Everyone has holiday traditions. We have the Jurassic Pole.
It's the 2022-iest of all.
Each December, since about 2016, Thalia has turned our living room windowsill into the multi-denominational, fantastical fairyland known as The Jurassic Pole™. And it is a thing to behold.
Its centerpiece is the gold Menorahsaurus Rex (shown above in its early days) handmade by Lisa Pierce, an artist from Maine I discovered in 2015. She has since closed her Etsy shop just in time for all the knock-off “dinosaur menorah” listings to appear but mark my words, she was the first and she should always get the credit.
The Menorahsaurus is always surrounded by all sorts of random Christmas ornaments, dreidels, Jon’s vintage Santa nesting dolls from his mom, a clutching Rudolph plush hanging off a tall deco planter like King Kong on the Empire State Building, tinsel or whatever glittery stuff is lying around, and plenty of white twinkle lights. But the best part has always been the Jurassic Pole RULES sign that she posts in the window.
We never know what to expect on the list from year to year, except for the most essential rule: It’s open to all, regardless of what you do or don’t celebrate.
Unwritten rule: You must have a sense of humor.
Jurassic Pole Rules circa 2019.
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Another best part about the Jurassic Pole is that each year, as my now 17-year-old gets older, wryer and more ironic, she plants some new “Easter eggs” related to pop culture, politics, or whatever’s on her mind that day.
In other words, it is no surprise to those of us who know her, that Paul Dano’s Riddler made an appearance. What did surprise us though was… well…all of it.
The Christmas music on the Instagram reel (worth a click!) is covering my laughter.
There’s been much debate about the artist’s vision versus the interpretation of we Jurassic Pole visitors. I thought those on the “left” side (RBG, The Menorahsaurus, The Riddler) were gerrymandered out of their votes and voices by the “right” side, where there seems to be more traditional Christmas iconography. Although the blue glass art could have represented a blue bubble — say, Austin? Atlanta? — fighting back against gerrymandering too.
Hard to say. Definitely open to interpretation.
All I know I love the moose.
In a perfect example of art/beauty in the eye of the beholder, Thalia explained she originally saw the moose as a pro-democracy activist fighting against Rudolph, the evil, pro-coup authoritarian and cult leader running for office.
And here I admit she did originally gave him an orange tuft of embroidery thread hair, which, while hilarious, I instinctively ripped from his head and flung to the floor. Because TFG, even in parody, is not ever invited to our joy-filled, multi-denominational holiday celebration, and certainly not to the Jurassic Pole.
I’m hoping that, magnanimous though she was, the glorious spirit of RBG would agree.
Feel free to share your own special, offbeat, hilarious or special holiday traditions in comments. I adore seeing all the ways that families make traditions our own!
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