December 23, 2013

Deck the House

 

Forget dinner in Singapore until next year, we have dinner right here in the good old USA.

Everything is as it should be, except for one small minor detail. Instead of turning up the heat, preparing the hearths for Yuletide fires, we are turning on the air conditioning.

Except for the bizarre fact that it is hot when it should be cold we are in a frantic pace, to prepare ourselves, our home, and our lives for what lies ahead.

This is our early winter, pre spring, Christmas activity. The house is abuzz with activity. All engines are humming along with a nice sonorous tis the season… as we prepare not for Babettes Feast but rather for our annual Christmas Roast.

Savannah, our daughter, is home for the holidays, and is baking every conceivable concoction of desert including a Yule log, a Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, a red velvet bunt cake, a chocolate buttermilk cake, and various pies.

Since she has been surviving on college food for the last months her mind has obviously wondered off into the land of fanciful deserts, which she is fulfilling in the days before Christmas.

She has taken over the kitchen in preparation for her all-nighters of baking. There is flour sifting everywhere, moulds, cake pans, bunt pans, and pie pans being greased and caressed. Even our bird Melody is humming Christmas carols along with Savannah as she dons her apron singing I’m dreaming of a white Christmas while it is 70 degrees outside and focuses on her tasks ahead.

There is the aroma of Bourbon and pumpkin wafting through the house and as I make my way into the kitchen there are endless mounds of butter, flour, sugar, and chocolate. Enough good food to give any good set of eyes and nose good cheer.

Outside the final leaves are being raked, the lawn pristine with dew, the gravel driveway is being raked and manicured for our guests.

Inside the tree is glowing with decorations, and mysteriously mounds of presents seem to find there way under the tree.

The couches are being vacuumed, windows are being cleaned, beds are being made and slowly the house begins to shine its Christmas best.

And now we prepare the table for the feast. The handmade linen tablecloth is carefully ironed and with all hands on deck, is carefully placed perfectly over the large dining table.

Next my mother’s Royal Copenhagen china from the early 1950s is carefully placed around the table along with the silver tableware. The wine and water glasses are placed by each serving. The silver candlesticks are carefully placed in the center of the table, and beautiful flowers are placed throughout the house. Often there is the smell of peony, lilac, vibrant tulips, lush hydrangeas, and exotic roses perfuming the Christmas Feast.

Special wine has been selected and the house begins to shine with all its glory as it prepares to welcome those who come for this special feast.

As Christmas day approaches I love the smell of the fir Christmas tree and the decanted red wine. I love seeing my wife and daughter cooking, laughing tasting together in the kitchen. I love our housekeeper scurrying along with great purpose as we all prepare to carve the roast and give thanks that there still are traditions and values worth preserving, that in the preparation of a great feast one can find beauty and great purpose.

For me as I sit down to Christmas dinner and give thanks, to the year before, I relish the traditions that I still implore and hope that as we make our way into the next year we are able to hold on to some of the life we knew before. Happy Holidays to you all! Until next year.

Comments

6 Comments »

  1. Beautifully written, as always.. I can almost smell Savannah and LeslieĀ“s cooking!!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, Mr. Smith

    Comment by ST — December 23, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  2. Happy holidays sir!

    Comment by Dave — December 24, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful post bringing me to the essence of family, home and traditions at this special time of year. So well written making your surroundings come alive for all to enjoy. “Holding On” this means a lot! Making memories dear to our hearts is what brings us forward to make more. Thank you!

    Comment by Bobbie — December 24, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  4. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!!!! Mr. Smith

    Comment by fred — December 27, 2013 @ 2:32 am

  5. A late Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Rodney! May 2014 hold much beauty and happiness for you.

    Comment by Kina — January 12, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

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