It’s that time of year…

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It’s that time of year when the world falls in love
Ev’ry song you hear seems to say “Merry Christmas”,
“May your New Year dreams come true”.*

When I was a child, Christmas was the zenith of my year.  It was the day we all (Mum, Dad, me, aunties, uncles and cousins) gathered at Nana’s home.  In true English form the candles on the tree would be lit Christmas Day (scary, non?), an enormous yule log would be flickering and crackling in the grate behind the prettiest Victorian screen you’d ever imagine (oh, that one of us still had that beautiful piece of art) and, spinning on the record player, Frank Sinatra –  more often than not singing The Christmas Waltz (one of Nana’s favourites).  Her home would be filled with sweet, fruity, spicy and savoury aromas – of a roasting turkey, freshly baked mince pies, a super-rich, well “steeped” trifle and – simmering on the stove – an enormous home-made plum pudding. Lavish crackers for pulling dominated the tablescape. My memories of those happy, rollicking and hectic celebrations at 191 Gledhill are synonymous with feelings of familial devotion, Christmas love and the warm comfort of favourite traditions. ‘Though everything has changed, I’m grateful that Frank’s voice, the smell of Christmas baking and the people who make me feel loved and cherished revive those treasured memories year after year.

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Made by Wendy.

Those Muir family traditions were perfect…  Until they weren’t.  In the years since then, Cam and I have come to appreciate that the end of one practice is merely and happily the dawn of the next.

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Made by Sarah.

Whilst Cam and I are both very fond of the feelings Christmas evokes, we aren’t fans of either presents piled high or showy pageantry so, after much soul-searching, we pared down our traditions and simplified the way we celebrate.  

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Made by Jane.

Our Christmas dance is now much slower; rather than Quickstepping into Advent, we Waltz – in three-quarter time – savouring every moment.  Christmas Day is now very quiet, just Cam and I; not rollicking, not hectic, but true joy that is never madding, never feels too busy, and is always filled with peace and love – exactly like that first Christmas Day.

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Made by Nancy.

In our home, Christmas music plays all day, sometimes even Ol’ Blue Eyes.  Our fire still flickers but it’s gas now, not a Yule log.  We still feast on turkey but a breast, not a whole bird.  ‘Though there are always mince pies and shortbread, our afters is no longer plum pud, but Cam’s favourite cheese cake.  It feels exactly right – perfect for us – and I’m deeply thankful for that.

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Made by Julie.

The very act of establishing a new, personal, tempo – in three-quarter time – around the holidays served to bind us to our celebration in a more meaningful way.  We realized there is no pressure to adopt those time-honoured traditions of our parents and grandparents.  Nor do we have to follow any observances currently in vogue.

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Made by Jean.

In our hearts we embraced a small handful of intimate rituals; our festive Christmas traditions, chosen to honour Yuletide wonder – no excesses, no stress.  Intentional.  Sustainable.  Enjoyable.  We are small in numbers, but large on fun and love and that’s what Christmas really is – love.  That, I know for sure.

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Made by Sue.

My wish for you, dear readers, is that Christmas brings to your home the love, warmth and comfort of your favourite people and your favourite traditions – a celebration that is uniquely perfect for you.

Merry Christmas!

xxxx

‘Til next time, y’all…

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Made by Carolyn.

*“The Christmas Waltz” was written for Frank Sinatra by Sammy Cain and June Styne and was recorded in 1954.

The Christmas Waltz

Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree.
Santa’s on his way, he’s filled his sleigh with things
Things for you and for me.

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love
Ev’ry song you hear seems to say “Merry Christmas”,
“May your New Year dreams come true”
And this song of mine in three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours the same thing, too.

[instrumental-first verse]

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love
Ev’ry song you hear seems to say, “Merry Christmas”,
“May your New Year dreams come true”
And this song of mine in three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours the same thing, too.

If you’d like to listen:  “The Christmas Waltz”

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Made by Laurie.

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