It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Edward Pola & George Wyle

And with all due respect to Andy Williams – for me – this time of year has little to do with kids jingle belling or much mistletoeing. Sure, the holidays are grand, but it’s winter I love – the snow, the cold – the whole shebang. And in Vermont, we know how to do winter!

Before the sun peeks over the mountain, I roll out of bed and bundle up, heading out into the cold with Chessie. The steely blue sky brightens as we walk, with muted shades of pink and gold. Every few steps, I stop to take a photo and listen to the faint chirping of birds in the forest, barely audible as my boots crunch over the snow. Every day is different, and every day I’m awed in some small way.

We don’t have any set holiday traditions except for tree decorating duties – which I have delegated to the grandkids. We pull out our semi-pathetic pre-lit tree and let them have at it.

And if most of the ornaments are bunched in one spot – I’m okay with that.

Without their help, I’d leave it bare – just the lights. Did I say semi-pathetic?

As the snow flies outside, I sit at my laptop, writing, revising, refining… I’m getting there. (Updates on that little adventure are in my newsletter. My latest issue, November/December, went out last week.)

Soon the lakes will freeze and the Green Mountains will be blanketed in white. Our skis and snowshoes are ready – our hats and gloves and boots – check. A holiday playlist for singing in the car, and cozy Christmas reads queued on my Kindle – check and check. Winter is my favorite season for exploring the forest.

I’m looking forward to the holidays and closing out 2021 – the year I started with a bright yellow journal and “hope” as my guiding word. It’s impossible to know what 2022 will bring – sure to have its ups and downs, but I’ll end 2021 as I started, with hope, and welcome the new year.

An now – I’d love to hear about your holiday plans and traditions. I feel as though the last couple of years have brought so much change. Do you have any traditions that you’ve held tight? What are you excited about this year?

I wish you well for the holidays – may they be joyful! Until next time, be well!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Same feelings about the tree and holiday decorating. I too would put it up with just the lights. Although, the only ornaments we have are the ones special to us. Lots of school, handmade ones, and ones for the dogs – well past dogs. We need to work on getting Findley and Atticus ornaments.

    1. Karen

      Ours is definitely a “tacky” tree – ornaments gathered over the years, but some of them are special.

  2. Barb

    I think you might have more snow on the ground in VT than we do in the mountains of CO. Our temps have been all over the place – last night it never went below 39. That’s unusual for this time of year. Our big swing in the back yard doesn’t even have snow on the seat. Last year I gave about half my collection of my Santas to a charity. I kept the ones that hold fond memories for me, a few distinctive ones given to me by my deceased M-i-L and my Mother. When I get these decorations out each year, I feel their presence. Bob and I like to have the fireplace lit and our small tree glowing by dark. I light candles, and we bask in a soft Christmas glow. Your grandchildren are precious, Karen. It’s through the eyes of children that we feel the spirit of Christmas. Enjoy your holidays.

    1. Karen

      We DID have snow on the ground – but then icy rain followed by thunder storms (Yikes – December t-storms in Vermont!) followed by a warm-up. It’s sad, but I have faith the snow will be back.

      Ella was so excited to decorate the tree this year, and Oliver just seemed fascinated with the lights and ornaments. You’re right about seeing the spirit of Christmas through their eyes. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Beatrice

    There’s definitely more snow in VT then here in NH (so far), Karen. We’ve only had an overnight dusting in early December which was gone by early morning. We also have a pre-lit tree as of last year when we learned that real trees were no longer allowed in the mill apt complex (bah humbug). The multicolored lights are pretty by themselves, but we enjoy adding favorite ornaments, many remembered from years and travels past and they never fail to bring back memories as we hang them. Our holidays are rushing by as the cards and decorating had to done early. We’re leaving on a pre-Christmas road trip to visit family in 3 states within a 10-day stretch and will also celebrate the youngest granddaughter’s Dec birthday. While my preference would be to stay at home and enjoy the season with music and cozy reads that will have to wait until 2022 when we will stay home from turkey day to New Years, at least that’s the “plan” as of now.

    It looks like your grandchildren have the tree decorating tasks in hand and it’s good to have enthusiastic helpers. Sending our best wishes to all of you for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Karen

      We probably don’t have more snow than you anymore (so sad…) I’m looking forward to its return! Your pre-Christmas trip sounds like a lot of fun, even if it will be a busy time. Getting to see your family and celebrate the youngest’s birthday is special. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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