December Sketchbook & Journal

No big review of the year, here, just a brief record of a beautiful December

3rd December 

Ready to leap in, head-first, to the festivities. The excitement on Piglet’s face, the anticipation, is magical.  We chose an enormous tree and brought it home strapped to the roof of the car.  It is a tree meant for a town hall or a church, not our living room.  It has taken over and we adore it.  

After we chose the tree, we took a walk down a snowy, frozen lane.  Snowball fights, and fights with frosty seed-heads.  It was a winter wonderland. December is Decembering very well so far.

This morning we decorated our mammoth tree.  A ladybird crawled out, much to the kids’ delight. I suppose it had been hibernating and our warm house woke it up.  The ladybird was named Tom.  Eventually it got fed up of the attention and flew back into the tree for a nap.

4th December

Thinking about peace: what it really means, symbols of peace.  What true peace is: freedom, liberation, safety.

21st December

Dropped Piglet at nursery for his last morning before the Christmas holidays.  Spirits running high (as a kite). On the way back down the path, Trix and I stopped for a while to watch a tree-ful of long tailed tits above us. Flitting, calling, swapping branches.  Constant, almost rhythmic movement. I could have stayed watching for much longer but Trix yelled BAHBYE to the birds.  Quite the clear signal that she thought it was time to move on. 

In the Co-Op car park, she shouted JACKDAW at a jackdaw and I have never been so proud. 

Tonight we had a candlelit tea to mark the longest night. I think this solstice tradition might be my favourite of our emerging family traditions. Our winter festival of feasting, light and hope is underway.

25th December. Christmas Day (just).

It is 2am.

I’m sitting on the sofa by the enormous Christmas tree, with a sleeping Trixie girl on my chest. Her wee fat arms are round my neck.

I’ve been trying to settle her for hours. I finally gave up on bed and brought her downstairs  (met Ross in the hall, also not asleep). Trix and I looked at the moon from the window, amazingly bright and clear (such a good moon for Santa.  Such a good moon to birth a baby in a manger under). Trix loves the moon so much. I felt her calming in my arms.  We were both calmed.  She was asleep again within minutes. Magic moon.  I’ll try bed again soon.

Piglet is fast asleep upstairs in my bed. He was such an excited wee boy at bedtime. We put out the usual goodies for Santa and Rudolph. Piglet went to get a coaster for Santa’s glass of milk. He is the sweetest boy that ever lived.

I think tomorrow will be magical, and also I desperately need some sleep if I am going to survive it.

26th December. Boxing Day

Family walk up Peniel Heugh.  A kestrel hanging in the still blue sky.  A perfect December day before the storms arrive tomorrow.

30th December

Frosty oak leaves on the ground, frozen puddles, very light snow. In the woods with Piglet, a wheelbarrow, a coffee and a bit of Christmas cake. 

31st December. Hogmanay.

I can confirm that Christmas was magical. And hard work and funny and jolly and exhausting.  And now here we are on Auld Year’s Night, ready to usher in 2024. I read somewhere this week of the image of time, and aging, not as a line but more like rings of timber on a trunk of a tree.  I like that – a thickening, an adding to, a collecting (rather than time running out, the best being behind you, and other scary thoughts).

I’m usually quite keen on a reminisce and a resolution, but I don’t feel like it this year.  No grandiose summary of the year gone by from me.  I’m just happy to keep pottering on, trying to enjoy the quiet moments, working and loving.  I’m hoping for more sleep. I think I say that every year.

Wishing you all a very happy new year xxxx

December ivy sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir
Little girl in dress and wellies, sketchbook page, Hannah Longmuir December 2023

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