Pictures from Christmas in Fall River

They had a tree:

[Christmas Tree]

And a crêche:

[crêche]

They put more energy into decorating than I do, so there are
also things like this mobile:

[mobile of illuminated birds]

They also do a lot of baking. Here’s the baba after its
second rising:

[baba sponge]

I wasn’t in a good position to take pictures at the party when
all 40 people were trying to cram into the living room, so I
don’t have one of Judy
playing Chopin
, but here’s one of our friend Harold playing
Christmas carols:

[Harold]

And here are a bunch of everybody being zonked after the
party. Judy had the best reason to be zonked:

[Judy after party]

Monte didn’t have as good a reason, but if you’d barked as
strenuously as he did at the beginning of the party to make sure
all 40 people knew it was his house, you’d be zonked
too:

Monte zonked

Sunny doesn’t look so zonked, but he is anxious:

[Sunny]

My mother, with 80 years of experience throwing parties, hardly looks zonked at
all:

[Helen]

We don’t know why Teddy was zonked:

[Teddy zonked]

Christmas Eve in the melting pot

The clash between family tradition and the American protestant tradition was even more plangent with my sister’s new church.

The Polish tradition is to have a large meal on Christmas Eve and then go to midnight mass. The American protestant tradition is to have a church service on Christmas Eve, and then the large meal on Christmas day.

Since my sister has been a church organist in protestant churches, we’ve had to reschedule the large meal, usually to be after the service. But this year, she had to play two services: one at 5 and one at 10, so she didn’t get home until well after midnight. Her current church is an hour’s drive away, so she had family dinner with the pastor, and my mother an I ate a fairly simplified version of the Wigilia meal, and we exchanged presents after midnight.

One church she played at had a large population of Liberian immigrants, who also have their large family dinner on Christmas Eve. So they just didn’t come to church at all. So I never saw the whole choir or heard the wonderful congregational singing my sister kept telling me about, because it didn’t happen on Christmas Eve.

I tried telling them about the Mexican tradition of having the large dinner after Midnight Mass and then exchanging presents and then going to bed on Christmas morning, but they weren’t interested in adopting that one. It probably works better for people who normally eat late in the evening than for people who eat at 6.

O Christmas Tree


[naked tree]

Here’s the tree as it came from the tree lot in Porter
Square.

[tree with angel]

Here it is after I trimmed enough off the top that I could put the angel on
and put it on top of the subwoofer.

And here it is trimmed. For some reason this year I didn’t
feel like putting on the origami cranes I made the first year I
had a tree and needed to make decorations. But you can see some
of the toys and costume jewelery I adapted.

[trimmed tree]
[closeup of tree decorations] width=400
[closeup of decorations] width=400
[closeup of decorations] width=400

Crêche

[crêche with animals] width=400

I also set up a crêche
that my mother brought me from
Israel. The Thing from the depths of the sea I found on the
sidewalk one Halloween. He fits over a dog toy, and lives in a
box with the angel when he isn’t part of the crêche.

[closeup of crêche]