Welcome December

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie

December has arrived, the month full of festive promise. Christmas carols are playing in stores as shoppers, with masks firmly aligned on their faces, carefully maneuver around each other to maintain social distance. There is a recognition that our reality has changed over the past months and that events will continue to unfold around us.

Ambiguity is the word that comes to mind.

Whenever I think of the Christmas season, I recall the certainty that came when I believed that Santa would arrive on Christmas Eve, that I would receive presents, a scarf and mittens, books and crafts. One year a transistor radio appeared, which marked the ending of my “Santa years,” for I had discovered that carefully constructed suggestions beginning in September would produce the desired results. Again, there was a high likelihood of certainty.

As I contemplate Christmas 2020, without the cheery family gatherings and the warmth of get-togethers with friends, I begin to consider that perhaps uncertainty is a form of certainty. And within this framework of knowledge, resilience and gratitude take hold within our hearts. Yes, we can face the unknown with courage and even a measure of audacity.

Tomorrow is for tomorrow, but for tonight, I’ll be checking out the Victorian village and train under our Christmas tree.

77 Comments Add yours

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Ms. Wilder defined my childhood. I was with her in every book across America and I was fascinated by her bio. Let’s meet at The Post Office, under your tree დ

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I will be there, Cindy. I’ll be wearing a red scarf 🧣!!! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was a very big fan of Ms.Wilder as well. I had it in my head that it would be delightful to live in my very own soddie, but my mother disagreed.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Clanmother says:

        My mother talks about her grandparents and their soddie. My grandfather was the last child born in the soddie. I understand that when the new home was built my great-grandmother didn’t want to move out of their soddie. It must have had many wonderful memories for her. Home is truly where the heart resides.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mary Jo Malo says:

        That was a fantastic podcast!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Clanmother says:

        You are the best source of support and encouragement Mary Jo!🤗🤗🤗🤗

        Liked by 2 people

      4. How interesting that you have a direct connection to soddies!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “perhaps uncertainty is a form of certainty.” 👍

    🎅

    ✨☀️🙏🕉️♾️☮️🙏☀️✨

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz says:

    “The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus. Let us embrace the certainty of more ambiguity to come, and find peace in the love and friendship which supports us through it. 💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh, Liz! You do have a wonderful way with words. Yes indeed – the spirit of love and friendship is ever present, a light that shines in dark places. I especially appreciated your nod to the ancient past. It seems that change has been humanity’s constant companion. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Liz says:

        It is remarkable how much we can still get from the writings of the ancients. I guess it shows that a few thousand years is actually pretty short in evolutionary terms! X

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Ah, Rebecca, thank you for such a sweet welcome to a festive month that for many may be a lonely and gray one. May that grayness turn full color just like your wonderful post! Many hugs! 🤗🤗

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      What a wonderful idea, Marina. Your idea of the “grey” changing colours sent me on a mini research project to find out what colours blended together to create the colour “grey”. I know that black and white mixed together produces “grey” but what I didn’t know was that it could also be made by combining equal amounts of cyan, magenta, and yellow. So it would seem that there there is a possibility of “grayness tuning full colour.” Sending hugs back with all speed!!! Zoom zoom!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes there is indeed!!!
        Many many hugs zooming back to you!!!!!
        xoxoxo

        Liked by 2 people

  5. A lovely post Rebecca. the best of the season to you xxxxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Shehanne, I have been enjoying your Christmas decoration photos. I’m certain that Santa will be stopping by your place. You look like you live on Santa Claus lane where even Santa may believe that you are his neighbour. All the very best of this festive season. Hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The same to you my lovely Clan Sister. Thank you very much. Truly. Your comment means a lot to me. I am sure he will stop by to fill the wee grandies’ stockings. The very best to you. HUGS, HUGS and even bigger HUGS. x

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Klausbernd says:

    Dearest Rebecca,
    we love your sentence: “uncertainty is a form of certainty.” Siri 🙂 immediately wrote it down in her book of fairy wisdom.
    Wishing you a wonderful week.
    With lots of love and big hugs
    🤗🤗🤗🤗
    to you, Don and Thomas
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, dear Siri! I’m so excited to be included in your book of fairy wisdom. Over the past months, I have learned that there is a great deal of “fairy wisdom” that is generated from friendships and life-affirming conversations. All the very very best from the Don, Thomas and me to our dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Dear Rebecca, your post has brought back to me the kind of Christmas feeling I used to have and I thank you very much for it:) There is, however, the following, very true sentence, that uncertainty has become certainty that has been occupying my mind recently very much! In the Guardian I have read that the consensus of reality is breaking done, which worries me quite a lot and why it is so precious to have some people you can trust. I wish you a very good week and big hug Martina

