Well, here we are again....December 1st, and it's exciting to think that there are only 24 days until Christmas. The weather has turned here in the high desert, and I actually had the thermometer indicator in my car flash the little" snowflake" and make a ding sound, as the 38o reading came up on the dash board. I love that! And, it's high time. We have had too much warm weather. It's time to get our the quilts and light the fireplace, and have the evening whiskey.
I will be placing my advent calendar up in the kitchen; courtesy of the National Gallery in London, where I bought it a couple years ago. It's still fun to open each little door every morning.
As the years go by, I like the simple things best about Christmas; the baking, the making things for friends and family, the listening to beautiful holiday music, the sharing the time with those I love. I am not feeling compelled to go to the mall. The behavior of the "Door Buster" or "Black Friday" reveler is appalling to me. It's a real turnoff.
In the 18th Century, the focus was not on buying up a storm, but "church, dinner, dancing, some evergreens, and visiting." For instance, Philip Vickers Fithian's December 18, 1773, diary entry about exciting holiday events mentions: "the Balls, the Fox-hunts, the fine entertainments. . ."
Gift giving was not to the excess it has become today. Cash tips, lite books, sweets in small amounts were given out by masters to their dependents, whether slaves, servants, apprentices, or children. Children and others did not reciprocate. Our idea of "filling stockings with care" and "eyes all aglow" come more along the 19th Century.
Décor was mostly of natural materials, with the intent of brightening the bleakest time of the year. Evergreens were studded with berries and blossoms, and candles, too.
There is something very lovely about getting back to basics, and remembering that the holiday really is about Christ's entrance into our world. So, I send you wishes for a blessed and beautiful holiday season ahead, filled with little luxuries and shared joy.