Here are the Hyatt Arcade in downtown Cleveland, the Christmas season is still in the air. The bunting is hung on the bright metal railings, the lights are strung along the facades, and down at the far end of the arcade is the Christmas tree, still fully lit and adorned with a star. Christmas is more than two weeks past, but I don’t mind holding on to it a little bit longer.
Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’
When I arrived at the Mayflower in Washington, D.C. today, the staff was taking down the Christmas decorations — a sure sign that the holiday season is over, a new year has begun, and it’s time to get back to work. I did manage to arrive before all of the flourishes were removed, however, and therefore got to enjoy this very pretty arrangement of Christmas trees adorning the gleaming first floor ballroom hallway.
I’ve never much cared for New Year’s Eve. My father referred to it, with humor and scorn, as “amateur night.” It’s a contrived holiday that tends to be the focus of too much partying anticipation. I can’t remember how many New Year’s Eve parties I went to during my college years, but I can remember that none of them met my ridiculously high expectations.
What’s a year, anyway? It’s a rough approximation of how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun, marked according to a calendar decreed by a long-dead Pope. Logically, calendar years mean little. They help us account for the seasons, and plan our activities, and look ahead to when we hope it will be warmer — but that’s about it.
And yet . . . years often have a consistent vibe to them, don’t they? We recall good years and bad years. We especially remember the bad years, when loved ones died or personal failures occurred or some other adversity dominated our intimate little worlds. If we’re having a bad year, we hope that the change to the calendar that arbitrarily occurs at midnight on December 31 will similarly mean a change in our fortunes. It can’t, obviously — but sometimes it does, just the same.
So, if you are having one of those bad years, I hope that your fate changes in 2013. I hope that, as that calendar page is torn away, you start to realize your personal goals and experience satisfaction in your personal lives and feel contentment with your circumstances. If you have had a good year in 2012? Well, then I just hope that calendar years are as meaningless as our rational brains dictate they must be.
Happy New Year!
From the shores of the Caribbean — where one holiday celebrant in St. John’s, Antigua, danced under Christmas decorations while wearing a Viking helmet, a rag skirt, a tunic, and underneath it all a t-shirt covered with characters from the Fat Albert cartoon show– we wish our friends and readers a very merry and perhaps somewhat zany Christmas.
Folks, we’re really closing in on Christmas. This weekend Richard will be returning home, I’ll finally be doing my long-delayed holiday baking, and it will seem a lot more like Christmas as a result.
When I think of Christmas, I think of Christmas music — particularly choral music. My idealized vision of a perfect Christmas moment is this kind of choral rendition of Silent Night, in a beautiful high key with the simple melody soaring, as I stand with a glass of full-bodied red wine in hand and look out on snow falling gently through a dark night sky, knowing that Kish and the boys are at home with me, safe and sound and ready for our holiday celebration.
I like the ethereal feel of twirly lights in bare trees as a general rule, but I particularly like how these creative neighbors set things up so that the twirly lights in the trees are linked with the lights along the roofline.
After much careful consideration, Kish has settled on a white cosmopolitan as our signature drink for this evening. Thanks to niece Amy for the suggestion!
Ingredients: 2 cups citron-flavored vodka; 3/4 cup Cointreau, 1 cup white cranberry juice, 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, lime wedges, whole cranberries, ice
Combine the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice in a large pitcher filled with ice. Stir and strain into martini glasses. Garnish with whole cranberries and lime wedges. (Ingredients make about 8 cocktails.)
Kish likes this drink because it is tasty and looks very festive. With its red cranberries and green lime wedges, it has a definite holiday feel to it. Here’s hoping our guests tonight feel the same way!
Edited to add: The white Cosmos were a huge hit. Kish’s rep as a creative cocktail mixer continues to grow.
Many of our neighbors in the North of Woods section of New Albany have put up their holiday lights, and the neighborhood looks great. Kish loves Christmas lights, and I agree with her — seeing the pretty displays in the morning and returning from work in the evening makes the world seem a bit more bright and cheerful. I’ll be posting pictures of some of our neighbors’ colorful creations between now and Christmas.
During the holidays, it’s important to maintain a sense of balance. Don’t get carried away with spending on presents. Try to avoid channeling your inner Martha Stewart and decorating every square inch of the house. Take care not to overimbibe at the office holiday party. And for God’s sake, remember that at some point you’re going to have to pay the credit card bills.
This happy little elf hanging in Mom’s window sets a pretty good example.
My sister Cathy has lots of energy and, lately, has become a huge fan of Pinterest. She found an idea there to hang Christmas ornaments from ribbons as a holiday decoration and tried it out on Mom’s window. The result looks pretty good — but mostly because displaying the ornaments closer to eye level gives you a chance to take a closer look than when the ornaments are, say, two feet off the ground. I particularly liked the very pleasant expression of holiday cheer on this coffee pot snowman