For me the best thing about Christmas has always been the little satsuma orange that is found at the bottom of the Christmas stocking (or, in the ostentatious days of my youth, the pillowcase). Even as a toddler, waddling around in nappied splendour (diapers for my US friends) with a copy of Plutarch tucked under my arm, I had realised that the lurid baubles and trinkets of Christmastide were but tawdry wreaths of misguided expectations that inevitably ended in overconsumption and gout.
Just three minutes after the manic frenzy of denuding the presents of their wrappings (the confetti of paper had still yet to reach the floor) and the downing of the last pickled onion, I would long for something fresh, something real, something that would cut through the jaded palette from which Christmas was painted. That was when I would reach into the bottom of my pillowcase and pluck from it the satsuma.
And so, as you blearily gaze at these words through the claustrophobic fug and lethargy of post-Christmas excess, I offer to you the revivifying qualities of the modern day satsuma of Christmas – the December Biblical Studies Carnivals… Continue reading