razzleccentric: (Xmas Night)
[personal profile] razzleccentric
There is a book that I look at every Christmas Eve and have done for as long as I can remember. Before I could really read, I memorized every picture. The writing itself is a little overblown; I realize now that it's an almost anthropological study of Christmas customs. How my mother ended up with such a book I'll never know. But I still have it, crumbling dust cover and all, and I still read it on Christmas Eve when the real magic of the season is at its peak and the night is black and full of dangerous shadows that most people don't associate with Christmas... but I do, with much love.

"What is the colour of Christmas?
Red? The red of toyshops on a dark winter's afternoon, of Father Christmas and the robin's breast?
Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter?
One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red - reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle.
But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer.
For the true colour of Christmas is black.
Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight."

- from "A Book of Christmas" by William Sansom, 1968
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December 2011

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