Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! The Magic of Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, a day of anticipation, last-minute preparations, or both. It's almost as magical as Christmas Day! When I was growing up, we trimmed our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve - actually, I did when I was old enough. My father would wire the tree to hooks on the baseboard so that it wouldn't tip over (say, if a cat decided to climb it), and we would drag out the ornaments - antique and new - to turn it from a beautiful tree into a splendid tree. With the Nativity scene and all the packages under the tree, it was the focus of our living room until New Year's Day. Today, I will hang my wreath on the door in memory of our family tradition.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, it's such a festive time of year - a national holiday, a day of dinners with family and friends, a day of recollections.

It's time for The Friday Forum, although I suspect most of you will be way too busy to stop by. Today, I'll be continuing my preparations for my knee surgery - have to dash out to get lots of cat food this morning. It was extremely cold here yesterday, with a biting wind. I'm hoping for a nicer day. I'll be writing another feature about the new Chanel spring collection and wrapping a few presents. I also want to deliver a gift to a friend who lives nearby. I'll be here most of the day if you'd like to chat.

Thanks for reading Best Things in Beauty! You have been my joy this year! I hope your Christmas brings you love, comfort, and joy - maybe even a Christmas carol or two. Merry Christmas!

Photo courtesy of


KathyT said...

Merry Christmas!! It is a wonderful time of the year. I wish you all the best for your knee surgery, and I hope you get some relief soon.

All the best,

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you so much, Kathy! After I finish recycling magazines (heavy), I'll need to go rest in a hospital for a few days! Big smile!

Hope your Christmas is magical!

Eileen said...

What a lovely post, and the picture is as beautiful as are your holiday sentiments. Since you shared a bit of your tradition with us, I'd like to do the same.

After my father died, my mom and I went to live in my grandparens' home. I mention this because it was my grandfather who shaped my holiday traditions. He grew up on a farm in Minnesota and moved to California in the early 20's. He was a brilliant photographer and got into the movie biz while it was stll on the ground floor. He never forgot his roots, though, and while we were at church on Sunday, he spent his one day off working in the vegetable garden, nurturing the fruit trees, and caring for our little menagerie. He was a man very much in tune with the seasons and he made sure we always honored the equinoxes and solstices for their rich symbolism of the circle of life.

So, for me, the Christmas holidays began on December 21 when my grandfather would bring in the Christmas tree and my grandmother would hang the wreath on the door. My grandfather would light the decorated Yule log that was in the fireplace and the extended family would gather round to carol while decorating the tree. Afterwards, we would have a light supper by the fireplace and exchange wishes for the new year along with small token gifts which had to be handmade: a jar of apricot preserves to remind us of summer, a small nest to put in the tree to welcome the birds that would return in the spring, a knitted beanine to wear when we'd go to the mountains to play in the snow; just a bunch of little things like that.

Christmas Eve and Christmas day were very traditional with caroling parties, all the excitement of presents from Santa, a turkey roasting in the oven, neighbors dropping by to say Merry Christmas. And so, with that, I'd like to wish you, dear Charlestongirl, and all your lovely readers a joyous holiday season filled with glad tidings and joy.

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas! Hope this holiday brings you a lot of joy and happiness :)

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, that's such sweet tradition! Isn't it a treasure to have such memories?

Your grandfather and my dad were very much the same. Christmas happened near December 25th, not in November. :)

It saddened me as my father got older because his memories made him sad. His family was gone, all had died, and he missed them. Although the hardships of the great depression brought painful memories, his love for his mother and siblings, the things he did to as a boy to ensure that his mother made it to midnight mass (even in snowstorms) and had everything she needed, and the other traditions of Christmas stayed with him his whole life. I will always associate certain carols with him.

He always made sure we had abundance at Christmas because his family, although relatively well off, had suffered with the nation. Probably why I spend too much now!

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope the day brings you much joy!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Anna! Love and happiness!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for acknowledging all the people who do not celebrate Christmas but just enjoy the beautiful lights and the sharing spirit of the season.

Take the time to heal and be good to yourself by following all the rules to make a speedy recovery.

Charlestongirl said...

You're welcome, Anonymous. I have many close friends who don't celebrate Christmas, but they love the festivities (like my next-door neighbors, whose son always loves the gifts I give him). I think it's a nice holiday to bring us all together, regardless of our diverse religious beliefs, traditions, heritage, and culture. Maybe it's Santa!

I thought the Christmas episode of Glee was heartwarming. Did you see it? They have run it twice. The miracle of Artie walking, and a coach with a big heart - Christmas!

I will try hard to follow all the rules. As a rule-breaker, it's going to be hard. Also, I have always been the patient advocate, never the patient. It will be quite a switch for me. I promise to be good. :)

I do envision my friends bringing food in for me, though. The hospital's food is inedible, and if I get hungry, this foodie is going to want to eat!

Clarisse said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!
May the joy of Christmas illuminate this lovely time of the year for everyone!
Thinking of you, Charlestongirl xxx!
Big hugs to Charlie and Savannah too...

Charlestongirl said...

Clarisse, Joyeux Noel to you too! It must be late there. I hope you aren't totally snowbound. We have heard about France on the news.

Big hugs to you and your gorgeous kitties too! Love you! Hope you have a wonderful day.

Lucy said...

I have loved reading all of your comments and rich Christmas traditions this evening! Thanks for making me smile. :) It's so relaxing to stop by and read a few beauty reviews after a busy day of errands and holiday preparations. Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy all of the beauty that the season has to offer.

Charlestongirl said...

Aren't you sweet! Thank you, Lucy! I hope your Christmas shines!