Winter's official first day was December 21st, but after the holidays, when the Christmas trees start disappearing and the holiday lights start coming down (unless you're one of those who leave 'em up till March -- you know who you are!), the gloomy days of Winter seem more apparent. Over the holidays, the Birdy had this talk with friends, right on Christmas Day, funny enough, and we all agreed that even the most dreary of days don't seem as bad when you're surrounded by the glow of holiday lights and sparkle all around. But once it's all put away, it's hard to keep a cheery spirit, especially when the sun disappears by five and it's dark as pitch out there. At least, that's how it is up here in the Pacific Northwest.

So I turn to the holiday gifts from friends and family to add some brightness to the gloomy days -- there were some particularly sparkly items that pair so nicely with an icy chill. While they can't warm my feet like a pair of wooly socks, they do warm my spirit and soul, when the days are short and the nights are long. You need a little sparkle to shine through the dreary days, no?

To pair with some winter sparkle, here's an exerpt from a poem by Thomas Campion, reminding us of the cozy comforts of winter, which is something not to be forgotten:

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep's leaden spells remove.

Jaunty Fine Print: photos by Denise Sakaki, gifts by wonderful sweet friends and family - thank you! xoxo

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