After one’s friends and family, is there anything better in this world than home for the holidays? I have friends and clients that regularly travel over the holidays. Better them than me; I so like being home. In my twenties I lived in North Carolina-the thought of that trip home to Michigan for Christmas still raises the hair on the back of my neck. One year, I decided to come home by way of Washington DC-the trip across country to the midwest-a nightmare. Glare iced over freeways meant sliding down the hills in the close company of giant trucks-no one was driving. We were all sweating and concentrating on staying alive. Thank heavens Buck and I host our own Christmas, right at home.
Should it sound boring to you that I like being home, consider this. I am home a small percentage of the day. I leave at dawn, or in the dark; I come home at dusk, or in the dark. I lived in my house for four years before I met my neighbors. The prospect of being home during the day over a holiday-delightful. Just this morning I finally finished getting it ready for our celebration.
One Christmas Eve some years ago Buck and I decided to open one package; one thing led to another. We now celebrate our Christmas on Christmas Eve. On the menu for this evening-mac and cheese. Our holiday is just about the two of us-so no need for a fancy dinner. Chardonnay, mac and cheese, the exchange of gifts. I so look forward to this. Christmas morning we talk little, eat coffee cake made by Steve’s daughter Violet; we relax. Christmas night, Buck’s son will come for dinner-he is travelling here today from Alabama. Buck will be cooking a good part of the day-which is what he likes. I will be reading a good part of the day-what a luxury. He cooks; I set the table, and head the cleanup detail. This I call a peaceable holiday.
The prospect of a Christmas tree did not much interest me this year. My so fabulous collection of grapevine deer interested me plenty. I took a standing grapevine buck home for the holidays. A buck in the living room-surprising. My Buck was amused and pleased that a traditional Christmas tree that last year was a thicket of magnolia branches in an urn had been replaced by a sculpture with his name.
Some left over mixed cedar roping went on the mantel; the rest I pooled on the floor. It took all of 5 minutes to evenly top the roping with 3 strands of white lights. Preserving the natural curl of the cord as it comes out of the box makes them less noticeable than straight wire. The light covers, two few cattail balls and a snowball later, I have a spot for the buck to stand.
Any holiday expression that brings the idea of peaceable kingdom to the surface gets my interest. I like the bugs. I like the birds. I like the raccoons and possums with whom I share my garden. The cat I saw this afternoon jumping down into the fountain-I said hello. The corgis-don’t get me started on them. The Italian paper mache goats Rob bought-I plan to decorate for the holidays around them for a long time.