2020 JASNA Central California Holiday Newsletter

To our dear Janeite friends,

The Central California region of JASNA hopes you are merry and well during this season. This has been a year full of challenges for us all, but we hold in our hearts that we will be able to meet again in person sometime in 2021. 

Until that day happens, we hope you’ll join us and our many friends around the world at the Austen-themed events happening online. 

It was a slow start last spring, but as we now approach the winter solstice, so many JASNA regions and other organizations are offering so many talks, lectures, book discussions, tours, and events that our calendars are becoming quite dizzying! There’s a little something for everyone out there. 

At this point, the Central California region is planning two book discussions during the year, and we will endeavor to send you word on other offerings for you to enjoy. 

While we know that our virtual offerings don’t offer the same connection as our local, in-person events, JASNA is committed to doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and support a thriving organization once this time is passed. 

Below we offer to you our annual recommendations for celebrating the Yuletide season. From our threshold to yours, we wish you joy in whatever way you choose to honor this time of peace and light in our world.


The JASNA Central California executive committee.

Heather Parish, Rebecca Jensen, Erin E. Connor, Melissa Ruzicka, and Kate Henschel. 

A few items of seasonal cheer from our JASNA Cen Cal Committee:


Spiced Rye Ginger Cookies from Kate Henschel (gluten free)

Traditional Christmas Pudding (without the suet) from Rebecca Jensen

Festive Popcorn Balls from Heather Parish

Pointsettia Cocktail (Cranberry Champagne Cocktail) from Heather Parish

Last year’s holiday newsletter includes Mulled Wine and Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipes! Revisit it here

Recommended Music:

 A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten. Originally written for a three part treble (SSA) choir and harp, this is a beautiful choral piece with 11 movements that sings about different Christmas events connected together with a processional and recessional Gregorian-based chant. The text combines Middle English with Early Modern English and Ecclesiastical Latin. Committee member Erin sang this piece both in high school and college, singing movement 4a, That Yonge Child.

Victorian Christmas – Ye Olde British Carols (on Spotify)

While many of these songs came to fashion later than the Regency era, many of them date earlier. No matter what, they are perfect for setting an old-fashioned A Christmas Carol mood. 

And for the A Christmas Carol fans: 

And speaking of A Christmas Carol, here are some recommendations from committee member Erin E. Connor: 

  • Favorite audiobook version: A Christmas Carol narrative by Jim Dale, who narrates the American version of the Harry Potter series. I love Jim Dale’s different voices for all of the characters! A free version can be downloaded here in 6 different mp3 sections:
  • Favorite family film version: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). I enjoy this one because of the music and the costumes. A fun holiday classic.
  • Favorite nostalgic version: Mickey’s Christmas Carol. I watched this every year as a child and have very happy memories associated with it. You can watch it for free on YouTube with a link to this playlist: