The Sunday Salon – Holiday Magic and giveaway winners

by Rachel Baker on December 14, 2008

Naria Lamp postThe Holiday season is in full swing.  You know how I know?  My mom’s house looks like she’s being featured in the holiday edition of Better Homes and Gardens.  Throughout the year, my mom celebrates every major holiday by decorating the house.  Sometimes we tease her about it, but never during the Christmas holiday.  Well, okay, we half-heartedly tease her still, but I think we secretly LOVE mom’s during December.

See, growing up we didn’t have the cold weather and snow to signal the onset of the holiday season.  We had mom crawling up to the attic, pulling down the Christmas decorations, and decorating the house over the span of the first weekend in December.  As I’ve gotten older and experienced the phenomena called White Christmas, I find myself disappointed when I’ve spent time at mom’s and then open the door to leave and find the weather is somewhat warm and sunny.  My mom creates that White Christmas feel without the White Christmas weather.  She’s amazing at that.

Even more impressive, she still puts up decorations that we kids made for her over the years, or decorations that have our names somewhere on them. Saturday morning, I woke up at my parent’s house and after they left the room, I sat looking at the tree.  I realized there is a significant percentage of tree decorations celebrating her children.  That experience took me back a ways to when we would be in our night clothes (my sister and I in our night gowns, my brother in his pajamas) and we’d trim the tree with mom. We’d get so excited that she’d put our decorations up, and enjoyed the story of when we made them for her.  She’d always have Christmas music on, she’d make hot chocolate when we were done and we’d sit around looking at the pretty lights and decorations and sing Christmas songs.  For a brief moment, I got all nostalgic and felt a tear run down my cheek.

My mom also has a whole library of Christmas and seasonal books.  Some are silly little books; and some are books that seemed a little silly over the years but have now become a part of that “wow, mom’s cool” feeling I get when she’s got the house decorated.  I find myself laughing at memories of her reading the books to us during advent, and how bored we got with the tradition, as we got a little older.  How silly we were to not recognize mom had the best reading voice in the world.  I leafed through her books yesterday morning and could hear her voice reading the short stories.

This year, when I got to her house on Friday night, I completely flaked on the recognition of christmas decorations.  I saw the lights outside, I saw the tree and all the decorations throughout the house, but I was focused on a trade the NY Mets had just made, and I didn’t even recognize how beautiful everything was.  I didn’t see the new addition to the outside decorations.  My dad has gone so far as decorating the lampposts lining the driveway.  They look like my vision of the lamp post in Narnia.  The only thing missing was the snow.

Christmas reminds me of two books. I’ve told you Little Women is my most favorite book in the history of books.  I think its because of my imagination and the visions in my head as I read.  Christmas at mom’s is EXACTLY what I think Christmas at the March household looked like. See, most of our decorations when we were kids were homemade, just as I suspect the March family had.  Now, with the advent of the decorated light posts, I realized it also has some Narnia like qualities to it.  Of course, in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Christmas ceased to exist…but it came back. But in my head the first few times I read the Narnia books, that old lamp post always made me think of Christmas.  My father, this year, decorated the lamp post the way I’ve always envisioned it.

Where am I going with this?  Who knows, but I wanted to share this reflection with you all.  I guess if you had to take something away from this post, I hope it is that during all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to look around and see the beauty of the season.  Whether you have snow or you have balmy beach weather, there are some wonderful sights that may take you back to a time when the biggest question was ‘what will Santa bring me this year?’  No matter what your religion may lead you to believe, there is in fact magic to be found in the December holiday season.  You just have to open your eyes to see it.

Here’s a question for you, what books remind you of the Holiday Season? Am I the only one that gets all nostalgic about the holidays when I read certain books or think of specific books when I’m looking at holiday decorations?

Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you who the winners of the December book giveaway are:

The winner of the Kwanzaa set is Tynlyd
The winner of the Christmas set is wondermomm22
The winner of the Hanukkah set is ruth

Congratulations and Happy Reading!

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