Monthly Archives: December 2012

I’m From Twelve Days of Christmas

It has been about seven years since I stepping into the family history adventure. In this time I have met new family and said good-by to several senior members of these wonderful tribes. My life has been so enriched by the stories and I have grown interested in memoir. How I wish to come upon some long ago writings!

This year I found Spiritual Memoirs 101 and sometimes I even do the exercises!

This is a quiet time and so I’ve mused on the “Where Are You From?” Christmas exercise, one which you might find fun as we continue on through these twelve days of Christmas. So many are ready to put out the tree but for my family, we would still be in Christmas mode, and would stay so past Twelfth Night  giving Dad a chance to celebrate his birthday in a festive house before boxes had to be fetched from the attic, packed and then hoisted up again.


I’m from twelve days of Christmas

I’m from sugar cookies rolled thin, Quality Street candy and candy canes too

I’m from homemade fruitcake, family dinners and packages sent ’round the world

I’m from Advent wreaths and singing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on dark December mornings

I’m from candle lighted windows, frosty cold bedroom and a warm, cozy kitchen

I’m from prickly holly and an angel topped tree

I’m from red felt stockings hung down the stairs and secrets and laughter and Christmas tears

I’m from row house grandparents and Manger gardens with trains

I’m from Christmas movies and carols sung off-key

I’m from department store Christmas windows and market stalls of treats


What Christmas treasures have been mine! Like an amazing box of ornaments from a storehouse, each one unwrapped, the beautiful, the not so, some broken and ugly and all come alive again in memory.  I sit here long years later, listening to wind howl, gazing into candlelight and feel the smile play on my face. For just a moment it can all real again, the crisp snap of a cookie, the pungent smell of sherry soaked fruitcake, the couch where I sat in tree and candlelight and longed for snow. I can feel the cold and crowds pressed in to see the wondrous animated scenes in the store windows and smell the roasting peanuts near the market bus stop and even warm my hands once again on the large bag of them I hold for the long ride home.

There were tears that stained Christmases too. Time and understanding have faded them gently to the background like the soft crumpled tissue that will cradle it all until another Christmas comes.


Joyous Christmas Greetings!

Susan Branch did a lovely post on houses today in which she likens a house to a bank into which deposits are made with the life experiences that happen there. Today I did some baking and listened to old Christmas music and thought about the immense comfort it brings, stirring memories of early home so deeply etched in my soul.


As I worked along, I could see again a Christmas eve. I sat on the steps behind stockings lined down the banister and watched as Dad painstakingly hung silvery tinsel from every branch while A Christmas Carol played on the radio. Sometimes I would be called to come behind the closed bedroom door to choose paper and ribbon for a gift I was to give.


I am grateful for the sweet spirit of Christmas past hovering near this cold, snowy Christmas Eve comforting in the loss of several friends who leave empty spaces in our lives this year.

My today house has many deposits in its walls. It is a quiet place this year but the laughter hidden in its walls makes me smile and decorate and enjoy living in this moment.


This nativity from our family room is special to me with its collection of animals and angels  in great variety!

All are welcome at the manger.


Geese can amaze me

I decide to drive through the reservoir on the way home. As I approach the dam, I can see the water spilling down, wave-like. I continue on the winding road and I’m amazed that geese are standing atop the spillway!


I find a place to park, walk back and hear them chattering as geese do. I image them all offering encouragement to each other to stand strong or paddle against the current, but I do have to wonder why, in such a large lake, they are here.


What fun are they experiencing or is this a kind of late afternoon strength training exercise?

There are no answers from them so I move on to my favorite place and into the golden glow.


And I find that the drive and the beauty and the brisk air are strengthening for me today. I hope you have a place to soak in the golden glory of late afternoon sun.