faraway lights

Ipswich by night

“The Nutcracker serves up an idealized Christmas on a platter full of treats that everyone has been promised at one time or another – by our parents or by books and movies and TV specials. Christmas can be a joyful and problematic holiday for nearly everyone; it’s not religious enough for some, it’s too religious for others; it’s lonely for those without family, and it’s too full of relatives for those who have had enough of being known by a childhood nickname. There’s pressure to spend money, to commune, to be festive, and ‘the holidays’ can be a time of heightened expectations and recurring disappointments. The Nutcracker, however, is simpler. Like Christmas, it always comes around in December, but no one expects so much from a ballet, so its gifts can be discovered in a more relaxed manner.”

— Jennifer Fisher, Nutcracker Nation

Distanced holiday celebrations so far included:
– family phone calls and family and friends Zooms – thank you OTT apps for making it possible to talk as long as we wanted without worrying about the cost
– a Zoom craft-in where I worked on the designs for the few Christmas cards I managed to send
– watching the Finnish Independence Day ball on the Internet, except this time it consisted of interviews with the President and others in a nearly empty ballroom, as well as prerecorded musical performances and other segments
– sharing menorah pictures on Facebook for Hanukkah
– a Zoom Advent party and carol singing – this is an annual friend party that I can never make it to when it’s non-Zoom
– an abbreviated, Zoomed version of my regular Boston Christmas party, with a book Secret Santa instead of a book swap (I gave Embedded by Dan Abnett, see previous entry for why, and got Ted Chiang, The Story of Your Life and Others). I also played the five-letter quiz game for the first time.
– Global and UK social Zooms that are ongoing into the New Year

Posted on by Diana ben-Aaron
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