Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas on the Queen Mary 2

The ship is decorated for Christmas. The grand lobby has a huge Christmas tree standing in it. There are four characters from a famous British children’s novelist’s book. Can you guess who? Hint: the characters are a frog, a badger, a rat, and a mole.

The ship’s crew built a huge graham cracker village, which is on the main deck. It’s quite impressive.

I went to midnight Mass (there’s no Divine Liturgy on this ship), where we sung Christmas carols while people went up for communion. It was held in the planetarium. I took some pictures of the entrance. Zeus and Hermes standing on either side of the doorway. Rather a pagan twist to Christmas, but then again, a lot of our customs come from paganism.

Merry Christmas!



Filed under Travel

Christmas at the Historical Society

(2014-12-20 002)Better late than never.

I helped a wee bit in the decorating of the Historical Society for the holidays. I added a few ornaments to the tree, and that was about it. Others put up the tree and the decorations. There was a harp concert and some refreshments to celebrate the season earlier in the month, but I did not attend. (I had way too much homework to do.)

This year’s theme is, no surprise, toys and dolls of yesteryear. The school marm was “dolled-up” in a new outfit and(2014-12-20 001) made the mistress of the house where she looked on with her daughter at the beautifully-decorated tree. There were no lights on the tree, however; there are never any lights put on the tree. Technically, candles should be put on the tree, but there is no way that you could convince anyone in the place to actually risk burning down the building for that. The tree was decorated with ornaments from the 19th and 20th centuries. There were lights put up in other rooms.


The rooms of the first floor were filled with different objects that were once cherished by children. The displays were a bit heavy on dolls, but there were some interesting toys, like the Noah’s Ark that was near the tree. There are still arks being sold to children, but it was nice to see a toy from decades gone by that some child or children played with and enjoyed. (It was well-worn, so it was obvious that children had played with it.)

There were a variety of dolls, many being Asian, which surprised me. Some of the dolls were strange-looking, and I had to wonder if they didn’t scare the children instead of amusing them. What follows is some of the dolls still on display in the Historical Society.

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Filed under History, Holidays, Tarrytown

January 7: Old Christmas and the End of the Holiday Season

I've always loved these wintry, homey scenes, probably because it suggests getting together with people we care about--that and staying warm!

I’ve always loved these wintry, homey scenes, probably because it suggests getting together with people we care about–that and staying warm!

I always called January 7 “Orthodox Christmas,” but I think that this is wrong since all Orthodox countries are on the Gregorian calendar. On the Julian calendar, this would be Christmas Day. As time goes on and the time difference between the calendars increases, Old Christmas will fall later and later in January.

Old Christmas marks the end of the holiday season for me. The season starts on Thanksgiving and ends on January 7. I don’t care what you believe or if you believe in anything: just enjoy the lights, the colors, the sights. We have survived another year, and that in itself is cause to celebrate. I know with all the commercialism and insanity that sometimes it can ruin the season for people. Find your own way to celebrate and to hell with what the world is doing!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and let’s hope that 2014 brings prosperity and happiness–and responsible government.


Filed under Holidays

Holidays at the New York Public Library

Though NYPL is embroiled in a controversy to “remake” the main building at Fifth Avenue  and 42nd Street in Manhattan into a “library of the future,” the building is spruced up (as usual) for the end of the year festivities.

The entrance from Fifth Avenue brings the visitor into Astor Hall, which is made out of marble and truly is a grand entrance. The tree is beautiful. Though Hanukkah is over, the menorah was completely lit when I visited.

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing are the wreaths around the necks of the famous lions outside the library. The wreaths are far too big, and the lions literally get lost in them. A much smaller wreath around the necks of the lions would look so much better. Perhaps the wreaths (and bows) are so big to make it harder for someone to steal. After all, what would one do with such big wreaths?

Then again, just a little bigger and those wreaths could probably fit comfortably around Lady Liberty’s neck.

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Filed under Holidays, Libraries, New York City