Christmas Eve, Clintonville Style

In 2011, Bob and I moved our big, blended family into an old farmhouse in our favorite neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Clintonville is a special place, and although it is growing and changing – along with the rest of Columbus – we still enjoy calling this crunchy-granola enclave home.

Long before we arrived, the neighbors at the end of our street were lining their curbs with milk jug luminaries on Christmas Eve to light the way for Santa’s sleigh. For us it was a new tradition, which includes spontaneous caroling while walking down the road to view the homemade light show.

We had so much fun this year. The neighbors seemed to enjoy our caroling and they lit off fireworks after dusk!

Enjoy my original version of the Clement Clarke Moore classic, with a local twist.

A Clintonville Visit

T’was the night before Christmas
And all through the ‘Ville
All the neighbors were stirring
On Glenmont’s small hill.

The rats in my compost
And the deer in your grass
Scurried to gather
A long night’s repast,

While the owl in the tree,
And fox in the ravine,
Hunted their dinners
From the rodentia teem.

The children were gathered
In the family bed
Expecting some presents
From the big man in red.

The moms and the pops
Raided recycling bins
To save the landfill
From more plastic sins.

They took to the Ave
And lined up the jugs
Filling each with a light
To guide Rudolph’s red mug.

Friends gathered and sung
The old carols of yore
Like the Whos in Whoville.
Like George Bailey’s choir.

Hanukkah, Christmas,
Solstice, and Kwanzaa,
They sang all the tunes,
Including the stanzas!

The frost, how it sparkled!
The candles, how merry!
Lighting the way
For Yuletide’s sprightly fairy.

At the end of road
Came a jingling hoot.
It was Clintonville Elvis
In a red Santa suit!

He strolled with intention
Toward Ye Olde Savor Growler
And waved to the revelers
Who heard the man holler,

“Ho, hippies! Yo, yuppies!
Whoa, hipsters!,” in a drawl,
“To everyone, everywhere,
Happy Holidays, y’all!”

This post is part of the Virtual Advent Tour at spritewrites.net.

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Seven Sweet Seasonal Songs

I’ve been listening to holiday music since a few days before Thanksgiving. What can I say? The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. I was going to blog my top five, but I found I couldn’t limit it to that number. These are my top seven seasonal favorites in no particular order.

Silver Bells – This is a nostalgic song for me. My sister and I used to sing this together and harmonize. Now I sing it alone and harmonize with no one. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Kitka A’v JerusalimeWhen I first heard Kitka’s Wintersongs album, I fell in love. This is my favorite song on the album. Hearing their strong and unified joyful voices makes me cry. I wish I could sing like this. Here’s a video of them singing it live!

Sufjan Stevens – It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad! I love the quirkiness of this song. We sing along to it in the car. This is one I will be listening to when all the kids are grown and gone, and I’ll probably cry.

Sting Gabriel’s Message – The yuletide is supposed to be a happy time, but it is also a mystical time. This song captures the essence of that for me.

Vince Guaraldi Greensleeves – My favorite version of my all time favorite, forever and ever, amen.

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions Isn’t It True – This one isn’t really a Christmas song, but the sleigh bells make me think of winter. And Bob bought this CD for me one Christmas, which makes it special.

Andy Williams Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season – Let’s end on a high note! This is the song I love to belt out in true lounge singer style. I know all the words. I’ll bet you do too. Sing along! And feel free to share your top 5 seasonal songs below or on your blog!

Holiday Traditions

Spritewrites.net has a Virtual Advent Tour where different bloggers sign up to share their holiday traditions during the season. I signed up for Christmas Eve!

Last night all the boys and I watched Rare Exports. I have blogged before that this is my favorite holiday movie. This year I made gingerbread and we played a “drinking game” where we took a bite of gingerbread every time a character did. I only ate three cookies, but could have easily eaten four. I was reserved.

I weighed myself today. I haven’t gained any weight even though I haven’t exercised in two weeks and I’ve been eating whatever I want. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle! Back to the gym today.

Oh so grateful for my boys. It was good to hang out with them last night.

What’s your favorite holiday movie? Leave a comment!

Swatching Shetland for Christmas

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If the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a sign of things to come for 2018, I’ll be working on a lot of new projects next year!

I was very excited to get my hands on some J&S Jumper Weight yarn. I’ll admit it. I became fascinated with the idea of knitting with shetland wool yarn after binge watching Shetland on Netflix. I couldn’t order it directly, or find it online, until Ravelry pointed me in the direction of Lost City Knits. The fact that she is in Oklahoma City (I’m a displaced Okie) sealed the deal for me. I only ordered enough to swatch, though.

My first idea was to knit a simple navy blue pullover for myself. That is the type of thing I enjoy wearing: basic and neutral. It’s a gorgeous yarn, a little smaller gauge than I normally like to work with, but the fabric is perfect.

Now I have more ideas, and this swatch will hopefully help me flesh some of them out. I ordered an additional color to experiment with, and will probably introduce some cabling as well as 2-strand color knitting. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on both sweaters in the coming year. The big question is, of course, funding for yarn.

I see some bingeswatching Shetland in my immediate future.

We had a nice, low-key Christmas with mostly-grown kids coming and going. My Christmas cactus bloomed again because I locked it in the root cellar for a month. It is beautiful but it bothers me that I have to deprive it of sunlight to bloom. Why is it that some of us only perform under pressure? I’m hoping to change that for myself in the coming year and become the kind of person who can succeed without trying too hard.

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Christmas Cookies!

I baked Christmas cookies today! Everything has to be vegan and gluten-free at my house, so that makes it challenging. Luckily the internet is full of exceptional vegan and gluten-free recipes!

This was my first time making vegan and gluten-free shortbread. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they turned out.

I did knit today. I worked on the big knitting cowl and started a swatch for a new design that is still in the concept phase. I hope to be able to blog about that soon!