I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Years ago, I read an article in Southern Living magazine, about a family that set aside this week just to read, and I have tried to do the same ever since.
Here are my suggestions for a lovely Cozy Week:
- Don’t go anywhere. Try to avoid even putting on shoes.
- Don’t cook – just eat up all the leftovers and cookies from holiday get-togethers.
- Don’t try to accomplish much – chores that “run in the background” are okay – I’m thinking of dishes, laundry, and sheep-herding (at least if you have a very small, calm flock like mine – I do take them out to graze them as usual, but I read instead of doing yardwork). But this is not the week to start a major renovation.
- Hot beverages in sturdy mugs, fuzzy slippers, old quilts, and lots of pillows raise the Coziness Factor exponentially.
Of course, many years in the past when I had kids at home and was teaching, I was lucky to even get a Cozy Day, let alone week, but even that one day was my favorite part of the holidays. I have always found it a wonderful way to recharge. This year, even our Texas weather is cooperating, and we have had about a month of cool, overcast weather that just calls you to curl up by the space heater with a mug of hot tea, and read to your heart’s content.
I like to divide my time between fiction and non-fiction, current books and classics. Here’s what I have been reading this week:
- The White Queen and The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory, historical fiction about the Wars of the Roses, and The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir, as a non-fiction accompaniment.
- The Odyssey by Homer
- The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s) Report, by Timothy Ferris. This is a non-fiction physics-for-the-layman book, but it’s from 1997, so it I wonder how much physics theory has changed since then. I picked it up on clearance for a dollar, and I am sure I will learn at least a dollar’s worth of information, though.
- Somerset Homecoming: Recovering a Lost Heritage by Dorothy Spruill Redford. Influenced by Alex Haley’s Roots, Redford chased down the untold history of her own ancestors. Eventually her personal search grew to encompass a mission to tell the slaves’ stories at the plantation where they lived for generations. I loved this book for the direct writing style – it was like reading an expanded episode of the genealogy program, Who Do You Think You Are? This book ends with Redford becoming a curator at the plantation where her ancestors lived, Somerset Place. Since it is from 1988, I just had to find out how things turned out. Checking the plantation’s website, I see that she did accomplish her plans, with the reconstruction of buildings that present a fuller picture of life in the South during that time.
- The Charmed Circle by Catharine Gaskin, an “Aga saga” from 1988.
- Old Scores, by Aaron Elkins. This is an art forgery mystery set in Dijon, France. I love these last two because they describe the food, the clothing, the buildings, the weather – all that detail may not be fashionable, but I like to feel really immersed in the world of the book.
Along with reading, I am earning the title of World’s Laziest Birdwatcher – I get up every few hours, pour some more bird seed on the deck railings, and watch the birds from my cozy reading corner.
I hope you are finishing out this year and starting the new one, doing things you love!