I love end-of-year holidays. I used to think it was Christmas I enjoyed so much, but I have come to realize that there isn’t anything very institutionally religious in my joy over the end of the year. Instead it’s the mostly mythical, magical image of “Christmas in Connecticut”—think Currier and Ives prints!—that I look forward to. I’d always wondered if my interest in Americana has a lot to do with the immigrant’s idealized image of the host country, but that’s for another post.
In the past few months, I flew through reading a series of “cozy” murder mysteries by Canadian author Louise Penny. The novels are set in a tiny Quebec village near the border of Vermont, and this village has everything I’d ever dreamed of: one bakery, one bistro, one general store, one book store, café au laits, steak frites, Friday potluck candlelit dinners with friendly neighbors, kids playing ice hockey in the winter, adults hiding Easter eggs in the spring. An awful lot of murders for such a tiny and welcoming village, but that comes with the “cozy” genre…
Anyway, these mysteries offer an escape to a lifestyle that was probably always a fiction, but that fiction is very attractive during the holiday season when you wish good will on everyone and hope that everyone could enjoy their favorite things. Like pine wreaths, winter flowers, and dessert with loved ones.
Happy Holidays everyone!