December has come-with its’ shining lights and sugar cookies. I love December with all its’ lovely details. For me, December is a happy month and a holy time.
The rabbit patch is not yet decorated. The Christmas chest holds unwrapped presents awaiting a tree and there are still pumpkins on the porch waiting to be collected for the compost . Not one pine branch has been brought in the farmhouse and not one wreath has been hung on the barns. I have high hopes this weekend to remedy a bit of this.
Christmas at the rabbit patch is not too complicated. I take great pains for the holiday to be pure and simple. Fine coffee, books and french milled soaps are typical gifts under the tree. There is never a rush for the latest gadget or the “last”anything on the shelf. I am never convinced that a doll must be hard to find or expensive, to be loved.
I do love shopping at Christmas. Jenny and I shopped last year with Lyla. Lyla was amazed with the lights. We searched high and low for the original “Old Spice” for my dad. We never found it, but Lyla saw Santa Claus that day, for the very first time. When she was tired, I sang “You Better Watch Out” and she laughed every time.
My mom , sisters and I will shop together, this Monday. We meet at a central location, a town about an hour from the rabbit patch. We have done this for fifteen years. My niece, Hayley comes now too, and she and I spend a good hour in a book store while the others are on their own missions. It is amusing to me how traditions are born. Mama and I will linger at lunch, while my sisters go to a salon. She and I will record our purchases and assess our current state. I always laugh at mama, who starts out so intent on the finding the best gifts at the best prices and then after lunch, when we find something on her list, she interrupts our details and says “I don’t care, just put it in the cart.” Several years, I have bought bedroom shoes and wear them the last few hours, without shame. I declare that nobody knows me in this town anyway. My sister Delores, could be a professional shopper. She takes to “flying about the stores” determined to know EVERY item they carry. She is known for rummaging through bins of every thing from ornaments to key chains -often enlisting our help to find a certain number of a certain kind-and then changing her mind about buying them! Connie, my youngest sister is quite no nonsense and goes about her business with a noteworthy diligence. We have all vowed to stay away from candle shops as many have side-tracked us for hours. I am not a shopper by nature, unless it is Christmas and so I gaze in wonderment at the contents of the kitchen and linen departments. I always think “the country has come to town” rings true, in my case. I really look forward to Monday.
I really look forward to Christmas. I love the way it looks in Farm Life, where barns are decorated along with the houses. I love the smell of fresh cut evergreens and gingerbread. I love the way the world sounds at Christmas. It cheers me when the lady that sells me a cup of coffee and the UPS man says “Merry Christmas!”. . .and there is the music. Last night, our school hosted the annual holiday concert. The classes sang Christmas songs from around the world and more than two hundred children played violin for the grand finale. Christmas music, itself lends magic to the season, for me. “Silent Night” seems to proclaim “holiness” and “Jingle Bells” is sheer merriment. When a child sings “Away in a Manger”, I am going to cry. When two hundred children play their violins, even those not enamored with the season, may cry too. It is, for me, the beautiful sound of Christmas.