"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Grand Ol' Dame at Christmas

Today is one of the highlights of the year for us here at the Georgia State Capitol.  It is the Annual Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree!  Last week, the wonderful workers that take care of our "Grand Ol' Dame" worked through the weekend before Thanksgiving to put up all the lovely decorations and bring in the gi-normous Christmas tree that stands in the Capitol Rotunda.  We walked in on that Monday with the scent of fresh cedar wafting through the halls.  It took several days for the crew to upright the tree, secure it, and place the lights and attach the red bows.  We will come back to the tree lighting in just a moment.

In the meantime, in the south wing of the Capitol, this is what greets me everyday in December. Just outside my office door, literally just steps away, this beautiful poinsettia tree sits at the landing of the grand staircase, between the second and third floors. The steps are lined with pots of big poinsettias and the red makes such a striking contrast to the white marble. At the base of the stairs is an old monument/fountain surrounded by more flowers.
There is a matching tree and the potted poinsettias at the North Wing Steps, as well.   Other busts and statuary are decorated, too.

The highlight of the tree lighting ceremony isn't the remarks made by all the "important" people, including the Governor, although quite nice and lovely.  For me, it is the voices of the Atlanta Boys Choir and their Alumni Men's Choir as they echo throughout this wonderful old Capitol Building.  I get a chill every year as the boys come down the steps attired in their red cassocks and ruffled white collars peeking out at their necks.  But when they raise their voices in some wonderful Old English carol or sing Silent Night in German, it almost brings tears to my eyes and I know how special this moment is to experience each year. 

And the tree....oh, the tree!  It is massive and reaches up from the floor of the 2nd floor Rotunda to the height of the 4th floor balconies.  The smell is exquisite and intoxicating; it is the smell of Christmas.  It is adorned with 40,000 lights and red bows, simple but elegant.  After all the remarks are made, the school children in attendance accompany the Governor and First Lady from the North Wing steps into the Rotunda for a countdown.  The lights come on and the Army Brass Band plays Christmas carols for the visitors and staff while refreshments of cider and cookies are served.

It is a simple thing, this little Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony.  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes from start to finish.  But it is a lovely way to start a Wednesday morning, this first day in December.  I wish you all such simple, lovely things this entire holiday season!

No comments:

Post a Comment