Merry Christmas!

Enthused by the need to cheer up my husband who has been moping around the apartment of late, looking sinfully bored, I thought we should swing into a little town nearby for some Christmas cheer. It is a town of antique shops and art galleries and artists. Lambertville (https://thetravellingdiaryofadippydottygirl.com/2019/06/11/the-lambertville-photo-roster/), which I have introduced you to a while ago. The way was paved with swathes of snow, then patches, where the snow has melted but with degrees of reluctance. Charming, quiet hamlets, acres and acres of farmland, silos and barns – the mainstay of the American farming story. I have a yen for those silos and barns. Have had it since my first trip Stateside in 2016. I could not take my eyes off them then, when we were visiting my sister-in-law in Seattle. Thereafter, I have fantasised of living in a barn. Adi is suspicious of the concept, but I tell him, “You would never look back with regret.” He still needs convincing.

So we roll on and listen to country music and carols and reach Lambertville within the span of an hour. The streets are remarkably empty. A couple of people roam the pavements, armed with coffee cups. The shops are open, the restaurants look shut, and generally the whole town looks like it has gone to sleep. It is cold, but not terribly so. We have not been keeping up with news. I am tired of keeping track of the numbers. But this makes us think, maybe it would have been better to just stay home. Covid’s token. Certainty is a thing of the past.

This must be the year of the grinch.

I enquire at some galleries for my art pieces. They mostly display oils. I make a mental note that I should continue with my objective of experimenting with oil painting starting next year. I am looking forward to it. After all, it is going to be a fresh challenge. A promise of growth.

At the antique shops, I pick up old bound editions of William Faulkner and Stendhal, when Adi beckons to me. I follow him. Massive installations of Tyrannosaurus and Komodo Dragons, a massive head of the Tyrannosaurus, its cruel eyes glinting at me, so life-like and uncanny. I shudder and run away, back to the comfort of books, porcelain figurines, faded cigar boxes. Within the matter of an hour, we take off from Lambertville for home. With dusk, the temperatures have dipped remarkably. Home seems the only place to be.

On the way back, we drive back again through hamlets and farms lit up with fairy lights and candles glinting at the windows. The pièce de résistance is a magnificent old spruce tree that we sight, on the grounds of a church. It is so tall. And threaded with warm twinkly lights, a yellow star crowning it, almost casting a mellow pool of light (or it maybe a figment of my imagination). I wish I could have stopped for a photo. But could I have done it justice? It is one of those things where words will have to suffice and you will have to take my word for it that it was a thing of rare beauty. A tree not uprooted, a tree left to grow unchecked, a tree done up in the simplest of manners, but one that was possibly the best Christmas tree that I have clapped eyes on. It belonged where it stood.

This year, we are not doing the traditional bird roast. It turns out, both of us were thinking of it, and were amazed when we said it aloud and realised that we were both on the same page. We will however bring it in with loads of veg, cheese and pies and cakes. I would love to hear how you are celebrating.

Here’s to a fuzzy Christmas, wherever you are, dear reader. Big love from us and Jack Phat from my art journal.

Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

13 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. I could smell that piney spruce from here! Merry Christmas to you both. We will be sharing a vegetarian lasagna that I will bake with garlic bread and a bottle of red wine (probably a cabernet). Our celebrations will be small but grateful for all of our blessings. – Neek

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Arundhati,

    How lovely the way you have brought to life your experience of that day. I am glad you did not photograph the tree. Your words have imprinted the image in one’s mind. Keep writing.

    Love

    Papa

    Jayant Varma

    9871495568
    0124 4140478
    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely sojourn to linger over on a cloudy day where we stayed inside sipping on chai/rooibos tea and coffee while enjoying the odd chocolate or two…a phone call from family that lasted over an hour was the icing on the cake of this laid back day.
    That wondrous tree is shining beautifully in my mind’s eye…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A serene day. Isn’t that the most loveliest of Christmas celebrations, given the uncertainty of this year. Ours was rainy and blustery too, Kim. I enjoyed it quietly too.

      That tree. Stole its way into me heart. 🧡

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy new year, Brianji! It continues to grow like a wild pony’s mane. Hope you have had a good start to the year. We meanwhile have started the new year on a note of house hunting. Finally, a place to call our own. Cheers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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