The postman came through the wood with a bundle of letters and Christmas cards. He stood by the fire and had a cup of tea, and admired the decorations whilst Margaret opened her cards with cries of happiness, and excitement. She didn't stop to read them, she took out all the cards which had no names on them and popped them into envelopes. Then she readressed them, dexterously reshuffling and redealing, so that the postmans should take them with him, a thrifty procedure.
Susan had a card which she liked above everything, a church with roof and towers and foreground covered with glittering snow. But when it was held up to the light, colours streamed through the windows, reds and blues, from two patches at the back. She put it with her best treasures to be kept forever.
It was nearly time to start for church and all was bustle and rush as usual.... Down the hill they went, Mrs. Garland first, Susan walking in her tracks, through the clean snow, like the page in 'Good King Wenceslas', along the white roads unmarked except by the hooves and wheels of the milk carts, to the tune of gay dancing bells to the ivy-covered church.
Inside it was warm and beautiful, with ivy and holly, and lovely lilies and red leaves from the Court. The rich people wore their silks and furs, all scented and shining. Susan looked at them and wondered about their presents. She had heard they had real Christmas trees, with toys and candles like the one in Hans Andersen, which stood up in a room nearly to the ceiling. She would just like to peep at one for a minute, one minute only, to see if her imagination was right.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Christmas Eve arrives
I love Christmas Eve - there is a such a peaceful, homey feeling about it. Gathering together and opening a gift or two, quietly listening to Christmas music, knowing that nearly everyone has the time off to relax and the world slows down...there is something beautiful about it. I love to read old fashioned books at this time of year as well, and my new tradition after last year's discovery of this lovely book is to reread the Christmas chapters of Alison Uttley's The Country Child. Here is a little bit of Susan Garland's Christmas celebrations: