For the last, oh, 6 years, I’ve been starting December with wish lists; intentions, dreams, & desires for the year to come. But this year I don’t want to count my wishes, I want to count my blessings, to draw all I love close to me and hold it tight and clutching maybe a little too much. All shining light & heart bursting madly.
Maybe it’s because my birthday is smack in the middle between Thanksgiving and Hexmas – on St. Lucia’s day. Maybe it’s the dark evenings with glowing shop and cafe windows, fairy lights, glitter and tinsel, whatever it is, I love this time of year so much. Crackling magic in the air. I want snow, glittering and blanketing endless rolling moonlit fields, frost etchings on windows, cocoa after a midnight skate. I’m not going home to Vermont this year because I have surgery Dec 21, so I’ll have to watch a lot of movies from my couch-nook and light the fireplace and pretend! Please do send book or movie suggestions, especially dreamy winter ones.
I love these holiday iPhone wallpapers from From Me To You – when I was a little girl I spent my holidays in New York with my Nana and Poppop, and ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza was my favorite part. I’ve been craving NY, actually. When I was little I always thought I’d grow up and move there, and never have, yet. It needs to happen at some point!
I also love, and retweet too much, Yoko Ono’s twitter. It’s like a nice little dose of checking in with the cosmic hum when I’m grouching about at work, suddenly just a tiny statement can wake me up again. Something about it coming from her (or her tiny assistants, who knows?? don’t ruin my moment!) makes it really hit home for me.
The beautiful and talented Eden wrote this the other day, and it’s been reverberating in my head ever since. We decided to have a big bonfire this winter, on the longest day. To scare off the darkness, to play instruments as loud as we can, sing and shout and get the poison out of our systems – to remember loved ones…I think that all one can do to face the darkness is create, even the tiniest thing. So this is what I think about as I plan my solstice housewarming gathering, intentions as old as winter herself.
What else? December means glittering parcels start arriving in the mail! Angeliska (& Colin!) sent me this one today! Thank you thank you thank you! It was so beautifully wrapped, very very inspiring as I start wrapping things to send out. Paper mail is the best! I have sweet holiday cards that I really mean to send this year. I always buy them, and then think I have no time, or whatnot, and it gets forgotten – but proper letters are so so so good.
Hooray! So, what are your favorite winter-time cozies? Books? Spiced wine recipes? Swags of pine? Candles? Traditions?
Speaking of St. Lucia and traditions, the symbolism of young white-clad maidens bearing light-bringing fire and warm pastry in winter is all well and cozy, but before the light-bringing Lucia was invented, Germanic people and their neighbors observed Lussinatta. December 13 by the unreformed Julian calendar was the longest night of the year, and Lussi die dunkle was a dark, female spirit who came on the 13th of December. In fact, the Lussiferda was a group of spirit ladies (Lisle-Ståli, Store-Ståli, Ståli Knapen, Tromli Harebakka, Sisill, Surill, Hektetryni and Botill) who came to find children who had done mischief, coming down through the chimney to take them away. And, certain tasks of work in the preparation for Yule work had to be finished, or else the Lussiferda would come to punish the household. This story was definitely not part of the charming Tasha Tudor St. Lucia books I got as a wee!
I hope I get dispensation for it being my birthday, because I have an awful lot of Yule work to be done! This will be the first year in ages I have a tree, and a house that’s perfect for decorating. Merry happy!