Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Northern Christmas

Christmas Day on Fox Island

It is mild; the ground is almost bare and a warm rain falls. First, the Christmas tree all dripping wet is brought into the house and set upon its feet. It is nine feet and a half high and just touches the peak of the cabin. There it stands and dries its leaves while Rockwell and I prepare the feast.

Both stoves are kept burning and the open door lets in the cool air. Everything goes beautifully; the wood burns as it should, the oven heats, the kettle boils, the beans stew, the bread browns in the oven just right, and the new pudding sauce foams up as rich and delicious as though instead of the first it were the hundredth time I'd made it. And now everything is ready. The clock stands at a quarter to three. Night has about fallen and lamp light is in the cabin.

"Run, Rockwell, out-of-doors and play awhile." Quickly I stow the presents about the tree, hang sticks of candy from it, and light the candles.

Rockwell runs for Mr. Olsen, and just as they approach the cabin the door opens and fairyland is revealed to them. It is wonderful. The interior of the cabin is illuminated as never before, as perhaps no cabin interior ever was among these wild mountains. Then all amazed and wondering those two children come in. Who knows which is the more entranced?

From A Northern Christmas by Rockwell Kent, Random House 1983.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, that is exactly how it is. Every year I make the long trip to the great white north, and my parents wait at the airport (nervously checking the arrivals board for snow delays). And when I finally walk in the back door, my mom always runs in the living room before me, saying: "wait, wait...let me turn on the tree first!" And a fairyland is revealed.