Like always, Christmas and Hanukkah are overshadowed by frenzied preparations for Mardi Gras, but I can make all the time in the world to celebrate All The Things with you!
I’ve started putting up the decorations already. It’s early, but might as well bring some extra light into a dark season, right? Some people might raise an eyebrow at our black tree, but the black & white striped ornaments and ribbons look so beautiful, IMO. I’m wrapping all the presents in black and white paper too, and am thinking a touch of red – or maybe lime green for the bows? Haven’t decided, so I can leave that pop of color – or not – up to you. Even though Hanukkah is late this year, abba’s lion menorah is on the living room mantel, and there’s a big bag of the good gelt – the kind that actually tastes like real chocolate!
I hope we can get out and do something fun for the holidays. What would you like to do? There’s the Krewe of Jingle parade on Canal Street. It’s on my birthday this year, so I hope you’ll be the first person to pin a dollar bill on my coat! Maybe later, we can take the streetcar uptown and do the Garden District holiday home tour. The houses are so big and beautifully decorated, but our cozy little shotgun house is just as homey, especially at this time of year. Afterwards, we can continue the family tradition of going to Commander’s Palace to have a yummy Reveillon dinner. They always make such excellent choices for those special holiday menus, and if you know whom to ask, they’ll make it vegan or vegetarian.
The sweetest New Orleans tradition is caroling in Jackson Square, the week before Christmas. It’s nice seeing so many people coming together and raising their voices in song. And, this being one of the most musical places on earth, we can sing the heck out of a carol!
It’s pretty cool that Hanukkah starts right before Christmas this year, and then, of course, Kwanzaa begins right after. Some of the neighborhood kids have promised to come over and teach us more about Kwanzaa if we teach them about Hanukkah.
What’s your favorite thing about this time of year? Mine is that the holiday season doesn’t let up in New Orleans; it just keeps going! As soon as Christmas is over, it’s only a week until New Year’s, and even better – after that, only six more days until Carnival Season begins! So there’s another month or two of festivities.
Be ready to get covered in glitter. I’ve busted out all the craft stuff to decorate shoes for the Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras parade, and I’d love for you to help. Can’t tell you (you can peek if you promise not to say a word), but the one I’m making for Uncle Don & Uncle Billy is EPIC! The starting point is a ‘70s disco-era men’s high-heeled ankle boot, with flames on the side of it. I’m nearly done with the one to celebrate Uncle Chris & Uncle Fred’s wedding; a little more traditional, but they’re traditional guys, so it’s totally appropriate.
I love having people over to help work on shoes – it always turns into a party. Our Mardi Gras peeps are so wonderful – loving, generous, inclusive folks who’d do anything for their friends. Doesn’t matter how creative or talented they are – there’s nothing I can’t fix, and sometimes I get surprised with a work of art that’s truly beautiful and unexpected! Just like you!
Much love and light,
Your Holiday Mom, Ro