During the last few weeks I have been hearing about Christmas traditions. I have been hearing about how baking is an integral part of the Christmas period. That decorating the tree is a special night. That getting that first Christmas card heralds the start of Christmas for others. The Christmas Movie is a night for chilling. The Christmas music is separate to Christmas carols. The Christmas poems. The Advent calendar and essential part of the Christmas. Visiting the crib in churches. Putting up the family crib.
The thing which has struck me is how diverse the traditions are yet there is a link. Practically each household has a different emphasis for each of the traditions. Each household is unique in this regard.
What I have learnt is that each household whether there is one person or twenty people living there have over the years absorbed traditions which suits that household and those traditions have developed. Some traditions have remained while others have been dropped for whatever reason.
Dropping a tradition can be hard especially if it is out of your control. However, it is amazing how quickly one can adapt to what is in essence a new tradition. Also adding in a new tradition can enhance the traditions of the household. Being open to new traditions and gradually absorbing them can re invigorate the meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is a unique experience for each individual. No one tradition is more important than another but the meaning of a tradition can be very personal and last for a long number of years.
How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it is June.
My Goodness how the time has flown.
How did it get so late so soon?
This really sums up these windswept days of December.
Today in some countries national author’s are celebrated. Who would be the national author I would like to be celebrated?
The first name which immediately comes to mind is Ruth Dudley Edwards as she is a crime fiction writer but she is also a historian and biographer, Then there is Maeve Binchy, who was a fiction writer but it was her column with the Irish Times on a Saturday which had me hooked.
What about Sara Breen and Emer McLysaght? Or perhaps A. O’Connor, the author of “The House” (please see blog post “The Start of a Book Series” for a review)?
Eilís Dillon, John B. Keane, Brendan Behan or Frank O’Connor? these authors bring me right back to my childhood together with Patricia Lynch.
I would find it so difficult to choose just one author to celebrate National Author’s Day if we indeed we did celebrate it in Ireland. However, I know I will not be able to sleep until I have found some books written by these authors and reread them. The difficulty is which one?
So who would you recommend if you were celebrating National Author’s Day?
My craft room sounded differently and felt different. The colour on the wall had changed. I looked up from my megga sorting to find the rain had stopped and the sun was out.
I like the sound of the rain on the roof. There is something comforting about the rhythm of rain. Each shower has a different rhythm and funnily enough there is a totally different sound to rain after a long dry spell.
However, let me explain something. A long dry spell for Ireland is perhaps 7 days. Yes really seven days. This year was a heat wave which lasted from June until August with record low levels of rain throughout the country. Ireland has not experienced such a dry spell since 1976.
Today’s rain had a very soothing sound and it had a constant rhythm which gave a great background to a sort out. Yes it was time to sort out my fabric stash. Or that was the idea. Yes, I did start on my Christmas fabric. This lead me to taking down my “Christmas Journal” and choosing fabrics for people. Then I just had to think of items I could make for them. Which in turn lead me to a different selection of fabric. You know how it goes or perhaps not? Perhaps it is only me who goes off on these tangents.
It was the sound of the rain stopping which put a halt to my gallops and I realised that I had accomplished little or no sorting but had a great few hours thinking of people. So definitely not time wasted. Spread around me was a sea of Christmas colour with ideas for Christmas presents. My journal had new ideas with many word maps in varying different colour pens. (That reminds me I must try and see if I can get colour cartridges for my fountain pen.)
I know it is only October and I am thinking of Christmas but if like me presents are made then it does require numerous weeks to plan and execute.
What are the little things which give you a lift? What are those things which make you stop and feel thankful? Now I am not talking about those grand gestures I am talking about those small gestures.
I was in the middle of the clean up getting ready for the weekend and all those household chores just had to be done. It was an ideal morning for it. The sky was grey but with a hint of blue. The sun hasn’t really got it heat going yet so the house was cool ideal for getting those floors cleaned. Everything was ready for cleaning.
Andy Williams accompanying me as I set to in the shower room. The washing machine was given the bass beat as it came to the end of the first wash of the day. The kettle and teapot, however, were calling to me that I needed a break, but I like to get the work done before breakfast.
While lugging out the hoover I heard the letterbox click. Although there were no up coming birthdays, anniversaries and no celebrations in the offing there was always the hope that the post might, just might, include something other than bills. It was my lucky day. Among the bills nestled a hand-written envelope for me with a foreign stamp. Now that is what I call post. I put the letter into my pocket and returned to the house work.
Suddenly mopping the floor wasn’t so bad. Dusting the skirting boards wasn’t going to be ignored as it was just another little job. Then I found myself with my steps clearing out the top of the china cabinet. Singing along with Andy. It was a good day.
Two hours later, chores completed, clothes washed and hung out, hoover put away for another day and steamer stashed neatly away; the tea was made, and the tray brought out to the garden now that the sun was giving off some heat and it was time to open the letter. The anticipation is part of receiving a letter in the post.
I slowly opened the letter and I was soon transported to Washington State through the letter writing of a new friend. So, for me a little piece of heaven was to receive a hand-written letter. It totally brightened up my day. It totally gave me a lift. I felt so thankful that someone thought enough of me to take the time to hand write a letter and then post it to me. I felt special.
I hope you have experienced something similar and I would love to hear what it was which lifted you up.