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Firebird for Christmas

13
Dec
2012
 

By Miranda

Igor Stravinsky wrote the ballet The Firebird and it was first produced in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes on June 25, 1910, exactly as far from Christmas Day as possible. And, indeed, if you are a traditionalist, Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker, is the one for the festive season.

But for my family, in my childhood at least, Christmas was irretrievably associated with the Stravinsky piece, especially as danced by Dame Margot Fonteyn. Well, really, only because of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Living as we did, well out of range of live theatre, it was the film version of The Firebird released in the early 60s that we were able to see at the local cinema (during which a sibling who shall remain nameless chose to stand on a seat and copy the dancers...).

The Firebird

IMAGE: www.voiceofdance.com

 

But it was the evil character King Kachtchei who informed our Christmases thereafter.

We never could agree on a spelling of 'Kachtchei' but, after a day that began with church, followed by presents and an evening Christmas dinner (it was too hot to eat a big meal at midday), we would be chased off to bed by 'King Koschee', aka Dad bedecked with those cardboard inserts from the crackers (or bonbons, as they've become nowadays).

It was fun...

Does your family have its own special Christmas or festive tradition?

And, in the meantime, here are two words which sum up this time of year for me. They're senior enough to have entered our language through Old English, there's no problem with different versions of their spelling, and they can't be better for the time of year when we think of family, community and giving.

So GOOD WILL to all!

Miranda

 

OUR CHRISTMAS EVENTS ARE IN FULL SWING!

Play the Seven Games of Christmas - a new game is unlocked every day! Be one of the first 50 to post a message on the Community Wall of Wishes and receive a special gift from Lovatts.

Join the Holiday Hunt - amazing prizes to be WON including an iPad mini!

 

 


15 Responses to

Firebird for Christmas

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kragzy said:
December 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

We do have the 'big meal' in the middle of the day although it is not the traditional English fare. Instead, lots of seafood, cold meats and salads and yummy Aussie desserts like pavlova and trifle. We eat (and drink) for what seems like hours, then snooze, and then, in the cool of the late afternoon, there is a COMPULSORY cricket match with our own sets of house rules (or backyard rules to be more precise). Everyone joins in and no-one cares who wins or how they play. Just pure fun. It's the best part of our Christmas celebrations.

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December 13, 2012 at 6:31 PM

we have a quiet xmas just three of us , lovely meal and go and visit my father in laws grave , we are not great fans of big crowds

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said:
December 13, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Really it's not about eating on Xmas day. Everyone prepares an amazing feast, a visual delight, but let's be real, we've all spoilt our appetite with morning chocie presents and Xmas breakfast. But left overs on Boxing Day are really appreciated!

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said:
December 13, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I regret posting that comment. Bah Humbug.

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said:
December 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Christmas to me is really about catching up with the extended family that we only see once a year. A fabulous feeling of belonging.

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tiggercat said:
December 14, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Christmas here in Australia now is about seafood, cold meats and salads, similar to Kragzy, it's usually too hot to cook and eat a big hot meal. Very different to the Scottish Christmas I grew up with! After 30 years here you'd think I'd be used to the Australian Christmas. But mainly it's about having as many family together as possible and spending time together in a joyful, fun holiday.

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said:
December 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM

its just about getting together and be a family and enjoying the time together

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Mist said:
December 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Our Christmas "tradition" is to do something different every year and giving useful and practical presents. The dinner is different every year and tends not to be too heavy due to our climate. My daughter got a car service for her main present last year, how does that compare for with a present bought just for the sake of it?

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falcon8 said:
December 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Living 1,000km from our nearest relatives means visiting them is an once every few years trip because of the travel cost. We don't really miss out on Xmas however as we send a huge hamper of goodies for the extended-family Christmas Eve party (which migrates from home to home each year), and spend about an hour on the phone talking to everyone - I suppose the tech-savvy members of the family will want us to use skype in future. Having the family gathering on Xmas Eve allows each family to do their own thing Xmas Day.

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gracie10 said:
December 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM

For me, Christmas is about family. We are flexible about where and when this happens, especially as the family grows - four children, and now four grandchildren as well, plus another in progress. The beach is a bit of a tradition, but apart from that its just about getting together, enjoying each other's company and being ourselves. Oh, and pavlova - its just not Christmas without pavlova.

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December 17, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I am a French speaking Canadian-American (On dit Franco-Américain)whose family Christmas tradition involved eating meat pies (tourtiere)for supper on Christmas eve, followed by an early bedtime. We would get up, clean up, and dress up in time to attend Midnight Mass, then rush home to celebrate Christmas with all that that entailed. Unfortunately, in post WWII, the ballet was never part of that for us. However, my siblings and I still enjoy our Christmas eve meat pies, even if all we do afterwards is watch some TV and go to bed. Mass at 10 or so on Christmas day then it's off to our daughter's for celebrating with her and her hubby, our four grandkids and three great grand kids. They, too, have meat pies for supper on Christmas eve. The married grandkids don't. Shame that!

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said:
December 19, 2012 at 5:44 AM

I am of Finnish descent and our tradition has always been having Xmas dinner on Xmas Eve.It has always been held at my mothers house (50 years).Mum used to do all the cooking but now we are all involved with the menu and bring something.We are a very large family with grandchildren and great grand children from ages 5 to 37 hate the fact that dishes must be done before the presents are opened.Now we do Kris Kringle as it`s just too expensive to buy presents for everyone,my sisters and l always make homemade presents which are greatly appreciated.Even the family dogs are around all 10 of them love running around together.It makes it easier to have lunch with the inlaws the next day.

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said:
December 19, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Anne.mcardle, your Xmas Eve makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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said:
December 19, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Thanks Jafa we all have a wonderful time and Xmas can`t come fast enough each year we are a very close family,and l am very grateful for that.I wish everyone could have the same experience.

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kragzy said:
December 19, 2012 at 9:20 AM

My wife and I are about to go away for a few weeks so I just wanted to wish all my friends at YP a very happy Christmas and a great 2013.