Isn't this page fabulous? AC surprised me with it last night and I think it is pretty spectacular. Thanks hunny – I love it!
We are getting rained on today, so all the snow is gone, but things are still looking pretty festive around here. The outside lights are up, the tree is decorated, the Christmas dishes are in the cupboard, cinnamon sticks and cloves are simmering on the stove, and Christmas music is playing softly in the background. I am getting gifts wrapped and ready to put in the mail today, Christmas letters are being written to tuck inside cards, and Christmas events with new friends in this area are filling up spaces on the calendar. This Christmassy template for my blog is like icing on the cake – such a sweet and unexpected treat.
We had a fun time at Butterfly's on the weekend decorating her tree and celebrating the start of the season with her and the Boy. AC has posted a picture of their main tree on his blog, but this pic gives you a close-up of the new ornament I found for the tree this year.
I usually give Butterfly one new ornament each year, and as soon as I saw it, I knew this crystal butterfly would add a sparkly and meaningful touch to the tree. Pretty isn't it?
We took a break from the tree decorating to attend the local Santa Claus Parade at 5pm. What fun! It was cold, but we were bundled up warmly and all but our toes were snug and warm during the whole parade.
Don't know what Butterfly and I are laughing at here, but this picture gives you an idea of the fun we had at the parade, and the next picture is of one of the many floats that lit up the night. It was a great parade for such a small town.
After standing out in the cold for over an hour, we thankfully returned home to a warm house where the fragrance of an oven stew greeted us at the door. We quickly shed coats and boots and then gathered round the table for steaming dishes of thick stew, and hot biscuits. Mmmmmmm soooooo good!
After dinner, we retreated to the family room and finished decorating the tree there while we munched on sweet holiday treats. Once the tree was done we sat around it in the soft glow of the lights, and played Trivial Pursuit. This time it was the girls against the guys, and after a slow and shaky start, Butterfly and I emerged the Champions at the end of a close game.
It was a day full of joy but as is so often the case, mixed with sorrow too. We dearly missed Lady Bug and my heart travelled across the miles to her many times during the day. She is in the middle of writing essays and preparing for exams, so she couldn't join us for the first Tree decorating party at Butterfly's, but she was there in spirit and in our hearts and thoughts all day.
As we moved through the day our thoughts would meander down memory lane and remember the dear ones who have passed on and again the bitter was added to the sweet. Joy and sorrow got all tangled up together. You just can't have one without the other as you move through life.
"There are few sensations more painful, than in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand." Sarah Josepha Hale
Christmas can be such a bittersweet time of year. We all have periods of grief during the holidays for loved ones lost. We must allow ourselves to feel the feelings when they come, realise that we are not alone in this mixture of feelings and take the bitter with the sweet. Each one somehow makes the other more intense.
I wish you joy in spite of any sorrow you might be facing this year and may you enjoy a season full of peace.