The first of December! This time of year brings winter storms and wintry light we combat with age-old ceremonies – Yule logs and fragrant wassail, bedecked halls and holly berries. Posts this month will be unabashedly about the season of joy and beauty.
I admire a friend of a friend who was described as “not thinking at all about Christmas presents until a few days before the holiday,” and our younger son who arrives in Port Townsend, spends a couple of hours walking down Water Street, wraps his findings (usually using the bags), and ceremoniously deposits them under the tree. (They are always great presents).
But I have to plan. Which doesn’t mean I have thought, considered, or fretted yet, but the time is nigh.
Nigh and comestible. Two words I just looked up. Nigh – near in time. And comestible – a noun that means edible. For a couple of years now I’ve thinking that comestibles are some of my favorite gifts. (It took a while to attach the word.)
A present the recipient wants makes a good gift. Something to delight works also. Homemade comestibles can be both. I admire people who make jam in August, or special liqueur. My old friend makes terrific fruitcake (delicious with real fruit and nuts) – I think she does it in October so the brandy soaks in well by the time it’s delivered, wrapped in a new tea towel and tied with a ribbon, in time for solstice tea.
There is still time for many such gifts (and the making can be accompanied by the Christmas music I keep back till now – it stirs up emotion and energy). Our beekeeper recently left a little jar of honey granola – that would be a special treat. My daughter-in-law makes delicious spiced nuts.
Cookies are perpetual favorites. I’ve never forgotten the little rectangular straw box full of an assortment of delicate and perfectly cut cookies brought to a winter tea by the mother of my young friend in Alaska. She chuckles when I bring it up now and says, “Oh yes, baking before life with a baby!”
But it must feel great to select a jar or a bundle from a stash and hand over a delectable comestible, and I am writing this to get me thinking. Prime the pump a little with inspiration, gather materials to hand, and set a time to do. Ole!