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Even in a little thing

4th December, 2012. 8:44 am.

I'm starting to develop Scroogitude again, it seems. It was funny forty years ago when someone called an end-of-year party a 'not-a-Christmas' party. These days it tells me that I'm wrong to be different. One person makes the joke each and every year - some years everyone makes the joke - and some years the deciders-of-such things decide that it is a Christmas party and we others must just deal. Yet they are the ones who resolutely refuse to deal when I have my own holy-days and parties.

I've been invited to my friends for Christmas this year. I love celebrating it. I love it when I get to be a visitor in someone else's culture. I don't like it when it's expected that I'll find my own otherness funny.

I am fighting Scroogitudiness with all my heart. I and my headcold are both fighting it, in fact. I think the best way of fighting it is to give presents. It doesn't matter where you live, if Australia Post can reach you, then you may have presents. I'll post them next week and will give them all away (ie if only one person wants a present from a certain class, they get a lovely bundle containing them all). The tone of my presents this year is somewhat Colonialist. This is the closest I ever get to making a subtle point.

1. National Library of Australia postcards, reproducing a page from a c1500 Book of Hours
2. Banksia pods (only two) from plants from very close to where the First Fleet landed (Sydneysiders may not request these, for they can collect their own)
3. Fridge magnets containing Middle French proverbs (titles available on request)
4. Bookmarks containing Middle French proverbs (titles available on request)
5. My usual really daft version of the Chanukah story, posted to this blog
6. One of my family's Jewish Christmas recipes (either cake or pudding, whichever I find first)
7. A dredel (cheap and plastic)
8. A recipe for latkes (blogged)

You may ask for as many as you like. I will use the magic sparkly black* sorting hat if I must, or allocate fairly, or spin a dredel to determine who gets what if an item is in high demand.

All requests must be in the comments on LJ or on FB by the time I wake up on Sunday. No correspondence may be entered into, but bad jokes are fine. Also, Christmas presents and cards are fine (I thought I ought to make this clear since people seem to assume they can other me verbally but that I'll be offended by cards and presents).

Chanukah doesn't start til Saturday night, so you have heaps of time to develop anti-Chanukah Scroogitudiness if you feel so inclined. Although it looks a bit daft to develop anti-Chanukah Scroogitudiness, since it's such a minor festival. What you should do is next year strike against honey cake.






*Scroogitudiness demands black

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4th December, 2012. 1:42 pm.

I want to give friends a honey cake recipe for Chanukah less than most people want to receive their Easter eggs under the Christmas tree. My calendar says I make honey cake for Jewish New Year and for special occasions (like engagements and weddings) and all the rest of the year it doesn't fit. So I don't care how many friends ask me for the recipe (which I last posted here a few months ago, anyway), they are not getting the honey cake recipe for Chanukah. It's not on the list of eight things. It's not seasonal. It's very inappropriate. The whole idea of a festival is to do things that fit that festival, not to make all the year into one big honeycakefest. The food you should be eating from Saturday night is all the deep fried stuff, not the stuff with fruit and sweetness. You could have asked me for a doughnut recipe or a fried pastry recipe, though I'd really rather people asked for things I've already sorted - that's why I offered a choice from a prepared list, after all, because I'm very busy and things keep going wrong and I don't want to turn something fun into a burden.

You can have eight bookmarks (one for each day of the festival), because bookmarks are on the list. My Scroogitudiness, however, has now reached an advanced stage (I admit, I'm having a seriously bad day in other ways, financially, physically, and by someone throwing a casual anti-Semitic remark in my direction, the last of which is not uncommon at this time of year) and I refuse to add presents to the eight I've listed and I specially refuse to add unseasonal recipes to the presents.

Perhaps I shouldn't be giving presents at all? Is this what people are trying to tell me? Or that I should keep all my festivals private and offline? I guess I'm trying to work out the reason behind friends asking me for Easter eggs at Christmas when the presents have already been put under the tree - it just doesn't make sense to me.


ETA: I have PMT (the really bad variety, where I'm allergic to everything and have half a dozen other symptoms to boot), high pain for various other reasons and people keep throwing bad news in my direction as if it were confetti. Nevertheless, I'm sorry about the meltdown. Christmas cake and Jewish NY cake have nothing in common except that they're cakes, but that doesn't mean everyone knows this.

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