Well, here we are, a week into the New Year. As the media has been flooded with images of the year, top 10 lists or the best of this and the worst of that, I think about that seemingly contradictory yet wonderfully insightful first paragraph from A Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...”
2016 seemed to bring in a barrage of surreal situations in a variety of ways not unsimilar to the wise and maybe even prophetic words of Mr. Dickens. Whether the past year was the best, worst or just “meh” for you, we thought we’d share some highlights of 2016 from Spirit Bay Duluth! Not quite a top 10…it’s our top 9 (we dare to be different).
Did you know tomorrow, January 8th, is Elvis’ birthday?
In honor of Elvis, we’d like to say:
We wish we could share a nice peanut butter and banana sandwich with you (we can’t), but we do have a plethora of lovely crafts, gifts and décor items we’d be happy to show you or chat about some of the unique photographs, books or one-of-a-kind items that are showcased in our Canal Park retail store.
Stop by; we’d love to meet you!
The following are our best wishes for a…
A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year! (author unknown)
Happy December, everyone!
Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were just seguing from steamy summer to crisp fall, receiving that one early Christmas catalog in your mailbox and laughing smugly at it, saying, “Yeah, sure…like I would ever look at anything Christmas-related before December!” Well, it’s December. Deal with it. Alright, that was harsh. What we really want to say is, “Happy December, fellow Northlanders!” Okay, that’ll work. Now, let’s get into some thoughts.
December is the only month where one holiday dominates the entire 31-day calendar. We slurpily sip peppermint flavored hot chocolate, sentimentally watch endearing Christmas movies, and joyfully belt out inspirational carols throughout the month to celebrate one day at the end of it. Pretty remarkable, isn’t it? Well, not when you consider the grandiosity of the event that we commit ourselves to celebrating…the birth of Joy, Life, and Hope itself. In our humble opinion, that’s something worth celebrating joyously!
To be honest, we here at Spirit Bay are major fans of Christmas. To us, there’s nothing more delightful than strolling in on a brisk Christmas Eve, thick bursts of swirling frost exploding from your nostrils, cheeks scarlet with cold, and settling into a cozy house, enjoying the vibrant lights of the season and partaking in the multifaceted euphoria that make this incredible holiday what it is. Truly, “the holiday” is just too dull of a synonym for this time of year. Let us celebrate sincerely blessings now and for every Christmastime to come.
Well, we haven’t even brushed the surface of what we have to say as we head into December, but we’re going to have to wrap it up for today so you can go wrap up your newly-bought gifts. So goodbye for now, and remember: Christmas Joy is all around. You just have to look for it and feel its tangible blessings surrounding you during the season and always.
Are you looking for some ideas about the ultimate Christmas (joy) bucket list, here are a couple of freebies we found on Pinterest to get you started:
Well, fellow Duluthians and Northlanders, it hath finally happened. After a sultry summer and a vivid fall, our old familiar acquaintance (whether it be a welcome one or not) has ambled back into town. Yup, you guessed it: ‘Ol Man Winter has officially arrived to stay until whenever he feels it prudent to take his leave. Yes sir, that mystical time frequently referred to throughout the year, yet that which seems so distant…”when the snow flies”….has arrived.
Alright, alright, maybe some of you aren’t quite so optimistic about the commencement of another sloppy, chilly, gusty, shovel-wielding winter. (After all, “excessive early-onset-crusted-ice-snow-shoveling-sore-shoulder-syndrome” is a distinctly Minnesota malady). But going along with the theme of our previous post, we would like to spend some time contemplating gratitude. In this case, gratitude for the tedious, yet in many ways, delightful winter that has officially begun up here in America’s Icebox. Here are some of the wonderfully wintery musings that we’d like to share with you today.
Let’s face it, not many of us much enjoy the whipping winter wind. As growing drifts of snow build up on the previously green grass, Jack Frost, jogging out from an intense workout, exhales deeply, lifting up the recently settled snow, tangling it into pale, vibrant ribbons, and throwing it across the terrain, often into the unsuspecting faces of innocent snow shovelers who, perhaps, forgot to cover up their cheeks. But from the comfort of one’s home, with a peppermint mocha in hand and a pair of comfy Solmate socks fitted snugly on feet (find these wonderfully warm and fashionable socks at Spirit Bay!), watching the midair currents of misplaced flakes dancing their way around the yard bring joy and awe of the idiosyncrasies of the season to one’s heart.
If you happened to be down by the lake Friday during the height of the storm, you may have seen a spectacular show. Mr. Frost headed down to the lakeside and stirred up the stagnant depths of the world’s largest freshwater lake, causing angry, foamy waves to become churned up from the middle of the unsalted seas. Later, the waves solidify into awe-inspiring sheets of jagged icicles on the rocky shore, turning the waterfront into a glassy spectacle for the awe of all. Then, when the sun decided to show itself the next day, the whole white-dusted landscape lit up with magnanimous force, casting brilliant rainbows of radiance into our eyes and reminding us that it’s always better when it’s bright.
When the snow isn’t driving down upon our heads with fierce force, when those individually unique flakes of joy sprinkle down upon the landscape, without a doubt, the best form that they come in is snowglobe form. You know what I mean. Small handfuls of tender, tiny flakes float and twirl their way down from the heavens, in pursuit of a driveway, roof, or car windshield. Truly, when one glances out at these flakes, one cannot help but see the inherent beauty in the world which has been created for us.
Well, although there’s plenty more to discuss about this particular topic, something tells me that if we do it all now, we won’t have anything new to talk about come February…and March…and April…and HOPEFULLY not May. But even if that is the case, know that winter is not a bleak, dismal season. Like everything else in life, there is joy, hope, and encouragement to be found during this special time of year, and we hope you’ll join us here at Spirit Bay in celebrating and cherishing the winter season as it starts to roll into town!