Struggling to find the Christmas spirit after Katrina

Merry Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice, blog readers!

Women’s eNews posts a Christmas story about Katrina-survivor Michelle Castillo and her family’s struggle to get settled into a new life in Florida. As her family tuck into a traditional Christmas meal of “gumbo, collard greens, baked ham and cabbage” Castillo has a lot on her mind – not least finding a decently-paid job (she was a dispatcher for an alarm monitoring service in New Orleans), and negotiating the inane bureacracy that is still preventing her family from settling down. For example, her kids have been sent home from school because they don’t have records of being immunised – these records were washed away in the flooding.

“‘Every day there is a something new, some new battle, and sure there are people around who try to help but in the end it’s all up to you,’ Castillo says.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian publishes a fantastic new Christmas “ghost” story by Jeanette Winterson.