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for your insightful comments, Martina, which will accompany me going into a new week. A great thinking point. This past year has prompted a profound re-evaluation of our individual and community expectations within the context of a global reality. Covid19 cannot be isolated or contained within a specific location – it resides everywhere. Over the course of history, the question of “consensus of reality” has been discussed, specifically as to the effects of a society in which all individuals do not agree upon the same reality. Given that our technology is able to bring news updates to our kitchen tables, the massive amount of information is difficult to process, which has strained our ability to focus. We are in a situation which challenges our thinking, our motivation, our enthusiasm for life. I am grateful for your friendship, Martina and for our compassionate blogging community. For this is where light shines brilliantly on dark places. All the very very best of this festive season. Sending many hugs your way.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, dear Rebecca, the exchanges of our ideas with you and some other people are really most precious and give me much joy:) What you say here above is completely true.I am however afraid that we, the individual does not understand, or doesn’t want to understand reality anymore and rather switches from one argument to the other, because otherwise we would have to change our lives completely, (give up iphone, internet, trips by plane ect.)which would be very painful!
        Anyway, I wish you as much joy in the following Christmas time as possible:):) Very big hug Martina

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        It is a very delicate balance, isn’t it! Sending big hugs back, Martina!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Annika Perry says:

    Rebecca, first I’m smitten with Victorian Village and train … it’s put me in such a Christmas mood, especially watching the video!😀 Thank you for sharing this and your thoughts of this year. If it’s proved anything it is that ‘uncertainty is a form of certainty’ and I agree the more we embrace this with courage the easier our lives will become. Yes, here’s to living with ‘audacity’!! hugs winging their way to you xx 😊❤️

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments. My son loved trains, so our Christmas train has been a long-standing tradition in our household. But I wondered why and when trains became attached to Christmas. Of course, these questions sent me down a “research” rabbit hole. It seems that trains under Christmas trees first appeared in the early 1900’s. Trains were associated with the long distance travel that occurred during the Christmas holiday season. Most people traveled these distances by train. It didn’t take long before trains engendered the sentimental feelings of passed Christmases and good times spent with family and friends. I agree wholeheartedly – here’s to living with audacity. Hugs and more hugs.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Annika Perry says:

        Fabulous research and I still feel travelling by train can be very evocative and hearken back to olden days.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Paul Andruss says:

        That is a lovely tale about the origin of an obscure tradition. Kudos to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Clanmother says:

        Thank you, Paul!!!

        Like

      4. I’d never thought about where the connection between trains and Christmas started. Thank you for going down the research rabbit hole to find out! My father so loved setting up the train under the Christmas tree for my little brother, who in turned set it up for his children and then his grandchildren. To picture the original scene, think sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree because my dad would not put up the tree until the Saturday before Christmas in observance of Advent.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Clanmother says:

        Those rabbit holes can go deep deep deep – it is so much fun, isn’t it!!! How wonderful to have your Christmas train continue to excite new generations. Hugs!

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Rabbit holes are great fun! I never know what serendipitous inspiration they will lead to. Choo, choo!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Ms Frances says:

    Thank you for this lovely little tour of the little town under your Christmas tree. Love all the little houses and the moving train around the tree. A lot of time was put into the Christmas tree and scene under. it. I like the quote from the Little House on the Prairie. Thank the Lord for His Presence, our lovely homes and love of family, though we have to observe distancing. Yes, this year will be very different, but we will look back at this year and talk of this time in history as we do other historical happenings in our world.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Frances – you have helped set up this Victorian Village many times over the years. It still remains every fresh and vibrant, a reminder of happy celebrations in that past as well as in the present. In the years ahead, we will look back at this year – 2020, as a pivotal year for our world. I want to remember that in this year I chose expectation over dread, hope over despair. As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol: “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” Hugs and love!!

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Such a wise and wonderful post! Yes, we can embrace the uncertainty of these present times with courage.How I love your Victorian village! We must keep the child within us alive and well!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      How very well said, Linda. Keeping the child within us alive and well is a wonderful way to start our a new year of opportunities and possibilities. Thank you for your lovely comments and for joining me under the Christmas tree. Sending hugs your way.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Paul Andruss says:

    Lovely words Rebecca. Brilliant to think of Uncertainty as the new certainty. The christmas Village is beautiful, a real traditional feel to this. It looks quite old and all the better for being so.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for your heartwarming comments, Paul. We have had that village for over thirty years and am surprised that it still remains intact. Here’s to a year of living with a spirit of audacity. The adventures continue….

