I bought a silly little fire bowl for the backyard, and I made a terrible approximation of bangers and mash, and we ate McVitie's digestive biscuits for dessert, and it was quite fun to get together with some friends to sit around a campfire and talk.
Our effigy was decidedly a failure, as old, dry palo verde branches can be sharp and brittle. Our effigy was more like two branches tied haphazardly and loosely together in a "t" shape. Although the dry branches did go up beautifully and dramatically, some of the atmosphere was lost on the fact that the effigy was much larger than the fire bowl, and so had to be laid across-ways on top of the whole apparatus. We've learned a valuable lesson for next time in not trying to make an effigy out of dry branches, and especially not trying to do so in the dark. Next year, things will be different.
Despite the setbacks the fire was friendly and happy and marshmallow-roastable, which is really all you need for such an occasion. Well, that, and some friends that don't bring up politics for the sole purpose of getting your goat.
One goal at a time, though, right?