Here it Comes Again
"I cannot believe it's Christmas again."
Keeping an ear out for interesting conversations cannot, in my opinion, be considered eavesdropping, particulary when those conversations are exchanged in voices loud enough to be heard a couple of lunch tables over - and when the above exclamation was rather gloomily uttered by a woman seated directly behind me, my ears perked up to listen. I couldn't see her, but could easily tell from the river of negativity that flowed through her sentences that the holiday season was not something that in any way made her jolly. For her, this year's calendar appeared to have been bewitched, sped up to an obscene rate for the sole purpose of forcing the festive time upon her much sooner than was expected or desired. Everything about it made her grumpy. The shopping, the baking, the wrapping of gifts. The parties, the dinners, the concerts of carols. "Here is all comes again." And she heaved a laborious sigh.
As I sat sipping my coffee at the table behind her, I couldn't help but grin. For every single thing she mentioned as a trial beyond bearing was just one more thing I was looking forward to with every inch of my being. I love the holiday season. And this year, as every year, it seems to have returned precisely when we need it most.
I suppose that's the wonderful thing about Christmas. It always comes back. No matter the turmoil, no matter the trials, just when we think the days are at their bleakest, here it comes again. The lights, the color, the carols, the warmth. Again. And, again. And, again. It is the yearly reminder that we are loved, and perhaps, more importantly, that we can love.
I wish you all the Happiest of Christmases.
And if there is still some shopping to do...
here's a list of some of my favorite gifts this year.
Hopefully, it will give you some ideas.
1. Henry and Baloo 2020 Calendar
I have followed these two on Instagram for a year or more. Their every post makes me happy. Henry was a shy and anxious rescue dog until his adoptive parents adopted Baloo, another rescue, but this time, a cat. These two are closer than brothers now. They warm the heart like nothing else.
Find them on Instagram, HERE
Get, and give, your very own calendar, HERE
2. John Derian Travel Bag
On an October trip to NYC, I finally made it over to the East Village to John Derian's magical, wonderful shop.
So many unique treasures!
This velvet bag stopped me in my tracks.
3. Drunk Elephant Marula Oil
The Songwriter and I have a little game we play every autumn. He wants to turn on the central heating at the first cool breeze, I would wait until January. (Apple and Andrew are on my side, by the way.) He thinks I'm being ridiculous. I'm thinking of my skin. Nothing is more drying than articicial heat. But this stuff has made my argument a little weaker. It's fabulous. Really.
Love this coat from Zara.
5. The Other Side of the Coin
by Angela Kelly
Cannot wait to read this!
6. Middle England
by Jonathan Coe
And this is brilliant!
7. Shilasdair Socks
I picked up a couple of pairs of these fabulous socks when I was at the gorgeous yarn shop, Shilasdair, on the Isle of Skye in September.
I haven't had them off my feet.
8. Dog-Walking Hat
The Songwriter grabbed this on the Isle of Harris.
He wears it for every dog walk and even, sometimes, wears it indoors. (See Number 3 above.)
9. Dog Lead Hook
And speaking of dog walking,
this is the perfect place to hang those leads.
10. Sophie Digard Scarves
As a knitter, I make a beeline for Loop every time I'm in London. But they have more than yarn.
They also carry these exquisite handmade scarves
from Sophie Digard.
12. English Fairy Tales
from F. A. Steele
The perfect book for anyone, any age.
For as C. S. Lewis so wisely said:
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."