I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me.
~ from “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
This morning as I write, there is a Brahms violin sonata (No. 2) on my little radio, a light dusting of new fallen snow, frigid temperatures (again, and they seem to be staying with us), and I’m letting the Christmas spirit linger.
These days after December 25th, which are so different in mood from the magical and frenzied days before, I don’t rush to take down the decorations (“They took so long to put up,” my mother would cry and she’d insist on waiting until the Feast of the Epiphany when the Magi brought their gifts to the manger). For me, these are the days of slowing down and noticing—the lights and colors and sounds, for watching the kids in the neighborhood try out their new toys (bright colored roller skates seem to be the thing here on Oak Drive), for taking long walks, and long winter naps, if you can.
So, I thought I’d share some of the lingering Christmas spirit, when gaiety seems replaced by a sense of serenity.
This year, this quirky old house was decorated in shades of white and green with touches of blue (much less red than in previous years). The wreaths (no bows) and boxwood trees, ordered from the local garden club each year were as beautiful as ever. But this year, branches of magnolia were added for a slightly different look (there is something about them—a richness and how they remind me of Maryland’s Southern charm).
Much stayed the same, the hand-sewn stockings made by my sister-in-law, the woodland Santa bought years ago from a shop long gone, and the paper whites. But we also had new additions—an oyster shell Christmas tree from St. Michael’s and antique white poinsettias from the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (here is a link to an article about their fabulous holiday show that you should catch next year if you’ve missed it), waiting to be taken to the rehearsal dinner for our son’s New Year’s Eve wedding.
And this year at our Christmas party, which we have the day after Christmas (Boxing Day in England), there was a new game introduced by one of the aunts and the youngest children stole the show.
I hope you had a very merry Christmas and that the New Year is good to you! Thank you for reading!