Christmas

Posted by Ellen

Who dreams of a rainy Christmas? That's what we are headed for this year, as in many years past, here along the east coast of North America.

In 2010, it rained on everybody's Christmas parade in Kuching, Malaysia, but people seemed reasonably happy nonetheless, even afterwards on their way home.

Hereabouts, the winter rain has been nondenominational, this year dampening Hanukkah as well as threatening Christmas, and doing a real number on Festivus. Maybe we'll have a white New Year's.

Here's to holiday warmth and cheer, despite the mess the world is in.

Posted by Ellen

When the Cold War thawed, old Russian cultural traditions became new again, and Ded Moroz–Father Frost–emerged from hiding up near the Siberian part of the North Pole to resume his holiday responsibilities.

To acknowledge the new cultural politics, Ded Moroz's many colleagues in northern and eastern Europe–notably Joulupukki, Finland's Christmas Goatnow seek him out at border crossings and Christmas markets across the continent. The two Nicks typically engage in a little winter diplomacy, sometimes competing in endeavors such as chimney climbing.

This picture features Ded Moroz presenting a gift to Joulupukki during a diplomatic mission in Minsk, capital of Belarus. 

Incidentally, Ded Moroz can sleep in Christmas morning, because in Russia, the gift thing doesn't happen till New Year's. Happy New Year's one and all......

Posted by Ellen

At Macy's in Chicago, upstairs and downstairs, the season is upon us.

Posted by Ellen

In this living-room scene, the tree may look all modern and artificial, but it was a completely natural blue spruce, spray-painted white with an air compressor. Mother and daughter are dressed for Christmas in 1954 in Miami Shores, Florida.