Ho, Saturn!

The first holidays Without Someone are tricky, with reminders of loss peppering the landscape. Who carves the turkey, if Granddad isn’t here? And Mom can step into Grandmother’s apron when it comes to making pumpkin pies, but what about Great Grandma’s Christmas Pudding? Should we bother with it? After all, nobody really likes it, but it’s such fun to flame it at the table.


So this year we’re not inundated with six dozen kinds of cookies (all of them made “for the postman” of course, although he and the newspaper delivery lady and the UPS guy seem to take up a small part of the mountain) but we will be having Great Grandma’s Christmas Pudding, a steamed wad of carrots, potatoes, and dried fruit that is actually quite tasty when doused with good brandy, set alight (“Ooh, ah!”) and drowned in brandy butter. Although I admit, I didn’t make it in November, as she always did, and I changed the recipe a little (Heresy!)

And because we have a new family member, I have knit my new son-in-law a Christmas stocking. Not, I admit, as fancy as those my mother produced, but the turned heel is even and there’s not a dropped stitch in sight, and I’m telling him that this one’s a trial run, since time was too short for a thousand complicated designs of names and stars and such, carrying threads on the back. Next year, maybe.

So the great ritual of Saturnalia trundles on, with sacrifices and banquets and (don’t you love the nonsense on Wikipedia?)—“the customary greeting for the occasion is a “io, Saturnalia!” — io (pronounced “yo”) being a Latin interjection related to “ho” (as in “Ho, praise to Saturn”)”

There was a full moon shining in my west window this morning, and Friday was the Solstice, and tomorrow is Christmas. We are in the depth of winter, here on the northern hemisphere, but we’re turning our faces back towards spring, and light, and warmth.

Io Io Io, everyone.

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  1. Phil the Badger on December 24, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    If you’re into knitting socks, have you discovered the Tsock Tsarina?

    If not. go immediately to http://www.tsocktsarina.com.

    It’s also worthwhile going from there to her blog (tsarina says) and you’ll get particular kick out of going to her archives for the development of her “Nine Tailors” design,

    A Merry Christmas to one and all

  2. riobonito on December 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    In my ‘gardener’s mind..Dec 26th..is the first day of Spring. I see daffs nudging their way out of the ground and if we have had enough rain the Narcissus are blooming. Not this year tho. So my first day of spring mind set helps with the after Christmas blues. Pansies are blooming through the winter and Sweet Peas are 5 inches tall in my climate. I hope the rest of you gardeners can enjoy your winter landscapes and know the promise of Spring is brewing ever so slightly beneath the icy soil. Thanks Laurie, looking forward to Touchstone.

  3. Carlina on December 24, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. corgimom on December 24, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Warm wishes for all the best to you and yours!

  5. Kerry on December 26, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Developing new traditions is hard, indeed, but it sounds like you’ve found some lovely ones. Io to you, too, and thanks for the gift of Touchstone with which to enjoy a blustery day-after-Saturnalia.

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