Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bohemian Mama: Advent, Christmas, and Yule

Last Christmas we had a 10 foot tree, six inches of snow, and little Luba eating ornaments off the bottom branches. This year we have Petka added to the mix.  As far as I can tell, all she wants for Christmas is full access to Luba’s face, without the threat of being licked all over her own; what she’s getting are new clothes: a white cashmere dress, a yellow silk dress for midnight mass, and a sea-blue wool jumper; assuming I can finish them all in time. My husband is giving her jewelry, I think, and a painted wood truck. Luba is giving limited access to her ears and nose, but keeping her eyes well out of reach and reserving the right to lick whenever she wants.

The yurt is ideal for Christmas, it radiates Christmas light. But right now, I’m just counting down to the winter Solstice, when the light begins regaining lost ground, a prelude to Christmas. We’ll celebrate Yule with gratitude, cheering the light as it overcomes darkness. Yarrow can watch the big log burn in the woodstove for hours. We’ll drink mulled wine, eat clementines and plan for spring.

This year, we’re using an extra Christmas stocking for Yarrow, which could either continue as hers or be replaced by one made especially for her, depending on her Babkas, who are the knitters in the family. I can’t wait to see her wide eyes and laughing little smile when she sees the tree with all it’s touchable attractions dancing in the candle light!

For now, Gaudate Sunday is past and Advent more than half over. The nights are too long, and the sun has hardly enough time to rise before it is setting again. We are waiting out the dark times, sleeping too much, and dreaming of new light. All except Petka, who is desperately trying to miss nothing - determined to see each flicker of light, each moon, each tiny distraction. Thanks to her, we are seeing with new eyes and loving again the long wait of winter.

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