24 December, 2011

Christmas Eve on Cape Cod

My Garden Club project
Greetings from Cape Cod on Christmas Eve, 2011! A few lazy snowflakes are falling, the chickadees, tufted titmouse (titmice?) and red-headed woodpeckers have discovered the holiday treats put out for them.  The kids’ pageant practice is history and the big show goes on this afternoon at Our Lady of the Cape church in Brewster.  It’s a modern church, and I miss my centuries-old Church of St. Louis in Grenoble, but oddly enough it’s the same La Salette order.  My son will be, what else, a soldier in Herod’s army. A special merci beaucoup to all of the legions of volunteers at OLC who will feed 300 souls a complete Christmas dinner in their homes or at the church on Christmas Day. I was humbled to participate in their enormous effort.  

Chesnuts have been roasted for tomorrow’s duck dressing with chestnuts and cranberries, and I’m hoping to get some cookie baking in today. The champagne is chilling. It will be my first duck endeavor and I am relying heavily on Mrs. Julia Child, my favorite fellow Smith College alumna, for guidance.

The season has been punctuated by magical moments, from the wonderful Cape Cod Symphony Pops to the Chatham Chorale Gloria to caroling at a nursing facility with students. Our Village carol sing and living nativity always brings me to tears, and the welcoming hot refreshments following give an opportunity to wish neighbors a Merry Christmas.

Chatham Chorale Chamber Singers

I was hoping to spend the coming week in Paris but will not be able to, a new furnace takes priority after spending several days without heat last week and a stern warning from the plumber, once again, that a replacement is imminent.  So please send your own photos of the lights of Paris with your permission to post them!

My little family will be scattered far and wide this Christmas, and I always miss dear friends in far-flung locales, but we will all wake up tomorrow with the wide-eyed delight of little children or children at heart.  Merry Christmas to all,


01 December, 2011

1 December

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone in the US, and here on Cape Cod it was incredibly mild. We went to the beach, ate copiously with friends, and this year broke out the tree a bit early.  My daughter was visiting from the West Coast and purely for her mother's own delight joined in decorating the house for the first time in many years.

Over in Paris, Audrey Tatou flipped the switch to illuminate the Champs Elysee, and now the shopping season is full-on where ever you are.

We are changing the focus of our celebrations a bit as our son gets older. I was asked yesterday whether or not I "believe" ( I do) and if so, does he bring video games and if so do the come from a store or are made by elves...

Today we will make and decorate a gingerbread house, parts purchased at IKEA.  I used to bake the whole thing, but after many crumbled roofs I figure it's the decorating that's the most fun.  Friday we will see the Cape Symphony Holiday Pops, Saturday is Breakfast with Santa.  Upcoming is the Dennis Holiday Stroll, Chatham Chorale, and Sandwich Holly Days house tour.  Dennis also has a candlelight living nativity, which I love.  I hope you see a pattern, more "doing" than "buying."

Were I in Paris, I would be visiting Place de la Madeleine  to see the  fronts of Fauchon and Hédiard, ogling the windows of the grands magazins, and seeing a ballet.  We would visit the Marché de Nöel.

No matter where you find yourself this advent season,  hope that you celebrate heartily and find even just one thing to do for those not as able to do so themselves.

c. LittleBrownPen  http://www.littlebrownpen.com to buy.