jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Hello! I am delighted this Friday, because I just launched a major project. (More in locked posts, I am glad to add basically anyone.)

Topic of the week
What do you enjoy about this time of year? (That could be religious celebrations, or the weather, or particular food, or whatever else it might be.)

Alternately, are you the sort of person to do new year's resolutions? Or make other changes in your life?

What I've been up to
I'm looking forward to my winter solstice celebrations (tonight, when I do the Up All Night vigil with The Cauldron (open to anyone with a free account on the forum)

Useful notes
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Re: A new year

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 06:18 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
That's a very heavy-duty spreadsheet, but I can see how all of that data feeds into being able to understand what is going on at any given time.

(Also, for this comment, I was expecting Virgo Hufflepuff as the icon, because this seems life the dirty of thing that would match.)

Re: A new year

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 06:32 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
That is interesting data. How easy is it for you to wrangle your CPAP's data? It seems to be different, depending on the model.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 07:56 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I used to be a NYR person but I think some time ago I just leaned into having a goal-setting and continuous-improvement approach to life, and I don't have to wait for an arbitrary year-end for that. And since then my illness has meant I tend to count things from 1st October (which is the start of my employer's academic year).

I do use the arbitrary calendar year to monitor / review my book buying & reading though. And my department shuts down between Christmas and New Year, so this time of year is always about having some time off work, which is definitely a plus, and we have figured out over time that everyone's happier if we stay put at home rather than try to trek around the country seeing relatives.

I am having a long time off work this new year because I had leave to use up and because I really want to actually be rested and refreshed - it's been a long hard year at work and I don't think next year is going to be easier. Hopefully it will be better in a number of ways, but probably not easier.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 11:46 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
I'm certainly a 'start new things or habits' person, but I find I start trying to incorporate them into my life as fall turns into winter. Which sometimes means I'm still incorporating them as society's New Year comes 'round, but that's just coincidence.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 08:39 pm (UTC)
crystalpyramid: crystal pyramid suspended in dimensional abnormality (Default)
From: [personal profile] crystalpyramid
I love the smell of winter, which for me is some combination of wood smoke and ice crystals. Here in the city I don't get it much, especially as warm as it is these days, but occasionally I get a taste and get hit with nostalgia.

I love Christmas carols, especially singing them in harmony, even though I'm not so excited about the holiday itself. Participating in music has always been a huge draw of organized religion for me.

I love the Japanese new year celebrations I've married into. The ritual cleaning and the three-day work prohibition and the sweetened black soy beans and bland mochi soup. I'm not sure how well I'll pull it off this year with a new baby but gesturing in that direction is important to me.

I'm a bit terrified of needing to figure out how to implement Christmas for a child without selling out to the Christmas-industrial complex, especially without an explicit rival religion to replace it. I would love to put together some really thoughtful and moving but mostly secular observation of the Solstice or something. We have a few years to get our act together at least.
Edited Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 08:40 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 08:51 pm (UTC)
fandomonymous: Gray @ on black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] fandomonymous
The Humanists have a holiday concept called "Human Light", which is celebrated on the 23rd, to put a secular spin on "happy holidays" as a concept:

Alternately, in my interfaith-ish relationship (I'm functionally ex-Catholic at this point and the partner in question is explicitly only-culturally-Jewish), we exchange gifts and cards with lyrical notes about our feelings about each other on or around the Gregorian New Year. This year I've generally avoided saying "happy holidays" in work emails but explicitly wish people "a lovely end of the year, and I look forward to working with you in 2019".

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 11:52 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
I haven't felt my brother and s-i-l out about that part of things -- I mean, the X-Mas Industrial Complex. They just had their kid in November, so he's not cognizant of anything yet, so we have time. But they're Quakers (so simplicity is in theory relevant), and I don't know what their goals are, so I will... communicate! (Eventually.)

My choir had some caroling-by-phone as a fundraiser, and we did some really fun harmonies; I'm much with you there.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 08:59 pm (UTC)
fandomonymous: Gray @ on black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] fandomonymous
I've built a tradition of writing a long form Google document going over how my year went and my hopes/goals for the next year and sending the link out to dear friends over the course of the first week of the year. (This was stolen from [personal profile] rax's preposterous State of the Rax yearly emails.) They're not always as structured as, like, professional goals or resolutions as stated, but they do give structure to the future and I like that.

My anchor partner and I also exchange gifts and cards on or around New Year's Day because of our differing cultural backgrounds as well as going to our favorite bar for New Year's Eve festivities.

