December

 

Christmas in Dixie.

It's snowing in the pines.

Merry Christmas from Dixie

To everyone tonight. 

 

Alabama, 1982;

from their song "Christmas In Dixie"

Christmas Village

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Christmas Tree Santa

I lifted four red boxes full of Christmas ornaments from the top shelf of the laundry area today and carried them to the living room.  The room was quiet and bright with sunlight, warm with the coals of a fire in the fireplace.  Outside the temperatures were dropping . . . down to  25 degrees tonight.  Winter had descended, and the first order of business was to decorate the tree.

It's a joyful thing, to decorate a Christmas tree.  Ours is not a real one, alas, but has been with us for a decade, and feels like a member of the family.  About the time I switched to a store-bought tree, I also decided to do away with my rigid December schedule and lists and leave such things as decorating the tree to spontaniety . . . or even chance.  I like it that way much better. The tree goes upright the weekend of Thanksgiving, then the embellishing begins.  It stretches out  unruly and curious for about three or four days, sometimes more, and involves anyone with a willing heart, or who comes through the front door.  By the time we're all finished, it looks shiny and festive like a proper toy soldier, and belongs to the ages. Ta-Da!

 

I could go on, but I'm looking for that little Santa head you see in the picture above.  He's the rock star of it all.  

Rock Star

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Friday, December 7, 2018

One More Cup

 

The ground was white this morning with frost, and the sunrise orange.  I made a firm promise to venture out early to shop for gifts, but the warm light and padded chair in the loft looked so inviting.  Maybe just one list before I go, and half a cup of coffee.  

 

*** 

Leaving home to knock around in Christmas traffic like a bumper car sounded both good and bad.  On the one hand, even though bumper cars are fun, I was never that good at staying out of everyone's way; and on the other hand, I would miss the holiday chaos if I didn't go.  I also knew it would slow the whole day down to a crawl when there was so much still to do. 

 

Decisions like this shouldn't be made quickly.  They need time.  And coffee.  And a little finesse.  At 10 AM I decided to make a quick trip to the home goods store for a folk art tree, which they didn't have, and some replacement bulbs for the porch string lights, which they were out of.  Oh well, nothing lost really.  I scurried back home like a good Christmas mouse.  Fire lit.  Music started.  Soup warming up on the stove for lunch. Up the stairs to the loft.  

 

And back around to December the way I like it.   

"Whatever you do, stay out of everyone's way." 

My dad, teaching me how to drive

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Gifts

Just as my daughter and I were arriving at the mall today on the hunt for an important gift, we stopped, along with one other woman, inside the first corridor to watch wave after wave of geese fly overhead.  "They had better hurry," my daughter said.  Our area of the woods had been icing over of late. 

 

In fact, they did seem a little bit rattled.  The precision "V" shape that geese usually form was sloppy and irregular with every wave--except the last one.  That group of geese was much smaller than the others--maybe 12 altogether--and as neat as a pin.  It was lagging behind quite a bit too--maybe 30 minutes behind.  Quality over speed was the aim of this little group.  

 

The quiet show was in stark contrast to the work ahead of us.  

 

* * * 

There weren't a lot of people at the mall.  I expected more.  It was early though, and I suppose a lot is done online now.   In fact, I've been doing more of my shopping this year online.  It's so easy, and can be fun if you think about it......

 

I wonder though.  I remember going in years past to small, individually-owned shops a few days before Christmas to buy one or two gifts at a time. Things I hadn't seen at any other store and wouldn't see anywhere else.  The shops had one small door in the front with a wreath on it, lights all around, music, a decorated tree, sometimes cookies and coffee for the customers.  And bells.  There always seemed to be bells somewhere.  

 

I used to set out early in the morning with a few dollars in my purse, expecting to get all the gifts I needed that day and still have time to stop and have lunch; and that's exactly how it went.  I didn't expect a lot from the gifts really. . . they only had to suit my budget, be somewhat unique, and fit in a box.  Not so hard.  Low expectations were a big help.

 

It was always a rewarding day, with somehow plenty for everyone on my list.  

 

Then home to settle in and relax before Christmas day.  I can't say my shopping does that for me now, but I will say it's fast and fierce online in a good way.  My work now is to settle back and watch the trucks roll in to Rabbit Hill. 

 

It's a new day, to be sure. 

"When I come home feeling tired, 

it's good to warm my bones by the fire"

 

Pink Floyd

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Thurday, December 13, 2018

December Breakfast

 My Sister Who Lives In Florida just called to say her gardener (yes, she has one), brought her a sack of pineapple oranges from another yard they tend.  Pineapple oranges!  Just coming on trees like big orange pearls.   I haven't even heard of them. 

 

She also said the blood oranges, grapefruit, and lemons they grow in their yard are ready to harvest.  I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like the epicenter of unspeakable wealth.  

 

One of my holiday fantasies is to carry bowl after bowl of "something" we have harvested, anything, to an orange-scented meal on a big wood table just in time for it to compliment the festive season--wrapped gifts under a tree nearby, maybe we're all singing.  You probably have the same fantasy. 

I do have "in real life" a smaller, more reasonable plan.  It comes every year as part of the holiday celebration...a decision to eat only fresh, whole, pretty foods in the coming year.  I know you have that same fantasy.  

 

I have similar thoughts in April and August, but the dream especially lends itself to December.  Today for lunch it was apple chunks with peanut butter, cheese cubes, and my whole wheat chocolate muffins.  Not only do I pretend my diet is actually like that for a few days, but I get to take pretty pictures of the things I fix.  Christmas hovers around the house, and the kitchen smells. . . as good as pineapple oranges.  

 

And all the while, the Christmas Train is speeding along outside.   

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Heavenly Host

Here are two Christmas cards I made.  The lamb is from several years ago, and the angel I just finished this year.  It wasn't a large project, mostly because I only mail out about eight cards now. I've considered not sending any,  but it's a tradition that's been difficult to give up, more so than I thought. 

 

* * *  

 

Keeping Watch

My first cards were done in block print, which is still one of my favorite mediums. I carved out with a carving tool the word "Peace" on a block of art linoleum over a two day period. Beautiful. But I realized only after I had inked it that a print comes out in reverse. That never works for lettering.

 

I used to love reading the cards my family received during Christmas when I was a child.  It was like a big reunion, each guest arriving at the mailbox during the weeks before Christmas day.  And perhaps the best part of all, you were never sure who might show up--or even who they were. My sister and I would read the names on the cards and ask, "who's Patty Louise?"  

 

"That's our friends from West Virginia--you remember them," mother would say.  We didn't.  

 

Not only did Patty Louise and her husband sign their names on the card, and the names of all their children, but also told us they were "doing fine, and how is everyone in your family?" 

 

"Ah, dear Patty Louise," I thought.  I felt part of a large family with an on-going history.  

Anyway, I sent out my small collection of cards today, and was pleased to do so.  So far we have received about the same number at our home, none with a personal signature.  It's all part of that "new day" I was talking about, I suppose.  

 

Patty Louise, how are you and the kids doing this year?  

"And suddenly there was with the angel

a multitude of the heavenly host. . . "

 

Luke 2:13

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit