When contemplating this month’s blog post I re-read a few of my past December offerings and decided this evergreen one, originally published on December 19, 2019, deserved a reprint. The ongoing pandemic has, of course, forced some changes in how we celebrate the holidays. In 2020 we discovered that concerts via video stream can be quite satisfying. This year, pre-gathering covid tests will be a new ritual. But at its essence, the holiday season remains a community celebration of love and hope. I’m beaming out to the readers of this blog my best wishes for a joyous holiday season.
Our neighborhood is especially bright with holiday lights this year, a reflection, perhaps, of a shared yearning to lessen the darkness in our world.
Before the recent snow, we strung some white lights around the yard, but it was far too early to hang the garland around the front door. Now I’m hoping it’s not too late, because the greenery around the entry makes the house look so festive. We’ve done the ladder-on-ice thing once or twice in the past, but we’re getting smarter as we age, so here’s to a couple of warmish days ahead.
This weekend we’ll get our tree. The ritual around that has changed as well. Up to and including the year I had knee surgery in early December, we cut our own at a tree farm a few miles west of our home. I say “we,” but that year I ventured out into the field and picked out an absolutely perfect tree (I was walking okay by then, albeit with a cruch) but Diane had to kneel on the frozen ground and cut it (the doctor would have frowned on me doing that).
She also had to drag it back to the car, which turned out to be a fair distance away. She was a good sport about it, but let’s just say I was convinced by the following December that there were easier ways to proceed, and since then we’ve bought a tree at a local nursery. They have a nice selection. The helpful staff gives the stump a fresh cut. They tie it on the roof of the car. It costs a little more, but aching knees have their own price, so off to the tree store we will go.
That night or the next, we’ll haul the lights, garlands and ornament boxes up from the basement and transform the tree into the most beautiful one ever.
Here are some of the ornaments we will hang:
I wish you happiness this season, whatever holidays you may celebrate, and a joyous, peaceful, wonderful new year.
To the readers of this blog: What are your favorite holiday traditions? Please let us know in the comments.
Brenda Buchanan is the author of the Joe Gale Mystery Series, featuring a diehard Maine newspaper reporter who covers the crime and courts beat. Three books—QUICK PIVOT, COVER STORY and TRUTH BEAT—are available everywhere e-books are sold. She is writing a new series that has as its protagonist a Portland criminal defense lawyer willing to take on cases others won’t touch in a town to which she swore she would never return.