Thursday, December 22, 2011

The goose is getting fat:

My little brother has been counting down to Christmas day for many weeks. My mother and I wore out of ways to explain to him just how far away Christmas actually was, so at the start of November we drew up a countdown calendar with a red bauble for him to colour in each night before bed. It was the perfect way for him to visualise Christmas drawing near. Only eventually he decided that the process was "too slowed down" (his own words) and took to surreptitiously colouring in two or three baubles when no one was looking -- then making the grand announcement that Christmas was so much closer. If only that's how it worked.

Now, however, Christmas really is almost here. In fact, I kind of think it already is here. It's not just the day; it's this whole busy happy bustly jolly season. Tain is loving it, and (though sometimes afflicted with a curious emotional paralysis as well as occasionally being startled by the breach between expectations and actuality), I am too.

Around here, Christmas is happening...

... in the mailbox. It's old-fashioned and it's dying off and it's probably even a little bit dorky, but I just love family Christmas letters and the cards they are tucked into. I didn't write one myself last year, and I missed it a lot. This year, I pushed aside the thought that I'm a grandmother before my time, and wrote my little newsletter (rather in a hurry, and completely forgetting all the funny little-brother anecdotes I was going to include). It felt nice to reconnect with people I love, even if only by proxy and on paper.

Outgoing mail is exciting, but incoming mail is even more so -- perhaps because of the delicious unpredictability of it, and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, has taken time out of their own busy life to send something tangible. This week's mail has brought so many happy connections, including a parcel from a precious blog reader and friend from the days of Whatsoever Magazine. You guys, this lovely lady sent me Penguin paperback pencils, which just made my day! I just want to line them up next to the pretty Penguin novels and stare at their awesome design. Along with the gorgeous box of pencils, there was also a sweet, girly journal and the cutest little birdy card-holder, as well as the much needed reminder to keep calm and write something -- all tied up in a chirpy polka-dot ribbon. I'm tempted to write cheesy things about the package; the generosity and thought so obviously sown into this gift genuinely touched my heart.

... in the kitchen. This year, we get to spread the Christmas dinner preparation between three kitchens -- my mum's, my sister Lauren's, and mine. We all get to be part of the fun, and it makes the job so much more manageable, too. I'm making a potato bake and a black forest trifle, a recipe which has gone through a series of metamorphoses from tiramisu into something quite different. Today, I spent several hot and floury hours baking biscuits for post-Christmas guests. My sister Andrea was whipping up some Scandinavian Almond Bars, and they sounded so good that I totally copied her.

... in the neighbourhood. There are lights in the streets and carols playing in the supermarkets, and the gospel is more tangible and more present for many people than at any other time in their year. There is commercialism, yes, and cash, and clamour, too, but there is also Christ. Without Him, there wouldn't be any of this.

I'm grateful there's a Saviour, and that He knows what it's like to be human.

* * * * *


Un -- :)

Laura Elizabeth -- uh, you nailed it! I have grown to love the Professor and realised Laurie wasn't right for Jo, but Laurie and Amy? I still haven't grown quite used to that! (I'm glad you rewatched; it's a beautiful movie).

Carla and Alastair -- yes! Christmas sparkles foreverrrr!

Lauren -- thankee :)

Samantha R -- thank you! xx


  1. Yay! You did it! Loved all the little bits of every day news.
    And for some reason your almond bars look way better than mine...maybe because I criss-crossed icing and yours is just one direction...but they are yummy!
    I'm not an artist or a penguin book lover but I can see how cool those pencils are! :)

  2. Sorry to sound blunt and rushed . . . but . . . .

    Exactly WHERE is the recipe for those amazing looking bars that are making my mouth water?

    Love you!

  3. Ooops - that last one was from me. Forgot it was "anonymous" and therefore also forgot to sign it.

  4. Yay for Christmas!! I wanted to buy you Penguin stuff for Christmas too (like the awesome box of Penguin Paperback Postcards) but when I went to order them they were sold out :(

    Haha, I was talking to A yesterday while she was baking and I was like "I should make those too" so I did :) Only mine aren't almond bars cause I didn't have almonds :) Yours look way better than mine too... Mine were a little browner :)

    Cara you can get the recipe here:

    Can't wait to come and sleep over and paint nails tomorrow night!

  5. Those pencils look amazing, little bit jealous, you take really great pictures, those almond bars look delicious!

  6. It all looks very Christmassy indeed! I hope you and your family have a perfectly delightful Christmas. :)

  7. I'm finally 'following' you... been missing you on facebook, but it's so hard to regularly check someone's blog unless you have one yourself. So since the birth of my own little blog, I'm having a lot of joy seeing new blogs being smattered all over the net world. Looking forward to the rest of your adventures!! xx

  8. Two things:

    First, I got your ENJOYN and it made me squeal. I love those letters and hope you never stop writing them.

    Second, those cookies look too good to be true. I think I need to make some!


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