I’m running a little behind here. Our Christmas tree is still up. I’m loath to take it down when it brightens up cold winter nights so prettily. Still, it is beginning to drop its needles in earnest. Tomorrow may be the day to move the tree outside where it can grace a snowbank and shelter birds.
We enjoyed a very pleasant Christmas. There have been some very snowy and fiercely cold days over the last weeks, but fortunately, travel days were sunny and our three daughters were all able to return home.
Grand-dogs Remy and Raven came too, so for a couple of days, the household was very lively.
Many thoughtful and beautiful gifts were exchanged. An acquaintance told me that you should always get socks for Christmas because socks are a sure sign that you are loved. I received a wonderful sampling of socks!
One of the best gifts that I received was a visit from my sister, who travelled from west of Toronto to stay with us for a couple of days.
I hope the upcoming year is a good one for you and your family and friends.
Read Full Post »
My mother was a neat and tidy woman. When I was very small, we had a real tree at Christmas, but when artificial trees became widely available, this less messy approach to the tradition suited Mom to a tee. The first tree I really remember well was an early version of the artificial tree. It had straight clothes hanger-wire branches wrapped with silver tinsel. The branches fitted into a broomstick trunk. The whole thing could be disassembled and packed into a box at the end of the season. In retrospect, I would have to say it had a rather Charlie Brown appeal. We were all quite pleased with the shiny silver tree, but it didn’t stand up well to multiple years of assembly, and as artificial trees became more realistic, we moved on to better imitations of the real thing. I don’t recall being distressed by our tree-in-a-box, not at all. Nonetheless, when Railguy and I started to decorate our own tree, we bought the real thing.
In all the years since our first Christmas together, we’ve always enjoyed a real tree. We used to go out as a family to choose the perfect tree when the kids lived at home. Now our three daughters each have their own Christmas tree, so Railguy and I make the tree-choosing outing on our own. Since moving to Willow House, we have gone to a local cut-your-own farm. We picked out this year’s tree a week ago on Saturday. It was a mild day, and many families were taking advantage of the pleasant weather. The parking lot was full and we had to park out on the road.
The tree farm offers wagon rides out to the cut-your-own field. Since we no longer have youngsters to enjoy the day with, Railguy and I are content to leave the ride to the many family groups and just chose a ready-cut tree. However, I took time to admire the two calm giants who were waiting patiently for the wagon to fill up and posing for their photograph with many little kids. It was fun to see the kids, so excited about the hay ride, the tree, the hot chocolate on offer.
Our choice was quickly made and before long we were back at home. The next day, we got our tree up and decorated and every morning I admire its pretty form, soft branches, bright decorations. A strange tradition, really, bringing a tree indoors, but also a little magical.
Read Full Post »