Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rejoice Sunday

I started this post on Sunday, the third Sunday in Advent, time for the rose vestments and the rose candle. (This color is not pink but is more of a rose mauve. I have actually found what looks like the perfect shade on line in a ribbon that I may buy next year.)

Anyway here are my thoughts as of Sunday--it's been a crazy week and I am only four days behind, after all.

Some years Christmas sneaks up on me and seems like it almost takes forever to arrive. Other years, it seems as though Fall has barely started and wham, bam it is Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming so fast that it takes my breath away.

This year has been one of the latter years, perhaps because I have begun to reactivate a business that I loved twenty years ago, but that without the Internet was doomed before it was even begun. So with all the business activities, the Christmas preparations have been swept to the background. A few weeks ago
I thought I might even forgo decorating this year.

Two weeks ago my dear friend, who is also my housekeeper, took the big tree out of the box from the front hall closet where it lives most of the year. Last Monday another dear friend brought out the boxes with all the decorations and the bags with the little trees. On Wednesday another friend "fluffed" the branches on the big tree and put on the garlands. She (the tree, that is) is beginning to look like she is getting dressed for the party.

Another tree sits in my office, waiting. This year there may be ornaments. There were none last year for this little tree. Still another tree, with a plastic bag of paper cranes, sits in the dining room waiting for me to make a space and then begin the meticulous task of placing the little paper birds with their beautiful symbolism of peace. (I am tempted to glue them in place for next year. Would that be cheating?)

The tree that goes in my bedroom never did get put away last year. This season, when Christmas is over, it will be put away. There is nothing quite so forlorn as a barren Christmas tree lying on its side during summer heat waves.)

Two more little trees will find their places, one in the master bedroom sewing room. (AKA, "the big room"). The dolls and bears who occupy that space need their holiday too. The other still has to have a spot designated for it, but I will find one.

The house is also beginning to smell like Christmas. Chocolate and spice fill the kitchen air and I am having fun baking, albeit it is a smaller and simplified menu of choices from what I used to do.

Gingersnaps, cappuccino flats, sweet curry and cardamon icebox cookies and some scrumptious cheese slices that would have been even better with dry sherry (Amontillado, or Harvey's Bristol Cream, come to mind here.)

The only smell missing is that of fresh pine. One or two of my patchouli sachets with their rosemary and cloves can make it smell woodsy too.

Christmas is coming and it will be lovely. I am grateful for the traditions, for the artificial trees, which I would once have scorned and for the goodies. Most of all I am so grateful for all the friends, their patience and kindness in sharing with me and making Christmas possible.

While all of this preparation overshadows Advent, the truth is that I couldn't do it anyway, since I need the help of friends to make it happen. Preparing for Christmas is truly a work in progress all through Advent. The goal is to have everything in place by Christmas Eve and then relax and enjoy it for two weeks before beginning to dismantle it so that it is all put away by Candlemas. (Even that tree that didn't get put away last year.)

Pictures need to be taken too and an inventory of where everything is put away. It will be a busy time!

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