I have always been entranced with the beauty and childlike wonder of this time of year. I start getting excited in September. Autumn is our favorite season. We are coming down from our whirlwind of farmer’s markets, closing up the gardens, and can see the fruits of our labor lining the walls of the root cellar. We can settle in and enjoy the crisp smell of the air, the wood smoke from the neighbor’s stove, and bask in a little down time.
November rolls around and I start nesting. We tend to repairs that need to be done on the farm, projects like the craft room, and preparing for Thanksgiving.
But what we are really preparing for is Christmas. Our hands down favorite time of year. I am enthralled with the lights and how they make the whole world twinkle. The music, and how jolly the sounds are. How children’s classics like “Frosty the Snowman” are followed seamlessly with Andrea Bocelli’s “Ave Maria”. Andy Williams brings me back to childhood records, and Bing Crosby will always be associated with my husband. We love and watch Bing’s classic holiday movies and mimic him respectfully by singing his songs in our best smooth, deep voice followed by laughter.
The commercialism hasn’t bothered us as we have no desire to buy a million presents and we don’t need to receive a lot of things that take up space or that I have to dust. Heaven forbid! But useful things are adored. Homesteading items, handmade items, things from the heart. My favorite gifts are things that Kat gives me that were her grandmother’s. Precious embroidered linens and aprons. Nothing big.
So this year, we have arranged with most of our friends and family that we are giving all homemade or second hand gifts. We hope to get a little of the red wine vinegar Rodney has been brewing this year, or something that Rod Sr. has carved, or some delicious Apple Butter from Aunt Jenny.
We love Christmas because of the closeness that ensues. We have dinners and try to show our affection throughout the year to our friends and family, but Christmas allows us to show how truly thankful we are for these people in our lives. And no matter what one’s religious background is, it is a time of love and light and beauty, which makes this a magical time of year.
I also have a great love for Santa. I love Doug’s beard. Our daughters have turned it a little white over the years, hopefully it will turn completely white and we can have reindeer here at the farm and he can be the real Santa to the grandkids….oops, carried away.
Back to the thankfulness for friends and family. We are giving simple gifts this year but on top of that I wanted to give something else. A letter. I want my closest folks to know what it is that draws me to them, how much they mean to me, and how thankful I am for them. Twenty letters.
Starting at Doug’s family’s Hanukkah celebration December 1st through Christmas dinner at our house December 25th I will give those I love a heartfelt letter.
I do hope that while writing Christmas cards, or sending gifts, or lighting the Menorah, that you make sure to let those around you know just what they mean to you. Life and time are so finite, so quick, that there is no better time than now to express those things that linger in your heart. And no better time than the magic of the holiday season.