A twinkling spritz of magic


Keep calm and sparkle on


In keeping with my theme of making Christmas more meaningful and gentle on the soul, to calm the longings and the expectations met and unmet, of Christmas’ past, present and future…here’s an update.

I live in a provincial state capital of Tropica.  It’s a tropical city of a million although it doesn’t feel that way. I live on a funky street. The safest street in the world, but funky.

I have a street door made of wrought iron slats, so that passersby, if they choose to, can look inside and see a tiny receiving courtyard with a most compelling, rough hewn wooden bench that makes you want to be sitting on it, looking out. The courtyard has a feng shui, it’s a buffer zone from the street before you enter my house. It’s so mignon, that it creates wonder in me whenever I walk by my own house.  “Who lives there?” I wonder. And, “I’d like to sit down on the bench for awhile.”

The only other thing in the minimalist courtyard is a small potted palm in a corner. I wove a strand of tiny, colorful, twinkling lights through the palm.  Every evening around four when it starts to get dark, I plug in the lights. They don’t shine on the street, only if you look in as you pass by.

“Oh, that’s so lovely,” a student said when she arrived for class. “But what a waste, you don’t get to see it.”

But that’s precisely the point of exterior Christmas lights, isn’t it. It’s offering a little bit of magic to the world. An unexpected delight. A happy wish for a stranger. A frisson of flicker in the darkness of winter.

Every night before bed when I go out to unplug the lights, I sit on the bench and marvel at the magic, letting it thrill me too. The street is quiet, no one walks by except for the silent street cats.  But still, my lights flicker in the darkness, saying, I send you sparkle.

And I do, dear readers.  I send you sparkle.

xo Liza

P.S.  Do tell me what you do to make yourself — and others — feel the sparkle and warmth of Christmas.  Another thing I do is give away thousands of delicious calories. This year, as I find myself with a big bag of dates and another of walnuts in my pantry, I will bake loaves of retro Date Nut Bread.  Cream cheese optional.


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16 thoughts on “A twinkling spritz of magic

  1. Lovely post, Elizabeth. Your images are delightful.
    My nod to Chrisrmas … a small clay creche nestled in a bed of twinkling lights with some sort of red flowers around each bulb.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth for bringing the wonder and warmth of Christmas to others. I think you are blessed indeed in your lovely tropical paradise!
    Christmas here in New England is truly magical when there’s new fallen snow sparkling like diamond dust. I treasure those times as otherwise I count the remaining days till spring. Oh well, I could always move!

  3. What a beautiful post, Liza! I, too, love the outdoor lights and try to get some out every year. I also like putting a wreath on the front of my Jeep and twirling around with Christmas music on. It is snowing in Seattle as I write this – sending a NW holiday to you!

    1. Kate! Thanks for the NW holiday wishes. I’ve never been to Seattle…and will go for my first visit next September. You live in a beautiful part of the world. Enjoy!

  4. Liza, you have painted a beautiful picture…I can just imagine it!

    I am not living in my own home this Christmas so it is a bit weird. My roommate has put up some lovely lights on our enclosed porch and there is a gorgeous Christmas tree in the dining room. Lights are my favorite part of the season for sure!

    I like Kate’s idea of putting a wreath on her Jeep. I also drive a Jeep and may do the same!!

  5. Hi Annie, I’m glad that you’re enjoying some lights even if you’re not in your own home. Yes to the Jeep wreath. Spread the smiles.

  6. There’s a very old Christmas Eve tradition here in Ireland of putting a lighted candle in the window to light the way for Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. I remember doing it as a little child and I still do it now as a grandmother.

  7. Hi Liza

    This year I am decorating with red ponsettias in pots outside. Red bows and red stonckings
    on my tropical fireplace. I am keeping the Christmas decorations small including a real tree.
    Most of my candles have batteries (worry free).

    I am inviting my friends and neighbors for a Christmas Tea. I wiil also send out Christmas cards.

    Merry Christmas to all at Campliza!

    Maria Elena
    Miami, Florida

  8. Hi Liza,
    It’s a glamorous classical Christmas for us this year in Edinburgh. Lot’s of natural foliage, berries, poinsettias, stunning table displays with gold accents, and lots of crystal glassware.
    Scented orange clove and cinnamon candles set the scene together with twinkling fairy lights.
    Hope the weather plays ball and we get a beautiful frosty Christmas as this ancient city is so magical at this time of year.

  9. I think your post is a metaphor for the blog you loyally send out to the world….your bid to send some love and light out into the receiving darkness, not quite sure where it will land or how it will be taken. But it is spiritually enriching for you and us
    to do it, so, please, keep it up!

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