Sunday, December 05, 2004

Christmas Bizarre  

Eight years ago we danced the hora in this very courtyard...
House of multifaith worship (on alternate days)

Up early on Saturday for a day of rural authenticity in Brattleboro, VT, nominally prompted by this year's one-room Christmas Bazaar at old haunt West Village Meeting House.

Nice to be back in the interfaith rural post-and-beam in which -- because it houses both bazaar-hosts All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church and local Jewish congregation Shir He-harim -- we got married.

And today, as always, it was fully comfortable to be a Jew among the U. Met up with Darcie's parents (also UU congregation members), took turns helping two-year-old Willow make bead ornaments in the otherwise-empty kids craft area, bought some small raw-wood-and-lichen mantelpiece ornaments despite the lack of a mantel to put them on.

Afterwards , the five of us -- in three generations and two cars -- had plans to head over the river and through the woods* to the high-commercial end of the rural shopping spectrum. But to no avail: we were stymied in our Wal-mart attempt by a thick plume of smoke coming from downtown Brattleboro, where -- it later turned out -- four townships worth of ladder trucks were dealing with a major block fire. Bridge unavailable, we headed to the local backwoods diner instead for homestyle steak and eggs.

Later, Darcie and I left Willow with the 'Grands for a trip up to the Basketville outlet -- wicker, wicker everywhere, and the smell of woodshavings. Spent almost an hour digging wooden eggs and candlesticks out of the rejects bin; at 5 cents apiece, we managed to gather in quite a collection (136 pieces!), and hope to get both present-fodder and creative play opportunities out of the lot.

Back home the roads through town were still closed, but we managed to pack in the downtown lot and walk in to see a gutted brick and a still-blocked bridge heading home, a sleepy Willow singing carols in the backseat.

Guess someone's God wanted us to stick with the authentic for the day. I missed the kitsch of the cart-and-greeter, but we'll surely make it to the mall sometime this week.

*Yes, it really is over the river and through the woods to get to Grandmother's house. It's a bit much, but what can you do?

posted by boyhowdy | 1:03 AM |

It still amazes me how (at least commercially) the Christian holiday overwhelms all others this time of year. Even here, in the large Jewish enclave that is Long Island, Santa, reindeer, Xmas trees and all that crap are everywhere. I've yet to see other holidays even represented. Then again, I don't really look hard for them. I was raised Catholic, and even though I am now agnostic I guess I still gravitate towards certain symbols over others. Weird.
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