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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Comfort of Ritual



My mother would be appalled, but I can walk around the same dust bunny for weeks without noticing that he’s taken up residence and started a soccer team. I wasn’t always like this. When the children were young, I had regular days for cleaning, laundry, scrubbing floors and polishing furniture. And I do mean polishing. None of that once over lightly with a worn out undershirt. I’m talking serious lemon oil and elbow grease.

My husband recalls those days with a certain fondness but not even he will suggest that I leave my desk and current WIP to battle dust bunnies and grime. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for every job he’s taken over but when the air takes on a definite chill and the wind starts blowing colorful leaves around the yard, there is something very comforting about the ritual of making the house ready for the upcoming holidays.

Maybe it’s something so old and embedded in my DNA that it harkens back to the days when cleaning was part of a ritual that marked the beginning and ending of the seasons. I can’t think of another reason that I’d smile while scrubbing every inch of woodwork in the house or washing the curtains.

The ritual isn’t complete until, at the end of a very busy week, I light a pumpkin candle, sit down with a cup of my favorite tea or coffee and nibble on cookies that have just come out of the oven. When the house is clean and smells of cookies and pumpkin, I know the holiday season is just around the corner. I look forward to a little craziness and a lot of love.

What about you? Do you have a comforting holiday ritual?

Until next month,
Happy Writing!
Paris
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23 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I used to clean in the same way when my children were younger. Well, now that I have the new one I can't do it any longer. Not on a schedule anyway. :)
I love scented candles on a cold winters day.

Paris said...

LOL! I remember days when I had to use their nap times to get anything done! Happy days:)

Sandy said...

Paris, my grandmother always cleaned house and did the laundry (when they used to hang the clothes on the line) every Monday.

I have never gotten into a routine. There is not only dust bunnies in our house but cat hairs, too. lol

I love to bake goodies during the holidays and give them to family and friends as Christmas gifts.

My favorite time is to sit down with a cup of chai tea and a couple of slices of pumpkin bread to write.

Paris said...

Oh, I remember my grandmother hanging out the wash and I believe Monday was always laundry day. I loved the smell of sheets when she took them off the line. I miss my clotheslines, lol!

Pumpkin bread and chai tea sounds like a perfect combination!

Adele Dubois said...

What a nice post. I get what I've always called "My cleaning mood" and clean the house top to bottom during these bursts of energy.

My ritual, though, is to put everything back where it belongs before I go to bed at night. That way, my house is always neat, even if there are dust motes gathering behind the family room couch.

Best--Adele

Paris said...

Adele,
Thanks! I wish I could develop that habit and only have to worry about the dust bunnies, lol!

Cara Marsi said...

Paris I love the idea of lighting a pumpkin candle and drinking tea after cleaning house. When I worked full time I was very organized with my housecleaning. Thursday night was for cleaning the kitchen and powder room; every Friday after work I'd clean the two upstairs bathrooms, then relax with a glass, or two, of wine. Saturdays were for food shopping and dusting. My husband does the laundry and vacuuming. Since I've retired, I've let things go. I forget to dust and will let the dust accumulate for weeks and I have no cleaning schedule. I clean when I get around to it. I don't like clutter though and I don't like dirty dishes in the sink.

When my son was little I had a ritual of spending a whole Saturday in December baking cookies. I would listen to Christmas music as I baked. I did this for years until my husband and son finally admitted my cookies were awful and could I please stop baking.

Now that we're empty nesters, my husband and I sometimes don't even get a Christmas tree. But it's all okay, and very relaxing.

Tina Donahue said...

Sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate and watching the Nutcracker on PBS. Love it. :)

Paris said...

Cara,
You could always designate a new ritual. Let hubby and son go to their favorite bakery and pick out Christmas cookies:) Personally, the older I get, the easier I like to take it during the holidays. I'll clean house but everyone is free to bring cookies!

Paris said...

Tina,
I've always loved that production and a cup of hot chocolate sounds divine. Thanks for sharing:)

jean hart stewart said...

I've gotten out of having a set routine. Things get done, (mostly!) but when I feel like it. One of the joys of getting older. And I've always got candles around. Love them.

jean hart stewart said...

I've gotten out of having a set routine. Things get done, (mostly!) but when I feel like it. One of the joys of getting older. And I've always got candles around. Love them.

Paris said...

Jean,
I have to agree that doing chores when you feel like it instead of having a routine is one of the joys of growing older:)

Janice Seagraves said...

Funny, every Spring and fall I do some deep cleaning too. It'll pull me from my current wip with the urge to clean and organize my country home.

Carrie Ann Ryan said...

We clean the house like that every Saturday before we go grocery shopping, but since we are living in a studio apt right now, we have too much stuff so it always looks cluttered.

My mother always used to say that Santa (the Easter Bunny, Birthdays etc) wouldn't come to a dirty house and I've found myself saying that. When we move to a new house next year, we'll see if I can eep up with it.

Paris said...

Janice,
What is it about that cleaning urge that's so strong, lol! Thanks for the comment:)

Paris said...

Carrie Ann,
Every time I move, I end up culling some of my things but then I just start collecting other things. Good luck with the new place:)

Marianne Stephens said...

Cleaning? I get some help for that before Thanksgiving when family starts "coming home" for holiday visits.
Shopping: I try to get that done before Thanksgiving, since some family members that come then won't be around for Christmas.
I'm late in starting this year!

Katalina said...

What a beautiful ritual Paris.
I love putting up tiny white lights in several rooms, immediately following the Halloween decorations coming down. The lights cheers me up when the short days are dark.

Paris said...

Marianne,
I'm glad you have some help with the cleaning. Good luck with the shopping and have a wonderful holiday season!

Paris said...

Kat,
What a wonderful idea! The tiny, white lights are so cheerful! I think I may try that trick:)

Nicole Morgan said...

Paris,

I'm looking forward to starting new traditions with my fiance this Holiday season. Hopefully in the next few years I'll have many traditions to share. :)

Paris said...

Nicole,
I hope you have many traditions to sharing in the future! Looking back, I know that I cherish all of mine:)

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