Simple Special Seasonal
Happy Holidays! Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Now that we are getting to the latter part of this special holiday time, I find myself reflecting on holiday traditions. I believe that it is the year-to-year rituals that bring the holidays to life. I think that they keep our hearts young. It seems to me that we revert back to the age we were, in the very best of ways, when each tradition began. These simple traditions are where the magic starts. There is always so much going on, all year long. And for so many of us, at this particular time, this is not when we have the most energy. The light is low, the days are short, and the desire for afternoon naps is strong. Hat's off to those of you who take them! I don't necessarily have time for extravagant rituals. Or lots of them. I keep them simple and that way I am able to succeed in fitting them in. The season, of course, begins with a Christmas tree. And with an evergreen wreath for the front door, too! We find Christmas carols to play in the background, the box of decorations is hauled out, my son or husband string up the lights, and then one by one we handle each ornament. It seems that each and every decoration has a story to tell and we often speak of these as we trim the tree. Some are from my own childhood, a few are special gifts, but most we have made together, or they are one of the ornaments I make each year and gift to everyone in the family.
This year I created felt tree lights suspended on golden wire. I was happy with how well these were received by all of my family. I am never quite confident before I give them out. This kind of creation is a hobby rather than something I feel expert at. I was relieved by the reception.
Up go the stockings, as well. One by one, over time, as family members were married in and born, so were stockings! The first stocking made was for my husband, just before our son was born. I was pregnant and alone in Vancouver for Christmas that year so I shipped his handmade stocking down to LA, where it was thankfully filled by others. Next was my son's. Mine might have actually been made last lol.
I love Christmas stockings! Ours are all filled with all sorts of good things to eat. I'd love to show them to you, but our names are embroidered on in glass crystal beads and I tend to be private about my kids' names online. But how I do love them! My absolute favourite tradition is that of gingerbread. We bake loads of cookies and the kids each decorate a house. Although candy is pretty much banned in our house throughout the main part of the year, I can't help but give in for this holiday event. To me, gingerbread houses are pure fantasy. As my kids get older, everything to do with gingerbread, from quickly rolling out very cold dough, to spreading the icing all over the houses, gets easier and less harried. This year was by far the most mellow of all. I feel like I put in the time, crazily managing the chaos of the many early years, and now a sort of pay off has arrived. In spite of an icing fail this year, the kids had their best time ever, and therefore, so did I.
My daughter's house even has a red cabbage garden and a fruit tree. Such a cute and funny extra! Because every home needs a garden, right? ;)
For the second time, we took the kids to the Vancouver Christmas Market. I'm not so sure this actual market will be sought out again, but we will keep finding places for fun food. We pre-bought our tickets and happened to end up at the market on the coldest day of the season. We were all literally freezing. The only way to keep the kids happy and to stop their complaining were waffles, hot cocoa and novel potato spirals on sticks. A day spent altogether happy AND unhappy. Memories were made.
Unfortunately, we had to miss our annual Christmas Eve dinner with friends. We feared our family were all contagious! I have no interest in derailing anyone else's holidays. We had a very delicious dinner at home, instead. Before my family goes away at the end of the week, we need to enjoy the local Christmas Skate, and then I can say that Christmas is complete. Simple and satisfying. Heartwarming and beautiful! And, of course, a little drama thrown in here and there to keep it real and to keep my on my toes.
I would love it if you could send me a message to email@example.com and let me know your own favourite traditions!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to creating my 2023 vision board in a few days. And looking forward to all the surprises and goodness ahead!
Slow Botanicals are available at
Westham Island Herb Farm, Delta, BC
International Marketplace, Point Roberts, WA
Your Local Small Market, Point Roberts, WA