"Christmas is not enough,"
What we want, basically, is a way to mark the seasons.
"Set the calendar in order and make the seasons clear." - I Ching, #49: Revolution.
So we plunged into Wikipedia, and text books and - well, the calendar, and started doing just that.
What we've ended up with - not that it's anywhere near finished yet - is something roughly similar to the Pagan calendar, in that there are eight dates which fit around the equinoxes and solstices in the same way. OK yes, it's very similar to the Pagan one, actually. We've just tried to English-ify it a bit, wherever possible. But then we Chinese-ified it a bit too, by appropriating one of the eight trigrams to each one. (Marrying the ancient East with West has always been a bit of a thing of mine - surely they were all talking about the same thing at one time?)
The Pagan calender makes sense to me because it's the old agrarian one, isn't it? People would have feast days to get together and do the necessary communal work, wouldn't they? Then make merry in the evening when that was finished. That's similar to what we've got in mind: when I think back over the years, the parties people have enjoyed the most have been the ones involving tasks, like pumpkin-carving, costume-making, or even just pizza-topping - no matter what the age of the participants. It's as if we enjoy a good nosh-up better for feeling like we've earned it or contributed towards it in some way.
And the more this project takes off, the more we'll need to get certain things done at certain times of the years to come - the same things people have always done, at the same times of year. We'll invite people we know, but not need them to come - there are enough of us here to do what we need to do. But I think we might operate on a 'more the merrier' basis, and see how it goes.
I think it might take a few years to establish these things properly and work out what we're going to do, but ideas so far involve decorating the house, dressing up ourselves, doing appropriate and specific seasonal jobs and bonfires and maybe even singing. Well, I like singing, if nobody else does! It's probably going to take a good few weeks to even start to work it all out. But Lyddie's happy that we managed to find a few more "Christmases" anyway.