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Entries in traditions (136)


Carols at the spinet

Caroling in Christmas Eve Eve, that being December 23, is a family tradition three or four years in the making. We start the party with Christmas craftiness, this year it was baking brownies, last year decorating cookies, and the couple of years before that it was gingerbread structure architecture. Dinner is always a must, with some wine to loosen singing throats, and then we retire to the library to sing around the piano. It was the moving in of Jon's childhood piano that prompted the first party. We pulled out our newsprint song books, things that survived from my own childhood, and some music books from my grandparents' house to get us started, and away we went. This year Calvin played some of the accompaniment. 


Never too old

We have never perpetuated the myth of Santa in our household. This wasn't a planned thing, really, and we pass absolutely no judgement on those families who do have santa in their homes. When Calvin was about three years old he figured out for himself that the man in red was naught but a mythical creature, and we could not reconcile telling him he was wrong. Not everyone agrees with that way of doing things, but I can tell you that in our case it has not taken anything out of the holiday for him. In fact, he has always joyfully gone along with the story in a sort of carefree way that does him even better credit for the power of his imagination and ability to make believe. 

So when our homeschooling field trip group organized a Christmas party this week for all Santa enthusiasts, bringing in one of the best known, kindest, most magical Santa in our area (the beard is real), we couldn't resisit the pull of such a magical party. Plus the cookies and picture taking opportunities that went along with it. And can't you just see the joy in his eyes? 


Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: a photo essay



Thanksgiving and a backyard tailgate: a photo essay



Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop? 

- Robert Frost