Christmas in Switzerland, 1948

“On Christmas Eve Georges Laurens stirred himself from his books and they all went out and climbed up the mountain and brought home a beautiful Christmas tree. Flip and Paul had been making the decorations in the evenings after dinner, chains of brightly colored paper, strings of berries and small rolled balls of tinfoil, and Flip had carefully painted and pasted on cardboard twenty delicate angels with feathery wings and a stable scene with Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus, the kings and shepherds and all the animals who gathered close to keep the baby warm. When the tree was trimmed they sang carols, ending up with The Twelve Days of Christmas. Paul took Flip’s hand and threw back his head and sang.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me:
Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree!”

~And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle

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