(photograph by Eva of small caketopper made from vintage components at http://www.etsy.com/shop/abridaltouch)
It’s not even December yet…the fresh Christmas trees have arrived at the greengrocer this week and decorations have been appearing here and there. The holiday bazaars at the churches were this past Saturday with sales of Christmas cookies and various decorations and foods. Already an air of the annual sense of sheer panic that everything that is expected of the season is not going to get done…again. The expected Christmas cards, decoration, baking, shopping and the list goes on…the quest for the “perfect” Christmas…all so very exhausting and depressing as well.
I guess I’m at a stage right now that I don’t really understand. When I was home with my parents before getting married, we had our own traditions/habits I guess you’d call them…Christmas Eve was church and then coming home to light candles, light the tree, play some Christmas music and have coffee and a slice of Julekage(Scandinavian Christmas bread) and cookies. Just enjoying the sheer ambiance.
My husband is a church organist/choir director…so Christmas is a busy time for him and having two churches as well. My daughter and I very early in the game made our own traditions because he wasen’t around and then again after my parents passed. She and I would go to the early service at church and then come home and do much of what my parents and I used to do…put the tree lights on, play some lovely Christmas music, sit and talk and eat some yummy food. My husband would come home late and exhausted. Christmas Day was a late riser for him. My daughter and I would need to keep somewhat quiet…basically she would get her stocking right away and she and I would have our breakfast. I always had some type of craft for us to do Christmas morning…usually a gingerbread house to put together or something like that. Presents weren’t opened til later.
Last year was different again. My daughter wasen’t able to come home for Christmas due to having to work. My husband did his usual. I went to church alone. Came home, put the tree on, candle and made myself a cup of tea and something to eat. After a while, turned the tree off and the lights off…all I kept on was the candle(in a jar) and wrapped myself in a blanket and just reminisced of Christmas Past. My husband was quite puzzled to see the house was completely dark when he came home.
I don’t know what I want of Christmas this year. I well realize that I alone am responsible for the direction it will go. I have certain things I always get joy out of. I always take one afternoon cutting greens from our evergreen trees and make wreaths/swags…a lovely large one for my parents’ grave and one for our door plus some greens to go in my grandmother’s silver pitcher for the dining room table.
I put vintage Christmas tablecloths on my windows as curtains(I just use safety pins). The Christmas embroidery of my grandmother’s (a medley of angels) goes on my small table with my various angels on top.
A small fake tree with lights comes up closer to Christmas(I would have it up earlier, but Beast adores the tree, lights and ornaments…one finds her nestled inside the tree and it becomes lopsided and sometimes topples over.
Baking…Julekage is a must. I can do without almost everything but I must have my julekage. Last year I didn’t even make that. My husband loves his mince pie and my daughter loves her sugar cookies and chocolate chip.
Don’t know about cards…basically for friends and family who live far away. I love making my own cards…that’s the problem. And I have to write an epistle on the card…not just one short paragraph. My husband sits and writes his cards…all five of them and within 1/2 hour is done and extremely proud of himself. I agonize over the perfect card and want to write a meaningful greeting.
I basically want to actually “feel” something this year. A lightning bolt of energy would be nice. Maybe I try too hard…and that what I desire doesn’t exist…and that I should do what my friend in Sweden does. She literally hibernates in her house for three days with plenty of good food, dvds of her favorite films, long walks in nature, her projects and her books.
til next time…Eva