The sap is running alert: As the holidays near, even those of us with hearts two sizes too small find pockets of warmth that sustain and help us with evolution.
Prior to the advent of so much instant communication, my mother was a letter writer extraordinaire. I recall how she and her out of town friends and relatives wrote back and forth religiously, catching each other up on the latest gossip, sorrows and joys.
Mom always said you have to send mail to get mail and she was right. There isn’t much I like better than finding a personal letter in my mailbox busy trying to break up the fight between all my bills.
Stemming from her avid letter writing, we got a ton of Christmas cards every year and Mom’s ingenuity on how to display them was put to the test. She hit on the idea one year of decorating the wall facing the entryway of the house with them and taped them all up.
Like a puzzle, first the ‘end pieces’ went up to form the outline and then the centre was filled in. She turned the cards into a Christmas tree that was pretty spectacular and became an annual tradition.
(I’ll save my memories of my Dad’s uncanny ability to find the worst tree in the forest and trudge home with it for another time.)
Looking at the beautiful snowy photos MellowLee posted on her blog (Vancouver never gets snow does it?) and reading comments made by Barbara* about snowflakes reminded me of something else my mother turned into a minor art form. Paper snowflakes.
From one year to the next, salvaged wrapping paper made a return engagement around the second week of December. Mom used it not only to wrap presents again but to cut out the most unusual and beautiful paper snowflakes which she then hung by thread from the living room ceiling.
I always pronounced them to look corny but I secretly loved them. Nobody else in my neighborhood had an indoor snowfall like this for the holidays and I think they may have been poorer for it.
My mistrust of winter can now resume although there is always a chance of intermittent happiness amid the drifts.
*check out Barbara's fantastic review of a play called The Dazzle. And vote for her blog!