sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 25, 2017

virtual advent tour: merry christmas
posted by soe 5:30 am

virtual advent tour

Technically, Advent concludes on the 24th of December because, as Bridget and others have pointed out, Advent is about the waiting and the anticipation. By the 25th, Christ and Christmas have arrived, so there’s no need to wait any longer. However, some Advent calendars include a door for the 25th, so I’m going to cheat and have one, too, albeit with only a brief post.

Christmas has arrived. In Connecticut, where I’m spending the holiday, snow fell overnight, so we’ll be having a white Christmas. It’ll just be my folks, Rudi, and me this year, so I suspect the day will move slowly and casually with lots of food, music, and movies interspersed with calls and texts from loved ones far away.

Not everything on my to-do list got crossed off, but enough has. We’ve made spritz cookies (Mum made the dough and the cookies, and Dad and I decorated) and trifle, which involved a lot of laughter on my part, as various parts of it fell apart. Mum (with the help of Rudi’s unflagging whipping arm) made homemade egg nog, which we drank last night — two ginormous, rich glasses apiece. We ran out of time for gingerbread, so that’ll be put off for a day or two.

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in the Virtual Advent Tour, from those who read posts quietly, to those who left comments, we were grateful for your companionship on this tour. A most sincere thank you to those who wrote one or more posts during the Virtual Advent Tour — Nancy (who stepped up to write a third post for me when I was feeling overwhelmed), Jo Kay, kathy b, radiergirl3, Bridget, Rudi, Kat, Elise, Nina, Molly Totoro, and Tobia. There would be no tour without your participation, and I’m grateful you were willing to take the time to share such personal, thoughtful reflections on your holidays. It has made December a real joy to visit your blogs and find out how your season was going. I hope you’ll all be back next year.

And in the meantime, Happy Christmas from my family to yours. May your days be merry and bright and full of light and joy and peace.

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December 24, 2017

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

virtual advent tour

Happy Christmas Eve! I hope wherever you are in your Christmas preparations that you’re doing them in the vicinity of loved ones and with a mug or glass of your favorite holiday libation to sip from.

My to-do list is still long, so I am particularly grateful to Bridget at The Ravell’d Sleave, who volunteered to take on the role of host this final day of The Virtual Advent Tour. She has a great post on the hope, anticipation, and love of Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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December 23, 2017

virtual advent 2017: day 23
posted by soe 5:30 am

virtual advent tour

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Virtual Advent Tour. In addition to being “the day before the day before the best day of the year,” Dec. 23 is the modern holiday of Festivus, a day for, according to Seinfeld, “the rest of us” who don’t celebrate religious holidays. Festivus is marked by a feast, a Festivus pole, the “Airing of Grievances,” “Feats of Strength,” and Festivus miracles. It is also the Night of the Radishes, a celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico, in which the root vegetables are carved into ornate scenes, like elaborate jack o’lanterns, which are then judged in a competition. The event was first celebrated in 1897 and has become so popular the city now supplies the radishes to those who wish to compete.

The host for today is Tobia at craftaliciousme, who blogs from Germany. Tobia shares her Christmas tree decorating habits in her post. Make sure you click through — she puts candles on her tree!

See you back here tomorrow for our final Virtual Advent Tour post!

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December 22, 2017

virtual advent 2017: day 22
posted by soe 5:30 am

virtual advent tour

It’s the final Friday of our tour, which means we’re heading into the home stretch for getting everything done. Rudi and I are hitting the road for Connecticut imminently in our attempt to beat an ice storm to my folks’ place.

The song for the day comes from John Lennon via Vance Gilbert, a folk singer who attended the same college Rudi and I did (although a few years before our tenure). Vance has a big, distinctive voice and is one of those singers they’d ask to kick off the gospel hour Sunday morning during folk festivals, partly because he really didn’t need a microphone to reach even the tents furthest from the stage and a sense of humor that lends itself to side conversations with the ASL interpreters about the signs they were using.

Today the Virtual Advent Tour door opens on Molly Totoro of my cozy book nook. Molly is a regular Virtual Advent Tour contributor and one of the few folks from the original tour who’ve migrated with us. Today she has a post that’s near to my Nutmegger heart in which she recounts a funny story relating to the Feast of Seven Fishes and shares a recipe for one of the dishes.

See you tomorrow!

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flowering, replenishing, and warm
posted by soe 3:24 am

Pausing in the packing and cleaning to get a couple posts up.

Here are three beautiful things from my past week:

Orchid #2

1. Both my orchids have decided to bloom early this year. This week, the first buds on my second plant (which usually holds off until January) opened, which I thought was awfully nice of it, since I was going to be out of the office all next week.

2. Rudi was in New York City last week and before he caught his bus home he headed to the village to the shop where we buy our tea and picked up a couple types we were out of, which means I’ll still have favorite options in January, when I expected to have to opt between Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and Lapsang for every cup. (I like all of them, just not as much as Irish breakfast or Assam right now.)

3. In an age of climate change-induced disasters, it feels wrong to list a couple days of sunny and warm December days as beautiful. But it’s really hard not to appreciate them (and the ability to wear short sleeves and a jean jacket) when you know winter and its attendant weather is imminent.

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

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December 21, 2017

virtual advent 2017: day 21
posted by soe 6:00 am

virtual advent tour

Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s the 21st day of December and the winter (or summer if you’re south of the equator) solstice. The shortest day of the year marks the start of Yule season (interestingly, did you know linguists think “Yule” and “jolly” both originate from one of Odin’s Old Norse names?), originally a pagan midwinter celebration beginning on the solstice that was later co-opted for Christian purposes. It’s also what’s called Blue Christmas, a Christian observance on the longest night of the year for those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one.

Today our tour returns to Nancy at Wyoming Breezes, who has a post sharing her Advent celebrations and seeking the light.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for our final Friday of the Virtual Advent Tour. Be well!

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