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Archive for December 5th, 2015

I’m feeling a bit hoarse today, having spent a few days singing in full voice on the blog. Today’s Christmas words are not lyrics, but an excerpt from The Dark is Rising, volume 2 of Susan Cooper’s wonderful fantasy series, also called The Dark is Rising

Mary muttered, but subsided, and Will half-heartedly stuck a few paper chains together. But he kept an eye on the doorway, and when he saw his father and James appear with their arms full of old cardboard boxes, he slipped quietly after them. Nothing could keep him from the decorating of the Christmas tree.

Out of the boxes came all the familiar decorations that would turn the life of the family into a festival for twelve nights and days; the golden-haired figure for the top of the tree; the strings of jewel-coloured lights. Then there were the fragile glass Christmas tree-balls, loving preserved for years. Half-spheres whorled like red and gold-green seashells, slender glass spears, spider-webs of silvery glass threads and beads; on the dark limbs of the tree they hung and gently turned, shimmering.

There were other treasures, then. Little gold stars and circles of plaited straw; light, swinging silver paper bells. Next, a medley of decorations made by assorted Stanton children, ranging from Will’s infant pipe-cleaner reindeer to a beautiful filigree cross that Max had fashioned out of copper wire in his first year at art school. Then there were strings of tinsel to be draped across any space, and then the box was empty.

Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising (Random House, 2003), pp.116-117.

The Stantons are a really wonderful family, and their closeness is key to the plot of the book.  Christmas itself is also a major character in the book, and so this is perfect reading for this time of year.  If you have the time, the Second Worldwide The Dark is Rising Sequence Readathon started on 1 December, and you can still sign up here.

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My photo, December 2014: Cherbourg didn’t think that being a Christmas decoration for the season was any reason to fall behind on his reading.

I won’t be putting up our decorations today, as I’m away for the weekend, but that will be the task for Monday and Tuesday; this quote has really put me in the mood for that particular job.

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