I love the days before Christmas. Days pass presenting all sorts of tasks that I find pleasant. There is always one more present to wrap or a new decoration to add to the porch. Occasions are anticipated while the winter sun shines, for gatherings to come, when the silent stars go by.
Jenny and I had a successful shopping spree yesterday. We found several gifts that suited those still on our Christmas lists. Lyla was dressed in an adorable winter white dress-but was barefoot before our first purchase. She never quarreled about anything else, as no matter the direction she glanced, there were lights in all colors. Reindeer grazed around every corner, guarded by gallant nutcrackers and ” there were shepherds abiding- keeping watch over their flocks” too. “Silver Bells”, my grandmothers’ favorite carol, played while we shopped-and all of the other traditional songs of the season, did too. Lyla loves “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night”.
Not long, after arriving home, Jenny and I began wrapping presents. Lyla reminded me of “Moon Shine’, my naughty kitten, at the Rabbitpatch”. She too, snatched any scrap of ribbon and paper . She also snatched chocolates and jewelry. She found her own bedroom shoes and put them on! Jenny wrapped them anyway.
Lyla and I went out to the porch, so Jenny could finish up. The afternoon was mild for December. We watched the neighbors hang more lights. A black cat came to visit and a neighbor brought a box of cookies. Ever so often, someone would walk by and say “Merry Christmas!” It was a nice while, we spent on the porch. I, who find solace in fields, now love sidewalks, too.
Last night, Will’s family came for dinner. They are a delightful lot and handsome too. The women are especially pretty . They are so friendly, you feel like you belong to them right off. Will has a lot of family in Elizabeth City, that means Jenny and Lyla do too. What good that does my heart, to think that all over the town, are people that love them.
Today, Jenny is having a luncheon- and I got up extra early, because of that. We still need to go to the coffee shop and again, to the grocery store. There is candy to be made and we will need to wrap the coffees. Such is the way of life at Christmas time-and the days before it. Many people say, that we ought to keep Christmas in our heart, all year round-and I can agree that the generosity and well wishes should be practiced in all seasons- but some things belong to Christmas, and I mean Christmas only. That is the reason gingerbread is not eaten on the beach in July, nor do we listen to songs about sleigh bells in April. Such things belong to Christmas-and Christmas only.
The “silent stars go by” til at last it will be Christmas Eve, when my children will come home . When I bought the rabbitpatch, a decade ago, a dear friend, knowing my love for all things Christmas, gave me a very old framed sampler. It is is dated 1909 and “Grace” had stitched her name neatly in the corner. It read, “All Hearts Come Home for Christmas”-and of all the wonderful things that happen during the holiday, I think Grace was right. . . and to me it is surely the most wondrous gift of all.