We don’t have a live tree this year – or even an artificial one; nor do we have any decorations in the little apartment we have rented for the Holidays. But its location fills our hearts and minds with memories far brighter and more reflective than lights and ornaments could prompt.
We are in the top floor of what was once a carriage house for a Georgian mansion, Acton. It is within hailing distance of the homes in which we raised our kids, on Conduit Street and Southgate Avenue. How many times did we hurry through these streets, taking too much for granted the ambience and wonder that bolls over the many tourists crowding its narrow streets.
Wonderful as Dallas is – its Mac-mansions, placed side-by-side with Annapolis’ bevy of Georgian beauties, don’t take my breath away the way the Hammond Harwood House or the Paca House and Garden does. Nor can any of the astoundingly lavish Christmas lights for which Park Cities’ residents are famous outshine the memories of the annual Christmas parties at the Chase Lloyd house, or the candlelight tours of the Hammond Harwood House, in which I was also a docent, before the most wonderful kids ever changed forever how Doug and I “did” Christmas!
No – our abodes were not like these mansions – but living in their proximity, and being a tour guide in the early days of Three Centuries Tours sure gave me a sense of “ownership.” Distance and time have not dissipated that sense, nor the gratitude I have for all that God enabled when I remember. And no decorations could make this Christmas merrier!
So, what fills me up right now are all those memories of preparing for and enjoying so many Annapolis (and Severna Park) Christmases, especially with our kids, and now with their spouses and kids. It doesn’t get more splendidly festive than this!
· One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. ~Andy Rooney
· Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid