Welcome to Dec 1, and the countdown is on!
I love the season of Christmas and the New Year. The snow, the tree, the lights, the music, they fill my heart with beauty. What I also love is the sense of comfort that the traditions around Christmas bring. It's funny, for I am 48 years old this year, and I find I am creating more new traditions for this time of year than I did twenty years ago. Back then, I wanted to keep everything the same as my original family did. Right up to opening stockings only on Christmas morning, and all presents after breakfast. As I've grown up and away from my first family of childhood, though I am creating traditions that are for now. I like the mix of the old and the new, I am discovering.
Here is a tradition that I started last year: I found this right before Christmas, a tiny wood tree with ornaments to hang in it. This year, the kids put the ornaments on. It's so adorable.
A few years ago, a friend at work gave me these three lighted houses. As you can see, the village is growing:
One year, the people kept turning up on top of the houses. I asked my daughter - she was 3 or 4 at the time - if she was moving them. She said yes, and I asked why they were on the roofs. "Because there is a flood coming, Mommy!" she said seriously. We love this little village, and add to it every year. This has become a new family tradition now.
One of the things the kids like most is their advent calendar. My mother is a quilter, and she made them each an advent calendar when they were babies.
Now, the kids rush every morning to see what is waiting for them to start that day. That's a lovely way to start any day, isn't it? With a little present waiting for you? It's usually some chocolate, as the squares are small and its' difficult to find anything small enough to fit in. My kids don't really care - it's the surprise they like.
The new tradition for this year is a surprise: the kids don't know. Holly-Anne and Graham will wake up tomorrow to find this waiting for them.
Yes, that's right, the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. I really bought it because of the Yoda Santa Claus figurine. I love it! I'm really excited. I know my kids won't let me build it with them, though I will be right alongside with them each day as they open each door. One day when they are older and beyond this, I
And this is what makes me think about what I also really love about this time of year: surprises. I used to lay awake before Christmas when I was a child, thinking about what I wanted, wondering what would be under the tree for me. If I get a present early now as an adult, I keep it wrapped and save it for Christmas Day with NO peeking!, to open and so really, I can savour that sense of surprise and waiting and anticipation. That's what I think this time of year really means for me: a sense of wonder. Anything can happen. It's the closest time for all of us to be that little child again, and let that little child come out and play, and no one bats an eye. So you might find me playing with Yoda Santa Claus when no one is looking.......
And because this is a blog about books and you know that it wouldn't be Christmas for me without new books, I decided a couple of years ago to give myself a box of books every year. Through the autumn, I buy books that I want to read, and into the box they go. Even though I know the titles, I'm not allowed to read them, or to look at them once they're in the box. Just knowing that the latest Phil Rickman - The Secrets of Pain - in hardcover no less! -
is among the many books waiting for me on Christmas Day, makes me excited. The joy I feel opening that box, the sense of wonder and yes, a little greed as I hold all the new books in my hands and wait for Christmas dinner to be over (I'm the one cooking it so I have to wait until it's all over with!) so I can read, deciding all day which of them will be first. There's nothing quite like knowing there is a whole boxful of new books waiting to be read, is there? Some others I've added are Michelle Paver's Dark Matter in paperback, and Yrsa Sigurdadottir's Ashes to Dust (finally! I waited most of the year to find this!), Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, among some
I think this is a most lovely time of year, when we remember to look in the faces of the ones we love, and share in their delight, when we make memories that become suffused with love and tenderness as the years go by.
May your holiday season be bright, and filled with love, and joy, my Gentle Bloggers. Thank you for stopping by. I'll see you tomorrow as we go through Day 2 of this lovely Virtual Advent Tour. I can hardly wait to come see what you like or want to talk about, this year! Happy Holidays!