Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Monday, December 01, 2003  

Well, O Best Beloved, ‘tis Happy December at last. Those who know me are not surprised to see my face brighten and eyes sparkle when The First Day Of Christmas comes. “What?” you ask. “This is Saint Edmund’s Day! or St. Philaret the Merciful or any of a number of virgin martyrs like Sts. Bibiana, Candida, or Florentina” Or - at best, the Monday of the First Week of Advent. Perhaps so, liturgically speaking, but for me it is the day the Christmas music comes out of the wardrobe in the den and thus - ‘tis the First of Many Days of Christmas”.

Bare trees against clear pastel sunsets thrill my heart this time of year. Holiday lights twinkling in fantastical configurations trigger excitement. That sense that nothing very important is going on at work, even if the governor’s budget is coming out December 19th. I have a favorite Christmas time perfume for December. I enjoy the challenge of celebrating the entire holiday within a tight budget. I have certain particular ritualistic activities for certain days. I only see the smiles on people’s faces - some inner shutter closes over the Grinches and Scrooges, imaginary felt pads close out their complaints. I am an UnabashedChristmasLover.

Every evening this week I will address Christmas cards - a few each night, till everyone has been contacted. I love Christmas cards. I love to get them and to send them. Sometime this week I will buy two small green wreaths for the front doors. This is also the time I get BD to take down the screens and trim back the ligurstrum. In the coming weeks I’ll check out my favorite holiday books from the children’s section of the library and snuggle in bed with them. For some, it is the Cratchet’s Christmas Dinner - but for me it will be Betsy Ray’s trip to Milwaukee and Laura’s Christmas in the Big Woods, John Woodall’s Edwardian Christmas and Peter Spier’s Christmas. I will read to the children Jan Brett’s Wild Christmas Reindeer, though it is really intended for the parents, and Alexandra Day’s Christmas We Moved To The Barn.

BD will be gone most days this month, for his Christmas Spirit, a far more tender, nostalgic and melancholy one than mine, is assuaged by assembling bicycles for the Salvation Army. The folk there call him TheBicycleMan - in fact - they once sent a letter addressed merely TheBicycleMan with our post office and zip code. I am proud of him - and I’m proud also that, living here, that is enough of an address. Now that he has found a way to put meaning and justification into the celebrations, he has much happier Christmases and his happiness has freed me to let my own joy bubble over, for I’ll admit, I’d put a bit of a damper on in years past. I can ignore a gloomy celebrant, but I have no desire to change him and I certainly don’t want to rub him raw with my own exuberance.

And on the weekend before Christmas Day, we’ll go out into the woods and find the prettiest spruce pine we can find and bring it back to decorate. It will fill the same corner of the living room, where permanent screws are in the wall to hold it up and pine sap stains streak the walls, to be hidden by a cluster of small pictures the rest of the year. Huge tubs of ornaments will be lowered through the air vent into the attic - so that one doesn’t have to tramp up and down the stairs. In the space of an afternoon the house will be transformed into a wonderland of secret hidden magic. We’ll listen to Old Time Radio’s holiday programs and sip some delicious thing in a room lit only by the dancing colors of tree lights.

Every year I seem to let go of more expectations during this season, opening myself up to serendipity and chance, and each time that happens I have even more fun. Time was, I wanted the perfect Christmas tree and the maximum number of Christmas cookies and the ultimate gifts for everyone - all home made and exquisitely wrapped. Now I really don’t care - so long as I get the music I want and some days off - that is enough for me. Perhaps the day will come when I shan’t even require them - but, as the music is free - or at least already purchased - and the days off are pretty much legislated - I doubt I’ll ever have to sacrifice them.

My favorite astrologer tells me that this month I am to lighten up - to refuse to bear other’s burdens, to savor my joys and to put my house of romance in order - rather ominous sounding but then everything holds portents for Virgos. Still, I always like to take advice I want and I want to be light and airy and ready to laugh this month. I feel I’ve been gloomy long enough. How perfect for the desire to match the season.

On a more fiberly note:

My Winter Knitters magazine came on Saturday and there was a pretty little lace and dropped stitch vest in it. I have been swept away with dropped stitches lately, am knitting a red scarf in something fuzzy ( I believe it is FURZ, but I don’t have the ball band with me) and ripped it out so as to begin again using that little 8 row pattern - so easy, so elegant. It works extremely well in an eyelash yarn, knit on size 11’s I believe. 2 balls will make a 6 foot scarf - destined to be somebody’s gift because I want a red cropped sweater out of the STARS and one red fluffy eyelash garment for this 51 year old feels like a statement, but 2 begins to feel like a signature. I like chic, but not ubiquitous.

Yesterday LD and I went to visit my parents and on the way home stopped at Barnes & Nobel where I picked up Beadwork Creates Bracelets, a little new book from Interweave Press. More and more I am being drawn into the world of beads. I dream about socks with beaded cuffs and sweaters with beaded yokes.

Ah well, there you have it - the sun and the moon are having a party in my fun zone and I intend to indulge completely.

posted by Bess | 7:23 AM