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Yuletide 2020

Various Northern Europeans, Germanic peoples, Neopagans, LaVeyan Satanists, and American Shoppers have long celebrated the last week of the year in honor of the Wild Hunt, the god Odin or his modern variant, and, the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.

The latter included sacrifices, a fitting practice for 2020. We’ve sacrificed family gatherings, nights out at our favorite restaurant -which itself may have been sacrificed- attending churches and synagogues, the cinema and major sports events, and shopping malls. And travel. Many have sacrificed their job or their business; some, their homes. Not to mention the darker sacrifices of 1,700,000 lives this year. If the new vaccines do not control the new virus variant now in the United Kingdom, then we will have sacrificed our sense of scientific control over the natural world. And that puts us right where our ancestors were this time of the year.

Our ancestors celebrated life in a world they only hoped was rational. This year, regardless of our individual beliefs, we will do the same. My lady will spend a couple of days cooking a Christmas feast that we two will sit down together and enjoy. That is celebration enough, in 2020.

What are your plans for the Holidays?

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15 thoughts on “Yuletide 2020

  1. Christmas piggybacked on pagan celebrations of the solstice, when the days started getting longer again. As our days get longer now with the promise of spring, we also have the promise of vaccines.
    My wife is preparing chioppino for the daughter and us. Not a traditional Christmas dinner, but it will be delicious.
    In the new year, my favorite celebration will be the Burning of the Masks, when vaccine coverage reaches a certain point. There will then be a huge burst of travel, so we’d better book early.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. victoracquista says:

    Excellent post, GD! Mōdraniht is to be researched ex post haste.

    We’ll be travelling cross-state to celebrate with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Total gathering of five people. In many ways, as others have articulated, it has been a lost year of sorts. But hope springs eternal. I am looking forward to experiencing ’21.

    Being 21 was so long ago, but everything seemed possible in the naivete and exuberance of youth. At this time, I cannot help but be reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Camus: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
    And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. mimispeike says:

    Hey! I love the idea of celebrating Christmas as a pagan holiday. We’re all atheists in this house. We’ll eat a good meal, and get back on our projects. And I’ve got my almost full Grand Marnier.

    Some day I’ll put up a Christmas tree again. I spent many years collecting artisan-and-vintage ornaments. This house is too crowded for a tree, and we have three cats. And I have no energy for anything but Maisie.

    I do have a ton of gorgeous ornaments packed away in the crawl space. For twenty years I would shop for the most outstanding piece I could find, then buy a dozen of them. I skipped the department stores, concentrated on the craft galleries. Oh I have some fabulous stuff.

    Crap! Not this year.

    Let’s all try to be as jolly as we can.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. My husband and I will engage in our Christmas Eve tradition of driving around mocking people’s exterior Christmas decorations. We plan to FaceTime the gift-opening with our daughter and son-in-law in San Diego. Then we’ll eat lasagne. Maybe watch a movie or two.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Perry Palin says:

    Years ago we joined large extended family Christmas reunions that were loud and funny until the drinks put some to sleep and made others argumentative and mean. Not anymore.

    On Christmas Eve we’ll have one son and his wife and our eldest granddaughter arrive, and we’ll be joined on Christmas Day by the other son and his girlfriend and her sons. Gotta like that girlfriend. At Thanksgiving she brought a rice dish, several bottles of wine, fruit, and a couple of houseplants. This time she’s bringing braised beef ribs. We’ll have dinner and drinks and open gifts and do facetime with our daughter and her family, 1200 miles away. Nine people in the house. A risk? I suppose, but they’re all pretty careful, and two of them work in health and medical fields, though not in direct patient care. It will be quiet and relaxing.

    When they leave we will wash the dishes and pick up the stray bits of wrapping paper and return the extra table leaf to the closet, and settle down to wait for our turn with the vaccine and for the end of the pandemic.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. mimispeike says:

    As I said, here I am on Christmas Eve, at the computer, searching for a thirties-era bathing suit for Maisie. She can’t live in LA without lounging by the pool.

    I’ve been at it an hour. It’s damn hard to find a fun vintage suit, in color, that I think will look good on my mouse. I’ve found exactly ONE that has potential. It’s got a lot of nice shirring down the center. That’s good, draws attention away from her short legs. She’s very sensitive about her short legs there in the land of long-stemmed beauties. And, I’ve found two or three good sun hats.

    I am reminded of the Rolling Stones lyric:

    No, you can’t always get what you want
    You can’t always get what you want
    You can’t always get what you want
    But if you try sometime you just might find
    You get what you need

    I’ve come up empty-handed on swimsuits (gotta be in color for the paper doll outfit. That’s tough for photos of a thirties suit). But, I’ve got what I didn’t know I needed until I saw it: a fabulous yellow-duckie pool float. Maisie definitely can use a yellow-duckie pool float!

    I didn’t get what I wanted, but I sure did get what I need!

    Liked by 5 people

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