Fee and I finished our Christmas shopping yesterday. Oh, there might be a gift or two left that I might decide on, but essentially, we are done with shopping.
Fee's Santas (carved from our old Christmas trees when the girls were little) are scattered around the house. And since both Amelia and Erin have been taking them home with them for the last several years, there are fewer of them on display here. Amelia has already taken 3 this year, so when Erin comes, she will get 3 more. Fee really needs to get busy carving again, because those girls are takin' all my Santas, y'all!
Last night, Fee made red beans and rice (mmmmm!), and we drank wine by the light of the fire and the Christmas tree while listening to Dylan Thomas reading A Child's Christmas in Wales, Fern Hill, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, and a few other poems. Although Dylan Thomas was only 39 when he died, his voice sounds like that of an older man and his Welsh lilt almost smiles at that the most humorous incidents.
His essay A Child's Christmas in Wales has been part of our Christmas tradition for most of our marriage. (I would dearly like to see the National Theater of the Deaf performance done for a PBS special in the 70's, but have looked online and can't find any of that production. I know the NTD continues to give live performances in places like New York so maybe someday, we will take a trip and see a live performance.)
Thomas has always been one of my favorite poets, but his essay, A Child's Christmas in Wales, holds a special place in my heart, the imagery so perfect for December:
"Our snow was not only shaken from whitewash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely white-ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunderstorm of white, torn Christmas cards."
Today, I'll wrap more presents, listen to Windham Hill and Manheim Steam Roller, and try to stay away from the fattening stuff.
I'll be keeping Bryce Eleanor this week as she is out of school; Erin, Mila, and Max are coming in on Thursday for Fee's birthday and Christmas. Amelia, Chris, and Bryce Eleanor will be leaving on Friday to spend Christmas in Colorado.
Hope everyone is caught up (or almost) with all of the Christmas details.
Thanks to those of you who shared book suggestions--my list grew by quite a few good titles!