The Impoverished Preppy made an interesting comment on my last post; she mentioned that the thought of no holiday decorations made her a bit sad.
And as I thought about it, I had to admit that it is a bit sad to not honor the season with lights and candles and greenery. Nativity scenes and santa bullshit aside, there is beauty to the traditional decoration of the season, and much of it has little to do with the churchy, commercial nonsense I so dislike.
I dreaded winter in Sweden, when the sun appeared only from 11 am to 2 pm, until I learned how Swedes celebrate the season of darkness. In November, when the gray of the world is at a maximum, they light candlabras and lanterns and live in cozy firelight until spring. It is beautiful and heartwarming, and now that I think about it, an ideal way to honor the season, the Solstice, Hannukah and Christmas.
After living there, in the cold, blond North, I made candles an everyday part of my life. The rituals of lighting them and blowing them out became like a prayer, and so even though I claim to eschew all things religious, I have to admit that I do feel a universal greatness when it's dark except for fire (and, honestly, I even little twinkle lights are really pretty).
Sigh. There goes my hard stance on all things Christmas. Full disclosure: earlier this year, I said to Brad, "Maybe we should get a tree. Not for stupid ornaments, just for lights and my pretty fabric garland (see below)." And he looked at me like I was high. I think he loathes the holiday hooplah even more than I.
But we'll see. I love, love, love this festive garland I fashioned from pretty fabric scraps. It's one of the most delightful things I've ever seen - like a tutu in its over-the-topness, but free of red and green and Jesus...just how I like my holiday stuff.
Big Arnie, who turns 5 years old on December 26th, makes a charming model, no?