November 28, 2009

The First Day.

This last Saturday in November starts at first like any other Saturday. In the early morning, when the world is still asleep, I wrap myself in my favorite blanket, slip into my big warm, pink home shoes and venture into the kitchen. Putting on a pot of coffee and placing frozen bread roles into the oven, I look out of the windows onto the dark landscape surrounding me.
I can feel something is about to change.

Unlike other Saturdays, I venture down into the basement. Batcat follows me curiously, as he too senses that the routine of our weekends is altered. I start pulling down boxes from the shelves. The ones stating "Christmas" with large, red letters on the side. I stack them all in one corner, then sit down on the floor, with Batcat watching my every move. Lifting the lids, I gaze at the familiar colours and shapes. Removing each and every item from the wrapping, I recall unhurriedly the stories and moments in time connected to these objects.

The hours pass with tranquil ease and my home gradually becomes a plethora of every shade of red, golden and green. When the morning turns into noon there is a palpable change in the air.
In the early afternoon, I get the tree. Visiting a Spruce Tree Plantation in the countryside, I cut down my very own Christmas Tree (with some help of good friends), a tradition that I have carried out for many years by now.

Slowly, the day becomes evening and the Christmas Lights light up my home. The traditional and distinctive scent of spruce and Mulled Wine spreads throughout the house, filling my heart and mind with a warm comforting feeling. It brings on a sense of joy and gentle expectation, just like when I was a child.

Today the autumn has departed.
It has left and with it, the darkness of November disappeared. As we stand in between seasons and as the winter prepares for its grand entrance, the day that began just like any other, has turned into the first day of the Holiday Season.

24 comments :

Helen McGinn said...

You have such a way with words; you've got me wanting to go pull the boxes down from the attic and methinks some mulled wine wouldn't go amiss this afternoon!

Elizabeth said...

You are totally filled with the christmas spirit already. The song on friday, these beautiful ornaments today.
For me, I'm not ready to let go of this fall yet. I'm not ready to find and treasure the ornaments just yet. I just want to hear the wind and feel the love of the fall.

Still I want to thank you for sending a reminder that it is almost time to shift again.

Have a great weekend and enjoy yourself.

(If you are in need for a movie tonight, search for A walk to remember on Youtube and don't be put of in the start. It is a romantic movie)

See you

Brian Miller said...

wonderful pics. we decorated right before thanksgiving, because we woul dbe traveling. my wife was a ballerina for 18 years, so the nutcrackers invaded and have taken up posts around the house. the largest guards the tree. we did go artificial on the tree this year...first time, ever. sad. hope you have fun decorating!

Call me "MOOD", Mahmud. said...

Good to hear that you are in X'mas mood already.I learnt a lot about autumn from your posts and looking forward to more winter stories. I miss the colours of autumn.Keep up the good spirits.Have a nice weekend.

Kath said...

OOh a red settee, like me! My home is painted mostly cream and gold (apart from my red bedroom!). It is furnished with red, gold and green, so I guess we're Christmassy all year round! I shall be making mulled cider this weekend.

Betsy said...

This was lovely....we all have this tradition and it is so fun to unwrap the things you haven't seen in a year. When we had cats they were right in the middle of it, too! I think tomorrow I'll be doing the same thing....

Sumandebray said...

you have set the festive mood in a superb way.
The pictures and words complimenting each other to welcome the Christmas celebrations

Michael Manning said...

Zuzana: Your writing has beautifully transitioned us from Autumn to the approaching festive Holidays. I admire the sensitivity and Hope you convey in doing so. It gives pause to many of us who need it. Thank you!
xoxo
Michael

Rosezilla said...

Oh, lovely! I love Christmas. We used to decorate the weekend right after Thanksgiving, but this year I think it will have to wait until next weekend. My son got me started, though. I opened the front door this morning and there were 8 poinsettia plants on the doorstep! Beautiful! They are ALL on the kitchen table now.

sprinkles said...

I love Christmas and it was one of the few times of the year when I can look back at fond childhood memories.

I don't usually decorate since it's just me and the chihuahuas. I do help decorate my parents house though.

How do you keep Batcat from destroying all the decorations? My Scratches was horrible about that!!! He'd love to knock them off the tree and bat them around the house until I was able to stop him.

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

What beautiful narrative. I could see you moving about as I read, as though I was there with you. Very good descriptions of your holiday traditions. I've dragged mine out, but haven't done much yet. The "spirit" just hasn't moved me yet!
Brenda

Doreen said...

what beautiful words you have written!

Happy Holidays to you and Batcat.

Doreen said...

I have been honored with an award and have passed it on to you!

Diane at Crafty Passions said...

You have a way with words,I am starting next week getting ready.Slowly box by box enjoying this ornament and that.. so many memories in those Christmas boxes we take out once a year.
Diane

Miss Eve said...

I am so grateful for this post dearest Zuzana, cause you help me to feel the Christmas spirit over here...it's not easy in China as they don't really celebrate Christmas.

Which is great in some way cause at least I'm not pushed and rushed by shopping centers into the Christmas Shopping at early October(LOL), but I truly miss the kind reminders and features about the winter holidays...

So I'm very excited to read more....

