Maybe it’s because we’ve had to do so much packing and unpacking this year, but we didn’t bother with getting our Christmas decorations out of the boxes in the barn. We didn’t dig out the Menorah for Chanukah either. Seasonal decoration just didn’t seem like a fun use of limited energy and focus. We’d already spent enough of it on simply furnishing the house.
We aren’t entirely without the spirit of the season. We’ve got a beautiful large pine next to the house. Alex recruited a friend to put lights on it and it’s served beautifully as our Christmas tree. It’s quite magnificent in the morning light in particular. The dawn on the morning of the solstice bathed it in blue light.
Equally we didn’t entirely ignore Chanukah. One of our favorite jokes is a simple guide to Jewish holidays is as follows; they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat. So rather than prayers and candles we made latkes on the first night.
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Stockings aren’t hung. But as has been our tradition as a couple, we will be preparing a Feast of the Seven Fishes. Neither one of us is Catholic but we’ve taken to a seafood feast on Christmas Eve as being sacrosanct.
Despite being in Montana we have acquired a variety of seafood including a lobster tail, mussels, clams, cod, and shrimp. We will have cioppino and lobster fra diavolo. We get to the full seven with the help of Goldfish crackers and Swedish fish.
Tomorrow will involve lamb chops which seems like a very fine Christmas Day feast. I’m sure we will prepare it while listening to Dr. Demento’s Christmas Album. And yes we will be watching Die Hard. Which we should technically be watching tonight but whatever. I’m not entirely sure how we will manage Chinese takeout tomorrow, an absolutely crucial meal in a Jewish-Calvinist household. There are surely Chinese restaurants in Bozeman but we’ve not bothered to find them thus far. In in a pinch we’ve got frozen dumplings in the chest freezer.
With all of these season’s eatings (the proper grammar I’m riffing on is season’s greetings) it’s no wonder I’ve traditionally done a fast between Boxing Day and Epiphany. I’ve not yet decided if I’ll do it this year as it can be a bit intense. I like to start the year with a 10 day water fast but it’s not feasible sometimes. But I’m putting it out into the universe to see what comes back.
That I’ve got the incredible good fortune of enjoying exceptional food and also the capacity for extended fasts is very much a gift. I hope you have the good fortune to chose nourishment that brings you joy this season.