The Hall Bedecked:

While we lack the elegance of T99's lovely home, we have arranged things in a way that matches the merriment of the season.

The skull over the mantel looks on jars of homemade crystallized ginger root and cookies, as well as my great-great grandfather's musket.

The Christmas tree. Slightly obscured are the knights and castles carved into the chest beside; more obvious, the bamboo root carved into the shape of a Chinese guardian spirit.

We have also arranged for a general winter feast:

Even horses can't eat that fast, though, so it needed to be stowed against the cold, wet winter we're expecting here.

Preparation is everything! I have laid in a duck and a ham, and some beer, many pounds of flour and sugar and coffee and other good things.

Fire is needed by the newcomer
Whose knees are frozen numb;
Meat and clean linen a man needs
Who has fared across the fells,

Water, too, that he may wash before eating,
Handcloth's and a hearty welcome,
Courteous words, then courteous silence
That he may tell his tale[.]

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