Tag Archives: christmas tree

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is now at home in my living room. I put it up this week on a cold night, before the beginning of Advent, whilst listening to Advent music from Cambridge, England.

Meanwhile, Auggie slept.

The tree this year has a couple of new-to-me ornaments that were in my father’s belongings. He and Jo had not decorated a tree in years, thanks to the presence of inquisitive cat(s) in their home. The discovery of some family pieces in the basement was a delight for me and my sisters.

Some of the ornaments:

From my home parish in Kansas City.

This ornament was a purchase in Grand Lake, Colorado.

From London.

My favoritest ornament, hand-painted by Aunt Esther many years ago.

From a December trip to the White House in 2001.

One of Jan Richard’s much-loved Ball State University Singers ornaments.

Rock Chalk!

The oldest ornament on the tree, from a family collection that we rescued from my father’s belongings. I think this one belonged to my great-grandparents.

At some point in the 1980s or early 1990s, my mother made this. My father had this in his belongings.

The tree

I have too many nights away this month. So I stayed in Friday night. This is part of the evening’s work.

As is the case every year, the tree is filled with memories. Happy thoughts. Places and people. Shows.  Special ornaments are from my travels. And even more special ornaments are made by my mother, and my great-aunt.

Every year I cherish the ornaments given to me in my role as a musician. The Jacomo Chorale Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments from 1991 are the first I put up. Ball State University Singers ornaments are next. 

The most special ,though, is the hand-painted ornament from Aunt Esther which I have kept for 30 years now.


Christmas Eve

The day is chilly and rainy.  Gray and ugly.

Overnight, another 18-year-old was killed by a suburban police officer in Saint Louis County.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/a2b/647128/files/2014/12/img_7464.jpgI am spending the morning doing laundry, listening to the Service of Nine Lessons & Carols from King’s College Cambridge, blogging (of course), and then making a dash to Costco to collect the ham for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner.

The fireplace is filled with flickering flames.  My Christmas tree is alight.  A lone candle burns in the front window.

And I’m texting with friends around the world.

So apparently, my dear friend Ken Rodgers and his lovely sidekick Ryan Hebert are taking Christmas break in Amsterdam, and have made their way over to London and thence up to Cambridge, and are now actually inside the King’s College chapel for the Lessons & Carols service.  For choral musicians, at this time of year, this is Mecca.

I’m going to take the high road and contain my jealousy, thinking as a salve of my own attendance at the the Three Choirs Festival last year, including of course the Wednesday live broadcast of Evensong and the incredible splendour of the opening service and the singing of “God Save the Queen” and all those wonderful hymns.  And the Gerontius.  And of the visit on the same trip to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

I’m OK.  Truly.

But, oh, those pictures from inside the chapel.  I’m green with envy.

This afternoon = kitchen time, and finish the annual Christmas letter.

Lessons & Carols are at 4 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral.

D will join me for the Midnight Mass at Christ Church.




At 11 a.m., I have accomplished a few things this morning.  The Christmas tree is down and migrated to boxes and places in the basement.  (Several of my neighbors’ trees are still up!)  That led to a major dusting and sweeping and vacuuming of the main floor.

And then Samson needed a bath, so he received one.  I’ll traumatize him more in the morning with a tooth-brushing.

Meanwhile, and speaking of migrations, I have commenced moving things in the basement, since the foundation repair begins on Monday morning.  I’ll have muscle tomorrow evening to help with much of this, for which I will be grateful and also provide homemade lasagna.

This Saturday is unseasonably temperate; the windows are open at home to provide fresh air and clear away the odors and reminders of the brief winter so far.

The tree

The holiday season has arrived at Chez Carter.  Samson’s ornament is on the tree.  Also on the tree are numerous ornaments created by mother, one painted by Aunt Esther many years ago, mementos of shows and casts, ornaments purchased on my various trips around the world, and gifts from students and friends over nearly 30 years of adult life.  This tree is filled with memories as well as life.  (But the tree itself, of course, is a pre-lit factory creation, most likely made in a shop in China.)