To lighten things up a bit…

It’s been a tad heavy in these parts lately and ‘tis the season for light and love after all so here’s my fluffy post for the week:
Behold our mantel.  I saw someone using milk-glass with red accents, and fell in love with the idea because I love red and white and also…I had almost all the components already. This doesn’t happen to me often. I call this motif: Thrift store/garage sale festive chic. The milk-glass was mostly gathered from Goodwill over the years..the berry things are from Goodwill too,  the silver pieces are also from Goodwill or the legendary Purple House garage sale, and the family handprint tree we made for family home evening last week.  (That was rather an experience!) Little white bottlebrush trees and candy canes..courtesy of Rite Aid…50% off sale..complete my tiny winter wonderland.
Now tell me friends, why do I find it prettier when I can brag about how inexpensive it all was?  It’s kind of a sickness for me…I have a friend who is valiantly trying to break me of it, but I fear it’s too ingrained….I do.
Every year there is a part of me which really, really dreads decorating the house. It’s not the work, it’s the idea of the clutter. I can’t fathom adding any more “busy” to this little space. But after a while it grows on me and I love how much more cozy the house feels. I love that there are constant reminders of the season around us. That there is a sense of magic in the air just from the lighting.  And as much as I dread it initially, it is always over long before I am ready.
That’s right! This time next week, Christmas will be over! How can it be?! I am not happy folks, with how quickly December gallops by. It is a really, really fun month. Cozy! Spiritual! Musical! Family! Friends! Party! Delicious! Peace! Love! Joy! And soo pretty!
Last night as with the preceding 19,  I lay on the couch with my kids cuddled up on every side. We drank hot chocolate and read Christmas stories, then the kids pulled out their instruments and played carols by the light of the tree. Everyone was in a good mood, nobody said anything annoying to anyone else. And I thought to myself, “seriously, this is too ridiculously perfect…I am so perfectly happy. Why can’t it be this way every night?”
On Sunday, I sat in church and willed myself not to do the ugly cry during the impossibly beautiful music and the talks which caused my soul to soar. (I failed..I ended up  going home from church happy, but with a massive headache and red eyes). Throughout all three meetings, I felt so joyful though. I felt so much love and peace and appreciation for every single person I saw. During Relief Society I felt such contentment. This is not the emotion I typically feel during RS I am sorry to say.  I asked my friend Cindi seated next to me? “Why can’t it be this way all the time? Why can’t I feel this sense of peace and love and joy always? I know that once January rolls around every petty little thing will annoy me again.” I also asked her if she felt that there was actually something special in the air in December or if we generated it. Of course I knew the answer to that. It’s special because we make it that way, because we think it should be that way?  So why don’t we just keep making it that way?
Here’s a little more of a look into how we’ve been spending this month.
Despite my disdain for the creepy elf on the shelf, his less creepy cousin, Buddy the Elf joined us on Sunday. Finny believes it’s because he wished for him so hard.  What can a cynical mother say to that? (He appears to be quite musical). PS: Pretty much the best part about having Buddy here is the fact that Benjamin has taken it upon himself to make sure he is doing something new and interesting every morning before the younger ones wake up. I find that so incredibly endearing, don’t you?
I have to start baking tomorrow. I am thoroughly dreading it. But here’s something fun and easy: Santa brownie hats I made for the Messiah singalong…I didn’t get to eat any. Maybe next year?
Hey! Shhhhhh…..Do you want to peek at a few of our 12 Days of Christmas “drops”? (No fear! The recipient does not read the blog!) This is definitely one of our most favourite things about the season. After doing this for almost a decade, I have it pretty “down” but it changes a little bit every year and still requires some major brain strain at times..I secretly love that part too.
4 calling birds (4 bird ornaments) in their cozy nest …7 chocolate bearing swans a’swimming on a pretty blue pottery plate with a few yummy fish in there too..For 8 maids a milking: milky way chocolate, some fancy rubber gloves for the “maid” and cards for playing old maid..all in a sweet little “milking” pail I found at Goodwill today (!!) Ah it’s the little things that give me much pleasure
some beautiful anjou pears and the fixings for some peppermint tea (in lieu of partridge in pear tree).
One of my favourites (but not photographed) was a beautiful goose down  throw pillow to represent the 6 geese a’laying! (Get it? Get it?! A goose down pillow to lay on? Sigh. Ok you got it already, just indulge me, OK?)
No, we don’t generally drive around with Ella at the wheel.  We’re parked here, visiting the musical light display in someone’s yard on our way home from a stealthy delivery to our “true loves” .Two families put this on to raise money for charity-pretty impressive and very sweet.
Practicing for piano recitals-not pictured-but they did so well! I was so proud.
Visiting Santa: (confession: we were totally hoping she would cry!)
My comment on facebook after this little encounter tonight: “It sure is swell, is it not, when your kid sits on Santa's lap a few days before Christmas, and rattles off a wish list which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the list you have been painstakingly referencing since late November...”
Whew. So …where was I? Oh! Yes. The practical answer to my question posed at the beginning of this post is that all this merriment and peace and love and joy and togetherness is too intense, too “much” to maintain year around. We’d burn out if it went on for much longer. (Also we’d be significantly fatter and really poor). We can’t have kids playing their instruments together, and hot chocolate and lying on the couch reading stories by twinkly lights every night, but we can have more of it.  We can’t have an entire sacrament meeting devoted to music (with short but profound talks woven in) every Sunday, but maybe we should have more of them. But why can’t I love everyone all the time?  That one I’m still pondering….Well, hormones for one thing..(and I’m only half kidding..actually I’m not at all kidding. Hormones make me hateful.).
We are hoping for some snow tonight and tomorrow. I really feel like things are just not the same without snow. I’m not hopeful that we’ll have a White Christmas, but just a little bit of it to get us in the spirit of the thing…I would take it.
Here are Ella and Finny watching a Christmas movie. Ahh…..Christmas movies are the best. Even if the plot and the acting are awful, they are redeemed because they are about Christmas. Seriously! Can’t Christmas just last until February?

I'm reading: To lighten things up a bit…Tweet this!


Anonymous said...

Your mantel is a wonderous thing to behold. So pretty. And so glad that you got to feel the Christmas spirit and that everyone was so happy.