Maybe that naivete is what makes me so sentimental about Christmas and all the traditions. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones too, or the veil of 'tired' that has become part of my wardrobe lately, but it doesn't take much for me to get happy and nostalgic to the point of tears these days.
My mom began a tradition a couple decades ago (can't be decades!!) of each year making a Christmas tree ornament for each of her grandchildren so that when they grew up and moved away, they would have their own set of ornaments to take with them to their respective Christmas trees. Back to being a pseudo only-child, and perhaps because she had a grand daughter older than me, I managed to get onto the list of ornament recipients each year as well. So now, when I dig out the shoebox full of ornaments each year, I get to walk through a bit of a time warp as each ornament finds its place on the tree (now out of reach of stretched out hands), and although each one doesn't necessarily carry a specific memory of that year or something significant, together, the set of those ornaments takes me right back to West Branch and where I came from. My sister, April, did much the same with me, creating (yes, always handmade-despite being a mom of three wee ones) unique and pertinent decorations for my Christmas collection and those ornaments tell each of their own stories as well.
So, in the spirit of nostalgia and that genuine heartstring-pulling feeling that comes only at Christmas, I send you a very sincere Barnyard Organics Merry Christmas.
I hope you
I hope you make time for yourself, to sit back and reflect on all the blessings, all the good things that you are so fortunate to enjoy. I hope you also sit back and reflect on the harder times and what those have done to you and for you.
May you remember those no longer with you and celebrate the joy that they specifically brought to the season.
May you look excitedly upon a whole new year, a whole new set of opportunities waiting to be found out and promise yourself to tackle at least one thing that makes you nervous/scared/apprehensive.
I hope that you eat until you are full and content and take a moment to think about the source of that food, where it came from, who might have raised/grown it.
I hope that you are able to give a gift that you really want to give.
No matter your background, may you make time to reflect on the origins of this holiday for you and the importance of religion in an increasingly secular, and world.
Enjoy the simple things within your traditions, whatever they may be.
Like, the way a Christmas tree lights up a room in the early morning hours.
Or how neighbors suddenly stop in, just for a visit, unlike any other time of year.
The tell-tale evidence of powdered sugar on grinning faces.
The smells of the greenery and tree, the baking, the turkey, snow (we hope), the orange in the toe of your stocking.
The sharp crack of a hazelnut, walnut or almond being broken into and promptly gobbled up.
The laughter, stories, music and games that come with family.
The overwhelming warmth of being 'home' and full and completely content.
Lambing continues here and the wind and rain are unrelenting, but the spirit of Christmas is filling us up, none-the-less. Lucy continues to fill the house with caroling at all times and Wilson seems to have a sense of excitement, combined with complete obliviousness. No one seems sure what will happen after 'three more sleeps', but the sense seems to be that it's going to be good!
So, from our wee shepherds, to you, have yourself a merry little Christmas and enjoy every moment.