When we went walking in the wood a few weeks ago a small branch of holly "fell" off a bush just as we walked by! How strange was that?
The holly is now indoors with bay and rosemary from the garden for the Winter Solstice and candles will be lit tonight for the first time.
The older I get the more I look forward to this day when we know the days will slowly lengthen and spring will come around again, looking forward is the only thing to do.
I'd not come across this poem until recently, and now I can't remember where I found it.
The Shortest Day
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
PS The charity shop came up trumps with something to put the things I'm making for the hampers into. A Christmas tree shaped box and small gold filigree basket thingy with lid. Both on their Christmas table and reduced to half price. Excellent.