Hello! Yes, the garden is quiet here in the GWN, but life is bustling as we get ready for the festive season. After a hectic autumn at work (new assignment, new colleagues, lots of travel), I finally skidded in to the holidays. And I am soooo happy to be here!
I thought I might be frazzled and stressed, but somehow I'm not. I could feel the stress creeping in during the last week of work (so much to do!), but midweek I snuck away to a noon hour concert with friends at a church near my office. It was just the antidote I needed. The next day I went to the pool and worked out until I was spent. After that, I slept through the night and have since.
My son is four this year and his joy has certainly rubbed off on me. Is there anything more exciting than anticipating Santa's arrival? Reading Christmas books, putting up the lights in the trees out front, and, for the first time, making a gingerbread house. (Bits and bobs of it are "disappearing" but I'm good with that):)
I also picked up a cute creche to start explaining the story of Baby Jesus' birthday. (Last year he thought it was Baby Cheeses and was relating it to the little red Babybel cheeses in the refrigerator). I put the creche beside the gingerbread house and then felt guilty to have the Baby Jesus housed outside such 'opulence'. Hmm, perhaps I need to lay up an offering of chocolate coins to explain the gifts of the wisemen. On the other hand, I may be overthinking this. ;)
On the weekend we went to the tree lot and our little guy picked out our Christmas tree. I think he charmed all the retired gents volunteering there as he ran from tree to tree exclaiming how beautiful they were. We finally settled on a Grand Fir. I have never had one before, the flat needles are a bit curly and the branches are very dense. It looks kind of wild and both exotic and traditional at the same time. Oh, and it smells divine. I love it.
I'm afraid we got a little carried away with the decorating and even tackled the dining room chandelier. It feels very festive so I think it will be a new family tradition. Why not, hey?
I found the box of ornaments my mom gave me when I moved away for university. It contains my childhood ornaments including favourites, ones I made, the plastic one with my name on it in black marker (written by my dad in his beautiful handwriting) that I took to school for the classroom tree, and some that I think belonged to my mom from her mom. Every year, when I see these, I fall in love with Christmas all over again. There were a few years after my mom died that I couldn't open this box, but now I can and am glad to have them.
I recently bought this St. George ornament. Maybe not your typical ornament, but it makes me think of my English gran who was such a big part of my Christmas's as a child. It's for her that I set the plum pudding on fire each year. She understood a little pomp and circumstance go a long way to making rituals into family memories.
And, finally, we spent Sunday afternoon decorating the tree. My little guy danced around with joy. I've decided I absolutely must have more bird ornaments. There is a small flock fluttering around the star now but I really need more. Now that the tree is done, it really feels like the Christmas season has officially arrived.
Still a bit of shopping to do, my son's preschool Christmas concert (can't wait!), family events and parties with friends ahead, as well as some quiet family time. I hope to get out for a few walks in the woods, read some books, visit some of your blogs (!) and listen to some beautiful music. We may even sneak away for an afternoon movie matinee now and again. I want to get to the Muttart Conservatory to see the Snow Queen display and to a garden centre or two to enjoy the Christmas displays. Mostly, I just want to enjoy loving being with the loves of my life.
Here is our favourite Christmas song this year. My son won't let me sing it in the car because he likes it too much ("Mommy, please, please, let it sing by itself!"). He calls it "Ark the Herald Angels Sing." :)
All the best to you and your families for the holiday season. I hope love and joy find their way to your door -- or down your chimney! ;) xo