Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And So This Is Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it in whatever way they choose. I didn't grow up with Christmas - in fact, for a long time I was vehemently against it, it was for goyim only and that was that. But as I made my way into a world wider than the closed confines of Judaism (while not totally abandoning the rituals that gave me comfort as a child, such as lighting Chanukah candles) I found many things to be a lot of fun and quite universal, particularly the banishing of the darkness through warmth and lights, as well as the celebration of the turn of the year and the renewal of lengthening days.

I also liked the way the media celebrated the holiday. When I was growing up I adored Christmas variety shows, which usually featured performers my parents and I liked. I've always been fascinated by cartoons and animation, many of which were centered around Christmas and only shown this time of year in the age before home TV recording devices. When I married Steve and added more personal traditions (like visiting his family in CT, exchanging gifts, getting a fiber-optic tree) we would seek out various versions of A Christmas Carol which aired every year. Now that I'm married to Robin (having added the card wreath, the holiday table and Christmas at home with food and crackers) my love for this redemption tale has only grown (along with my love for modern-era Christmas-themed pop songs).

But if you've read my Wholly Trinity links you know all this. What may not be as apparent is the sort of warped way in which I view the holiday and its media depictions at this point in my life. As I have no stake in the Jesus game it's all sacrelicious to me. And I'm lucky in that Robin seems to share my skewed view on some things. Hence our holiday ecard to you this year:
Look out, it's Fezziwig!
You can see it larger on Flickr, of course. It's borne from possibly watching the Dickens classic a few too many times. My favorite bit is the heart he holds in his hand which Scrooge's quote blesses. Now comes the news that Marvel will be putting out A Zombie Christmas Carol - so it feels kinda cool that we're ahead of the zeitgeist for a change.

Here are a couple of photos from our Riggs Residence Christmas 2010 celebration, seen larger on Flickr along with their captions:

Christmas Table Ready

The holiday table as it looked yesterday afternoon. We failed to find mince pies or Christmas pudding, I really need to get those earlier in the season next year. But we do have three kinds of Terry's chocolate oranges (milk, dark and mint), four different flavors of Toblerones, gingerbread cookies, other assorted cookies, satsuma and blood oranges and, of course, the obligatory Guinness, don't ask me why. Above the table is a nice tray of English robins (a very common herald of Christmas in the UK, you see them on lots of holiday cards) which Rob's sister Pat gave us one year. Not shown are the foods I'm actually eating, the sugarless and low-sodium ones. Um, yum.

Card Wreath Shot #1

This year's card wreath, shot from the right. I can't get a proper head-on shot as it decorates our hallway and there's only so far back one can stand.

Card Wreath Shot #2

And here it is shot from the left.

Now I'm going to eat my first blood orange of the day so that the house smells all proper (according to Robin, Christmas smells like oranges and cigars, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass on the latter). Have a safe, peaceful and happy holiday, all!