Time & Yuletide

25 Dec

Either it’s old age playing catch-up or it’s the time of (this particularly painful) year that has me oozing sop all over this page. This post may go down when I see it in the stark light of the morning, so don’t yell if you find it gone.

One of my (many) pet peeves is symbols. You heard me. And, by extension, symbolism. I have a theory about how the human race thrives on symbols because they help us make sense of the world and compartmentalize ideas/objects/people into neat little pockets of supposed comprehension. What I get annoyed with is how we use symbolism as a crutch that prevents us from thinking abstractly, out-of-the-boxedly, individualistically.

Now scratch everything you just read. Because for the first time in my adult life, I willfully created a symbol. Humbly. Out of sheer need. The need to hope, wish and connect. To do something with my hands that would help heal my heart. For the first time in my adult life, my annual Christmas tree routine took on critical, absolutely-must-do-or-I’ll-bust-all-my-blood-vessels proportions. And I dragged an already willing Boy by his full head of hair through an elaborate trim-the-tree ceremony because I had to (gosh I can’t believe I’m saying this, someone shut me up, please!) perform an act of love and meaning. I decorated this tree like my life depended on it. And, with the Christmas cake I’m going to ingest today, I also eat my words. Okay, I hereby ban myself from this blog.

Merry Christmas, folks. Here’s the tree in question. I’m off to pray for peace and sanity.

Credits:  The Boy’s Olympus E-520 DSLR, in his hands.

P.S. Click on the volume icon (top left hand corner of the picture album) to play Faith Hill’s ‘Joy to the World’ as you view the pictures.

17 Responses to “Time & Yuletide”

  1. Sociologist on the Loose December 25, 2008 at 2:44 am #

    Yup. Can relate to the symbols peeve. I’ve a similar peeve about categories (man/woman, black/white, quantitative/qualitative) – they’re usually inaccurate and always problematic.

    Also, thanks so much for the jaago re website. I didn’t know about it, and will send it to the horribles I met the other day. Although in the interest of full disclosure I am kind of an NRI right now ( I feel like I’m confessing to having an STD).


    Anyway, thought it was important to set the record straight.

  2. Nitya December 25, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Cool Tree! Merry Xmas!

  3. Orange Jammies December 25, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    Socio: Oh, I was too. 🙂 For a good 5 years. Like I said, there are types and there are types. And we certainly can’t tar all NRIs with the same brush.

    Nitya: Merry Christmas! Especially to our man Arjun. 🙂

  4. gooddaysunshine December 25, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Lovely pics! Merry Christmas!

  5. Nino's Mum December 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    as the music began to play, nino walked in to my room, drawn to it, like the famed piped piper and he stood and stood and eventually swayed to it. how’s that for symbolism?!
    I’m a complete sucker for the ‘symbolic’, and I spend so much of my life fighting for my right to live out of the norm, and out of the box, that I find sweet comfort in the routine of celebrations – plus they’re the easiest way to teach a young child cultural diversity.
    beautiful post, even prettier pictures – and the tree, ah, especially love the heart ornament.
    may love swamp you always OJ, and may you never feel it’s fading glow. I’m sending you this really soppy hug, all telepathy and lots of reiki type of propellant working behind it: can you feel it?
    merry christmas 🙂

  6. sukanya December 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    merry xmas….

  7. Mamma Mia! Me A Mamma?!? December 25, 2008 at 10:22 pm #

    May your prayers be answered!

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    BTW, the tree looks wonderful and I hope that cake was good!

  8. dipali December 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm #

    May the symbols usher in some peace on earth etc etc!
    Tons of love and loads of good wishes to you and yours this Christmas.

  9. Aunty G December 25, 2008 at 11:38 pm #


  10. maidinmalaysia December 26, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    glad to see my late-kate pal, sociologist on the loose, bravely commenting away … it took me one year of reading blogs to do so — and even then i still looked to my left and then to my right before I made my first comment — which was actually a smiley…

    but on the symbolism thingie, must-do rituals get my goat too… i mean what makes a new garment unfit for wearing unless you annoint it with a dab of turmeric; why should women slave 13 hours in the kitchen to make 524 varieties of sweets and savouries every janmashtami… (our family seems to come up with one for every day!)

    i could go on, Oj!
    but some things are nice about celebrations — NIno’s mum puts it neatly in her comment.

    ooh and your website burst into a song when i opened it! the things you can do, OJ!! Merry Xmas!!

  11. Anindita December 26, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    Merry Christmas! The tree looks beautiful…i think symbols are okay sometimes. The prettier the better. 🙂

  12. D December 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Very pretty 🙂

    I don’t think there’s a single acacia left undecorated this Christmas! The believers and the non-believers have totally given themselves up to the market forces selling us the festivals this year.

  13. Piper.. December 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    cant see the picture for some reason, but i`m sure its beautiful! A belated Merry Christmas and here`s hoping you have a beautiful new year ahead! Hugs

  14. Orange Jammies December 28, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    gooddaysunshine: Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    Nino’s Mum: That’s not symbolism…it’s appreciation of fine music! 😉 Thank you for your warmth. I must tell you a reiki-story someday. Hug.

    sukanya: Merry Christmas!

    M4: What a lovely wish 🙂 Yes, the cake was yum and as I sat on the couch and looked at the tree, I realized it’s way more beautiful than in the pictures. Our very own real potted Christmas tree that stays with us the whole year through. I hope Christmas was special for you too.

    dipali: Thanks so much, Dipali….our warmth, love and wishes to you and your family as well. I hope your mother feels better soon.

    Aunty G: To you and the family as well, my precious, precious Aunty G! I got Rayo’s message, thank you.

    maidinmalaysia: It still intrigues me, this debilitating fear of appearing online…it’s taken one of my girlfriends about 2 years to show up on my blog and I get the feeling that’s only because she’s on the other side of the world. 😉 Merry Christmas!

    Anindita: And therein merge the feminist and the fashionista. 😉 Merry Christmas, Anu-girl. I hope to see you in the New Year.

    D: I don’t believe it’s a market forces issue at work here. At least not this time. It’s the need to believe in something good and, at the risk of sounding like George W, relive a primal childhood lesson that good will triumph over evil.

    Piper: Thank you and Merry Christmas. Your family will be in my prayers. Hugs.

  15. Piper.. December 28, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    hey what a beautiful slide show! finally got to see it! 🙂

  16. Orange Jammies December 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Piper: 🙂 Yay!


  1. Hang a Ding-Dong on my Tree « Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas - December 23, 2009

    […] instated. Now you know I’m not the epitome of traditional and you also know I’m anti-symbolism. That said, I do value personal meaning and bonds and like to create my own rituals around them. As […]

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