The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I had a wonderful realization on Thanksgiving Day. The kitchen was warm from the oven, I was rolling out pie dough and Jeff, unusually UN-busy, was sitting with me at the table enjoying watching “The Fellowship of the Ring”. (So many of us grew up watching “The Wizard of Oz” or the “Peanuts” specials on this holiday. We have decided to start our own tradition, which is to marathon “The Lord of the Rings”. As my housemate Shannon said, “I didn’t take you guys for those kinds of people.” We are.). As my mother used to do for me, I took the extra pie dough, rolled it out, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar and put it in the oven to bake as a treat for Fern. As I was closing the door, it came to me, and I smiled…

Starting tomorrow I can officially listen to holiday music in the house!

Christmas spirit…I has it. Although in my case, it would be more appropriate to say “holiday” or “solstice”. I love holiday music, I love making and giving presents, I love decorating, I love the cold and the short short days and the settling in of winter. I love still time spent with family. I love nestling down as the wheel of the season turns and there is the quiet pause just before the sun returns and the days once again grow longer. Love it.

I realize that while I am not alone in this sentiment, I also understand that a for a lot of people, their experience ranges from apathy to total and utter dread and depression. Believe me, I get it…we bought my father a “Scrouge” stocking years ago because he becomes a total grinch at Christmas. With a tendency towards melancholy anyway, the holidays bring up too many old memories for him, along with even older pain. (However, both my parents have been warned that with a grandchild coming to visit, they better buck up on the Ho Ho Ho or we will take our xmas elsewhere. Hi Mom.)

But this wasn’t always the case, and I think it was my experience of the winter holy-days during my formative years that instilled the spark that roars to a cozy blaze for me once December 1st hits. I have nothing but warm and happy memories from Christmas’s of childhood past. I would lie on my back with my head under the tree, looking up at the lights in the branches and know deep down in my bones that everything was good. It is my goal and vision to create, support and nurture a similar experience for my daughter. And to make sure that she knows all four stanzas of “Jingle Bells”. (Do you?)

After whipping the cream for the pie, I gave Fern her first beater to lick. As I held it in front of her, she stared, dumbfounded at the miracle before her. She was standing up, gripping onto my knees for support. So complete was her rapture that as she reached for the beater, she let go of my legs, and thus stood by herself for the very first time.
The day after Thanksgiving (and yes, the tunes were on), Fern was trying to refrigerate the entire kitchen, her new favorite game.
I heard a soft, crinkly paper sound. I also heard the sound of toothy gums (5 new teeth in a week and a half!!) enjoying something marvelous.
Yes. That is a stick of butter in her hand. I let her have a few more nibbles and then wrapped it back up and returned it to my housemate's shelf. She'll NEVER know. (Hi Cleo).
I brought out the yard sale xmas decor we scored last spring. Many little vintage and antique treasures were all in a shed at the back of a house. For free. Yay!
Part of welcoming the spirit of the season includes bringing nature indoors. We traded out the pumpkins and gourds on the kitchen table for pinecones, rosemary and pyracantha berries. A few years ago, I was delighted to discover the connection between Amanita Muscaria (the mushrooms) and Santa Claus. More on that later this month.
Our new reindeer pal is an "Annalee Mobilitee Doll". From the looks of the tag, it's probably from the late '60s. My mom had a few of these dolls that emerged around xmas, and I think I would like to start collecting them for our family.
Despite bitter cold (You know I'm from California when I call the high 50's "bitter". Eat your heart out, Minnesota) we still manage to get outside. Fern's favorite destination du jour is the swingset at Duboce park. Mommie's all time favorite destination is Cafe Soleil. Mocha, baby, dog and swings = fun.
and I mean F.U.N.
Clap your hands say WOO HOO
We are still gardening. Yesterday we put in garlic around the perimeter of our plot.
Fern helped me plant (this isn't my plot, btw. She was gleefully flattening someone else's chard, and was so cute, I figured the owner wouldn't miss a few lacey, snail eaten bits, and took a pic) She followed along beside me, patting the earth and ensuring the garlic cloves were tucked in tight. She murmed her own little Elfea song, casting a magic spell for their fertile winter's nap.

Later this week I will update with some of the new crafty creations I am making, and in the meantime want to let local folks know that I will be selling wares with my colleagues at The Holos Institute Winter Craft Fair and Open House, this Sunday from 11-4. For more information, click here. It is sure to be a nice change of pace from the frantic hullaballoo at the mall, and also a chance to explore your psyche’s experience of winter. Stop by and say hi!

Much love.



3 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. I loooooove winter, people think I’m nuts but I’m truly in my element right now! Also love homemade decorations (I like to drag chunks of nature in) and ridiculously cute babes in elfin outfits, gorgeous xx

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