Wednesday, December 28, 2011

hello from the quiet

I love this unstructured time between Christmas and the New Year.  Just being in the moment, everyone in their own corner of the house or snuggling with the dog in front of the fireplace and breathing in the quiet that follows the fun busyness of preparation, making, shopping, wrapping, cooking and celebrating.  While my husband and the youngest child are away visiting with relatives, the two of us left are enjoying two more days of quiet reading and pursuing our own projects before we join them all tomorrow for a few days.  Blessed quietness. Here are some of my favorite memories of the season:

Shopping with one child at a time.  They both need very little help with suggestions these days, so I get to hang back and watch what they come up with, in the store or at home with their many projects. This year, the nine year old made a scarf, a mug warmer and many little dolls like these, which she filled with candy. The twelve year old specialized in chocolates and shortbread cookies.

When we lived in the suburbs, our decorations all came from the local garden center.  This year, I grabbed some clippers and floral wire and went outside to see what I could find.  Luckily, our yard grows everything you need for a perfect decoration or three.  Just add the bow.  How lucky are we?

Of course, there is always a gingerbread house to be made and decorated (or two or three, depending on secret santa obligations) and candles to be restocked for the Solstice, when we don't turn on the lights after dark.  Our new house has a very large mantle, so I added this little snowman to our decorations.

Now I don't know about you, but I find myself often pulled into all kinds of new crafty directions the six weeks or so before Christmas.  You would think I'd have learned to save time and stick with what I know long ago, but apparently I am unable to do that.  And frankly, seeing the joy on the faces of loved one, or noticing on Wednesday that your child has yet to take off that tricky reverse applique project, makes it all oh, so worth it, don't you think?

Well, and when all the cooking and decorating and making were done, we poured some wine, sat in a comfortable spot by the woodstove, lit the candles on the tree and let the joy of giving and the peace of dark evenings wash over us.  And really, we are so greatful for everything we have from the roof over our heads to the people in our lives, and to those of you who venture to this space.  Blessings to all of you this holiday season!

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