This is an advent series I’ve done each morning on these days leading up to Christmas. I’ve been featuring found photos from the past seventeen years that feature a favorite corner (and memory) in our home. Please check back on Christmas Eve for the final advent post and our annual holiday letter – and we wish you and yours a joyful season of celebration.
(twenty-one) December 2012. I think my least favorite room in this house is the dining room. That’s sort of painful to admit because I love to sit around a table and eat and drink and talk. But this room has never really worked as a relaxing (and beautiful) place to do those things. It’s more of a central hub for chaos. Sometimes it’s organized chaos, but the vibe is still one of activity, not relaxation (and digestion). But I thought I’d embrace the idea of finding home, comfort, creativity, and pleasure through the lens of this series in all corners of the house, even the messy ones. When I look at it that way, I knew the photos to seek out. I scanned through the December files for each year, recalling this ritual of massive holiday card production that threatens every horizontal surface in the house. The dining room is the center of this every year – some years are more complicated than others, but this room somehow steps up to the challenge. This particular year (2012) I painted the card design in masking fluid onto one hundred cards, and then, using watercolors, I brushed on approximately twenty layers of indigo hued color. (And now I’m seeing that I was subconsciously working through the early color ideas for our bathroom project!) I worked around the table in circles for a few weeks, and the house danced circles around my circles as I painted.
These circles will shift within the newly enlarged footprint of our home, but I want to remember these Decembers as they were. My holiday cards are spinning around the country and beyond right now, leaving behind the remnants of cut paper and dried glue in this room – a symbol of advent, the practice of preparation, as much as any other traditional symbol. Maybe this is my favorite room after all.