Commercial culture can be so problematic, but I do love the pop up holiday markets that show up in some of the major New York City parks each December. I also own a parol, which is really ostentatious but also makes me very happy.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jazzyjj
I'm looking forward to spending quality time with the immediate family plus my brother-in-law, their 2 kids and perhaps his mother. She spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with one of her daughters and fam. I'm also looking forward to all the food and drink.

I've not been one to necessarily make New Year's resolutions the past few years, only because I've ended up not keeping them due to a rather busy social life at the pad. But one thing I've been wanting to do is somehow create--or help to recreate--an employment subcommittee for a nonprofit with which I've been involved for the past several years. This is a disability-related nonprofit. The state in which I am located is ranked very low regarding disability services, and this includes employment. I know from personal experience, think vocational rehab services. Last I heard, the VR agency here was at least a year and a half behind due to backlog of several things. But I'm also going to do research into website design. I mentioned on here previously that one of my neighbors has started a cooking business, and he kindly asked if I'd create a website for him. At first I thought either Dreamwidth or WordPress, and these 2 contenders might still be the only ones. But a website was started last December that features articles on various aspects of accessibility. I think they only discuss online accessibility. Anyway, they have a style guide in their "About" section which looks very promising.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 11:43 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
I like presents, appropriate and also the not-quite-right ones. (Both the giving and the getting thereof.) I like people's eyes lighting up in that particular way.

I appreciate people lighting up the night, in both subtle and raucous ways.

I enjoy the bitter freezing cold, and snow, and tracks in snow, and the silence of new-fallen snow, and also times where it is less cold.

We keep vigil in the dark and for the light, tonight, which I love.

I also love my former (Unitarian Universalist) church's candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which will no longer have candles for everyone due to worries over fire, so I will now love the memory of it, and also (hopefully...) love what they create next. (My current UU church has a Christmas Eve Eve service on the 23rd, which I think does have actual candlelight, so I can enjoy that then. I'll still be going to the Christmas Eve service, because family's there.)

I like hot cider, and stuffing, and lots of random kinds of chocolate.

And, of course, the magic that happens in the corners.
Edited Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018 11:48 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 01:11 am (UTC)
queenbookwench: (Default)
From: [personal profile] queenbookwench
I love group singing— lessons and carols services, going to the Washington Revels, that sort of thing.

As a Christian with sort of pagan-y bits round the edges, I appreciate Winter Solstice as well as Advent & Christmas; though this year particularly I found it difficult to get into the ritual spirit. I like gift-giving, though I’m not fond of the extra busy-ness and logisticking it adds to an already busy time of year.

I like participating in Yuletide, though I regret to say that i defaulted this year...

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 01:56 am (UTC)
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
From: [personal profile] cadenzamuse
I could not do a spreadsheet like that (although I do sometimes track my mood, and it would be interesting to track it against other variables, although I know enough to know generally that fall usually has a depressive downswing and I tend to either have a mood collapse or a physical health collapse at around midterm time of my semesters, and pretty much always have).

Speaking of New Year's, mine (religiously) is technically four weeks before Christmas, but it always feels a little off. The End Of Year (Feast of Christ the King) feels right, but beginning the year (in practice) three weeks before the Solstice and four weeks before Gregorian New Year is...weird. So I have been experimenting with the idea of First Advent as a "soft launch" New Year--time to sort of think about new things and reflect, for a "hard launch" on Gregorian New Year. [personal profile] jjhunter talks about setting quarterly goals instead of New Year's resolutions, and I did that in 2017, so I should consider coming back to it. Several years ago, my first experience with tarot was calculating my year card, and it was helpful, so now as a dabbling tarotist I may do that again.

We have an almost-3-year-old, so this has been a year for figuring out our values around Christmas. How do we feel about Santa Claus? (Answer: mostly negative, but largely positive around the original saint, Nicholas of Myra, so maybe we can talk about him.) How many presents does a toddler need?

We are spending a couple days with Spouse's family, then a week in Seattle with mine, so I'm very much looking forward to taking some liminal time--I find that travelling is a good emotional reset for me. I'm a fan of midnight Mass on Christmas, but again, toddler, so I think we're going to the Christmas Eve afternoon service (which is traditionally for small children at most Catholic and Episcopal churches) instead. Spouse's family is Sicilian, so they do a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and always have.

Also Yuletide! Usually I pinch hit, but this year with finishing a degree up and having a TIA, it's not happening, so I will likely just do a ton of reading on the plane, as we are flying to Seattle on Christmas Day.
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