Thursday, December 28, 2006

Celebrating the Holidays

There is very little more beautiful than the 8th night of Hanukkah with all the candles burning brightly against the dark.

Of course, there are other holidays with nice traditions this time of year, too.

After indulging in a bit of egg nog (fortified with a bourbon that seemed appropriate for this raven), we headed south to visit my parents at their hometown.

My parents celebrate Christmas. I always love seeing their simple tree...

...decorated with pinecones, straw, small brushed-gold balls, and my Great Aunt June's beautiful crocheted ornaments.

And there was knitting, too--the Christmas stocking I grew up with, knitted by my Granny...

...and the rest of the family's stockings, knit by my mother many many years ago. I have not seen these in several years.

When I was a girl, we always celebrated Christmas at Granny's house--and we still do, even though she has been dead for more than a decade. Her house has no chimney, so the stockings are hung on an ancient dresser in her front hallway.

I loved watching my family open their gifts: Irish Hiking Scarf for my father, still recovering from surgery and cancer treatment and preparing for probable further surgery in January

...a linen feather-and-fan stole for my mother, knit on Granny's slippery old needles

...the felted Satchel that David knit for my brother

...and the Adamas shawl for Rebecca, by far the most photogenic model of the group. (The thing she is wearing that looks like a nametag is actually a PhD button that Son drew for her!)

Son received a wonderful present from his grandparents--and he hasn't stopped playing for a second since he opened the box:

On the day after Christmas, the temperature plummeted. We went to visit Granny's grave, intending to take some shells to lay on her marker in our effort to combine our Jewish memorial practices with her coastal identity.

When we arrived, we found that my uncle has brought her a wreath--exactly the kind of wreath I remember her hanging on her front door when I was small.

I miss her every day and do not knit a single stitch without thinking of her.

I hope that all of you, regardless of your traditions, found meaning this holiday season.


Anonymous said...

You don't know me from Adam, but your posts often seem to really touch me and bring a tear to my eye. I love the picture of your Dad with the scarf, and how touching the one of your Grandma's grave with the wreath.

Although my Great-Grandma Nana did not teach me to knit, but did teach me to crochet and sew and love all things made by hands that love, she is with me every time I pick up yarn, fabric, needles and thread.

Thank you, and Happy New Year to your lovely family.

beadlizard said...

Yet another beautiful post. I wish your dad luck and patience.

Music is the BEST pursuit for young people with grand minds. Has he learned to read charts and written music yet? I practiced an average of 40 hours per week for most of my youth.

I miss my great-grandmother every day. Spent Christmas at my grandmother's home and felt blessed that Gfather and Big Sylvia are still with us.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed every image and word. I'm glad all of your beautiful knitted gifts seem to be so well-loved by their recipients!

Anonymous said...

As always, lovely photographs. And some pretty impressive knitted gifts as well!!!

I'm so glad your holidays were happy. Your dad looks wonderful! One would hardly know that he has been recovering from such ill health. I'll be thinking good thoughts for a quick recovery from his upcoming surgery.

Sara Skates said...

What a great post. You look a lot like your father ;) How great with all the hand-knitted gifts - I love the stockings too!

Susan said...

Wonderful post. I love family photos. It looks like everybody really appreciates your gifts.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year too.



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