Remnants of Christmas and other stories

A little quiet at home is a wonderfully restorative thing. After four days of not having to go much beyond the grocery store and library, yesterday I managed to work on both sets of novel revisions and enjoy the rare day of winter sunshine. Today I'd prefer to go back to bed and stay there, but that's a head cold talking. It shall pass.

* * *

It's only the eleventh day of Christmas, but the tree must come down tonight as the Boy Scouts run their pick-up service in the morning. I am always a little sad at taking down the tree. Removing the decorations after having it in my house for three weeks—and then putting it outside in the cold—makes me almost as sorrowful as when the last stem of my jade plant finally collapsed from want of sunlight, or when I discovered that Maia, in her kittenhood, had knocked my African violet to the floor and smashed it.

Yes, even though I'm now an adult and responsible for cleaning up all the dropping needles.

Maybe heaven will be forested with the souls of Christmas trees. (Not an orthodox thought, I suppose, but a consoling one.) Meanwhile, I have the lights on and will enjoy them to the last minute and post all sorts of Christmassy pictures here while I can.

Brace yourselves.

The angel atop the tree:

Mom made me these beautiful ornaments as a Christmas gift; they represent one of my stories. A hint of things to come:

Now, for a few of my old favorites, in the scrambled order in which they uploaded:

one of the fish my sister Beth gave me

a particularly lovely Holy Family

the rafting Santas my boss Paul gave me
when I worked as a raft guide

beautiful Slavic Madonna-and-child

the pianoforte, of course
This one does not belong to Lou and I; my in-laws gave it to Maia for Christmas. She bats at it, gets startled by the noisy bell inside, and runs away. Which, of course, is rather amusing for us.

It's pretty, too.
The whole tree:

The little stocking has moved, as Maia used it
to try and pull the tree over last night
And our first year of finally using the family method of displaying Christmas cards:

One last time for the season: Merry Christmas! And happy Epiphany!

* * *

Music of the week: This is not Christmas music, but even I am a little tired of Christmas music. I am not, however, tired of the King of Instruments, which we reliably get in church on Christmas and Easter (and almost never in between, to the everlasting shame of modernity.) This symphony played on Seattle classical station King FM the other day and is made of all things wonderful.

* * *

And now, to clean house and plan dinner. I'm not sure what to cook, but a loaf of bread will likely be involved. Lou got me a breadmaker for Christmas. The thing is such a miracle that I don't begrudge it a centimeter of its counter space. I can hardly experiment fast enough.

Happy weekend!


  1. Maia looks delightfully destructive! I think all true adults display their Christmas cards that way..at least, all adults with more than one room in the house - we tuck ours in the tree..not that I feel very grown up..even with all my swearing and coffee-drinking.. Enjoy your bread-maker, and some after Christmas Peace & Quiet!

    1. Wait, does this make me a true adult?! If so, I'll display them differently next year! :P Anyway, I don't blame you for not feeling grown up. Swearing and coffee drinking hasn't changed the fact that I'll be about twelve inside till the day I die.

      And thanks! :)

  2. Mmmmm, breadmaker. I think Beth used to have one but she gave it up. It was too easy to make delicious bread in it. Then too easy to eat said delicious bread.

    Don't the Boy Scouts know the Christmas Tree doesn't come down till after the Epiphany. :)

    It was probably preordained that your African Violet was doomed to die from the moment you brought a cat into the house.

    And the Madonna & Child ornament is beautiful.

    1. Hahaha! Well, there's that.

      I think the Boy Scouts DO know, but they have to cater to the whims of America if they want to have this service at all, and America takes its trees down before New Year's and doesn't want them sitting around the yard. Silly Americans.

      I suppose you're right about the violet. I suppose I should have known that, too. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't.

  3. It's Elina!

    I forgot to ask you for your mailing address to send a Christmas card. If you want to e-mail it to me and don't mind late season's greetings, I will still send it.

    A comforting thought about the Christmas trees. I am always sad to take them down and have been known to try to talk my parents into St. Valentine's and St. Patrick's day trees. Something about a house full of the smell of pine.

    1. :D

      I'll email you. Of course, that means you need to send me your address, too. ;)

      I love the house full of the smell of pine!

  4. One little quibble. I didn't see any cat pictures. ;)


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