Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Tis the Season ...

Merry Christmas, Happy Zwanzaa, and belated warm wishes for both Chanukah and the Winter Solstice. Ooops ... almost forgot; a belated Fabulous Festivus as well. We offer Season's Greetings to one and all.

My husband, Dan, especially loves A Christmas Carol ... the story as published in 1843, and all the film adaptations as well. It doesn't matter which one. We both love Dickens' themes of transformation and redemption. (Dan is living proof. He didn't become a cat-person until his 60s. And if that is not some serious transformation, then I don't know what is. The cats say that his evolution rises to the higher feline standard of redemption. But then, they would.)

But I especially love the concepts that surround the Winter Solstice. For me, it's about coming from the darkest, most internal time of the year and back into the Light. In fall, I admit to feeling a little relieved at the end of summer, that most outgoing of all seasons. When fall arrives, it feels to me like the natural return to a more inward-attentive season of the heart, mind and spirit. But with the marking of the Winter Solstice, things feel like they begin to lighten up just a bit. My optimism begins to take over from my habitual deep-fall broodiness, and I'm glad to celebrate lightness again, and my hope for personal enlightenment is renewed. That hope includes my wishes for all of man and woman kind. After the hours of dark and light become equal, the light stays just a little longer every day and it seems time to get on with the business of doing the activities of daily life with more enthusiasm and hope.

Dan loves the Winter Solstice for those same reasons, he claims. But I also know that he waits for it so he can ask complete strangers if they have noticed how the days getting longer on December 22nd. You have to be there. It's mildly amusing to watch their expressions of polite confusion.  He thinks it's hysterical.

To all of you who regularly read what I write, or only read occassionally, or just happened by today  ... thank you for all the gifts of beauty and friendship and insight you've shared with me this year. Let's celebrate first what and whom we love the most and then get ready to take another fantastic trip around the sun. Once more with grand gusto and your own, inimitable personal style!

Happy Holidays, no matter how or where you celebrate them!

In French: Joyeuses Fêtes!
In Spanish: Felices Fiestas!
In Vietnamese: Hạnh phúc ngày lễ
In Chinese: 節日快樂
In Irish: Laethanta saoire sona
In Swedish: Trevlig Helg!
In Romanian: Sarbatori Fericite!
In Korean: 행복 휴일
In Indonesian: Selamat Hari Raya!
In Mandarin: Jie Ri Yu Kuai
In Italian: Buone Feste!
In German: Forhe Feiertage
In Dutch: Prettige feestdagen
In Hawaiian: Hau’oli Lanui
In Gaelic: Beannachtaí na Féile
In Hindi: Naye sāl kī hārdik śubhkāmnayeṅ
In Russian: Счастливых Праздников!! 
In Belarusian: вясёлых святаў
In Nepali: khuśī chuṭṭiyām̐
In Hebrew: Chag Sameach
In Canadian : Happy Holidays, eh?


  1. Felices Fiestas!!
    I like to celebrate Winter Solstice (I really like to celebrate anything!) and love to share it with you!
    Natalis Solis Invicti!

  2. Merry Christmas, Jan! We're on our way out to a simple lunch with the vegan daughter and her hubby. :)

  3. Joyeuses Fêtes to you and your family (both human and feline!). Winter Solstice is my holiday too, as it's a recognition of the natural rhythms of the earth.

  4. Eloquently said, as always Jan! We celebrated Winter Solstice by attending a beautiful candle lit winter concert...harps, flute, various drums, and an assortment of treasured instruments from the past...oh, and song, precious song...And now toward the light again we walk. Christmas blessings to you and Dan and your four and two-legged loves. May you experience beauty and stillness in these coming days. xo

  5. Merry Christmas to you, Dan and your feline friends. I've turned my husband into a catman too or shall I say, the cats have! Lovely to get to know you this year and I'm looking forward to reading your delightful posts in the upcoming year.

    blue hue wonderland

  6. Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas! ;-)


  7. Dear Jan

    The Blessings of Peace

    The Beauty of Hope

    The Spirit of Love

    The Comfort of Faith

    May these be your gifts this Christmas Season.

