I started this post basically as a shout-out to the post office for doing a pretty good job of covering the range of holiday stamp needs. If you want to honor a major religious or ethnic northern-hemisphere-winter celebration with your stamp choice, the U.S. post office has you pretty well covered.
Jews and African-Americans will find Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps.
Christians who want to focus on the religious aspects of the holiday have two choices—manger scene with star, or the slightly more subtle lamb. (Is it the Lamb of God? Is it a reference to flocks watched over by shepherds at night? It’s a stretch, but you could even choose to pretend it’s a secular reference to wool production and the making of cozy sweaters—an option I mention because it’s a real possibility in this household.)
If your winter-holiday celebration has its roots in the Christian tradition, but is a bit less religious-focused, you have several choices. There’s a kid in a snow-suit making a snow-angel, a one-horse-open-sleigh reference, a Santa Claus, and some holiday decorations with Christmas cookies.
There’s even a stamp for Diwali (and the post office always has a stamp for Eid, although I guess this year, since Ramadan was back in the summer, they didn’t see fit to include it with the winter holiday stamps).
But just as I was getting ready to sing the praises of the U.S. Post Office for hitting just about every note, I realized that they’d left me out. There’s no stamp for me to put on my solstice cards. Those bastards!
I shall have to write a strong letter of protest.
I considered putting a note to that effect on the door, but I was afraid there would be people who wouldn’t get the joke. (The downside of having such a diverse group of friends—no matter how pervasive something is in our culture, Jackie and I will know a few people for whom it is utterly outside their experience.)
Party preparations are nearly complete.
I got the study tidy! (Those of you who have seen it in the past month would be astounded.) I need to do a photo shoot of my writing space, now that it is so wonderfully open and inviting, but I have not yet had the time to get good pictures.
This morning I made candy and baked cookies for the party. (The candy is what I call Platonic Candy, because it is candy reduced to its platonic essence: sugar, fat, a little flavoring. The cookies are Ginger Sparkles.)
This afternoon, while I’m at Esperanto, Jackie will prepare her contributions to the party comestibles.
In the evening we’ll do our final cleaning up.
Sunday we’ll be able to laze about lazily all morning, until people start showing up for the party.
Yesterday’s weather report was kind of alarming, predicting that several inches of snow were possible. Today’s forecast is better, with less snow expected. Hopefully the weather won’t keep too many people home from our party.
I was thinking brownies, but Jackie bakes the brownies and she was already spending as much time in the kitchen today as she really wanted. So I baked a post-holiday batch of ginger sparkles.
Ginger sparkle cookies by Philip Brewer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.