sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 25, 2020


merry christmas
posted by soe 8:00 am

Merry Christmas, everyone! However you’re celebrating, I hope you’re able to find the moments of joy.

If you’re looking for some ways to fill today, let me give you a few suggestions, each about an hour:

The String Queens are a D.C. trio and are amazing. They released a holiday EP this year, Our Favorite Things, and have left their album launch on YouTube for your enjoyment.

Ford’s Theatre here in D.C. has converted its annual performance of A Christmas Carol into a radio play (scroll down to the bottom) for the stream, through Jan. 1.

A film version of A Child’s Christmas in Wales was made a few years ago. If you’d like to hear Dylan Thomas read his nostalgic holiday poem, that will only take you 20 minutes.

Wishing you and yours a relaxing, peaceful day.

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kugel, negative, and sugar cookies
posted by soe 1:57 am

Christmas Eve Eve Dessert

Three beautiful things from my week past:

1. Our friend Sam and his brother, Alan, share their family kugel recipe with me. It was my favorite dish the years I spent Christmas Eve at their grandparents’ gathering.

Leveton Kugel

2. Rudi’s post-travel COVID test came back negative.

3. Christmas cookies from the farmers market.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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December 24, 2020


virtual advent tour 2020: day 24
posted by soe 6:00 am

2020 Virtual Advent Tour blog button

Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’re nearly done with the running around and are ready to begin celebrating, however that looks for you this year. Things here in D.C. aren’t quite done, but they’re rapidly approaching good enough. And that’s maybe all I can hope for in 2020.

Some of us believe there was a real baby two-plus thousand years ago who was the Light. Others believe the darkness of the season and the soul is combatted by physical and metaphysical light and love. Whatever your school of thought, I hope you can find the reason we’ve spent the past 24 days marking the season within yourself. I wish that for each of us, because there’s a lot of darkness out there in the world right now and it can be so easy to be swept away by it.

Our final Virtual Advent Tour post comes from Bridget at The Ravell’d Sleave, as it often does. She’s got a Christmas message for you. Read it again tomorrow, too, if you’re struggling.

That’s all, folks! Thanks once again to raidergirl3, Kat, kathy b, Rudi Constance, Deb Nance, Marg, Chick, Jo Kay, and Bridget for such wonderful posts and for sharing themselves with us and to you for reading along. Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! May the peace and the force and even the joy be with you.

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December 23, 2020


virtual advent tour 2020: day 23
posted by soe 6:00 am

2020 Virtual Advent Tour blog button

Good morning, my friends! How are you ho-ho-holding up so far? I hope that your packages have all reached their destinations, that your socially distanced in-person shopping is done, and that you’ve successfully scaled back your expectations for this year to fit a Christmas that’s going to be different no matter what.

First, let me give you a song to listen to while you read the rest of this post:

It’s off If The Fates Allow: A Hadestown Holiday Album, from the cast of the Tony-winning musical and was my surprise favorite for Christmas albums this year. You can buy and/or stream the album at the link above.

Now, here at the Burrow, while we are in a bit of an isolated holding pattern as we await the hopefully negative results of Rudi’s COVID test, I have closed my work laptop for what I believe is the final time this year. (Tomorrow it will get put into the laptop bag for the first time since I brought it home in March.)

I have several pounds of butter, sugar, and flour that I plan to start converting to cookies on a daily basis; a literal pile of books to read, projects to knit, and music to listen to; and video calls to schedule with loved ones celebrating in their own little boxes around the world. I will turn off all my alarms before I head to bed and instead will rely on the instincts of a 20-pound cat who is convinced he is starving to get me up for the next ten days.

Today, on our penultimate day of the Virtual Advent Tour, we have two stops for you. When I zonked on the sofa after an epic workday, Rudi sweetly wrote me an extra blog post in case I needed it. I am not one to look askance at such a generous Christmas present nor I am so selfish as to keep it for myself. So first, I will send you off to Random Duck for some COVID Christmas carols. Go start up one of his songs in one tab and then come back here for our second stop. We’ll wait….

Then, we also have our fourth and final post from Deb Nance at Readerbuzz. She shares with us her Christmas village, which looks like a jolly place to spend this year’s holidays!

And we’ll see you back here tomorrow morning with one final stop on our Virtual Advent Tour!

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December 22, 2020


virtual advent tour 2020: day 22
posted by soe 6:00 am

2020 Virtual Advent Tour blog button

Welcome back to Day 22 of the Virtual Advent Tour.

Because Rudi has traveled recently, we are supposed to quarantine until he receives the results of the COVID test he took today, which means minimizing our human contact. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we live in a relatively small apartment and that getting outside of it is imperative to our mental health. So tonight, we revived a tradition that my parents had when we were kids — driving around to look at Christmas lights.

We headed across the bridge to Arlington and found an older neighborhood where there were plenty of houses lit up in one way or another — lasers, inflatables, lights. We oohed and we ahhed, each pointing out the houses we liked best or found inadvertently funniest (there was one house with one of those car dealership wiggly air things shaped like Santa that seemed to be assaulting a Grinch who’d fallen over beneath it).

And then we hit 1713 North Quebec Street, which just demanded we get out of the car to get a better look: (more…)

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December 21, 2020


virtual advent tour 2020: day 21
posted by soe 6:00 am

2020 Virtual Advent Tour blog button

Happy Solstice! Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. After today, it starts inching its way brighter. I’m hoping in more ways than one. (Marg and others below the equator, I hope you have a lovely sunny day for your longest day of the year.)

If Rudi and I did not get quite as much accomplished this weekend as I’d hoped we would, the fault lies entirely with me. I’ve just been so tired this fall, and naps have become part of my way of coping. Our tree is trimmed now, though, and Rudi has mostly unpacked. Some of the cards we’ve received are up, and we got to watch the second episode of Dash & Lily on Netflix and The Sound of Music on tv.

I finalized my Christmas mix tracks today (Haim’s take below on The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping didn’t make the playlist) and now just need to figure out a title and a cover. I’ll listen to it all the way through one more time today and hope that inspiration strikes.

Also on this week’s to do list are Christmas cards, which I really expected to cross off this weekend, and a lot of baking. I keep putting the butter on the counter in the morning and then putting it back in the fridge unused at night. Sooner or later I’ll interrupt that pattern.

We’re down to our last handful of posts for this year’s Virtual Advent Tour. Behind today’s door, Rudi of Random Duck shares the decorated Christmas windows of ZCMI department store in downtown Salt Lake City, where he grew up.

See you back here tomorrow!

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