Quite unintentionally, I've found myself launched into the Christmas season.
It all started on Friday when I accompanied the Tippetts to a program at the Gallo Center: "An Irish Christmas!" Thinking I was going simply as an extra pair of hands to help with the children, I wasn't expecting to be utterly delighted by the program of Irish musicians on accordion, violin, drum, and some kind of bagpipe like horn. Three female vocalist sang Christmas songs right into my heart, and the Irish dancers pounded the wooden stage with irresistible rhythm. The kids were rapt for an hour and so was I.
Saturday started with Mary Autumn's birthday brunch, where we all feasted on a delicious frozen dish made by August, frozen bananas made creamy by pushing them through the juicer and then topping them with chocolate sauce or in my case Nutella. The kids were giddy with anticipation, thinking about putting their boots out at bedtime in preparation for St. Nicholas Day on Sunday. I heard that they had trouble going to sleep and were peaking through cracks in the wooden framing upstairs in the hope of catching a glimpse of St. Nick.
Sunday was the Advent Spiral at the Waldorf School. We waited, shivering despite heavy coats, hats, and gloves for admission to the darkened room at the appointed hour of 4pm. The room was warm and packed with parents and grandparents who sang Christmas carols softly as each child walked the spiral to the center, tipped their candle for lighting, and then made the return trip out to place their light on the spiral. You couldn't miss Huckle's clear, high voice singing "Away in the Manger," and when it was his turn, he moved briskly for this was his 2nd year walking the spiral. Nell was more tentative holding Miss Beth's hand as she walked and looking out into the audience to see where Mom and Dad might be. Once her candle was lit, she gained confidence for the return trip.
Monday morning it started snowing in Jamestown at 7:10 and didn't stop until after 10. It was so cold that the snow did not melt, so we spent a most unusual day for our low elevation in a winter wonderland. We drank a lot of hot tea and I made muffins and we kept the radio tuned to KVML all day, listening to road reports and Christmas music, while we worked on our gift lists, did some online ordering, and then began addressing envelopes for our cards. And of course we took a walk in the snow.
I like having Christmas sneak up on my like this. It feels all warm and tingly and real.