Hope you enjoy your Sunday dear, much love: Evi

Ps: I was so happy to reading your email and it would be so great to see you in Denmark. As I promised I will come to you with a long email shortly so we can discuss the details of our lovely meeting in the future :-)

Silindile Ntuli said...

You write beautifully, as I read this I could clearly picture what I was reading. Beautiful, simply beautiful and your decorations are great.

♥Mimi♥ said...

Absolutely, positively GORGEOUS! Yes, it is wonderful when the dark days of November leave and we can look forward to a series of joyful days filled with activity.


Just stopping by with my Sunday wishes! I count meeting you in blogland as one of my newest and best blessings!

sallymandy said...

Beautiful post and beautiful home you've shared with us. Thank you, Z! I loved reading about your Saturday preparing for the season.

Protege said...

=Helen,
thank you for that kind comment.;) I am glad you too like Mulled Wine, it is so fitting the season, don't you think? Hope you had a lovely weekend.;) xo

=Elizabeth,
thank you so much for those lovely words; I know what you mean about letting go of fall. I think for me as soon as the 1st advent arrives, I know it is winter. Thank you for the movie recommendation; I have heard of it but never seen it. I will definitely keep this one in mind.;) Hope you had a great weekend.;) xo

=Brian,
glad you already have the Holiday feeling in your house; I am sure artificial an be lovely too. These days they can make it look very much like the real deal.;) So, your wife was a ballerina, wow, that sounds so very elegant and fairytale like, I must say.;)


=Mahmud,
thank you for your always kind words.;) I am glad you enjoyed the fall through my eyes, I hope I can make the winter just as interesting.;)

=Kath,
yes, imagine that I have a large red sofa, so I too have the red colour around the whole year.;) Hope you enjoyed the Mulled Wine.;) xoxo

=Betsy,
yes indeed, so right you are, it is so wonderful to reunite with those special items every year around this time.;) And Batcat did help a lot, mostly he would run away with all the ornaments and hide in the boxes.;) I hope you had a lovely weekend.;) xo

=Sumandebray,
thank you, that was a very kind comment, I am happy you enjoyed reading about one of my Christmas traditions.;)

=Michael,
thank you for always being so kind and generous in your comments. I am so happy you enjoy reading about the events that takes place during the most wonderful time of the year. Always so happy when you stop by.;)

=Rosezilla,
glad you too enjoy the Christmas season and what a lovely son you have, that was a truly beautiful gift.;) xoxo

=sprinkles,
I agree, my memories of childhood Christmases are always precious.;) I love to decorate no matter if am alone or not, to me it is a pleasure each year. Batcat usually leaves most of the ornaments alone, once they are up on the tree. But at times he rips off the bows.;) I make sure they are not attached to tight, so the tree doesn’t turn over.;) He otherwise enjoys the tree and often hides under it.;) Always so happy when you stop by.;) xoxo

=Brenda,
thank you so much, I am happy you enjoyed this post.;) And not to worry, we all need time to get into the Christmas mood in our own pace.;) xo

=Doreen,
thank you.;) And thank you so much for the award, I am very flattered. That was so very kind of you.;) xo

=Diane,
thank you for your very kind words. I agree with you, each ornament has a story behind it and it is wonderful to relish in recollection of those memories.;) Thank you so much for your visit, please come back again.;)

=Evi,
I am always so delighted when you stop by and your comments mean the world to me. I am sure it must feel a bit different to celebrate Christmas in an environment so very removed from what you are used to, but I know you make the best of it. ;) Have a wonderful weekend (or what is left of it) and I look forward to your mail.;) xoxo

=Silindile,
thank you very much, that was a very kind comment. I am glad you enjoyed this post and I appreciate your visit, please come back again.;)

=Mimi,
thank you, that was kind of you to say.;) I too look forward to the coming Christmas Holidays, always have and always will.;)

=sallymandy,
so glad you enjoyed this post dear friend; thank you so much for your kind words. I am always so happy when you stop by.;)

Claus said...

As usual, I am late with my weekend comments. It seems that the weekends are so filled with "alternate" activities, I have little desire to go online. I hope that changes in December, as I have a lot of Christmas to share :-)
I LOVE the holiday feeling of your home! the red is a must at this time of year, wouldn't you agree?, and though a bold color, it warms homes and corners everywhere, making days and nights special. Thanks for sharing!

Hilary said...

You're an artist with everything you do.. this post is no exception. Lovely photos of your beautiful holiday-filled home.

Protege said...

=Claudia,
I am ALWAYS very happy reading your kind words, they make my day. No matter when you leave them.;) Thank you for always being so kind and glad that you like my decorations.;) xo

=Hilary,
thank you so much - you are always so kind in your comments my friend and your visits are (and always will be) treasured by me;). xoxo

Noelle Chantal said...

wow! your house is looking better and better! and the christmas decorations adds more to the very homey feel of your place. plus i really like how you decorate, Protege! i like the mini arrangement you made by the widow - so pretty! and the sala look so comfy and nice too. beautiful decors! love the christmas spirit. :)

i still want to try cutting my own christmas tree too. :)

Protege said...

=Noelle,
thank you, it is a bit cluttered, but it is a reflection of me and my life.;) So kind of you to stop by leaving all those kind comments.;) xo