Once again, the holidays are upon us. This can be the best time of the year—it’s a time to take off work, visit the people you care about, and eat lots of delicious (unhealthy) food. Often by the time December rolls around, we are all exhausted from months of work, months of deadlines and schedules, months of to-do lists. And, aside from the holiday shopping lists, this is the one time of year where everyone, collectively, takes a few days for themselves.
Here at the Quill we would like to help you to celebrate this holiday season. We will be offering three copies of A Calendar of Days for free! A Calendar of Days is a recurring project PQL undertakes with the Wood Engravers Network. You’ll see some familiar wood engravers in there, such at Gerard Brender à Brandis, Wesley Bates, Rosemary Kilbourn, and Jim Westergard. But there are also some new artists to, who you can discover in this neat little calendar. An excellent gift for a loved one, A Calendar of Days is our holiday gift to you.
All you need to do to be entered to win is share with us one of your favourite holiday memories. It can be anything, from baking cookies, to the smell of a real Christmas tree, to Boxing Day shopping with your friends—anything! Just leave a comment on the blog below or tweet us at @porcupinesquill, remembering to use the hashtag #Holidays.
Three entrants will win a copy of A Calendar of Days!
Contest closes Friday, December 14, so start those comments coming!
(One of my favourite holiday memories, captured in a poem)
PEACE ON EARTH
The first glimmer of it had been the sign
on the gatepost, Maes-y-Pant, past
the unnumbered mailbox. The car door
slammed shut behind me. Andrzej turned
off the engine, got out on the other side.
“Welsh,” he said, as if he’d been taught it
by the priests in Krakow. “The last owners
named it. The realtor told us it means
something like Meadow-on-the-Hill.
We liked it, so we just kept it that way.”
Inside, we settled into sofas around
the hardwood table, listened to Piaf, Bocelli,
and Newton John. Sheba came around
to sniff at the coffee, test our laps
and faces. Andrzej pulled her to the armchair.
“Sheba speaks three languages,” he was
saying, stroking her collar. “She sits
in Polish, fetches in English, and now
that Joanna’s in that class three weeks
she’s learning German as well!”
A glimmer in the doorway. And an aroma
of raisined life that set Sheba to barking.
Joanna came in, balancing a tray
piled precariously high, a ziggurat
of pastry, flecked with flour and cream.
The coffee went around, as we demolished
that sumptuous tower, talking all at once,
a babble of voices, teaching each other
the words – Guten Morgen, dzień dobry,
maidin mhaith, magandang umaga –
The words to meet each other with, come day.
Inside, that winter night, we opened up
that vast thesaurus of one human tongue –
Outside, there was, through mist,
the glimmer of stars.
One of my favourite holiday memories was opening a new door on my advent calendar each morning.