Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Traditions

Two weeks from today...
is Christmas.

It never seems to come gently,
this holiday.

And it always seems to bring with it,
a jungle of emotions.

You know,
that commerical frenzy,
piped-in music and this incessant need to be "on"?

It can sometimes weigh you down,

beyond all that,
there is something about this time of year that I feel belongs to me,
my thoughts and my memories and
another set of emotions altogether.

For me, it is quite simple,
you see when I am all alone and I open up those boxes
that were stored away in the basement 12 months ago...
it is like I have opened up a time capsule of sorts.

I feast my eyes on every item, turning it over and wondering to myself why it means so much.
It may be chipped or worn,
but I know that it still has a part to play in this years celebration.

I haul out the Santa skirt that is folded and tucked away in the linen closet,
taking up more space than I can afford to lose in that tiny cupboard.
But it does.


I laugh at my frugal ways of saving the wired ribbon from previous years
to tie together fresh boughs of greenery wondering 
if this will be the year that I throw it out.

You see,
each collection has a year to it,
the year that we decided to add a little something to the stockpile.

2013 my daughter and I picked up a moss covered reindeer that she quickly named Randolph...
you know,
Rudolph's brother of sorts.

She will remember that,
I might not without her there to remind me.
But that's okay because she will.

And then you find that smaller box that is within the bigger box
that holds those treasures that were created by a family member, an artist.
The year was 1998, and it was carefully painted on the side that night
when these were given to us and our children.
They were gifts on her Christmas table,
each child chose their favourite to have forever.
And they will.

Because when you sort through the box and separate the chipped from the not,
you remember why you did not get rid of that particular decoration the year before.

Because some of those pieces that might be chipped,
like the toll art wooden tree painted by my dearest friend more than 25 years ago,
tell stories of first apartments, days before children, stenciling the walls, and creating first nests.

And the vintage ornaments,
similar if not the same as those that hung on my tree growing up...
reflect Christmas past and that year when I was young,
and our tree became plastic,
and in a box,
just because it could.

So, you unpack your boxes,
you display your collections
and you determine new possibilities for the coming holiday.

Whether it be ice lanterns to welcome your family and friends.

or warm candlelight and amaryllis,
along with 
simple wreaths in bedrooms.

You head into the woods to collect greenery and branches for fresh decorations
because that too is a tradition.

And then you bake all the goodies
that are associated with this time of year.

Find all the items required to set the table time and time again
over the holidays.

And in the doing of all this I am reminded,
reminded of what it is all about,
reminded what these next two weeks will bring.

I know that the shopping mall craze,
some supposed need to spend lots of money,
and that the commercial representation of this holiday,
is not about me and my family and this Christmas season.

I am excited that new memories will be shaped today
as the tree gets chosen in our local tree lot,
and decorated tonight by family and friends.

I know that there will be many lovely evenings with good food and company.

And that at the end of it all,
I will pack away all those little pieces that adorned our home this year,
and all those years in the past...

so that next year
we can do this all again.

Some may call that boring,
but for me...
I call that,

I am over at Jennifer Rizzo's holiday house walk party right now.


  1. What a great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts ,,,and wonderful pictures to go with them. Tradition...a wonderful feeling!!

  2. Beautiful, Donna. Beautiful message as well. xoxo

  3. Perfectly written post, Donna. Very beautiful!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful post Donna! Just Perfect.

  5. A beautiful post that says exactly what I feel. Thank you so much.

  6. Tradition...such beautiful meaning, heartfelt, full of cheer. Enjoy it all.

  7. Beautiful words and a beautiful post! Patty/NS

  8. Aw, this is such a sweet post, Donna. I love your pretty decor, and I still think you have one of the prettiest cottages in all of blogland….

    It's nice to know that someone else saves ribbon. I reuse ribbon every year!

  9. I've had to go back to the pic of the vintage ornament tree three times, so entranced am I with that display! The ornaments that have become tradition for me are not ones I spent big money on. They are handmade by loved ones, given to my by friends and family, picked up as mementos of trips or remind me of a specific time in life. You have written my feelings about Christmas tradition so well! You spirit of home and family must just permeate the air in your house in this season and I'm sure every gathering is made special by it.

  10. Lovely post, full of gorgeous words and inspiring pictures.

  11. Your photos are lovely and heartwarming. Greetings from Montreal. :)

  12. I feel I've created traditions myself because I don't have any children, and I really cherish every little piece of Christmas I own. I also cherish the memories of long lost glass ornaments that were hung on real trees and presents and a stocking hidden under our beds.
    Long may Christmas feel the same.


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