The Christmas season comes and goes each year, leaving behind a spirit of joy and happiness amongst loved ones. Even if one is unable to be with family on this special holiday, a close knit friend would suffice. In the "Christmas Sketches", Geoffrey Crayon vividly depicts the nature and style of how spending Christmas in the land of his forefathers with an old fellow-traveler sparked an image in his eye of true love.
Crayon viewed England at Christmas time as a site of true beauty. He's taken back by the elegant appearance of the cottages lining the streets. "Even the poorest cottage welcomed the festive season with green decorations of bay and holly-the cheerful fire glanced its ray through the lattice, inviting the passengers to raise the latch, and join the gossip knot huddled round the hearth, beguiling the long evening with legendary jokes and oft-told Christmas tales." (p. 164) This sends a warm feeling through the cockles of his heart, bringing out in him the real meaning of this time of year. A typical mid-winter's evening in England is made possible through the description given to us by Crayon, the hollow blast of the wintry wind, loved ones gathered round a hearty fire, and the sparkling of the snow as the bright moon in the nighttime sky shines upon it. The laughter of people, the festive decorations, and the sounds of a harp playing Christmas carols in the distance only adds to the excitement of another splendid Christmas season.
Crayon reflects on his stage coach journey through the town of Yorkshire. He speaks of the gay reactions of the other people in the stage coach, overhearing conversations of their ever-growing enthusiasm in seeing their own family members, as well as the traditional gathering of the fulfilling Christmas dinner. The three young people whom seem to stick out in his mind are "fine, rosy-cheeked school-boys" with a cheerfulness about them. All the young boys talked about was how excited they were to be going back home for the holidays, waiting to see their family and pets. The most important of these being a pony named Bantam.
Shortly after arriving at a very hospitable-looking English inn, Crayon decided that this was the place where he would spend the evening until morning. Once again he was in awe by the appearance which brought out a feeling of homeliness of the inn, highly polished copper and tin vessels, the Christmas green as it decorated the walls, and the strips of meat as they suspended from the ceiling of the dining area. The housemaids were as he had pictured them, dressed with the utmost trimness, scampering about at a brisk pace under the wandering eye and directions of the landlady. They would always seem to try to sneak in a brief conversation with the travelers of the inn. This old-fashioned style of inn allowed Crayon to meet a long time traveling buddy whom he had not seen in some time, Frank Bracebridge. Bracebridge had invited Crayon to spend Christmas at his father's country seat located a few miles from the inn. This would prove to be a real experience of true English tradition for Crayon.
"Our road wound through a noble avenue of trees, among the naked branches of which the moon glittered as she(the carriage) rolled through the deep vault of a cloudless sky. The lawn beyond was sheeted with a slight covering of snow, which here and there sparkled as the moonbeams caught a frosty crystal; and at a distance might be seen a thin transparent vapor, stealing up from the low grounds and threatening gradually to shroud the landscape." (p. 174) These two sentences capture Crayon's best depiction, by far, of English landscape on this particular Christmas Eve. This picturesque account of the country scenery gives an air of magnificence of the Christmas season.
Shortly after arriving at the house of Bracebridge's father, Crayon is over-taken by the furniture and appearance of numerous items. "Over the heavy projecting fireplace was suspended a picture of a warrior in armor, standing by a white horse, and on the opposite wall hung a helmet, buckler, and lance." (p.177) These types of features indicate a wealthy estate to Crayon, who also admires the deer antlers