Holiday Note:
Hodie natus est


That’s better! Decorating a wreath is not at all like decorating a tree! For one thing, you can’t count on the support of lower, longer branches. For another, the boughs on the right-hand side of the wreath all face down, ruling out the little natural niches that make it so easy to stick an ornament somewhere on the opposite side. And don’t get me started about the lighting! There is much to be learned about treating a wreath — even if, like this one, it seems to be as big as something for a truck — like a small Christmas tree.

The figures on the wreath are cloth mice decked out, we’re told, in Cambridge drag. Three or four of the seven are safety-pinned to the wreath. (This works.) On the mantel itself is our lineup of Gladys Boalt Alice-in-Wonderland ornaments.


Alice, standing up above the Mad Hatter and the Fish Footman, is the most boring of the lot, so we see her from the hem down only. My favorites are the White Rabbit and the Duchess.


My last-minute solution to holiday decorating clearly needs work. By this evening, a bit of fussing, warmer ambient light, and perhaps a steadier hand may all contribute to a better photograph. We shall see. In the meantime, I wish you all the best for the holidays, but more than anything else I wish you peace. 

2 Responses to “Holiday Note:
Hodie natus est”

  1. Tony says:

    A very Merry Christmas to both you and Kathleen.

  2. Ellen says:


    For another of many years, Jim and I and Isabel went out to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day. We also went for a walk in the mild weather and at home watched a tape of a touching movie, _The Dead_, by the Huston family (John, Angelica, and Tony).

    What I wanted to say is you voice what is I feel an appalling assumption I know in the air which must make this time of year yet more distressing. That it is somehow a failure to be alone. For some it’s far worse to be with family, far worse.