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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas Eve

another vintage Christmas postcard
text: "Dear Ada, I wish you and Mr Hing a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. from Russell
postmark Newark, MO, Dec 20 (can't read the year)

A Seasonable Sight

    "At last the Rat succeeded in decoying him to the table, and had just got seriously to work with the sardine-opener when sounds were heard from the fore-court without -- sounds like the scuffling of small feet in the gravel and a confused murmur of tiny voices, while broken sentences reached them -- "Now, all in a line -- hold the lantern up a bit, Tommy -- clear your throats first -- no coughing after I say one, two, three. -- Where's young Bill? -- Here, come on, do, we're all a-waiting -- -- --."

    "What's up?" inquired the Rat, pausing in his labours.

    "I think it must be the field-mice," replied the Mole, with a touch of pride in his manner. "They go round carol-singing regularly at this time of the year. They're quite an institution in these parts. And they never pass me over -- they come to Mole End last of all; and I used to give them hot drinks, and supper too sometimes, when I could afford it. It will be like old times to hear them again."

    "Let's have a look at them!" cried the Rat, jumping up and running to the door.

    It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field-mice stood in a semi-circle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright beady eyes, they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the older ones that carried the lantern was just saying, "Now then, one, two, three!" and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time."

                From The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, 1859-1932

The Wind in the Willows was one of my favorite childhood books. I love the description that Grahame gave to the field-mice turned carolers. His words drew pictures in my imagination. 


About the postcard at the top of this post, using my phone as a magnifying glass, I could read the manufacturer's information along one edge. It states, "Christmas Series Number 546, 1910 A.G. Meeker, N.Y." I was just curious about the manufacturer info, so I googled this. I found another of this same postcard on ebay priced at $8. I bought this one for about $1. Interesting . . .

Finishing up the preparations

I baked the almond-filled Crèche Bread this afternoon. I made a full-batch of refrigerator roll dough, which meant that I had a half-batch leftover. 

So, I made a bunch of chubby-looking crescent rolls (16 in all) for the freezer. I can reheat these as needed to go with January's soup suppers.

Christmas Day Plans

We've invited my son and daughter-in-law over for Christmas Day brunch, al fresco once again. It may be dry in the morning through early afternoon. We're hoping to have brunch on the patio around the fire ring. The temperature should be close to what we had on Thanksgiving Day, so do-able, but chilly. If it does rain, we'll move into the garage. The garage is my least-favorite option, but as I have been telling myself for 10 months, it is what it is. I'm trying to see the possibilities and not focus on what we will be missing this year. We'll simply make the best of what we've been given.

How about you? How have your holiday plans changed this year from your usual? Have you thought of ways to celebrate and celebrate well, despite unfavorable circumstances? I was thinking about the book, The Diary of Anne Frank and the scene where the family celebrated Hanukkah.  I realized that I have a lot for which to be grateful. The minor inconvenience of eating a holiday meal in our garage pales compared to situations others have endured throughout history. A garage meal may not be pretty, but it will be with loved ones.

Have a Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!


  1. "Wind in the Willows" is a favorite of mine, also. Our holiday plans have changed more than once and are still up in the air because of COVID concerns. Nevertheless, I'm going forward like we will be able to get together and baking an apple pie today. I am so ready for all of the corona virus chaos to be over even though I realize that we have been very lucky compared to many people this past year.

    And on that cheery note, here's hoping for good weather for you and your family. Merry Christmas!

    1. I hope that you are able to get together in way that is safe for all. Apple pie sounds delicious!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family, Live and Learn.

  2. I never read Wind in the Willows as a child but I read it to my own children. It was charming and you're right, the Christmas scene conjures up lots of images in my mind.

    I think this is my favorite of the postcards you have shown us.

    I hope you can have your celebration around the fire ring but I know you .... you will find a way to make it lovely even in the garage. So glad your family can all be together in whatever form it takes. Your approach overall is similar to mine--when I feel down about our circumstances, I ask myself the question, "where is the opportunity in this situation?". So, yes, I am missing our ability to get together with my siblings this evening and attend church and a quiet evening get-together .... but .... we are having wintry weather today and tomorrow so it may not have happened anyway and now I can embrace my desire to snuggle in, bake, do puzzles, and hang out with my family. We won't get to see my mom tomorrow but we did get to have a Zoom call with her today with the help of staff. My siblings and I were able to sing Christmas carols to her outside her window last week and that is a memory I will always carry with me. I have visions of someday telling stories to my grandchildren .... "back in 2020, oh, what a year that was ..."!

    Merry Christmas, Lili and friends!

    1. Hi Kris,
      We just have to make the most of what we have, don't we? Caroling with your siblings outside your mom's window sounds like it was a very cheerful event and I'm sure it delighted your mom.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family, Kris!

  3. Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Alice!


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