We all know that Christmas is all about children. Sometimes, though, the way it's about children isn't what we expect. That's what's happened to me this Christmas. Several years ago, I took a sudden interest in gingerbread houses at Christmas. Now, among a long list of skills I haven't acquired, baking gingerbread is near the top of the list. Last year, as I recall, the Daughter Person, with perhaps some assistance from my Better Half, made and decorated a wonderful gingerbread house. My major contributions were purchasing much of the candy used for decoration and doing most of the post-Christmas
consumptionclean-up. This year the Daughter Person, with some assistance from her new husband, the same person who used to be her old boyfriend and former fiancee, has outdone herself and created a whole gingerbread village.
a ginger bread village at Christmas
Photo by J. Harrington
Those of us who come from New England hold Villages in a special place in our hearts. It was the village that was home to the smithy, that held the village green or commons, where neighbors met and the "shot heard round the world" was fired. New England villages at Christmas, with white clapboard churches looking over the green and a general store across the green, offer a subdued celebration of the season. (Pilgrims for many years had a ban on Christmas celebrations.) Simple candles in windows offer welcome to travelers seeking shelter or food. Excess commercialism and neon lights are mostly missing. The kind of classic simplicity about which I'm waxing nostalgic can be found in a few places in Minnesota. I took a photo of this one yesterday.
classically simple Christmas beauty
Photo by J. Harrington
Between a gingerbread village on the dining room table, and classic simple beauty down the road, Minnesota this Christmas is feeling more and more like "home" to this transplanted New Englander. I continue to derive great pleasure from two of my all time better Christmas presents: a loving Daughter Person, originally presented to me by my Better Half in early December, and a
househome in the St. Croix valley. As I recall, we moved into our home just before Christmas time, many years ago. I have also had a few other wonderful presents delivered at this time of year, such as my favorite son, delivered on Christmas day, but that's another posting.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound’s the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.