Saturday, December 16, 2006

looking like Christmas

There are only a handful of days left until Christmas and around here things are certainly looking the part. The tree is up, the stockings are hung, the mantel is full and the cat is trying to eat everything. The house smells of pine -- one of the things I'm certain Heaven smells like. I sat staring at the tree so long this morning that Kendra asked if I was okay. Apparently I had an eerie stillness about me. I couldn't help but think how many memories are hung on the tree each year and how wonderful it is to have such a season to unpack them.
This is a mosaic of a few of my favorite things (or favorite deckies as we called them growing up). Top left is an ornament I made when I was three. It's supposed to be a bell, fashioned from egg cartons and glitter. My favorite out everything on the tree. It has crossed the Atlantic ocean and traveled the full width of North America. It reminds me of my Mom who always has time for crafts and of the magic that transforms something empty and used up into something beautiful. I always hang it near the top of the tree.

Next is a snowflake I bought last year in the gift shop of Salisbury Cathedral. Salisbury dates to the 13th century -- literally hundreds of years of worship are soaked up in the stone walls. I remember being there and falling silent. A snowflake, it turns out is a beautiful picture of just that.

I don't know where the robins came from, but they have always been a part of Christmas. Robins figure prominently in English Christmas cards. We had a set growing up that would get wired into the decorations in the house. When I moved out I asked to take one with me. The robin reminds me of my Dad because he used to hide the robins each year and my brothers and I would sit in the living room trying to see who could spot them first.

The Disney ornament is in memory of my birthday trip this year. When I spotted it in the vastness of the World of Disney store I knew it was too perfect to pass up. What a great way to remember a perfect birthday celebration.

The stocking is for my Nan, a champion knitter in her day. There's a whole set of these knitted ornaments -- stockings, candles, snowmen, candy canes. I have no idea how that works. My parents have a complete nativity that she knitted one year. Shepherds and staffs, kings and gifts, it's all there.

The ink well is for me, a reminder to keep writing, a reminder of the power of words and story. This particular ink well was also purchased last year, when I went to visit Shakespeare House. It was the strangest thing to stand on stone flags that once chilled the little toes of a boy who would grow up to transcend the ages. Flesh does not endure, but words can.

This last photo is for my family, because everyone has been posting lovely family pics and I haven't. So here you go. This is me at the company Christmas party with Leah & Lynnette. You can't go wrong with a black dress (even if everyone else has the same idea).


kimu said...

great photo! wish we coulda been there to get sloshed with y'all ;)

Mom Colvin said...

Claire you look great and I loved reading about the memories bound up in your favourite christmas ornaments.

I don't remember where the robins came from either, maybe the Regal catalogue. I still have a couple on this year's tree but the wires are breaking off, some of the feathers are coming unglued and I
have to treat them with care.

Love Mom XX

JAnie & DAve said...

You look glowing in party photo. I really need a little black dress. We have been to about 5 Christmas parties this week, and each time i have had trouble finiding suitable wear. I have a few nice skirts, but no black top to fancy them up. I think a black dress or shirt would solve this problem. I will have to remember to shop for something before next years festivities begin!

We just sent your Christmas card in the mail. We didn't send the gifts or photos yet because we are waiting on the photos, and want to send the package all as you are gaunrenteed to have something to enjoy after the 25th has passed away into night.

Every year dave hides ornaments around our home. Like father like son. I just read him your post, and since we haven't hidden ornaments yet we decided to do it Christmas eve and look for them all day Christmas (that is after we have done all the church things of the day).
Anyway, i have turned this into more than a comment, as always.
Hope you have a great prechristmas week! We will talk on the phone soon i am sure!

Love Janie
ps.. did you get sloshed???

tee hee

westcoastloon said...

Kim, rabblerouser, you're getting me in trouble with my sister. There was *no* getting sloshed at this party. I had 6 hours of strategic planning meetings starting first thing the morning after. The only thing you want to be on for that is coffee :)

I think Kim was just jealous he missed it.

JAnie & DAve said...

Te he! Your not in trouble! Only if your mom sees it! Nawwww...
Anyway, What is your work blog? has anyone named them all?


JAnie & DAve said...

So i got an email from a friend of mine who was an RD at prov. She was my Rd actualy! Anyway, she had been looking at your blog and said "wow, there's lynette... small world!" I had no clue what the 'small world' part was, but apparently when my friend went on mat leave Lynette was the person who filled her RD position. So, she knows our school Prov! have you made that connection with her? I have had many a long and tear conversation in the very room she worked in for a year! Fun.

Oh, and i was exagerating with the song things. I know one group-'the choir'-has a song.. dave can sing it for you, but the other groups don't.

okay, that's all for now. Did our card come? I think your package must have come, but it awaits me at the post office. Tomorrow i will get it and it's magical claire gifts!

Take care,
Love Janie