmas Office Party theme or the at-home, odd relatives at a Christmas Party theme. The Father Christmas theme includes visiting local stores where Father Christmas is scheduled to appear and delight the children hell-bent on getting their presents exactly right, even it really means getting a Yellow Laces Jeff Marek shirt … Not many kids want a reindeer… So you could have the real Father Christmas trying to offload his surplus stock of reindeer instead…