Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Advent Blog Tour

Today is my day on the Advent Blog tour, brought to you by Marg and Kailana.

First Christmas Memory~

I think I must have been two or three at the most. It was actually Christmas Eve. I wore heavy footed pajamas and I was chilled even so. I went down the stairs about a quarter or a third of the way. Far enough down the stairs to be able to look through the bannister into the enormous livingroom on the left. Holding a spindle in each hand I learned my head against them and peered out into the livingroom.

This room had four large windows, two each on two walls. Moonlight poured into the livingroom, reflected off of the snow outside. "The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below," (Clement Moore) The entire room was bathed in silvery light. It was a magical and powerful sight. Truly. The tree, which according to my mother, was always freshly cut from the woods around the house by my grandfather, loomed tall and green and dark against the wall. Presents flowed out from beneath the tree like a wave spreads up onto the beach. I stood surveying the moonlight and the tree until my teeth chattered and my feeet were numb. My grandparents never believed in interior heating other than what came from the fireplace.

“Santa is real.” I remember thinking that, despite being so young. I suppose I must have been doubtful and this sight verified the scene. And yet, what struck me most, what touched my heart most deeply, was the moonlight gleaming through the windows. Not the presents. Not really even the tree. The magical moonlight and the snow.

Christmas Traditions Chez Bookwormom~

The primary one has always been midnight mass. No matter how young the kids were , we’ve always gone to the midnight service. Once the children were in school we began allowing them to open one gift after we returned home from the service. Santa gifts are unwrapped, gifts from us and from other family members are wrapped. All stocking stuffers are from Santa.

When the kids were really little, we didn’t let them go down to the livingroom until 7 am. Mostly to allow their parents a brief nap before facing the day again. Now that they’re older, they can go out to the tree and play with anything that isn’t wrapped plus their stocking stuffers.

What else? Outside lights and decor are usually put up the first week of December. Because we have real trees, it isn’t usually bought and decorated until mid December and will be left up until Epiphany (after the 12 days of Christmas, Jan. 6th I believe). Some years, depending on the quality of the tree, we leave it up through daughter’s birthday (Jan. 9th).

We don’t really have hard and fast Christmas dinner menus. Mostly the usual American holiday fare. Some years I bake cheesecakes instead of pies. Some years I make several tartes. There’s always fresh cranberry relish and fruit stuffing. One thing is that there will only be turkey at one holiday meal, Thanksgiving or Christmas but never both. Personally, I prefer a succulent beef roast with a ton of bernaise sauce and garlic mashed potatoes, but that’s just me.

Favorite Music

In dulci jubilo

Another favorite piece. This one is Gabriel's Message.

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