    Blessings to you and your family


    Simply Sassy Style

  8. Happy Solstice and Frohe Weihnachten, dear Jan and dear Dan!
    Me too feel the days become longer and lightfuller now and I appreciate it. And now it could not be better, after a time of misty days we have sunshine and we have holidays.
    I wish you wonderful relaxing holidays with your four leg family members. Have a good time together!
    Thank you Jan for your eloquent interesting post and thank you for being a blogging friend.
    Sabine from http://achtstundensindkeintag.blogspot.de/

  9. Frohe Weihnachten, dear Jan! I am so much looking forward to more light and the days getting longer, I really need that as I am not a winter person at all. Love Dan's sense of humour :-)
    All the best for you and your family!

    Annette | Lady of Style

  10. And in Portuguese "Feliz Natal" or "Boas Festas" :)
    Hope you had a happy Winter Solstice with Dan!! Loving the way he lives it.
    So happy to have met you, my dear, this year. You make bloggers friendship have a real meaning with your kindness and support.
    Much Love to you and your family. All the best!!!

  11. I second that!

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  12. Cheers Jan!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and let the day be longer!


  13. I love your Happy Holidays in so many languages. Even mine (and spelled right). Your husband has the kind of humour I like. Love confusing people like that. My husband is the same. He is very quick in his humour. People often still stare at him trying to figure out what he just said, when I am already killing myself laughing. I am used to it, they are not.
    Of course I will continue to follow your very amusing and stylish blog in 2014.
    So Happy New Year to you too lovely Jan.

  14. Thank you so much, Senora! Hope you had a lovely holiday. We did here!

  15. I hope it was wonderful ... I had no idea you had a grown daughter. How nice to be near family. We're not vegans, of course, nor even vegetarians, but eat much, much less meat than we once did. I admire the ethic. Thank you for stopping by, Lovey Lisa!

  16. I really do feel a certain relief once we are well and truly into winter. It marks the worst of our slow season as past! Dan surprised me this year with a thing I had wanted for a long time ... an homage response by Pulsar to that most French of watches; the Cartier Tank. Will never afford the real thing, but the shape and similar overall style can be mine! I especially like the idea that it was a response also to modernism in design ... makes me feel positive. Full of meaning for me, and reminds me that progress is not only possible but probable!
    So glad you stopped by!

  17. I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you ... left a late but heartfelt note at your place!
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and sorry that you have to work today. And I swear to you that if/when we ever get over to your neck of the woods, we'll have all kinds of fun. There will be wine. And food. And of course, lots of talk!
    Dan had fun Christmas day marathoning "William and Mary", first season. He loves that series, and.of course we saw the Dr. Who intro to the New Doctor. And we ate ... everything! He actually got his act together with actual gifts this year. Not many, but they were choice!
    Good for him, better for me.
    So happy to hear from you, as always!

  18. Awwww ... thanks,Sue! I'm especially happy to have a wish for stillness. Finding that is an ongoing process for me. You guys all provide a lot of the beauty! Sounds like you had a wonderful time at a great event.
    Our one very sad note was that Dan's very, very old mare (She was almost 30 ... ancient for a horse) went on to greener pastures on Christmas Eve eve. We will miss her always.
    But all the other animals had treats ... some eggs and cheese (always favorites) and Dan brought home a fresh bag of food for the outdoor birds. Everyone was well fed, including us!
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas ... and I'm so looking forward to seeing more from you in the New Year!

  19. Oh, back at you Ann! Dogs, cats, birds and horses all had treats. As I mentioned to Sue, Dan's very old bestie-favoritie saddle mare died late on Christmas Eve eve, so that cast a pall. We knew it was coming soon, but one always wants more time with them.
    We did manage a Merry Christmas, though, and we hope yours was! I'm looking forward to much more from you, as well, this coming year ... so happy to have met you, too! Thanks for dropping by, Ann!

  20. Thanks, Alicia! We did, and we're glad you did as well! You looked glowing and so pretty in your FB photos! I'm a lousy FB Friend as I rarely post ... most of it because we're where we are.
    You table looked scrumptious, as well!
    So happy you stopped by ...Season's Greetings back at you!

  21. Thank you, Wendy! Back at you, with each of those! Lovely thoughts are the best part of this season, yes?
    So happy you stopped by!

  22. I love the Winter Solstice too! Just the thought of the days getting longer makes me happy even though it isn't noticeable yet!

