Happy midwinter celebration!  The days start getting longer now.

 

To celebrate, here’s a couple of prezzies for all you lovely people.

 

First is this gallery of Soviet Christmas cards, replete with Santas on rocket ships.  Santa and babushka fly by on a rocket ship, surrounded by snowflakes and what is presumably a festive greeting.

 

Yes, I thought you might approve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second is a Christmas tradition I never get tired of: the Lay of Rudolf Tundra-Wanderer, by Philip Chapman Bell.

 

incipit gestis Rudolphi rangifer tarandus

Hwaet, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor —
naefde thaet nieten unsciende naesthyrlas!
Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele.
Tha hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehifogodon;
nolden tha geneatas Hrodulf naeftig
to gomene hraniscum geador aetsomne.
Tha in Cristesmaesseaefne stormigum clommum,
Halga Claus thaet gemunde to him mathelode:
Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende!
Min hroden hraedwaen gelaed thu, Hrodulf!
Tha gelufodon hira laddeor tha lyftflogan —
waes glaednes and gliwdream; hornede sum gegieddode:
Hwaet, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor,
Brad springth thin blaed: breme eart thu!

Here begin the deeds of Rudolph, Tundra-Wanderer

Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer —
That beast didn’t have unshiny nostrils!
The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed.
The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words;
The comrades wouldn’t allow wretched Hrodulf
To join the reindeer games.
Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms
Santa Claus remembered that, spoke formally to him:
‘Dear night-sighted friend, nose-bright one!
You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!’
Then the sky-flyers praised their lead deer —
There was gladness and music; one of the horned ones sang
‘Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer,
Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!’