First Five Fragments for Friday

Your weekly offering of writing/art prompts.

December is my favorite month. It’s a month when I feel energized and calm all at once. That might seem like an odd combination, but it’s absolutely true. The snow, the cold mornings when sun light warms nothing, the way the crows gather around bread tossed out into the back yard, the smell of the Christmas tree in our house, the music at my daughter’s orchestra concerts, and the anticipation of family sharing meals and gifts – all of this is what I love about December.

Not everyone feels this affinity for a month that also pushes consumerism at great length and reminds people how much it costs just to heat their homes. December manages to highlight the stark contrasts in our culture in ways that can spur depression and spark family arguments.

Which way do you lean in December? How do you embrace both sides of this holiday-laden month?

While you ponder how you feel about December, here are today’s offerings. These are some of my favorite ornaments, which hang on our tree. A little respite from more serious things. Enjoy.

This is my daughter’s. She plays the violin.

My Aunt Louise, who passed away when I was 12, made this one.

A gift from my daughter-in-law. Her grandmother made this.

Reindeer hide ornaments from Rovaniemi, Finland, where my husband and I visited on our first trip overseas together.

A gift from my son.

Bonus photo: an ornament my parents gave me when I had my first apartment.

Enjoy the season, everyone.


  1. I'm like you in valuing those ornaments that have a story or a connection to a loved one. I especially like that angel your Aunt Louise crafted.

    I try not to get caught up in the stress and expectations of the holiday and rather enjoy it as a celebration of Christ's birth and a time to be with family. My son is due home from Boston next week and I am thrilled about seeing him after three month's absence.


  2. Love your ornaments. One of my brothers has all the family ornaments and they make me smile – through misty eyes each year.
    I am torn about Christmas. December here is hot. Not my favourite thing by a long shot. I become a sad and soggy mess, and stay that way until March.
    I volunteer on a crisis line, and hearing other people's grief and pain hurts. I loathe the commercialism. And love Christmas lights.
    I am a non believer, but firmly embrace love and reaching out. And will do my best to ignore/counteract the negativities.
    I hope your Christmas is filled with love and comfort.


  3. Thank you! As someone who does not attend church, I view the Christmas season as one filled with memories, family, and a spirit of generosity. I like the idea of the Solstice and the sense of turning inward, taking stock. May it not be terribly hot this year for you.


  4. We have ornaments that represent the year. A Corgi one for the first year we got Corgis, a guitar for when my son went to luthiary school. I'm not fond of December because the consumerism is relentless. I could do without Christmas carols being blasted at me every turn. It's such a relief when December is over. It doesn't help that the evening comes so quick, either. I do like seeing the lights – except for my neighbor's epilepsy inducing display…


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