Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Day 18. It Feels Like Christmas Around Here


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good
food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly
hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the
time for home."

~ Edith Sitwell


Yes, it's starting to feel a lot like Christmas at our house this week. The tree is up, see yesterday's post. Around the house, corners, table tops, the mantelpiece, even beds are getting gussied up for the season. Except hubby did makes noises about how was a fellow supposed to take a nap with all that prickly stuff on the bed pillows.




There is definitely something in the air since we got the tree up. Bought this pheasant teapot for my dad many years ago, so it's out on full display as we think of him and miss him these days. 




We moved the television to the other wall, which leaves a wide open empty wall staring at me. Too late to look for a piece of art (except I know what I'd like there... hint hint, Santa Baby). In the meanwhile, an elegant amaryllis and sprigs of greenery does a fine job of giving our eyes something lovely to look at.




We got bunches of free greenery from the tree farm. The fellow said help yourself to the brush pile. And we did. Here's a small bouquet of greenery with a hint of red to make it sparkle. Red and green and gold are still my favourite Christmas colours.




I'm off to meet a dear friend for lunch.
Here's wishing you a beautiful day.

Hugs,
Brenda
xox





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Monday, December 17, 2018

Day 17. The Tree Awaits




There really is something special about waiting to decorate the tree until it's nearer the big day. When I was a girl, our family put up the tree just two or three days before Christmas. When I grew up and had my own home, at first I did it the way we always did it at home. But once we got an artificial tree, I loved putting up the tree at the beginning of December and being able to enjoy its comforting light and beauty all month long. But now, since Hubby and I have taken to getting a fresh tree the last few years, we put it up much later in the month, to keep it from being all worn out by the time Christmas arrives.

In our world of having access to just about everything 'instant', I have found something special about giving my soul a chance to wait for something again. To anticipate the arrival for something -- in this case, Christmas. And not speed through to the next thing. There is often such a rush this time of year, perhaps putting up the tree a little later is one small way I can slow myself down just a little.




I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet
The words repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


We got our pretty spruce tree on Friday, and we let it sit in the garage a day to guzzle up the gallons of water it needed once it was cut. Rick set it up in the usual corner of our family room, opposite the fireplace. While half watching, half listening to one of my favourite Christmas movies The Bishop's Wife yesterday afternoon, I unpacked the lights and ornaments. As there was nothing else on the agenda, just me and my own thoughts and a box of ornaments to muse over, I spent a couple of happy hours getting them on. For it is a studied business when it comes to deciding where each ornament should be placed to create an overall pleasing effect. Even after the official announcement is made -- it's done -- the next few days often find me tweaking an ornament here, a light placement there.




Ornaments old and new. Ornaments we bought together the first year we were married. The special ones we found during our honeymoon. The pretty ones we received as gifts from friends. The tartan heart and kitty from our trip to Scotland, even one or two remaining ornaments (above) carefully saved from my childhood Christmases. And these jolly red and white sprigs (below) which I found last year and fell in love with -- they seem not to take themselves too seriously -- good advice when it comes to decorating our trees.




Some years I make plans in advance of what I want to create. Sometimes it's a colour scheme or a certain theme. Sometimes like this year, there is no plan, no specific colour scheme, it's choosing whatever makes my heart sing when I see it. The gold bows at the top, the spot usually reserved for stars and angels, were once the pew markers at our wedding twenty ago. So that's special for me.




I loved the white lights, Rick likes the coloured ones. So we have strands of each. And they make a pretty blend. And, so here's our tree...






That's a wrap. And that's our tree for Christmas 2018. Yes, I already tweaked since the photos. And speaking of photos, writing this post and taking these few photos -- trying to get a half decent look took much longer than it did to decorate the tree itself.




Looking out my window, it's late afternoon and nearly sunset. The sky is a gorgeous pale pink along the horizon. This evening we are attending the local Christmas production of Singing in the Rain, and I am feel quite jolly about it all. On that note, I'm wishing you a beautiful evening. 

Hugs,
Brenda
xox





If you are receiving this post by email, I'd love to hear from you. You can click on Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life here or on the link below, and it will take you directly to my blog. You are welcome to leave a comment there, or if the comment box is being unfriendly, you can get in touch by email.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Day 16. Waiting. Listening.

photo: pixabay.com

Here is a favourite Christmas carol...

with Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma


Advent is an expectant season. We wait poised for what Frederick Buechner names “the extraordinary moment.” He utilizes the image of an orchestra conductor waiting... waiting until he has the full attention of the orchestra, the full attention of the audience. It's that exact moment just before the music begins.
“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart . . . The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”
~ Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark

photo: pixabay.com


“I shall attend to my little errands of love early this year,
So that the brief days before Christmas may be unhampered and clear

of the fever of hurry. The breathless rushing I have known in the past
shall not possess me. I shall be calm in my soul and ready at last

for Christmas. I shall have leisure — I shall go out alone from my roof and my door;
I shall not miss the silver silence of stars as I have before.

And oh, perhaps ... if I stand there very still ... and very long
I shall hear what the clamor of living has kept from me — The Angels' Song!”

~ Grace Noll Crowell
"Leisure," Poems of Inspiration and Courage (1928)



* * *

Wishing you peace on this third Sunday of Advent

With love,
Brenda
xox






If you are receiving this post by email, I'd love to hear from you. You can click on Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life here or on the link below, and it will take you directly to my blog. You are welcome to leave a comment there, or if the comment box is being unfriendly, you can get in touch by email.