We went to the Christmas concert today - it's a cliche but I don't think there was a dry eye in the house watching all those tiny tinsel bedecked angels, cuddly shepherds and small people dressed up as donkeys and sheep. They were amazing - kids aged four to eight sang, danced and told their tales with the kind of easy confidence adults would die for. This is what it's all about - precious moments like that.
If you're not feeling the magic yet, Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack for 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' always does it for me. The least schmalzy of all the Christmas tales thanks to good old Charlie Brown's lugubrious nature, it pretty much sums up everything that Christmas is really about. Misssy has a great post about the best ever Christmas films (see the sidebar) - what are your favourite seasonal TV shows? In this house I'm banned from cracking open the Christmas CDs until Dec 1st (and this year it's been so busy haven't even found the boxes yet). Once this album is playing, Christmas will have officially started. TODAY'S PROMPT: What are the smells you associate with Christmas? Why not jot as many as you can think of down in your journal - like a scent essay, an evocation of Christmas. One of the things I love about unpacking the decorations each year is finding the clove studded oranges from the year before. They've normally dried out so much their ribbons are loose and the cloves crumbling away, but there's still a magical fragrance. If you've never made them why not have a go with your children? Loop a ribbon around an orange dividing it into four quarters - tie tightly with a loop at one end to hang. Stud the four sections with cloves (you may need to poke holes with a skewer before giving the orange to the kids!) You can score lines, make patterns, even string oranges up with cinammons sticks to make garlands. A fraction of the cost of the chichi garlands in design stores and all the pleasure of doing it yourself. The smell is incredible - that and a little Vince G and I'd defy the Grinch's heart not to grow a little.
If your juggling skills could give the Cirque du Soleil a run for its money this is definitely the blog for you. Books, art, music, family life and daily prompts to help you write that book you have in you.