  23. Oh, yes ... misty days! We are having the kind of icy fog in the mornings that is so beautiful. Not common here! And sun ... we've had our first (cross fingers, knock on wood that it's our last for the year) bad spell, and have had some slightly milder sunny days! Much of the US is still thawing out, and the holidays got spoiled for some. We were lucky this time.
    Thanks for your kind wishes, Sabine. Sadly, Dan's oldest riding mare (and she was not quite 30!) went on to greener pastures on Christmas Eve eve, but it was not a huge surprise. She had a lovely long life, and was an amazing horse. The last decade, she never had to do anything she didn't want to, and how many of us can say that?
    We're looking forward to a better New Year, and I wish that for all of us!

  24. Thank you, darling Annette! You can have my summer if I can have some of your cooler days year round! I'll tell Dan that someone else finds him funny ... he'll be so happy!
    Hope we all have a better New Year, and I appreciate getting to know you this year!

  25. How did I miss Portuguese!? Such a lovely, romantic language! Glad to have met you too, Seeker. Know we'll have a great year at Style Bits!
    Enjoy your holidays!

  26. Far out, Connie. Truly gnarly. (You're speaking my native language .. I'm a California Girl. How could I forget it!) Hope you are having the best holidays that can be, Hope to see more of you next year!

  27. Thank you, dear Alice! You are such a bloggy-star in my universe! Hope you, kid, huz and all your loved ones have a grand holiday season, all around!

  28. Greetja! I know the feeling of watching folks *not* get it when Dan's sense of humor takes over. That I get his often obscure puns is one of the things that he loves best about me. I've asked him to remember that when I am so old that I don't get them anymore!
    I just know this is going to be the best year ever!

  29. Thank you Debbie! Your blog is one of the best things I've done for myself this year. One of my goals is to get around more, and catch up with everyone. I'm always behind.
    But I'm sure this will be a great year coming up... hope you and pup and huz and family are all having a nice holiday!

  30. Ha. Sorry ... but you did see it! Yeaaaay you. Or maybe everyone else was just too cool to call me out. Good for you.
    Hope you kids are having a grand year-ending. Here's to the Shock of the New!

  31. Jean at Dross into GoldDecember 28, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Ahhh, it's always good to turn a corner and get a glimpse of the next phase, season, stage. It's a chance to reinvent, to shift, to forgive and move on. Keep loving, keep growing, keep wearing those fabulous heels, dear Jan! In any language, it's a time to be born, to rejoice, to germinate, to marvel. Thank you for sharing your "juice and joy". You are loved. XXOO

  32. My dear jan, thank you very much for your warmth and kindness.
    I am so lucky to have you in my life.
    I wish you and your loved ones nothing but the very best for 2014

  33. Highland FashionistaDecember 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    A belated happy holidays to you and yours! Hope you are staying warm where you are. Us, not so much....

  34. Happy almost New Year to you!! Can I just say that this is one of my most favorite photos of you? You look so happy in it and your hair and eyes are shiny and bright. Is this the first time I've seen a picture of your husband - what a handsome guy and gorgeous couple you make!! Lucky both of you :)
    xox ~kim

  35. Oh, Jean ... you have no idea the inspiration that you provide for me all year long. I know you do the same for many people, but a constant urge to look at things differently, to find another perspective and to find potential in what is already around me. You do that for me, and are a reminder that this part of the world is not as stubbornly mean-spirited as I often experience it.
    Thank you so much for your kind words, always.

  36. Thank you, darling V ! So happy to hear from you ... we miss your face out here in blogland. Actually ... we miss the rest of you since we don't see ... you know what I mean. Your presence! We miss your presence!
    Hope the family celebrations are/will be fabulous, and that you are in fine fettle for the coming year. Know you'll be brilliant in 2014!

  37. Every word, right back at you, darling Sacramento. (Your name fits you perfectly! I love to just say it ....) Hope you new home is all you want it to be, and I'm looking forward to seeing you sashay out and about in 2014!

  38. Barely ...it's been cold and damp here for the last few days. I vowed herein to find new places to photograph, but it was so cold that it seemed best just to hurry-up-quick and take one on the porch.
    I'm so glad to be part of the Google+ group, and another unwritten goal is to actually read up on how to use it effectively. Sooner than later!
    Hope you survived the holidays, and know I'm looking forward to your brilliant bloggy skills in 2014!

  39. Awwww.... thank you. This is not a great picture of Dan. He looks a little strange here, but it was so cold we were both struggling to be still enough to photograph! He's been my subject before ...


    There's also a digital drawing I made of him at the end ... proud of it. I need to do more of this this year.
    I'm all jazzed about reading everyone's blogs in 2014 ... hope you two stick to it! So cool, always, and smart. Smart in all the good ways it can be meant!


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