Earlier this week I received an email from the publicist with my Australian publisher. She and I both have young daughters, and in addition to normal publishing business, she mentioned that they would be getting their Christmas tree this Saturday. What a funny coincidence , I wrote in return — we’ll be getting ours on Saturday as well.
I know there will be many differences in our experiences. It’s in the 70s Fahrenheit in Australia this time of year, and there will be blue ocean water and warm breezes. Here at our home, we will be cutting down our tree in the woods in knee-deep snow and freezing temperatures.
But more than the differences, I was struck by the similarity. Literally on the other side of the earth, a mother and her daughter will be decorating their Christmas tree just as we are hanging lights and paper snowflakes on ours. It made the world seem smaller, cozier, more wonderful.
Around our house, we love this time of year. Beginning Nov. 1, I play Christmas music on the stereo whenever I can. Sam hangs colorful lights on the spruce tree in our yard and along the roof of the hen house. We put up a Christmas tree that reaches to the top of our vaulted ceiling, and I place a wreath by our front door. Here, where the cold and darkness encroach daily, these little bits of warmth and light are precious.
But even in those places where the hot sun is shining and the beaches are inviting, I am sure the twinkling lights and red ribbons of Christmas bring joy.