Once again the season to deck the halls with boughs of holly is here! Driving through the quiet streets of Carthage the memo seems to have gone out sucessfully. Each evening there are more lights twinkling than the night before. Not only are halls inside being decked, outside porches and yards, lamp posts and trees are gloriously decorated and glowing, seeming to say no matter the challenges of 2020 ‘tis the season to be jolly, to don our gay apparel and troll the ancient Yuletide carol! In the words of Scottish musician, artist and author, Thomas Oliphant (1799-1873):
See the blazing yule before us.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Follow me in merry measure,
While I tell of Yuletide treasure.
Fast away, the old year passes.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses.
Sing we joyous all together, oh
Heedless of the wind and weather.
Our home has dawned her gay apparel and magically transformed into our Yuletide treasure with a blazing hearth and joyous songs wafting up and down the stairs. Red-bowed wreaths and swags of holly and evergreens are everywhere while candles scent the air with cinnamon and spice. Miniature red balls and cherished family ornaments decorate our two tiny indoor trees, while big red balls dangle from the wide spreading branches of the monkey tree beside the chicken palace.
The very next morning when David brought our coffee up to bed, he brought a new game with him. “I will ask,” he proposed, “‘What do you like about our house?’ You get to answer with the first thought that pops into your head, then you ask the same question and I get to give my answer. What do you think? Do you want to play?” “Yes!”
Our “What do you love about our house?” game is quickly becoming another of our favorite morning rituals. On one of my turns I answered, “I love all our Christmas decorations!” On one of his turns David told me, “I love that we have filled our rooms with art—our art, the art of our friends, the art of the artists of artCentral.”
David’s appreciation of our art-filled home calls to mind another old art-filled house we both love dearly—Hyde House. Now home to artCentral this historic American foursquare farmhouse was the family home of Katherine Hyde. A lover of art and an aspiring artist, Ms. Hyde bequeathed Hyde House to the City of Carthage always to be used as a showcase and teaching space for art.
Like so very many homes around Carthage, old and new, too, Hyde House is now shimmering in the fancy dress of this celebratory season. Take a drive east of town to 1110 East Thirteenth and you will see this beauty festooned and sparkling at the top of the gentle Hyde House hill with the gallery Christmas tree shining brightly in the front window. While lights twinkle all around you, leisurely view the exciting Sculptural Spectacular created by Jason Shelfer and spread across the lawn. Then look up at the moon and stars decking the halls of the heavens. Listen! You can almost hear them calling us to be joyous all together as we hail the new as the old year passes while our halls are decked with boughs of holly.