Sunday, November 12, 2017
Sunday Afternoon Tea - A Simple Season
This past week, we went to bed in the season of Autumn and woke up to... almost Winter. While we didn't receive the snow those just north of us received, overnight most of the leaves on the trees in the forest decided to stop holding on and they floated to the ground. It is hard to hold on to anything when the temperatures reach the teens and one does not have mittens.
I can see my neighbor's red barn from the front porch now, a sure sign of the changing season. Nature is teasing us after temperatures had been far above normal... making a switch to far below normal within days. Which is why many of us are sporting some form of a cold.
However, I have my not-so-secret answer to Nature's cloying attempt to confuse humanity. While I write, the stock pot is simmering with chicken soup stock. I try to make some version of chicken soup each week and the aroma coming from the kitchen of chicken, onion, and celery all simmering together is the aroma of cold weather cooking in our home.
I also have the Guitar Winterlude CD playing next to the desk. Soft instrumental winter/Christmas music that has been chosen on purpose to set the tone of the day. Music and food can do that as nothing else, especially when that food is sending an aroma towards the Study.
I've been thinking about the Holiday Season for the past couple of weeks. Partly to budget time, energy, and the finances the best way possible. However, we are changing up some of the celebration places and times this year, which always gets one pondering. Change can be good and it is necessary but it can need time for an adjustment.
Every Holiday season has been a little different and I never seem to know what to expect until around mid-November. This year will be a very simple Christmas. I've already decided not to get out all the decorations. We will put up the tree and a few favorite decorations but not... everything. So the overwhelming task of putting everything away again will not be hanging over our heads all season.
Last year, I got out every Christmas box and decorated the whole house. This year I feel exactly the opposite. It turned out to be good last year that I had decorated just days before Victoria suddenly died. For I was in such a fog of grief that I hardly remember last Christmas but the decorations were like a hug.
This year we will have the tree and our most special Christmas items to enjoy but I want to concentrate on reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies... both the Hallmark movies and old favorites... and listening to the music of the Season.
This year I plan to do a little more cooking and baking than I did last year. Especially for the freezer to be prepared ahead of time when a plate of cookies are needed right away (and not for me at midnight!).
There are traditions that must be planned for, of course. Traditions such as Cracker Barrel breakfasts, Candy Cane Lane tea, hot apple cider, a few visits to Starbucks or Panera, and especially morning quiet times with the tree lit in the corner and my first cup of coffee sitting beside me.
I don't decorate until after Thanksgiving but I do dust off the movies, books, and music of the Season at the beginning of November so they can be enjoyed without cramming everything into one month that tends to be crowded with things to do, anyway.
Otherwise, Christmas is over and we are in the Bleak Midwinter of January and the moment has passed for another year. I want to savor the Season for it is my favorite time of the year when the name of Jesus is proclaimed in the midst of sparkle and lights and music and the reminder of that Hope that is to come.
Mentioned in this Post
Guitar Winterlude CD... here. (I bought my CD used years ago.)
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Image: Time for Reading; Judy Gibson