Sunday, December 3, 2017

Doves in the Kitchen

Yesterday I thought on hawks, today I'll speak of doves.

For as long as I can remember, my Mom put up Christmas cards on the cabinets in the kitchen.  There was an old box of cards she'd been sent over the years - she still has the box, and many lovely old cards - and, when Christmas season came around, she'd choose some to put up.  Delightfully, she had a family friend whose last name was Partridge who'd always send a pear tree themed card and Mom would put them all together on a pantry door or such.

When I started out living on my own, I decided to do the same thing.  For a number of years I simply put up what I got, as I think my mother did when she first started doing it, but over the years and with the influx of cards my lovely wife received I had more to choose from.  I like to group them by theme, if you will.  Some angels here, Santas over on the cereal cabinet doors, a group of beautiful cards from the Arizona artist DeGrazia my Mom always sends on the spice cabinet.

I like doing it and it's a nice way to get Holiday cheer into the kitchen.  But, this year the boys finished trimming the tree early - they wanted only balls on  it this year - and they were, well, in the way, as Marci and I tried to finish getting up the creche and the Swarovski crystal ornaments we've been collecting since our first year in this house, now home (I tell that story in this Christmas post from a few years ago called The Best Half.)

So, I put the bags, three full quart Ziplocs, onto the table and told them to pick out forty or so they liked and I'd hang them.  Truly, I was trying to distract them - a strategy I'd honed in their toddler years - but, something pretty cool happened.  They embraced it wholeheartedly. They discussed - calmly, I might add - each card.  Laughing at ones they hated, discussing why they liked the ones they did.  They even began to pile them into themes and such.

Now Zack is really into Christmas decorations, always asking when we'll put them up.  I think he really likes Thanksgiving because we always do the decorations the day after... he's not a Turkey fan, sad that.  He especially likes the cards in the kitchen.  Nick's a tree guy, he likes that it brightens up the living room on dark and cold winter nights.  But, what I didn't know was that they both knew that I worked on themes and such for the cabinets.

A good forty-five minutes later, well, they had a plan.

Santas as usual by the cereal, as usual.

A "naturey" theme by the serving bowls and platters.

A "Three Wisemen" them for the cup cabinet, the cupboard, I suppose you'd say.

Christmas trees for the plate cabinet.

There's these two above the stove, a grouping I particularly like.  One is a Madona and Child by an artist unaccredited (thanks Hallmark) paired with a "Mother Reading to Child" by artist unknown but in a sort of Toulouse Lautrec style.  I really like them both together, and, honestly, I'd have never thought to put them together.

They even remembered the DeGrazia's I always put on the spice doors, which was thoughtful.

And finally, a very pretty set on the chip and canned goods door.  "Doves and Peace and Blue," I think Zack said.

I gotta say, well, I expected puppies and kittens and cartoons and Santas.  I was wrong.  They worked hard, together, carefully and purposefully embracing and remembering the mood of this advent season.

Never underestimate the children.

Never think they aren't watching.

Always honor them.

It's important.


(It occurs to me that if you're eve around during the holidays, you'll know where everything is in the cupboards.)

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