Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wishing you happy holidays and health and prosperity in the New Year!

The time around the solstice is always a pensive time: not long after the calendar is proclaiming the first day of winter, we find the sun setting later and our days lengthening. Such is the constant paradox, the constant flux, of the energies of life and the universe.

Getting all mystical here, I know :)

We had a brief few days of snow here a little while ago:

And now we have settled back into a typical Northwest winter----RAIN.

Thank goodness for the rain. It is what brings us the green in the Spring :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Christmas decorations finally came out at my house and the tree went up. Some years this doesn't happen, but this year I felt a great longing to fill the house with lights. For me, Christmas is about 4 things: Lights, because we are approaching the solstice, the longest night of the year, gnomes and elves, because I love Scandinavian decorations, food, of course, and woodland decorations, like the walnut ornament you see above. This fall I stopped by a Sons of Norway garage sale (Sons of Norway is a fraternal organization (although a woman was instrumental in its creation) created by Norwegian immigrants in the late 1800s dedicated to preserving the traditions of Norway while focusing on good citizenship http://www.sofn.com/about_us/showPage.jsp?document=History.html). I didn't know anything about the organization at that time, but the women who were running the sale were kind and some of them had on some fabulous Scandinavian jewelry. While there, I picked up this handmade set of 12 gilded walnut ornaments. 10 cents for all!! That is a serious old-school garage sale price :) Perfect for my tree, since I favor a simple, monochromatic look.

I took some serious flak from about half my friends and acquaintances because I have an artificial tree.
Especially because I live in the Pacific Northwest, where most of the nation's live Christmas trees come from.
What can I say----I did many years with live trees, but I also am a person who enjoys kitsch, so a few years ago, when a flood of weirdly colored trees came out (pink! purple! black, even!) I got this modest all white tree. If I could afford one of those vintage aluminum trees from the 50s, I would probably have one of those too :) Something about the garish, fantasy-ness of things like this pleases my soul. And then to adorn an artificial tree with natural ornaments--well that sums up my aesthetic perfectly.
Whatever your aesthetic is, Happy Winter to you, and I hope you are finding some peace in these weeks of holiday madness :)