12.24.13 Deck the Halls (& the Final Giveaway)

Caviar 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
And so we've come to the final installment of the Glutton for Life Grand Holiday Gift Extravaganza. There were nesting bowls; there were caramels; there was the Shizzle with its own salt cellar; there was a collection of 7 cookbooks; there were homemade preserves, which, by the way, are going to Nikki! (Please send your mailing address to gluttonforlife@gmail.com, Nikki, so I can get these jars out to you asap.) And now, there are these very beautiful spoons, handcrafted in mother-of-pearl with carved silver accents, that are just the thing to spoon up a little caviar. This time it's a very quick turnaround, so if you'd like to be in the running to win these, just leave a comment below by midnight on 12/26 telling me how you plan to ring in 2014. I'll announce the winner in my last post of the year on the 27th. With the solstice behind us, the countdown to the year's end feels imminent and time is of the essence.
Filigree 790 xxx
the divine is in the details
Fast away the old year passes. Blink and we'll be up to our eyeballs in 2014. Some time ago I told you about how my friend Kristin selects a theme to shape and inspire every year. For the last few months, I have been wrestling with what mine could be. I was waffling between Fitness, which sounded rather Draconian and dull, and Joy, which seemed optimistic if a bit nebulous. But just this week it came to me in a flash: Landscape of the Body. It's a touch more poetic than Fitness, don't you think? I envision it leading me into new explorations of the mind-body connection, something I find increasingly fascinating the more time I spend winding my way around this mortal coil.
Table 790 xxx
sur la table
I have recovered from the flu (but not before lovingly passing my germs to poor G), wrapped up my client work for the year and turned my attention to the business of Christmas. This evening there will be feasting with friends and tomorrow a drive to Woodstock for more of the same. I lament the turn in the weather, for this unseasonal warmth has robbed us of our thick white blanket of snow. But inside, scarlet winterberries, iridescent feathers and my collection of pinecones create a festive ambience. Flickering candlelight and the blaze in the hearth are reflected in the silvery depths of mercury glass. Smells of cider and spices fill the air. In our small cottage there are no children underfoot, no hordes of extended family come to visit. Instead there is love, sweet nostaligia and quiet contentment.
Berries 790 xxx
cardinal numbers
2013 was a difficult year for many people. There was a lot of free-floating anxiety, confusion and disappointment, so I have high hopes that the coming year will deliver fresh optimism and new possibilities. Let's all focus together on bringing peace, joy, love, health and abundance into our lives, and on seeing our most cherished dreams realized through the power of creativity. Whoever you are and whatever your circumstance, this is your birthright.
Feathers 790 xxx
feathered friends
Outside my window, the bare trees are like stark grey skeletons, but they hold the memory of seasons past and the promise of new life ahead. So I will light some candles, stir up something delicious, play music that lifts my spirit and nestle into the bosom of those I call family. And I will raise a glass to you in celebration of this virtual conection that feeds my soul more than I could have ever imagined. Merry Christmas to all!


your spirit continues to inspire me…and i plan to ring in the new year by remembering to always lean in closer to the side of optimism...
denise on December 24, 2013 at 10:45 am —
Thanks, Denise! I am very happy to be connected to you again. xo
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm —
I will be ringing at home with good food and great company: my family.
Robin on December 24, 2013 at 11:09 am —
None better!
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm —
I will ring in the new year packing up my house - getting ready to move to our new , smaller more efficient house by the beach. Life is grand...
Patti Kennedy on December 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm —
Sounds marvelous!
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm —
I will ring in the new year with family, food, and football (and wine, but it doesn't start with an f).
Terry Lohrenz on December 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm —
What about fudge and frolicking?!