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Dave Astor says:

    Rebecca, thank you for the reflective post on this year’s holiday season — which evokes ambiguous feelings indeed. But there’s no ambiguity about your video; it’s a feast for the ears and eyes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I confess to you – and no other – that I did not include the clips that showed the train getting stuck in the “cotton” snow – several times. LOL. I am delighted that you enjoyed the video. We have had our Victorian Village for almost 30 years (how did it get so late so soon, as Dr. Seuss would say). The history behind these villages date back to the late 19th century when FW Woolworth stocked his stores with paper buildings and village collectibles. Isn’t it interesting how one idea becomes a trend and how traditions emerge out of nowhere! BTW, I am learning to love the word, “ambiguity.”

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Rebecca, you have such a joyous heart! These days, when I’m often doubtful life will ever be the same again, your uplifting words encourage me to renew hope and faith in the certainties that remain. They’re always here to bridge the distance with others, since they certainly remain in our thoughts and prayers. I’m thankful to my blogger friends who, despite these uncertain times, find both time and kindness to continue within our community. What a delightful video! I felt I was there lying on my tummy staring at the lighted village and the train circling round the evergreen 🙂 Welcome, December, Hugs!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Mary Jo – thank you for your friendship and great conversations over the past year. I am looking forward to the many discussions that are waiting for us in 2021. I agree wholeheartedly- we belong to a compassionate and responsive blogging community – one that encourages and supports individual creative endeavours. I was lying on the floor trying to take the photos. I find that getting down is much easier than getting up!! LOL. As Charles Schulz said so eloquently: “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” Thank you for all those extras, Mary Jo. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Thank you…Delightful! 🎄 Merry Christmas! 💕

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Bette for sharing this moment with me. Your comments and visit are very much appreciated. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Resa says:

    I adore your spirit, Rebecca. I’m not religious, but I’ve always been a glutton for Christmas.
    I too, have been contemplating, even living out the reality of certainty within uncertainty.
    You know, as many of us realize, that the season has become a commercial boom time. It comes faster, sooner, costlier, more pressure creating depression in some, and loneliness in those all alone .
    I consider the gift to me this year is the gift of humbleness.
    This virus has put us in our place; forcing us to slow down, take time and really reflect.
    It’s still a time of joy, because the joy is within each of us.
    If we can’t find joy there, no amount of food, presents and family/social gatherings will bring true joy. It is merely a placebo.
    I hope that those who seek this placebo, and break rules of avoiding Covid, will take some time to understand that their actions are a present to the rest of humanity. The gift of spreading the virus.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh, Resa – your words are full of wisdom and gratitude for life. When we face the unknown, our choices are more deliberate and nuanced by the knowledge that our actions and reactions lead to unanticipated outcomes. We simple do not know how events will unfold. I agree wholeheartedly that NOW is the time to celebrate joy and hope – to nurture compassion for others. These are choices that bring out the best in all of us. Thank you for sharing your brilliant idea of humbleness as the gift for this Christmas season. Sending hugs and love across the prairies to you…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Resa says:

        Adore you…. humbly, Resa.
        {{{hugs}}}

        Liked by 2 people

  16. J.D. says:

    What a warm and inviting tree you have. Thank you for the glimpse into your home. “Uncertainty is a kind of certainty.” If there’s one lesson in our current situation, I believe this is it. Happy December, Rebecca.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, my dear friend for joining me under the Christmas tree. I’m so glad that we are heading into a New Year once again together – 2021. Sending hug, love and gratitude for our friendship over the years.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Jean-Jacques says:

    Your Christmas miniatures imagery and video along with your enthusiasm in the spirit of the Holiday Season fills a very large part of the hole that covid-19 has imposed on us all. Wonderful, Rebecca !

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Jean-Jacques – when I look back at past Christmases, I do not remember the presents – well, except for that transistor radio when I was 11. What I hold in my memory is the sense of belonging, of being valued and loved. We lived in Northern Manitoba where the temperatures would dip below 40c. Winters were about being in a warm house, music, reading and the companionship of family and friends. These past months, those activities have resurfaced, now that Covid-19 has imposed restrictions on our movements. We may not be able to get together in person, we have found other ways in which to connect. Music, art and poetry continue to thrive – and that gives me great comfort. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. Hugs to you and Marianne!!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Such a wonderful festive video, dear Rebecca. I do love that Christmas carol too. It reminded me of when as children we would join a merry band of carolers, well wrapped up against the cold weather. Such traditions seem to have died, but the carols live on in our hearts. The gorgeous train and Victorian village is very special. It must bring joy to you and yours every Christmas time. Thanks so much for sharing. 😍🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I remember those Christmas caroling events. A merry band is the best way to describe us as we moved through the streets. We would bundle up with scarves, hats and gloves and sing out with great enthusiasm before heading inside to the smell of cocoa and marshmallows. I agree, Sylvia, these carols live on in our hearts. I love Charles Dickens’s thought on this: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Sending the joy and happiness of Christmas season to you and yours. Hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, the Charles Dickens quote is absolutely the most quintessential Christmas quote, Rebecca. Who, upon reading it can help but enter into the true spirit of the season? 🤗🤗😘

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I used to go Christmas caroling in our little Vermont village. I’d forgotten all about that!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. That’s lovely that you’ve been reminded of those happy days, Liz. 🤗

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yes, it was, Sylvia.

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Meg says:

    I also loved getting a scarf and mittens, especially since I was always losing one of my mittens (not both, but one). Christmas will be wonderful this year – a beautiful post Rebecca!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Meg! It will be a wonderful festive season – one that will be remembered in the years to come. I love the quote by Hamilton Wright Mable: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Many thanks for your heartwarming comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Now, I can get behind a conspiracy of love–with our primary strategy to open the floodgates of kindness.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Oh I do love that metaphor – “floodgates of kindness.” Hugs!

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Hugs reciprocated!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. This post is great! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Lavinia Ross says:

    I remember homemade fudge and wild grape jelly from my aunt at Christmas, a long time ago. I think those were the best gifts.

    Like

  22. What a lovely post, Rebecca, and the images bring back memories of the way my mom used to decorate our mantle with a little Christmas village. It’s a strange Christmas without family around the tree, but they are around our hearts, and that’s a good feeling. There is much to be grateful for even in times of loss and missing. A warm and peaceful Christmas to you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Diana for your heartening words as we enter the festive season that will be unlike the one that we had planned. I agree – gratitude has surrounded my heart with the knowledge that even through we are apart, we are together. I’ve been singing “Ill be home for Christmas” with renewed energy these days. I am delighted that 2020 brought us together. Looking forward to the many conversations that are waiting for us in 2021.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Me too. Keep singing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I think it’s fine, even though, no gatherings are allowed. Well, I know I’m different because I never had any gathering since living in Canada, that’s 16 years now. I don’t have any friends or family here, so, nobody to invite.
    Your childhood memories are nice, definitely worth to revisit.
    I was a kid in Soviet Latvia, we could not celebrate Christmas.
    When we could after Latvia became independent I already had my own daughter. Though, we never went for lots of gifts if any.
    I never had any gifts in my childhood except sweets for the New Year, and I have noticed we are not crazy about buying a lot of gits also now. It’s probably how one is used to.
    I know my isolated life might seem absolutely insane for an average Canadian person, but nothing bad happens when one is mostly alone. We have a tree, a live, real tree always, I and my husband, and that’s all I need..
    I hope you find pleasure in revisiting your nice memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      These past months have reminded me that there is a significant difference between solitude and loneliness. There is peace in solitude for we have communion within, which creates more understanding in how we engage in the wider community. I especially appreciate Henry David Thoreau’s thought: “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that so companionable as solitude.” Thank you for joining me under the Christmas tree!! Sending hugs and all the very best of this festive season to you and your husband.

      Like

  24. clcouch123 says:

    This is a pleasant and courageous message through photographs, video, and especially with words. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you stopped by and for you heartwarming comments, clcouch! I especially appreciate your “I’ll Talk, You’ll Talk, We’ll Talk”. Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Careful, Rebecca. You just might give this Grinch some Christmas spirit. 😀 I love your Christmas village — especially the train. You know what I love to say… All aboard!
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      You are the least Grinch-like person I know!!! I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas – already watched it this December “Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!” I hear the whistle of the train – we are on our way, Teagan. It’s taking us to 2021 together.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. walesforevercymru says:

    I love the quote, dear Rebecca, and the Christmas village under the tree. What a lovely idea. Blessings of Peace from North Wales. Have a very happy Christmas! 💙💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for your visit and comments. All the very best of this beautiful and festive season. Merry Christmas!🎄🎁

      Liked by 1 person

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