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So, the problem when you start drinking mimosas at 11am on Christmas morning and then continue to drink all day means that you have a hangover by 6pm. You would think I would learn this after several years. Also that i probably shouldn't be mixing champagne cocktails and IPAs. But all of my drinks were lovely and je ne regrette rien. It was especially necessary as my cousin and his wife just announced that they are expecting and while I am genuinely happy for them there is only so much unbridled enthusiasm for heterosexual milestones and obvious disappointment that i have not (nor may I ever) achieve such milestones I can take sober. 

Ahem. 

I was a Yuletide dropout this year and I'm really having defaulter's remorse today. Defaulting seemed like the responsible thing to do at the time and I am sure it made this past week a whole lot less stressful. But over the past 2 years, Yuletide has come to be the high point of my holiday season and not giving or receiving a story this year (my writer defaulted, too, and them's the breaks) was disappointing. But I am still having fun making my way through the archive and leaving comments and opening other people's presents. 

Today's December Meme topic comes from kith_koby again, who asked me to hum a few bars about the change of the seasons in the Kushielverse. 

The first thing that came to mind was that I really thought the religious worldbuilding Carey did around the Longest Night (winter solstice) was a stroke of genius. I love that it is a wholly pagan holiday that has persisted and has managed to coexist alongside the worship of Elua and his Companions. It actually serves to make the religious system in Terre d'Ange seem like a real religion- as we know that Christianity accomodated/begged/borrow/stole many other religious traditions in order to survive.  I also love that the whole Winter Queen/Sun Prince motif is a more gender balanced take on traditions of death and rebirth around the change of the year as opposed to say Father Time/Baby New Year. 

I suppose it is the lapsed pagan in me, but I imagine that the other companions probably also have holidays associated at the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days. I can imagine Beltane (May 1st) being associated with the worship of Naamah or Midsummer being sacred to Blessed Elua...he seems like a summery kind of dude. I can see Samhain/Halloween/Day of the Dead overlapping perhaps with the worship of Kushiel and the dark times of the year. I mean, I'm not going to attempt to try but you probably could match up Elua & the Companions with all the major pagan holidays. Except for Cassiel of course- he wouldn't be down with having his own feast day. Maybe we can give him something kind of boring like Arbor Day, *no offense to you arbor day fans)

As for characters and their favorite seasons, it's hard to say. I guess I personally associate Melisande with the winter. That woman is the dark of the year in every which way. Is there anything more perfect or more magical than freshly fallen snow under a starry night? I still sometimes feel a hint of magic in the air around the winter solstice and Christmas Eve: cold, beautiful, dark, and mysterious- that's Melisande all the way. 

I think Phedre with her Cereus House upbringing and her love of beauty probably favors the spring. But I can see the part of her that is pricked by Kushiel's Dart being drawn to the drama of winter, too. Perhaps because she hates the cold and finds it painful. I can see Delaunay loving the spring and fall in an angsty poet kind of way- those two seasons whose beauty is the most fleeting and ephemeral. And I bet Ysandre loves the summer- because that's the time she gets to share with Drustan. And probably much less for her to worry about as queen- it's not a time of disease or famine. 

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