8:00 am: awakened after a sound and restful sleep. Della has delivered a steam pot of tea and set the fire to rights. When the draperies were opened I viewed a magical landscape of heavy frost. It looks like a winter wonderland!
9:45 am: breakfast was a joyous affair. The hired hands are bringing in the greenery for our decorations. Clarke has assembled several boxes in the great hall. Dominique and the boys are literally laughing out loud. Rosemary is demure in her behavior but I can see that she is strongly pleased.
1:00 pm: What a divine morning. Mr. Clarke directed the hired hands as to the placement of the garlands. Let me explain. The Grand Hall, the entrance, is a large, two story chamber. As you step up the two granite steps to the large 10 foot door, you are greeted directly in front by an enormous fireplace. It is large enough to walk into, without a stoop. Through the leaded glass on either side of the door one can see the fire ablaze, welcoming all who enter. A large heavy garland has been draped over the white marble mantle and a matching wreath hangs high above the mantle. Large red velvet bows decorate the center of the wreath and the center of the garland above the fireplace. It is a stunning sight. On either side of the open gallery, above the hall, is draped with thinner garlands their entire length. Tied with white velvet ribbons, they cascade at each pillar. At every fireplace there are greens with pine cones, ribbons and glass blown ornaments. Large candles grace the mantles as well. The great conversation at dinner will be where to place the one tree. In prior years many trees were presented. This year there will be just one, it must be very special.
4:00 pm: I joined Kenny and Ross for their tea. Their excitement is palpable. They are particularly fond of some surprises they have been working on with Domonique. I think they are making special gifts for Christmas. There was much giggling.
10:00 pm: Another busy day dear journal. I did not have time for my morning constitutional. Once the decorating began, we were all employed! Dinner was quiet in the small dining room with Mr. and Mrs. Willoby and Rosemary in attendance. Mr. Willoby was very tired and retired early. Mrs. Willoby and Rosemary discussed the possible best placement of the tree. Our final decision is to be in the large library where we all spend much time. Tomorrow I must walk to see Mrs. Waters to inquire of her health. Mr. Clarke told Rosemary that he overheard Peter mention to Mr. Hawkins that she was feeling a bit off. I hope the chill has not gotten to her.