As you can see, it fits the window end of the living room perfectly, and it's exactly the right height. If you put your nose right up to the monitor and take a deep breath, you will smell that rich fragrance unique to firs raised in clear fresh air. The house, so recently fragrant with the smell of roasting fowl, is now absolutely redolent with the crisp freshness of the northern forests. As it warms, the branches will relax a bit, but the scent (every year) lingers deliciously until after the first of the New Year.
But Dale-Harriet! you may ask. I thought you were Jewish! OK - to forestall future confusion, let me put it this way: I believe. I've always celebrated at least the major Jewish holidays (Chanukah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur), but I tend to not discount the Norse Gods, the Greek gods, the Spirit which imbues all, as the Native Americans believed.
When Lovely Daughter and Sons #1 and #2 were children, we only celebrated Chanukah this time of year. We lighted our menorah (I still do) and had latkes and played dreidl (still do). In those days, the children took their little menorah to school and explained their festival to their classmates, and enjoyed singing Christmas songs, coloring little pictures &c. They gave them to friends, proudly. As adults, their belief systems are their own. But they come over during Chanukah.
When Mr Dearling joined the family, he commented that he'd enjoy having a Christmas tree. I had never had one, so I polled the children. Think about this for a moment: ask a child if he'd like a beautiful, fragrant tree bedecked with sparkling lights and shimmering ornaments in the living room. OF COURSE! So we had our first. I have no conflict with that - after all, the evergreen is a shining example of life thriving in the winter &c &c.
That having been decided, however, we discussed the fact that Christmas is a religious holiday, the celebration of the birth of Jesus (who was, after all, a nice Jewish boy). So we bought a lovely Fontanini nativity set for Mr Dearling: the figures of Mary, Joseph, the Babe in the manger, two angels and three kings. Since that year, Lovely Daughter and I have added a figure every year, and now he has quite the colorful crowd! (The truth? I love setting out the figures and arranging them on the card table and moving them around, and Lovely Daughter and I go out and spend time selecting the new figure, which Mr Dearling then has to identify. Whose are they really? Maybe mine. He likes them well enough, though. Nevermind.)
However, all this excitement has been punctuated throughout by knitting!
On Saturday I collected my dear friend Ginny and we
It was a lovely time! See here displayed, the six squares I finished for Kay of Mason-Dixon; they're 4" squares in Reggia sock yarn. Also see two toques, a red one for a voyageur and a blue one for my friend in Colorado; a scarf I've begun with Paton SWS because I love both the yarn and the pattern so much. (It's the Yarn Harlot's "one-row" pattern.) On the left there you can see another toque on its circular needle - I need to really crank on that one so it can go to the fellow in time to serve as a Christmas present (!)
Incidentally, our tree will remain as it is, unadorned, for some time until we can arrange to have assistance from grandchildren; there's no rush, it's a month until Christmas. Also - our first Chanukah candle will be lighted on Tuesday, December 4th, at sundown. Watch this space - I'll take pictures!
PS SO FAR, the kitties have been *interested* in the tree but no more. I expect no less from Evangeline, but the spritz bottle is at hand in case Lilliane forgets herself. Just in case.