Monday, December 28, 2009

Friends at Christmas

My gloved hand places some coins into the cast iron kettle of Salvation as the bell-ringer wishes me a Happy Christmas. I pull the hood of my cape up to shield myself from the biting wind and hurry along up the crowded sidewalk, sharing smiles with the people passing by, every face a reflection of holiday cheer. Just up the hill to the right I see my destination, frosted windows glowing, a holly wreath on the door, one of my favourite lunchtime cafes, and the most festive spot for a Christmas lunch with an old friend.
The bell on the door jingles like a laugh as I enter.

Such a treat of the season, these lunches and teas, dinners and brunches. No matter our schedules throughout the year, Christmas is the time when my friends and I make those special appointments to meet face to face, over Earl Grey or coffee, mulled wine or Diet Coke. It is quite Dickensian, I know - for who can forget the reformed Mr. Scrooge inviting the astonished Bob Cratchit out for a discussion of his greatly improving circumstances “
over a Christmas bowl” - but this time of year, a phone call just won’t do. I do so love these holiday get togethers.

There is tea with the witty friend who seems to handle everything in life with a wink and laugh. We discuss shoes and boys, health care reform and climate change, make-up, skin care and which actor makes the better Mr. Darcy on film... in short, a real girly- girl lunch with a side order of seriousness. Lots of drink refills and lots of laughs.

Then there is the brunch with the Southern belle, the equestrian - she who wants me to take up riding again - who loves dogs and antiques, old houses and grand design. We discuss travel and books, dogs and horses, paint colours, Christmas ornaments and fabric swatches. She has the best stories, the best gossip, the best tall tales of the eccentric South.

There is the lunch with my oldest friend, the lovely photographer. She is the friend with whom I speak in shorthand, who knows what I am thinking before I speak, who laughs at my jokes before I tell them. She is the one who wants me to write a book, who believes I can do anything. Oldest friends are sweet blessings indeed. We have shared so many Christmases together.

And then there is the friend from the low country who arrives every year for a Christmas visit. She is the one who loves Keats and Hardy, who speaks French and longs to reside on the Ile Ste Louis. We always visit used book stores and knit shops, see a movie, and linger over long, long breakfasts.

There is the chap who shows up on Boxing Day with a truckload of firewood for a Christmas gift. There is the Songwriter's boyhood friend who sneaks up on the front porch on Christmas Eve to silently leave a sackful of gifts to rival anything Santa ever dreamed.

Old Friends.
One of the many treats of the festive season.
One of the many reasons I love it so.


  1. Happy Boxing Day P&E,

    Can't believe I'm the first here! Thank you for yesterday's Christmas wishes and for today's friendly reminiscences. I hope you have many more to enjoy.

  2. I hope your holiday has been as cherished as mine. Friends and family make it all better. I for one am looking forward to the new year!

  3. I wish you a blessed and joyous New Year Pamela and I want you to know how I cherish reading your blog each morning to see what you have writen to brighten my day.
    So glad to have found you,

  4. Beautiful. Well put. Friends are the reasons for celebrations.

  5. Isn't it wonderful, how every season has its special gifts for us? May it be spring flowers and summers at the swimming hole, harvest rides and holiday time and friends visits...I love the rhytm of our life time!
    And yes, you should write, I could not wait to see what you have to tell!
    Enjoy those days!

    Victoria, who would wish to drink a cup of tea with you, gloves and all in that pretty little cafe of yours!

  6. From the first, I knew, the pictures you choose & words you write. OLD FRIENDS.

    Yes, me too, lunches-dinners-movies, with friends at Christmas.

    Making the time. Scope of conversations. Flowing. A river of content, a salt water marsh of fertility. Feeding the inner spirit.

    Energy for sure.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  7. i dont know and dont want to know what life would be like without good friends...

  8. A friend for each season. Every one of my special friends fills a place and I for them I hope. Your words always bring such warmth-especially at this time of year when we recall the wonderful memories of our dear, dear friends.
    Thank you Pamela~

  9. What a beautiful post and I loved reading about all your friends.
    It is a wonderful time to catch up with those, that are so dear.
    Happy holidays Pamela and Edward and best wishes for the New Year.


  10. Your friend, the lovely photographer, is quite right. You should definitely write a book. Your blog posts are so evocative and always beutifully written (and I always love the images you choose to illustrate them)

  11. Friends are indeed so important in one's life and this time of the year I am especially thinking about some friends that I hardly see anymore! I wished I could invite them for a day! But there friends that I had years ago and that I really don't see anymore because of moving away in other countries!
    But I am still happy to have know them!

  12. What a blessing friends are. Every one of them. I haven't seen nearly enough of them this holiday. At least, not yet anyway!

  13. Oh Pamela, what a lovely post. The gift of friendship is one of my life's treasures. Your words brought such happy tears to my eyes. You must write a book. You absolutely must!

  14. Wishing you a very Happy Boxing Day.

  15. Beautifully told and perfectly true .
    I am going to meet a new friend on tuesday..a blog friend. Who knows if that will turn into a christmas tradition?

  16. I hope you had a joyful Christmas at The House Of Edward and that 2010 will bring all good things you way.


  17. There is nothing more important than old friends, Pamela - how would one manage without them? A Happy New Year to you and the songwriter and to those wonderful old friends Edward and Apple.

  18. Where would we be without our friends and what better time to share time and conversation with them than at Christmas? Your friend is right you should write a book. Your words are always thoughtful, your descriptions colourful and often magical; any book written by you would be a delight from beginning to end.

  19. Sounds wonderful. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Edward!

  20. You certainly have a great mixture of friends and how well you describe them.

    Wishing you a happy and blessed New Year.

  21. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I have to agree with your sentiments regarding friends. They are treasures indeed :)

  22. THAT is precisely my favorite, too! The Christmas eve running to friends house with cookies or a boquet from the garden...these lunches and gifts that have become traditions. You put images to the beautiful feelings of the season...with you always do!

    To an amazing, relaxed and utterly enjoyable 2010, Pam!

  23. It all sounds so wonderful!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  24. Wishing you a very happy Christmas time, and thank you for a year of beautiful blogging, the art and text are always so perfectly matched.

    "Which actor makes the better Mr. Darcy", sigh. David Rintoul was and is still my favorite.

    Happy New Year,

  25. My Dear..your posts are a treat...

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