Tag Archives: Silent Night

The Angel and the X-Wing Fighter


Appropos of nothing, Wordamour has decided to post some holiday photos. Maybe with the semester starting this week and some big responsibilities looming (like shepherding the Great Bear Writing Project as it sponsors the national Rural Sites Network Conference in March!) she’s feeling nostalgic for the end of 2010. But if you want to read about writing or reading, you might want to skip this post.

So. We made our traditional Gingerbread cookies and decorated them, along with my favorite sprite L. who would have won the prize for loading up a cookie with the most frosting and sprinkles, if we had one. I guess feasting on a sugary treat like that is prize enough in itself when you’re five.
(That’s my grandmother’s rolling pin in the first picture. I just inherited it and I’m pretty psyched. That rolling pin rolled out a LOT of apple pies over the years.)

This is a tradition in my husband’s family begun by my mother-in-law and practiced by most of the cousins (Wordamour’s husband has seven siblings). We love it. I don’t use her recipe any more though, which was delicious and healthy but I found the dough tear-inducingly hard to work with (and mothers have enough tear inducing stress around in the run up to Christmas without bringing on more). So I switched to Tasha Tudor’s recipe from the book Take Joy, which my mother would get out every Christmas. I am a big Tasha fan. Anyway, the recipe is much easier to work with and still very tasty.


Our decorations were relatively low key this year as we have a nearly year old puppy set on chewing to bits everything in his path. We adore this puppy but I didn’t need the further tear inducment of finding an heirloom ornament one of my kids made in pieces on the floor every morning. So we only put out about 1/3 of our ornaments and decorations and only decorated the tree starting about four feet up this year. Let’s hope next year the chewing obsession calms down, though I have to admit it was kind of a relief to simplify a bit.

Below, the Angel and the X-Wing Fighter. That about characterizes the schizophrenic Christmas decor around here. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Someone asked me once why I didn’t collect those china Christmas Villages, that I seemed like the type. I’m not sure what that means, but while I think they’re perfectly nice, I don’t collect them for a few reasons.
1. No one in either of our families collected them and I kind of tend to lean on family traditions when it comes to the holidays.
2. I really like vintage stuff and if I collect anything for Christmas, its old Golden books (which I collect year round anyway) and shabby vintage paper houses.
3. Those china Christmas villages are really expensive. Old shabby paper houses are cheap.
4. I really don’t have a lot of surface area for a big village display.
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However, I do have one china decoration that means a lot. It’s a replica of the Silent Night chapel in Oberndorf, Austria, outside Salzburg, where Silent Night was composed for guitar on Christmas Eve 1818 (when the organ went out). My great great great great grandfather was Franz Gruber, the humble music teacher who composed the music of that song. I’m kind of proud of that and it’s my dream one day to be in that chapel with my family during the Christmas Eve service.

May your dreams come true in 2011.
Bye y’all,
SV

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Giveaway reminder, and Christmas survey

Just a reminder, the Wordamour giveaway is still going strong.  I have copies of Coraline, Nevermore and Evis and Olive to give away, and anything else I can scare up.  Anyone who comments on Wordamour between November 19 and December 19 will be entered (once for each comment).  I’ll do the drawing on the 20th and send out the goods the 21st.

So, it’s officially the holiday season, marked by the number of radio stations that have gone all Christmas all the time.  What is your favorite holiday song?

For me, it’s a three way tie:

1. Silent Night.  Can’t beat a song that got troops to stop fighting in the trenches on the Western front during WW I.  Also, Franz Gruber, the music teacher who wrote the music and played it that first night, Christmas 1818, on his guitar (the organ was broken) is my great, great, great, great grandfather.  I’m way too proud of this connection but there it is.  One of my life’s goals is to spend some Christmas eve in the Silent Night Chapel, in Oberndorf, Austria, where they recreate the scene of the song’s birth every year.

2. The Christmas Waltz.  “It’s the time of year, when the world falls in love. . .”  Well, I fell in love hard Christmas 1989 and the rest, as they say, is history.  So this song has special meaning for me.  ‘Nuf said.

3. Christmas in Dixie.  I’m such a sentimentalist, but I love this paean to my adopted South.  Ned Perme’s Christmas in Arkansas is a close second. So, weigh in. . .what are your holiday favorites?

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