Letter From New York December 6, 2014 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Outside, a soft, chill rain falls on Claverack Cottage. The creek flows gently toward the pond – all seems to be soft shades of grey today. A fire burns in the Franklin Stove and the Metropolitan Opera is on the radio. It is warm and cozy in my world.

Tonight is Winter Walk down in Hudson, an annual transformation of Warren Street, the main thoroughfare, into a winter wonderland. Stores unveil their winter decorations, carolers in Victorian costumes stroll the street, pausing to sing classic Christmas carols. A human crèche scene dominates one end of the street and Santa’s Village dots the town square at the east end of Warren.

It is one of my favorite days of the year, all full of good cheer and light hearted folks, strolling down the street, entering shops and seeing their Holiday goods displayed. Reindeer reside in a petting pen while Santa strolls the street. One year he played a mean trombone for the crowds.

It runs from five to eight and I will go down early and do my wandering early, coming home to have dinner with neighbors who will wander with me, through the stores and shops.

It is the official Columbia County kick off for Christmas.

Vendors sell hot cider on the street. It is a great mingling of the county and some of my best memories of my time here are from Winter Walk. Some years were snowbound, some years were just cold and some years were snowbound and cold. This year will be damp. Rain and sleet are predicted for the night.

I’ll bundle up and go, not wanting to miss the evening’s festivities. I love running into friends and neighbors, love the laughter of the evening and, for once, enjoy the jostling crowds of people who come from miles around to soak in the wonders of Winter Walk.

As it ends at eight, people crowd into the restaurants for dinner and drinks and the evening winds down in communal pleasantries.

Packages have begun to find their way under my tree. Santa, in the form of Amazon, has been arriving regularly. I have at least three holiday stations programmed on Pandora, classic Christmas carols filling the rooms of the cottage and I am especially fond of this year’s Christmas tree, adorned with ornaments from various phases of my life.

Electric candles light the Cottage windows and winter lights festoon the cottage.

I love this time of year.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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