I fully intended to jump out of bed this morning, head for the woods, and start collecting my boughs to green the house. Of course, the cats demanded to be fed first. Then, while getting their friskies, the dog was roused by the sound of food and wanted her chow too. And to go out. As I tripped over a load of wash waiting to be done, I decided to throw it in before taking the beast out. I had been up quite some time and hadn't even gotten dressed yet! The best laid plans...
Despite the animal frenzy, the flurries that greeted me outside boosted my Christmas mood, and I decided to head off to one of my favorite country shops to browse instead. The pine trees were firmly rooted and would be there when I got back, right? I'm not even embarrassed to say I have NO IDEA what the shop I go to is called. I call it the red barn, which works just fine for me. My family now also knows it as the red barn. It's funny how families can develop their own language, something akin to twins who communicate in their own special way.
While "browsing" I picked up the tiniest candy canes and snowmen mittens that I have ever seen. I intend to use them in making handcrafted snowmen this year. My husband and I create some crafts together. He handles the saw and I do the painting and finishing. We call ourselves JoLi Holidays. John, Lisa....pretty easy to get that one! To date I make things for myself, friends, or family, but who knnows what the future could bring.
My successful trip bouyed my spirits further, and I was ready to tackle the greens upon returning home...despite the howling winds and cold temperatures. I created two swags from spruce and white pine, adding large red bows to hang under my front windows. They will remain green long into January after the lights and tree have been taken down. So many homes are so quick to dismantle holiday displays once Christmas Day has passed.
It is our family tradition to continue lighting candles in the windows until Epiphany, the arrival of the Wise Men to welcome the Christ child. For us Christmas is a season, not a day. It is a changing of the spirit, and rebirth in the dead of winter. Which reminds me of the time my Dad dug a hole in the yard to plant one of his balled Christmas trees and left it open during rain and snow storms. Let's just say my little sister "found" the hole. But that's a story for another time.
A warm country hug to all!