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm —
Dearest Laura, life has been somewhat chaotic lately, and here's Christmas! The year soon arrives full circle, and we have a new year to explore, and hopes renewed. I have been reviewing your posts, and seems I missed a lot - my caramels. Oh shucks, darn, blah, blah. May I try for those splendid spoons? ...and, is that G boxing, really? I hope to ring in the New Year by viewing the Rose Bowl floats the evening of the 31st, before they roll in the parade on Jan 1. I look forward to your companionship in 2014. I know I will always be rewarded. God bless sweetheart ~Susan
Susan on December 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm —
Oh, chagrin, and every other synonym. That's what being 73 and not wearing your glasses will do....and I did it IN PUBLICohhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhhh. Plz accept humble apology! I must say, when I saw the tattoos, I had doubts BUT I barged right in. A lovely Christmas Eve to you and George! Susan
Susan on December 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm —
Tee hee - I knew *someone* was going to think that! Rest easy, no offense is taken, dear Susan!
laura on December 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm —
Susan, no - those are photos taken BY George not of him!! Merry Christmas to you! xo
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm —
Dear Laura, Thank you for sharing these beautiful vignettes, they are inspiring as is your thoughtful blog. As of yet we have no plans for New Year's Eve other than staying cozy at home with our kitties. As you know, when your home is filled with the spirit of love and beauty there is no place like it. Wishing you and G an abundance of health, grace and love.
suzinn on December 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm —
Thank you, sweetness!
laura on December 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm —
We are bringing in the New Year with friends and a big pot of posole, that traditional Mexican soup guaranteed to bring good luck in 2014.
Judy Blankenship on December 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm —
Mmmm, my favorite!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:28 am —
Lovely, Laura. Your words are delicious and delightful to read!
Karen Fisher on December 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm —
Thank you so much for digging in, Karen!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:28 am —
With my daughter, boyfriend and all our little animals being grateful for a great year.
diane lindsay on December 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm —
Sounds delightful, Diane!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:29 am —
Romantic dinner by the fire with my husband on New Year's Eve, then up before dawn on New Year's Day to drive to Montauk, NY to watch the sun rise.
Emily on December 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm —
That sounds truly romantic!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:29 am —
Oh the reflected light and winterberry....I plan to ring in the New Year with a big round of gratitude, proseco, something delicious shared with my husband and maybe our kids, if they deign to dine with us, which they will, but there is always the leg-up towards other gatherings. We have spent several NYEve's eating Ethiopian food on Amsterdam on the Upper West Side and this has always been fun...but mostly, ringing in 2014 with a profound sense of the possible. What's next? Who knows? I am here for the ride! xo S
Suzi Banks Baum on December 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm —
You are leading the charge! xo
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:30 am —
Laura, you evolved soul! I am raising my glass to you. Thank you for all the treasures you share. Here's to every creative fulfillment! May your discoveries abound. Happy New Year to you and George.
Jan on December 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm —
And to you and Bruce, Jan! xo
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:31 am —
Raising a glass to you too! Merry Christmas!
Una Walker on December 25, 2013 at 12:20 am —
Warm wishes and heartfelt thanks, Una!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:31 am —
I'll be home this New Years, nursing a broken arm. But can see the Prospect Park fireworks from my window…albeit from somewhat of a distance. Perfectly cozy, well minus the broken arm.
Pamela on December 25, 2013 at 11:12 am —
Ah, perhaps the arm is the perfect excuse to stay home, cozy and content?
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:32 am —
Thank you, Laura. This just made me feel at peace and reminded me to breathe, take in all the love around me and smile! PEACE to you! My plans for the year concentrate on a healthy mind and body!
bonnie on December 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm —
Sounds like we're in sync, Bonnie! See you at yoga...
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:33 am —
Buffalo dances at Nambe (NM) pueblo. They take place at night under the stars, w huge bonfires, drumming and singing with amazing dancers that descend from the kiva dresses as deer, eagles, buffalo and other animals. Very beautiful and sacred ceremony. Our favorite way to bless the new year every Christmas Eve.
Cindy on December 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm —
Truly spectacular! What a privilege.
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:35 am —
Happy New Year Laura! We'll ring in the new year eating the traditional soba to signify a long life for all... All the best to you and yours.
Prairie on December 26, 2013 at 4:27 am —
Mmmm, I know there will be wonderful slurping!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:36 am —
I'm not commenting to enter your giveaway. While the spoons are beautiful, I have lots of beautiful things and I'm sure someone else would appreciate receiving them. I'm simply writing to let you know how much I enjoy reading your writing and viewing your photos. I often feel disappointed at the end of one of your posts, just because it's over! All the best with your theme for 2014.
Elaine on December 26, 2013 at 10:16 am —
Thank you so much for your kind words, Elaine!
laura on December 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm —