Through the years here on the blog, I've made no secret of the fact that I've loved decorating for Christmas. You can see what I'm talking about with my Christmas Decorating Inspiration post or my Christmas After Dark at Casa Kittling post. The last five years have seen a marked decrease in my decorating, and this year is a case in point. The mobility issues I've been having mean that climbing up and down ladders is not doable. But one thing I've been thinking about recently is how many memories can be stirred just by looking at the collection of ornaments I have for my trees. (I used to put up thirteen trees every year-- my lucky number.)
In the photo, you can see the one breakable ornament that survived: that little Santa made from two silver glass balls. He doesn't look too bad for his age. Neither does that red and white striped sock. It's one of a pair that's as old as the Santa. The blue-robed angel is one of a pair that my mother made in her first ceramics class, and the ornament below her to the right is one that Mom and I bought together in 1976. (Anyone remember Hallmark's Spencer Sparrow?) The white rocking horse up at the top left is from my grandparents, and the bright blue ball wrapped in gorgeous tatting was made and given to me by a dear friend in Utah. (The silly goldfish is a new addition.)
For me, decorating Christmas trees is a special event filled with so many memories and so much love. I hope every single one of you reading this has a phenomenal holiday season filled with love and new memories that make you glow in the years to come. And if the holiday season means a time of loneliness and despair, please know that I've been there, too, and that I'm sending you love and a virtual hug. Unless you've been there, it's almost impossible to understand how awful this time of year can be.
But it's time to get to those links. Denis and I just want to say Happy Holidays to you all!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- A library in Idaho reported that someone is deliberately hiding political books.
- What millions of books reveal about two hundred years of happiness.
- Antipodean Noir: Is crime Melbourne's biggest export?
- On the sexist reception of Willa Cather's World War I novel.
- Stieg Larsson's unfinished true crime investigation into an assassination.
- What it's like to build and operate a tiny traveling bookshop.
- How to write fiction about your favorite literary icons.
- Elton John's bookshelves.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- An ancient megacity uncovered in Israel was the "Bronze Age New York".
- Egypt has unveiled the biggest ancient coffin find in over a century.
- Chill your wine in John Steinbeck's silver bucket and other memorabilia from the man's estate.
- A nun's 450-year-old "Last Supper" made its museum debut in Florence.
- Newly discovered treasures came from the same sunken ship that carried the controversial "Elgin Marbles".
- An ancient mystery: Why no ancient texts mention Egypt's oldest pyramid.
- See the world's oldest pearl.
- Archaeologists have discovered a medieval woman and child's skeletons at the Tower of London.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- Part of the Badlands National Park is now open to bison-- for the first time in 150 years.
- An extra thumb has been discovered on Aye-Aye lemurs, giving these primates six fingers.
- Procrastinate no more-- there's an autonomous vision-enabled robotic dog poop scooper.
- These feisty female lemurs fight with babies on their backs.
- Scientists taught rats to drive tiny cars to earn Fruit Loops.
- Crabs can learn to navigate mazes, too.
- Bouncing baboons navigate tall grass.
- A DNA test has shown that a lost puppy found in Australia is actually a rare dingo.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- John Singer Sargent's many beauties, male and female, at the Morgan Library.
- Berlin: a city of crime fiction.
- Stephen King's house is to become an archive and writer's retreat.
- Baden: Exploring the forgotten writerly playground of the European aristocracy.
- The untold story behind the infamous In Cold Blood murder house-- and why it's for sale.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Eleven contemporary detective novels you need to read.
- Glamorous women in crime fiction.
- Deborah Crombie's list concerning the evolution of the English village mystery after the Golden Age.
- Six revenge thrillers featuring female protagonists.
- Nancy Drew for adults: great amateur sleuth series for readers over twenty.
- Nine words that were borrowed from one language, transformed, then borrowed back.
- Fifty fictional librarians, ranked.
- Top ten books about the night.
That's it for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!