Sunday, December 15, 2013

Celebrating my way. 3rd Advent Sunday

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I'll begin...

And thank you to
for inviting us to share
our Winter celebrations. 

(Whenever I say 'Christmas' 
feel free to insert the 
Winter Festival
 of your choice.)

Part of what makes Christmas special
is the repetition of customs and traditions
that inspire feelings of nostalgia and pleasure,
building on happy memories of previous years.

When we talk about childhood Christmases
we tumble the best bits together,
and good things get carried forward
to become part of every Christmas.

One year, not long after we'd married,
Hubby asked me to read aloud to him.

Understand, dear souls,
I stammer. 
No one had ever asked me 
to read aloud to them before.

He wanted me to read him
A Christmas Carol.

Not us. Some couple by Renoir.

So I did.

Tucked up together on the sofa,
wrapped in a blanket and 
drinking steaming hot tea,
I read the whole thing.

I know him; Marley's ghost!

It took three readings
to complete the story,
and its transformative tale
of a man's redemption.

More ghosts.

I found I loved reading it,
and he enjoyed being read to,
so now it's part of every Christmas.

 We set aside evenings for it,
with cookies and cocoa,
and I have to have a hanky
because I get all choked up.

  He: Are you all right, my dear?  She: No! Tiny Tim just died!

It's a simple thing to do.
It costs nothing and
you can find the book for free on-line.

(Although we are considering buying a nice version
as my old paperback copy is getting very battered.)

Maybe one with Arthur Rackham's wonderful illustrations?

There's a wonderful intimacy
in reading aloud;
it's a shared experience
that's unlike anything else.

Also not us.  Paolo e Francesca

I look forward to it every year.

Not Krampus

If you want to try it
I'd set aside three evenings.

The first for Marley's visit

The second for Christmas Past 

and Christmas Present.

And the last for 
Christmas Yet To Come. 
and Christmas morning.

Provide nibbles,
light lots of candles,
and enjoy the role
of the Storyteller.

Links to making your own Marley Door Knocker can be found here.

To share in other celebrations,
hop over to Ms Misantropia's Blog
to join in


  1. What a wonderful tradition! I have several copies of the book (and adaptations thereof!) but to read I always gravitate back to the same book. I enjoy the feel of the pages, the familiarity.

    We listen to audiobooks when we travel. Easier than trying to read and keep an eye on the road (I watch, even when I am not the driver) and it is a nice shared experience for us too.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you! I have to admit, even as a non-driver I can see it would be difficult to read and drive, although I do know people who do it. And I understand about having a favourite copy of a book. I'm choosing my next copy with care, as it will get heavy use.

  2. What a wonderful tradition, I love that your hubby asked you to read to him!
    I think I have a copy of a Christmas Carol somewhere around here... :)

    1. Thank you. He's a sweetheart and I thought it was very sweet of him, too. I was nervous the first year, and I thought the story was too long to read the whole thing. But no, it can be pleasantly tucked into a couple of evenings, or three.

  3. Merry Christmas, Rhissanna. I'm greeting you from the future, obviously. That's a wonderful tradition and very brave of you to undertake with the stammer. Your Hubby is a lucky guy.

    1. Merry Christmas to you, Mr N. Do we have flying cars yet?

      I thought it was such a charming thing for him to ask me to do, and I was oddly flattered to be asked. It's now a very special, close and cosy part of Christmas and I'm glad he and I have the time to set aside for something so simple and yet so intimate.

  4. Giving a love one something we haven't given to any other is such a great gift.

    I'm not the best reader, when it come to reading aloud. My brain seems to read faster than my mouth, so I, um... skip words. No idea how it happens. So in order to make sure that I don't leave words behind, I try to read unnaturally slow. I usually warn people before I start, telling them, "If you are reading along and I eat a word or three, don't be afraid to point out my greed."

    1. It was a real treat to be asked. Sweet and old-fashioned and snuggly. I really look forward to it every year.

      As for eating words, they won't know you've swallowed them, if you don't give them the script. With the stammer, I have to skip words, or find a substitute I can trick my brain into allowing me to say. That's why I hold the book out of his reach :)

  5. I haven't thought about reading aloud since I was in grade-school and the teacher read to us. But audiobooks are getting popular, and your traditional read is lovely! I loved the pics, especially ghosties in the sky! lol Thanks for sharing. (I'll have my Yul post up next week, fingers crossed.)

    1. Looking forward to seeing your Yul post, Lexa. Audio books are wonderful, especially in the car, but they don't have the flexibility of stopping and responding and they don't go and make everyone tea half way through. The ghosties in the sky are wonderful, aren't they? I'm really holding out for a copy of Christmas Carol with Arthur Rackham's illustrations.

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