Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oranges are not the only Christingle

Having been described as "former blogger" just one too many times by a certain prolific and wise blog hero, I thought it really was time to get back here.

I was at a meeting last night with the planning group for a parish Sunday School. They were a fab group of dedicated and enthusiastic people full of love for all the members of their group, even those whom they have found challenging over the years.

Among other things we were discussing the construction of Christingles in preparation for their service. (ah memories of discussions on Dave Walker's site and his great alternative Christingles cartoon - to see it properly go to the church times archive or BUY THE BOOK or the other book - great Christmas presents for churcgoers) Not only did I get a chance to see the HUMAN CHRISTINGLE costume (which is a work of pure genius! I do have a pic but would hate to embarras the person who was demonstrating it at the time) they're going to be using but we also had a chat about what sweets would be used, what ribbon/red tape, what sweets/raisins do you use. I remember hours of agony with Dolly mixtures in a previous year. Not only are some dolly mixtures utterly impregnable but we had enthusiastic helpers putting four on each of the four sticks which meant we had to go to the pick and mix at Woolies (where would we go now?? So sad to hear of their demise!) and trawl through the pick and mix trying to pick out only the easily-spikeable-with-a-cocktail stick sweets.So our experiment last night was ... Can you spike a Haribo with a cocktail stick? Answer yes though it looks kinda cruel with the bears!!)

All this was great fun but I have to admit giggling FAR too much when we were esting if you could sellotape the ribbon to the fruit (rather than use pins which are a little un-child-friendly (never mind the fire, spikey cocktail sticks, potential nut/citrus/gluten/dairy allergy to sweets and the slip hazzards due to orange juice all over the floor!). The peopel hosting the meeting didn't have any oranges so we tested the sellotape theory on an apple. It got me thinking...

Why an orange? It represents the world... yes... why not an apple? a peach? I had great images of a Christingle pineapple (impressive but expensive!) and miniature Christingle grapes with hundreds and thousands for sweets (stuck to the sticks with icing!) Fellow youthworker Lizzie tells me she tried a melon Christingle one year.

So why an orange? Well, I like to do my research and apparently he story goes that it was an orange which Bishop John De Watteville used at the first Christingle in 1747. So that's why it's always been an orange before... but now... anyone doing alternative fruit Christingles PLEASE send me pics!!

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