On this eve

Sheet music with blue and silver accents and printed text from O
Little Town of Bethlehem

Here we are, Christmas Eve of 2021. Another odd holiday for many of us. I am grateful to have the day off to do whatever I want, or nothing at all. Usually I am at work having a quiet day that moves slowly along. But this year we all decided to take the day and make the holiday weekend a bit longer. This year has required that sort of flexibility of thought, to change directions and try new courses of action. To gives ourselves, and others, the chance to aim for something better or at least recoup where they are at. It has been a rough 20 months, many would say past few years, and as we move into a new year I am hopeful that there will be progress on inclusiveness and equality as we do. May you all have a wonderful Christmas Day.

White or green

Let it snow text on patterned background

I can only recall a couple of green Christmases when I was a child. A sled was generally considered a safe gift to give. Now a bike is as good a bet for immediate use. Even as the weather changes the idea of “let it snow” lingers on. We like the Currier and Ives idea of snowy settings for Christmas, it feels comforting and right for the season. Even movies set in traditionally snow free areas seem to work in a scene with a nod to snow. Perhaps it is the hush snow brings, the covering of freshness that greets our eyes. Or maybe it is just the idea of what is known and regular being transformed. Whichever your holiday is, white or green, I hope it is a good one filled with laughter, good food, and those simple things we always enjoy.

Rejoice

Bold, lush layers with Rejoice and Be Merry text.

What will you do in your free time these final two weeks of the year? Nest? Rest? Create? Hike? Declutter? The end of the year can bring out the urge to tackle things set aside all year, as if that final stretch provides the incentive needed to get things done. To see the year out on an upswing of activity and completion before the new year begins.

I still have work days scattered around the holidays, yet it feels as if they are smaller than normal, eating up less of my time. An illusion that persists year after year. I have more I would like to do than will actually be able to fit in, it is always so. Day trip here, sort and clean there, meet up with friends and so on.

Thirteen days, then out of this year and into the next. Make the most of them that you can, as they will not be able to be done again.

Up on the Housetop

Mixed media piece using “Up on the Housetop” title

Now that the middle of the month is approaching I am starting to really get ready for the holiday stretch. The decorating is done, cards in the mail, tree up and gifts all bought. It was easy to keep it dialed back again this year, which is a good way to simplify the season, keep the stress low, and avoid overspending.

I haven’t seen very many decorated houses, perhaps this weekend people will tackle it. The lights are one thing I always enjoy, especially the classic displays of candles in the windows and lights on evergreen trees. This week will be when I start the various holiday tunes on my commute and at work, it will be a nice background sound.

I have always wanted to visit one of the European holiday markets that are featured on various travel shows. Though flying has become such a hassle I am not sure I ever will. Unless I go first class😉. Now that would be delightful! Have you ever flown first class?

The Holly and the Ivy

Christmas themed mixed media with The Holly and the Ivy text

December is underway, the yards and houses are starting to glow with Christmas lights, holiday cards are appearing in the mailbox, and our tree is all decorated. I am at odds with the passage of time this whole year, and likely will find that this month continues the same, strange pattern. I have been slow to finish up the last of the shopping, we all agreed that we needed nearly nothing, so the gifts are practical. It may not be terribly exciting, but there is a joy in listening and seeing what it is someone actually needs and giving it.

It is upon us

Layered paper mixed media with “It came upon a midnight clear” text

Now that December has started I am doing some holiday themed creating. It is hard to believe that it is less than a month and we will be in 2022. I like the focus this month provides; the holiday events, the wrap up of the year and the decorations that make an appearance to brighten the dark. It is all specific to this stretch of time, which I think makes it special, so I limit it to this month to keep it that way. I have a couple Christmas carol books, one nicely aged and one less so, that I was able to make use of for this piece and it felt like the right jumping off point for the season. I like Christmas carols, new or old, even ones that are only obliquely carol-like, and now I am up for playing them. Here are a few favorites:

1. O Holy Night

2. Elizabeth Chan- Christmas in the City (album)

3. Erasure- Snowglobe (album)

4. Silver Bells

5. Pretty Paper

6. Christmastime is Here

7. Trans Siberian Orchestra- The Lost Christmas Eve

8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

9. Last Christmas (Wham! version)

10. Brian Setzer- Dig That Crazy Christmas

What are your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know!