There’s really nothing better than a cozy spot by a crackling fireplace during the winter. It’s been years since I’ve had a wood-burning fireplace so the crackle is more of a memory of childhood. Thankfully, there are a couple wood-burning fireplaces in the neighborhood so a walk outside this time of year still delivers the signature scent of the holidays. I’ve doodlewashed an imagined and rare full scene of a cozy room I’d like to have during the season, complete with a stone fireplace. My childhood fireplace was brick, but the stone ones always appeared in storybooks so I’ve always dreamed of having a version like that one day. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still holding out hope that it will. There are many childhood dreams I’ve still not given up on yet. My favorite bit about this time of year is that it comes with that glittering feeling of hope. It’s a beautiful time of gifts followed by a celebration of new beginnings as the New Year starts. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year and I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoying a beautiful and happy season.

Philippe and I received the last of our gifts that we purchased for each other tonight. These came from different delivery companies so we were constantly rushing to door seeing which box was addressed to who and trying not to look too closely. Then we had to rush them upstairs to our prospective closets and hide them. I nearly ran out of room in my little closet and realized I really must make a mental note to get rid of several pairs of shoes I don’t wear anymore. When I was a kid, presents would appear under the tree several days before Christmas and I would get so excited to see the ones with my name on them. Then Santa would arrive and add a couple more gifts under the tree when I awoke on Christmas morning. In Philippe’s childhood tradition, Santa brought him all of the gifts, so he doesn’t like it when the gifts appear too early. For him, even the sight of the gift was part of the surprise. Each year, this means a marathon wrapping session where each of us are relegated to different floors of our row home and signal the other when it’s safe to return. Though I would personally prefer that gifts already appeared under the tree, waiting this long to wrap them means that a few are going to be a surprise to even me. Though I know what the big final gift is, I can’t honestly remember each silly little thing I currently have jammed in my closet for him.

The food preparation has begun, at least. We’ll bury the salmon tonight for the gravlax and Philippe will prep the liver for his foie gras. Both of which, sound perfectly odd when described, to be sure, but they are now cherished traditions. Phineas will sniff his displeasure at all of the silly things we do and rush off to sit in front of the fire. And I’ll enjoy every little precious second of these snow globe moments while my heart glows with love. I’ve not done everything I set out to do this year or in life in general, and I’m thrilled for the coming year and another chance to continually chase all of my impossibly crazy dreams. In this moment, though, Philippe and I are listening to Christmas music just before we have dinner. Phineas has already had dinner, but that doesn’t stop him from sitting at my feet hoping for an unexpectedly favorable change in plans. In truth, it’s a fantastically simple evening. One that would seem a bit boring by some standards. But, for me, it’s the most perfect night of all. It’s in these moments that I realize that feeling of being in front of a crackling fire is simply a state of mind. Enjoying a perfectly normal evening with warm feelings from the ones you love is really just like being curled up by a fireplace.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 21 - Watercolor Fireplace Christmas Cottage Scene - Sketchbook - Doodlewash


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28 thoughts on “Curled Up By A Fireplace

  1. Beautiful post Charlie. I also love evenings in front of a crackling fire. When we had to buy a new wood stove, I was determined to have one with a window so I can see a fire, there isn’t nothing so relaxing as watching a fire. It also makes Christmas even more special. We also have indoor lights that we turn on all year long, something magical about glowing lights. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. ‘… that I realize that feeling of being in front of a crackling fire is simply a state of mind.” So very true. Listening to the right music and having the right scents helps put you in that state of mind too. So many people think you have to constantly dash around and be doing something – anything – to achieve happiness and they’d be far better off stopping for a bit and just enjoying what’s around them.

  3. Sounds like a lovely pre-Christmas evening. We are having garlic shrimp and hash browns and and strawberry shortcake. Yum! With just the two of us, we don’t have to cook big, just what we like. And we decided on our movie, Home Alone, and the ride to search out the local short earred owls that fly at dusk.

  4. Charlie it’s all precious! I love reading your stories and those bits of your life, past and present. My Christmas gifts were like Philippe’s – all from Santa. I did a combination, like yours, for my children and on Christmas morning we took turns which allowed us to see everything for everyone and appreciate that newly opened gift a little longer while waiting for our next gift’s turn. The whole process also lasted half the day which made it all seem bigger and more awesome for the kids. That tradition has trickled down to their families now too.

    My sitting room has a wood burning fireplace which needs repair so daughter Cassandra found an electric grate filled with lovely flickering LTD candles in assorted heights and flicker patterns, that comes with a remote! We love it. ❤️ lol It makes for instant cozy, which is exactly what I love most.

    God bless you both and Phineas with a Happy Christmas and exciting New Year! 🌟🎄🌟

    1. Thanks so much, Von!! 😃💕 And that sounds like a lovely tradition indeed! hehe… and yes, all of our candles are on remote now. lol But it’s the flickering light that makes the magic, and it’s even more magical with a remote! lol Yay!

  5. Charlie says, ” it’s the most perfect night of all.”

    Any night with a warm fire, a favorite four legged friend, and a caring sharing partner is the most perfect night of all. Your posts remind us of what is really important. The warmth shines in your painting and makes the world feel just right.

    1. Aww thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕That’s such a sweet thing to say! I’m so happy you enjoy my words and illustrations. This is definitely my favorite time of year. Everything glitters with that warmth and happiness!

  6. Well said and well sketched! Looks so warm and cozy. Your evening doesn’t sound boring at all. Most people are rushing around crazy this time of year and they don’t stop to enjoy it. Sad. I love early morning time with it is quiet and the tree is on. We don’t have a fireplace. My husband has turned to the yule log channel a few times, to humor me. Lol

  7. I love your sketch, Charlie. It reminds me of my youth and the fireplace we had at camp and my home growing up. The cozy feeling you depict is perfect. I always liked getting up early to see the tree lit and the surprise of the gifts under the tree. You have brought back some of the magic of the season to us all.

  8. Such a cozy room!! We always opened Santa’s gifts on Christmas morning when I was a kid. We now open at least one package Christmas Eve because my husband just can’t wait for Christmas morning to see what’s in those boxes. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Trying to practice more imagined scenes. And yeah, I was thrilled that Philippe’s tradition was to open all gifts on Christmas Eve. Easiest one to adopt ever! Like your husband… I can’t wait!! lol

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