Yet farther on my road today.

My lights and bows are still up – and the tree.

The bright season of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord is only in its sixth day, but already we need to make room in our minds for thoughts of transition, closing out one calendar year and opening a new one.

Before I go there, I need to be done with all the Christmas cookies, at least on this blog. Last night we Glads were off to another party, and I took the tins out of the freezer again and loaded up a plate to take along, but that still didn’t use them all up.

I made ten different kinds of cookies this year, including five new ones. Next year I may share some of those recipes, but for now, on to other things!

Like reporting on last week’s doings: We had three different groupings of family celebrations in two different locations. Sunday before Christmas we went to church with Pippin and family; this is Ivy in the foyer. I took the photo from behind so I could show her pigtails.


And next to a lamp made of popsicle sticks, a bunch of uncles and nephews playing a game, something they always make time for when getting together after a few months.



One of the trees that had been cut on federal land in Trinity County had been decorated with antique spice tins. I thought you would like that.












Back at our place, Liam got a lesson in Christmas tree appreciation and gentleness. He was a good student.










I found this pretty piano ornament at Pottery Barn when they were having a special deal, and I gave one to each of several pretty pianists in the family.

Some of my own favorite presents were these books I’ll be reading in the new year, given by four different people who scanned my Amazon list and surprised me with titles I had wished for and forgotten. Kind people.

I feel the Old Year rushing away, and the New coming fast at me, never mind that I’m not “ready.” Sickness right before Christmas pushed some duties ahead to After Christmas, and what might have been a purely R&R&R (the last R for Rejoicing) Sixth Day of Christmas will be interrupted by the Computer Guy coming to help with our computer, a machine so rude as to take our attention off the holiness of the days we are in.

As I am in a liturgical church, the service yesterday gloriously confirmed the present-ness of the holy day that is so cosmologically momentous as to need at least twelve days to properly keep it. The carol-singing we did last night also kept me planted firmly in the Feast, so that for an hour or two I didn’t have to think about the onrushing year of 2014.

Some lines of poetry from Christina Rossetti helped me when I took a few minutes to think. The last lines were the most applicable to my heart’s comfortable place, reiterating what I come back to again and again, the knowledge that whatever comes, today or in the coming year God means it for our salvation.

New Year met me somewhat sad:
Old Year leaves me tired,
Stripped of favourite things I had
Baulked of much desired:
Yet farther on my road to-day
God willing, farther on my way.

New Year coming on apace
What have you to give me?
Bring you scathe, or bring you grace,
Face me with an honest face;
You shall not deceive me:
Be it good or ill, be it what you will,
It needs shall help me on my road,
My rugged way to heaven, please God.

The rest of this poem can be found here. Whether or not you are the type of person who needs a lot of down time to process the meaning of the days of Christmas and the New Year, I pray you will find help to progress on your road to heaven. May God strengthen us all!

10 thoughts on “Yet farther on my road today.

  1. Such darling pigtails on Ivy and what fun to be able to peek into your family's celebration. Just lovely. And those cookies….goodness sakes! I only baked one kind this year since we don't really eat very many any more. I do have a roll of Butter Cookies in the freezer that I intended to bake, but didn't. I love those little “snowballs”. That's what we call them. I did make those and we gobbled them up immediately.

    Enjoy these “in between days” of Christmas and the New Year. I'm lighting more candles than ever. (But I did take the tree down today. I'm not so attached to it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear GJ — so many good things here! First, I'd love a description of exactly what you DO with your Christmas cookies – how many you make, and particularly how you freeze them so that you can remove a handful. Do you use ziplocs? You mentioned tins. How do you prevent their drying out, etc.? I like the idea of having a ready gift to take to holiday events.

    I love the idea of putting books on a wish list! I'd noticed this feature on Amazon, but assumed it was just for ME to use … not for others to shop for me, which is genius! This year I'll put some books on there (and movies) just for Christmas next year – yay!

    I love Rosetti's poetry. That one is honest and shows the weariness with which we sometimes look at life, wanting to tell it: “slow down! Give me a minute to process this!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can't believe no comments to such a lovely post! Hoping for cookie recipes next year. Glad for your feeling better, having family times, and getting books. Thankful for the Rosetti!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, GJ!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rosetti's poem is a new one to me, and one I'll be copying. I'm feeling a little down about the New Year ahead and can't quite process why. I'm tired, I know, but I also feel like this past year hasn't been one of note in my personal life, and I wonder if I'm going to fritter the rest of my life away. I certainly don't want to. I want my life to count for eternity. Somehow.

    Enjoy the last 6 days of Christmas. Love the thought of it being such a momentous event that 12 days are needed to celebrate. Joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Merry Christmas! Lovely photos! I loved A Green Journey and The Madonnas of Leningrad, and since I've been entertained by Alexander McCall Smith's books before, I'll have to be on the watch for this one! And guidebooks! I'd like a good one of the trees of California. Hope you have some good reading days ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

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