“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about the month of December, a beautiful time of cold weather and holidays, family and winding down for the year, and dark quiet stillness with late dawns and early evenings. Some of these were written in the context of aging and some are winter-themed, but all are lovely so I invite you to sit back with a nice cup of hot cocoa and enjoy!
If the October days were a cordial like the sub-acids of fruit, these are a tonic like the wine of iron. Drink deep or be careful how you taste this December vintage. The first sip may chill, but a full draught warms and invigorates. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine," 1875
On cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
~Alexander Pope (1688–1744), The Dunciad
If cold December gave you birth—
The month of snow, and ice, and mirth—
Place on your hand a turquoise blue,
Success will bless whate'er you do.
~Author unknown, "A Gem for Every Month," c.1883
Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year. ~P.J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People, 1983
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December,
A magical thing,
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September."
~Oliver Herford, "Hope," in The Century Magazine, January 1914
If winter comes can spring be... We're nearer to spring than we were in september, i heard a bird sing in the dark of december, january, febmar, aprimay, apricots, beneath the bough. ~Sylvia Plath, journal, 1953
December drops no weak, relenting tear,
By our fond summer sympathies ensnared;
Nor from the perfect circle of the year
Can even winter's crystal gems be spared.
~Christopher Pearse Cranch, "December" (last stanza), 1872
Do your heart and head keep pace?
When does hoary Love expire,
When do frosts put out the fire?
Can its embers burn below
All that chill December snow?
~Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), "Toujours Amour"
The cold is coming.
December's winter solstice.
Start of the season.
~Robert Pettit, "Winter Solstice"
What should we speak of
When we are old as you? when we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December? how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away?...
~William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (Arvirargus)
And in December's gloomy shades
Some Chickweed stars did shine.
One Daisy, too, the bleak month gave
To baffle melancholy;
And e'en I saw fair Flora smile
When crowned with crimson Holly!
And then the queen of all the flowers
Passed onward, soft and slow—
Her radiant brows adorned with Pearls
Of sacred Mistletoe!
~James Rigg, "The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897
I wander forth this chill December dawn:
John Frost and all his elves are out, I see,
As busy as the elfin world can be,
Clothing a world asleep with fleecy lawn.
~Robert Buchanan (1841–1901), "Snow"
Roasting turkeys! Rich mince pies!
Cakes of every shape and size!
~Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, "December," A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, 1917
Farewell, old year; we walk no more together;
I catch the sweetness of thy latest sigh...
Here in the dim light of a grey December
We part in smiles, and yet we met in tears;
Watching thy chilly dawn, I well remember...
~Sarah Doudney (1841–1926), "A Parting"
[I]t may interest those who wish to marry to know that the luckiest day and month for marriages is by superstitious people held to be the thirty-first of December. ~"All the Year Round: December," All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal Conducted by Charles Dickens, 1887 December 10th