Sunday, December 04, 2011

Summoning up some spirit

This is the time of year I remember this song. I know I have posted it here before. It reminds me of a time when I was homesick and missing the people I loved. Early winter, holidays coming. It is funny how a song can attach itself to a memory and the attachment stays forever. December is always a joyful time, but underneath I always feel a note of sadness. Christmas, the end of another year—it all makes me realize how quickly time passes and reminds me of Christmases of the past and people I have loved and will never see again.

Yeah, Happy Holidays to you too!

This feeling will pass and I know I will get caught up in the here and now and another special season with friends and family. Having grandchildren has renewed my appreciation of the holiday season, but I always seem to spend the first week of December feeling a little nostalgic and blue.

When I was moving things into the studio last week I came across this quilt/Advent calendar that I made in 1982 for my children to count down the days until Christmas. It was my own design and I had fun making and using it. I thought Sofia might enjoy it this year, so I hung it up this afternoon.

Maybe you can see, in the closeup, that there are black metal snaps sewn all over the wreath—24 of them. Each numbered pocket contains a holly leaf and berries with the other half of a snap sewn to its back. Each day a child would snap one of the leaves onto the wreath. The pocket also contained a candy or small toy for the child. I am never sure whether to start with 1 and count up to 24, matching the numbers to the date, or start with 24 and count down how many days are left until Christmas. I think I will start with 24. Of course we have a few days to catch up with tomorrow.

We talked about hanging lights on the studio. Not sure if that will happen or not, but I thought a little lighted tree in the round window that faces the road would be pretty. I went out and bought a little tree and string of lights today and put it in place.

Tonight it was a pretty blur of colored light in the window.

I am never one to jump into the whole Christmas deal the minute Thanksgiving is over. It takes me awhile and I don't want a tree in the house until closer to Christmas. We work our way into it little by little. I took my first steps today.


  1. Almost too painful, "to hold the hand of the one I love", but so nice to hear Gordon Lightfoot's gentle voice. Thanks, Terry.

  2. My Mother used to put up one ornament each day from 1st Dec. We would come home from school all excited to see who could spot the one for that day first. then, somewhere around the 20th, we would get a tree and do up the rest of the house.

    and of course, in the meanwhile was all the Christmas baking which is what makes me go all Christmassy even though I have a family of 3 rather than 8 like I grew up in. I do end up giving them away, but I love putting on the carols whilst baking. Not yet though, it isn't quite the time yet.
    Sandy in the UK

  3. Thanks for posting one my favourite songs by Gordon Lightfoot. Being Canadian, I remember when he first started and played small venues where I got to see him up close and personal. I became a life-long fan. Christmas is up and running here - I do have a party to be ready for on Thursday! I must admit it is rather a bittersweet year - I too am thinking more of the past and loved ones no longer with us. A little slow to embrace the spirit but it will come - always does.

  4. Terry you have away with have expressed the way I have been feeling these last few days .....I would stop quilting and just remember
    Best wishes
    Thanks have a great Christmas with those grandchildren so they have memories too
    Lorraine from sunny Blueys Beach in Australia

  5. I love the little tree in the window. Like you, I have to let my Christmas petals unfold slowly. I do put up my outdoor lights early (Halloweenish), but that is so I am not out in a foot of snow doing it. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season creating memoires for and with you grandchildren.

  6. Oh Terry, I haven't heard this song in years and it made me oh-so melancholy. First Christmas without my dad and first Christmas with my new grandson. btw Can I come and get a studio tour? Looks fantastic!

  7. Gordon Lightfoot played live at the Schnitz a while back. It was wonderful. Now that he's in his 70s, his voice doesn't quite have the same resonance it did, but oh! It was great to hear him live. Hard to pick a favorite song.

    Know what you mean by it being hard to jump in. I only started listening to christmas carols today. :)

  8. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Thanks Terry for putting words to the feelings I have about Christmas. Hard to get into "the spirit" with the sun blazing and no decorations to put up. I have settled for a large poinsettia and plan to hit the ground running when I get home.

  9. Peg Howard6:53 PM

    Days leading up to the Dec 5th are always hard for me- its the anniverary of my fathers passing...I was putting lights on the tree that night 19 years ago--
    I always try and have the tree up BEFORE that date now....and deal with the emotions of today without expectations on myself....But got a lot to look forward to in the coming days- so moving forward the focus shall be on that....and focusing on the priceless gifts that those who are gone have given me in memories-

    Love your countdown...