Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Wisdom- Beauty as Necessity

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent of praiseworthy- think about such things."
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Merry Christmas. How everything sparkles. 

 Every piece of china and crystal hand-washed and polished. The Christmas decorations rotated in for this brief season.  Usually every room here is decked as the living and dining room, but as with many American families, this is no ordinary year.

This year's holiday is as reverent as it is celebratory.  As much as it is wanted, this time with friends and family is needed.

Newsflash. It is important to note- the world didn't end when the news channels were turned off  in favor of holiday music.  A wise man, Dr. Dan Buffington, advised me during the first Operation Desert Storm; when the world gets scary, turn off the news. Compulsive obsesssion over what we can't control is not healthy.

Humans need beauty. 1800 lights on a single tree almost makes the decorations superfluous. Unless they are personal.  

The angel playing a violin symbolizes the heavenly gift of music. Even Mozart after he was deaf created patterns with music to stir souls hundreds of years after his pasing. If you've lost faith in miracles- think of how unlikely that is.

One of our son's once mentioned that we have the only tree he knew of "decorated in hunting and fishing." These ornaments are reminders of how important wildlife has been to our lives. Long after our last family trip together, these inanimate ornaments hold time still. They are reminders of how important our interaction with the natural world is to who we are today.

The caroler ornament. The year Bob Huff (now our Senator) played piano at my cookie swap, it was the party favor. That was also the year the postman delivered a lovely Christmas Card from some family named Huffington. First names- Arianna and Michael. Never heard of them.

Now these ladies, I not only know-we keep in touch. Every day. ( L-R) Me, Judy Duvall, Edda Gahm and Trisha Bowler. Sue Maxwell lives in Oregon, so she has a valid excuse for not making our Daily Drivel Dames annual luncheon at the Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton):- .
Beauty doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. The photo above is simply a halved out orange filled with vegetable oil, the center gizmo left intact and lit with the same little blow torch used to caramelize the sugar on top of creme brulee. Woudn't it make a lovely night light on a party night?

Stories and Pictures copyright protected by Lydia Plunk


  1. Your tree and all your decorations are so lovely and so personal....I so agree about turning off the News...! Sometimes we need a lovely diversion---and escape, if you will, to bring us back to beauty and Hope!
    I watched "THE BISHOP'S WIFE" earlier today on TCM...It was so very satisfying...Sweet and Inspiring and filled with some of the Greatest actors of 'The Golden Age of film'...including superb Character Actors...It is a Christmas story, but also just a Human story, filled with Hope.

    We need a lot of Hope these days.


  2. Dear Naomi- The Bishop's Wife is a WONDERFUL FILM. Our favorite of the season is It's A Wonderful Live. Same era.

    Merry Christmas - May Hope reign in The New Year.

  3. Your decorations are just lovely Lydia! Your new carpet is wonderful! It looks like a sand color? Very neutral and I love it!

    Yes this is a very special Christmas for your family and for ours too. It's wonderful to have both your sons home for Christmas this year. Amazing that all four of ours will be here too and of course our grand baby's first Christmas makes it really special! Missing my mom right now but knowing she is in a better place now makes me a bit happier.

    Love, hugs and a most blessed and MERRY Christmas to you, Gerry, Trevor, Kenny and all the family!

    XOXO Trisha

  4. Oh Lydia your home is so elegant and beautifully decorated. I hope to see it in person one of these days. Thanks for sharing all your pretty pictures. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and all of your family. Thanks for your friendship! xoxo

  5. Merry Christmas, Trisha! Yes, its a treat to have both sons home for Christmas. Find comfort in your mother's pains are now lifted.
    The carpet is a bit darker than sand and has no gray tones like when the ocean washes over it. As background- the color needed to be neutral- as flooring, it needed some variation as I am not born with the inclination to always vacuum twice a day.

  6. Merry Christmas Sue. Ditto to you!

  7. Ahhh dear Lydia, this is all so true.

    Dr. Andrew Weil also advised that you go on a "news fast," which Jeff and I do. I found that what has recently happened had plunged me into a deep dark place.

    We turned off the news, turned on the music and lights, and talked. It helped, as did reading your wonderful (and looking at) posting.

    Joys to you and yours dear friend.


  8. P.S. I don't know The Bishop's Wife," but I'll find it.



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