The Dulaney House at Christmas

There is now a grand total of seven stockings hanging… they have outgrown the mantle, so this year one hangs on either side of it as well. There would be nine, but Mum and Dad aren’t much interested in hanging some for themselves. Thus, seven it is–for my older brother, his fiance, my older sister, her husband, myself, my younger brother and my younger sister–all shadowing a dancing fire. The stockings, the fire, the tree–they are all mere spectators of our laughing family at Christmastime.

I’m learning that things like Christmas change as you, and those around you, grow up; but not necessarily for the worse. While some things do slink into the past, like having a the whole family there to decorate the tree, new things begin to emerge, like catching up over a cup of hot tea after the long (and eagerly) awaited arrival of my sister and brother-in-law. I know that things will never return to what they once were, but then, things don’t have to be the same to be marvelous. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year, no matter what.

I rather enjoy laying upside-down on the couch (feet in the air and all) in a Christmas sweater and Santa hat, surrounded by my family, listening and contributing to the endless chatter; most of which is provided by the 5 year old sister, who entertains us all. I love migrating to my Wurlitzer piano to play and sing Christmas hymns in constant anticipation of Dad’s inevitable request for me to “play softly” in light of his headache. I relish an evening devoted to a Hallmark Christmas movie and a cup of hot cocoa. I take great joy in the celebration of Jesus’ birth–the reason for the “Christ” in Christmas.

Times change, and traditions with them, but I will always cherish a Dulaney Family Christmas; may it be past, present, or future… Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to pour myself a hot beverage and check on the progress of the gingerbread houses!

The Merriest of CHRISTmases to you all and the most blessed of New Years.

Much love,

Alyssa Dulaney




          a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past
Happy Monday!
Is it possible to be nostalgic over times before your own? Say what you will of me, but I have fallen in love with eras gone by. Am I the only one who longs to become familiar with the past?
“Past” is defined as “gone by in time and no longer existing”. What a melancholy thought: People, places, and things that have lost their existence and are being so easily forgotten. Is there still a desire to remember, or is everyone quick to leave the past behind? Typewriters are antiques and records are unfamiliar to our generation. Telegrams are unheard of and what in heaven’s name is a cravat? How many people can tell you who Charlotte Bronte is and name her most famous work? Tell me, why was the latter half of the 18th century called the “Age of Johnson?”
These things and these people don’t deserve to go unremembered, and I am unwilling to allow that to happen. I love them too dearly. They have become sweet friends of mine. I believe we need to cherish those things of the past and hold them dear while we carry them into the future as a reminder of the lives lived before ours began. They served humanity well, and their memories mustn’t be neglected.
Despite the claims that “history repeats itself”, it truly only happens once. It can never return, so we should be ashamed of ourselves if we push it aside and march on without a thought of it. Consider it as the fire with which our torches are lit… Without it, we’re walking directly into darkness. The past can no longer defend itself. It requires a representative. We are the only ones that can keep its light shining…
We can-we must keep history alive.