It may not be officially winter in the USA, but for me, it’s winter!
Each season bring its own specialness into our lives. Thanksgiving is the farewell to fall and December means cold weather, barren trees and, with luck around here, snow! I know that those who just got blasted with 6 feet (2m) of it aren’t getting those warm fuzzy feelings towards it. But this displaced Yankee, loves it. Snow calls to that little girl in me that loved playing in it for hours.
And who can forget Christmas? Yeah, I know it’s no longer politically correct to be thrilled about Christmas and shout it from the rooftops. Get over it, people! It’s the biggest holiday of the year, and somehow they’ve even managed to stop wars for twenty-four hours over it.
It’s not just a routine holiday – it’s Christmas!
I don’t normally say much on the subject of religion, but I’m going to speak up. I’m not a Christian. I’m not Jewish. Nor am I Hindu, Buddhist or anything else that anyone can toss up as a religion. I’m just not. But I was raised to respect all religions and to understand that people hold things sacred. Yes, I know that Christians consider Christmas as the birth of Jesus, hence the name Christmas. Etymology: from Old English Cristes mæsse, or Christ’s mass. And mass is from the Old English mæsse or from the Latin missa, which means to send. So it’s Christ’s sending? And Christ is another word for Jesus. It’s probably the most recognized holiday in the world!
Most of the USA is Christian. It’s what they celebrate. For them, it’s a religious holiday, but it’s grown to something way beyond. It’s a time where people stop thinking about themselves and think about others. It’s a time where they drop some change into the bucket for the Salvation Army, and they donate to a variety of charities. Where people make sure their fellow man has blankets and food. Children are remembered and given gifts. Is there anything wrong with that? No! People actually are nice to each other for a change. Maybe Santa is watching them?
Are you decorating this Christmas?
This is what I call super decorating!
Love it? Watch the Holdman house display. I think they started these amazing outdoor shows:
People decorate for Christmas! I seem to
do less and less with each passing year. But it’s really only me, so I toss a wreath on the front door. But I do believe I’m going to decorate my mailbox this year based on Pepper’s idea from Holiday Decorating.
But the season, and the celebration of Christmas in particular, has brought some incredible music over the years. It’s also given us some wonderful classic stories. Who doesn’t know about Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which was first published in 1843 and is probably his most famous work. Read it here for FREE!
Like Christmas music?
Or is this more your style?
The winter solstice was celebrated long before Christmas when people worried that the sun would vanish forever. Seems as though their offerings worked because the days began to lengthen. Even I relish the passing of the passing of winter solstice, as I hate to see the sky darken so soon. I can’t imagine living where the sun barely shines.
Remember when we were children and had to go to bed before it was dark? Well, climbing under down quilts and wool blankets for me is much nicer than hot nights with glowing sunshine.
My father would say that we had battened down the hatches by December. The storm windows were in place and several cords of firewood was stored in a special dry room beside the garages. The monstrous, old oil burner pumped heat throughout our basement and sent warmth through the entire house. Meals changed from light ones with lots of fresh vegetables to hearty stews and freshly baked breads. I wore wool slacks, wool skirts, wool jumpers, and boots that were lined with real fur. (It’s okay, PETA, it was a long time ago before you enlightened us.) Even my mittens had real fur in them.
I loved walking into the house and seeing the fireplace glowing. That probably meant my dad was home. Mom never bothered much with it because it was physical work. At an early age, I learned to create a torch with newspaper and get the draft going. Then I’d stuff that hot coil under kindling and be certain those small pieces of wood had ‘caught’ before adding the small split logs. My mom would watch with panic in her eyes as I gently heaved…um, placed the big logs onto the fire. But the feeling of accomplishment was huge when flames licked those large pieces because I knew I did it all by myself!
We never hung stockings until Christmas Eve before we went to bed. Thinking back on it, my parents didn’t want anything flammable near that large fireplace. I’m sure those stocking only hung until they were certain I was asleep for I always found them under the tree the following morning.
The first weekend in December the house was decorated for Christmas. My uncle lived in California and had sent my mom the largest pine cones I’ve ever seen. She used those along with other fresh cuttings to create beautiful arrangements that decorated the top of just about every piece of wooden furniture and the large mantle. Does that fireplace sound huge? Well, I wasn’t the tallest child in the world, but there’s a picture of me standing in the fireplace when I was four! And of course there were electric candles in every window.
There was a cold storage area where my dad kept bushel baskets of apples, etc. And I dig through them for anything blemished that could be offered to the wildlife when we’d get those super snows. My father preferred to feed the wildlife rather than having them chomping on his bushes and the bark on the trees. I’d grab a big scoop of seed, cracked corn, a few apples, and maybe a carrot or two that could be put out for the rabbits, birds, and deer.
December was a busy month back then. I’d wax my skis. The blades on my sled and ice skates were sharpened and waxed. Then I waited impatiently for the chance to use them. Today, it’s probably just as busy, but in a different way. I’ve been glued to my keyboard. The Exquisite Quills will have another free anthology out on http://www.smashwords.com this week. You’ll find my short story A Cowboy’s Holiday in the anthology. It’s a Creed’s Crossing, Wyoming story of Jeremy McCullough from the Lazy A + 8 Ranch. (Jeremy’s got a girlfriend!)
So I’ve been a wee bit busy but I do hope all my readers enjoy my effort to bring a few smiles to your holiday no matter what you believe or celebrate. This world is a huge melting pot and holidays get blended and celebrated in different ways.
So watch for both these new books and grab your copies! And don’t forget Santa is watching you! Spread a little good cheer this season!
And while you are here, click on that little thing at the top right of this page that says newsletter so you can keep up with everything on Main Street.