Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting in the Spirit

I've been hearing a lot of people throw around the ole "It just doesn't feel like Christmas when it's 70 degrees out" of late, and honestly.. I couldn't agree less. Nothing says Christmas to me quite like hanging lights in shorts and a t-shirt - and that's exactly what someone at my apartment complex did this past weekend.

So now my apartment's front walkway is decked out in white lights (which is great), and it made me realize that I hadn't shown you guys a picture of the spirit house at my apartment which always has sparkly little lights on it:

Spirit houses are veryvery common here - and most homes and businesses have one -- usually in a corner of the property where shade is least likely to hit it. The houses are shrines to animist spirits, and people leave offerings at the houses to keep spirits that could cause them trouble happy.

I see a lot of drinks left at spirit houses - water, Fanta soda, milk - and flowers and incense are also common offerings.

The spirit house at my apartment complex is actually one of my favorites - and maybe I'm biased, but hopefully the spirits are happy with it too.

Love to you all,


  1. Swanboats! Shades of the Public Garden and Nana Paige. I took Nat and Finn there when they were little. I wonder, do they still have them in Boston?
    There was a time in my past when the swanboats were the surest sign of spring in that most, dismal, yet signature quarter of the New England calendar, mud season.
    I like your attitude about tiny lights. And rightly so. Nothing says atmosphere quicker than a string of little white lights—they are the little black dress of the starter apartment.
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and rejoice that you aren't grumbling about the disjunctive of temperature and time of year.
    Aunt Nan

  2. You are totally biased.... my favorite spirit houses are the ones across the street from my apartment in the parking lot of the chokchai steakhouse strip mall.... but they are all so fun.

    My mom wants to bring one back to our house in Boulder but she's afraid that you have too many responsibilities with them and if she forgets to give an offering one day the spirits might start f-ing with her... my theory is they're just gonna be happy someone in the states finally gave them a house of their own to live in so they will be okay with minimal offerings.