Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here We Come A'Wassailing

I recently attended a Christmas gathering with some of my girlfriends, and one of the delights of the evening was a delicious, warm mulled cider. I don’t remember exactly the ingredient list, but I believe it was a mixture of apple juice, brown sugar and mulling spices. It was so good, and made me feel warm all the way to my toes!

I had often heard of this delightful beverage referred to as “wassail”. The word wassail is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon term meaning to “be whole”, and when drinking it you were said to be drinking to the health of someone.

One tradition from England that became known as “wassailing” was to have a party where carols were sung and the wassail was accompanied by many toasts. Some of these parties even involved traveling from house to house, caroling and giving blessings to neighbors and loved ones. Thus we now have the familiar and famous wassailing carol:

What a lovely tradition!

Wouldn’t it be nice to visit a simpler time when the best gifts (and many times the ONLY gifts) were handmade with love – not bought last minute in a rush?

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk from house to house visiting neighbors, family and friends, truly sharing the season in a relaxed, easy way – not rushing to see how fast we can pull our car in the garage so we don’t have to even see our neighbors?

There are many things I am grateful for in our modern times, but there are many things from times long ago that I wish would come back in vogue. Families that lived close by; lifelong friends; long, warm evenings spent by a fire or beside a piano… it seems that much of our modern-day life has lost its sweetness, even its romance.

I often think about what we could do to bring back that sweetness.

To make each day a little more lovely…a little more magical…a lot more meaningful.

I haven’t come up with a lot of solutions, though. It seems the world is spinning at break-neck speed and there’s no way to stop it.

What do you think?


Laura said...

Hey Doris, I agree with you - It would be soooo great to bring back some of the sweetness and romance of celebrating the holidays as people did in the "olden" days.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leanne said...

This post made me smile ... because it is a reminder to me of the spirit of the season that really matters. We love to christmas carol, too, which I really think is a lost art (and one that people just don't do enough of.) You are so right when you mentioned the pulling into the garage to you don't have to speak to your neighbors - sad, but true (even I have been guilty of it). Why??? No reason- at all. Thank you for reminding me to stop and take some time to really enjoy this season - (the wassail song reminds me of a madrigal group I sang with in college - SO makes me smile!!!) Merry Christmas dear friend!

Leanne said...

Just wanted to stop by with a little Christmas Cheer for you! May you have a blessed Merry Christmas, dear friend!

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