Boxing Day

Some of you might know that one of my four brothers died on 12-12-12. I got the call that evening and was shocked beyond comprehension. Youngish, sturdy and strong, with a heart as big as Texas, Jeff succumbed to complications from a surgery that should have been routine. I miss him terribly; his gruff southern accent, his very amusing and philosophical views on the world, and the way we laughed to tears at jokes that only a brother and sister could think were funny!

My heart broken, I travelled home to bury him and to be with my family. I just returned two nights ago. Needless to say our Christmas celebrations have been almost nonexistent. 

But today our small west coast family gathered for Boxing Day and opening presents. I found great solace in taking a little time to create a small celebration, including a real southern menu for dinner and decorating the table with simple things like a manzanita branch and old family things. I just wish Jeff were here to celebrate with us; but I know that he is somewhere with a great big set of new angel wings growing out of his back, and will probably swoop down for a peek. He had no end of fascination with the way his sister fussed around with things. 

Simply done, and the best I could muster under the circumstances. The evening brought a measure of cheer and comfort to those of us mourning his loss. We had a quiet, peaceful time together.

simple bay leaves are pretty against the silver charger and shell plates;
different patterns of silverware and heirloom glass plates are
part of the simple holiday setting

that's a manzanita branch standing in for
extemporaneous centerpiece surrounded
by votives and some greenery from the garden

pretty vintage glass plates for bread and butter

the manzanita is topped by a Monrovian star that
my grandmother Amie brought back from her travels to
Turkey in the 1920's

the soft glow of candlelight is irresistible

the sideboard with angels marching across

hoping this season finds you happy and warm
 and in the heart of your family

 with love from Kit

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