|Luther Burbank's Home|
The Christmas season is my very favorite time of the entire year, and this year my camera and I got busy in order to record some of the pieces that make up this special period.
It all began early in December with the annual open house at the beautifully decorated Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, one of my most-loved events in Santa Rosa. Volunteer that I am, I put on comfy shoes and took my place in the Burbank greenhouse to pass cookies and serve hot spice tea to eager visitors from all over Sonoma County.
I love that there is so much to see and do during this festive season. I attended my first cookie swap this year; I didn't even know these parties existed, though I now understand that they are quite common and enjoyed by many. Where have I been?
I arrived home with 3 dozen tasty cookies and recipes to match. My contribution, pictured at the bottom, was white chocolate coated almond clusters. The recipe also calls for dried cranberries, and the combination of sweet, salty and tart is quite delightful. The only problem was that I ate the recipe's required salted almonds, a particular weakness of mine, the night before I was to put together my yummy clusters, so I had to head out to the market in the morning in order to replace what had disappeared the night before. Oink.
Entertaining and social gatherings in general make this such a fabulous time of year; I love getting together with friends and family.
The red and green dominates and, of course, the Lennox plates jump out of their dark and lonely storage cabinet and join the festivities.
The yard is pretty much at rest during this season, but not the olives and the berries. Oh, no! They are putting on their seasonal show.
I've got quite a mix of songs I relish, from Elvis to Chanticleer; but my very favorite sound of the season is almost any version of "Angels We Have Heard on High", also my mom's best-loved holiday song. I can remember loving to belt it out when I sang in the church choir. And, hey, I still know my alto part! I sang it with Ella Fitzgerald just yesterday.
"Let There Be Peace on Earth" is a close second. What a shame all of us can't adopt the sentiments found in this lovely treasure and live them the rest of the year. In the words of John Lennon, "Imagine, if you can."
So, these are my "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" for this extraordinary time of time of year.
May your holidays be joyous.