The bees were out yesterday. I could hear their sweet buzzing all around me as they took advantage of the beautifully tepid day. Just a hint of coolness swept the air to remind me that it was December but the sun shone bright and warm and I decided to take a walk across the prairie. The barn owl swept in front of me, round and solid, his steel colored wings glinting slight across the air in front of me, gracefully sweeping across the prairie. The mountains rested majestically across the horizon, their shadowy masses holding the sky. A group of horses gathered in the distance grazing softly.
The ancient willow holds masses of singing blackbirds and large owls. A century or more of memories do my favorite trees hold. Signs of cattle that grazed here long ago, and of antelopes not so long. The Buffalo grasses with their curvy heads and the colorful prairie grasses defied the supposed snowy landscape that is so often envisioned with Christmas. This is what a Colorado Christmas often looks like. I find myself wishing for a bit of snow. Sunday we are to get a little and the feeling of Christmas will shine all the brighter.
I gather kindling with my companion. (The neighbor’s dog, Serina, who is ridiculously cute.)
Inside the house, all is bright. Simple decorations best show the spirit of Christmas in this hundred plus year old homestead. This year we got our first real Christmas tree and it feels simple and beautiful.
Real greenery, candles, pine cones, feathers…cats…all decorate the scene. The birds play outside in their feeder entertaining the felines. Our new rescues add quite a lot of Christmas cheer to this place!
A vintage sled sets boldly on the dining room table with fresh greens and candles. This helps create a feeling of fun and winter magic.
Outdoors the woodland creatures welcome visitors.
Everyone has one sadness or another at Christmas time. Remembering and missing loved ones, financial woes, relationship troubles, irritation with our consumerism society. But the spirit of Christmas is there all the same. Beautiful and glowing, we remember that God ever loves us and takes care of us and that our prayers are always answered. Sometimes the puzzle comes together later and we can see why things occurred but they are always answered. We will celebrate Hanukkah with Doug’s parents and remember the miracles that God made and we will remember the child born, the reason for the season. Not in a legalistic, all must believe everything I believe way, but in a spirit of humility and humbleness. Prayers for those deceased, prayers for the living. Acts of kindness without folks expecting it. Simple things like paying for someone else’s coffee or sending an unexpected letter.
This year we haven’t much money. All the lists I love to make throughout the year of things I would like to get people I cannot. It makes me sad because even though I talk about simple this and simple that, I want to spoil my children and give Doug all the things he won’t buy for himself. I want my friends to have beautiful gifts and I want…well, this year is a handmade Christmas. Quilts, aprons, scarves, canned foods, and baskets of goodies, gifts tailored for the recipient and wrapped with love, but not store bought and I wonder how folks will take to these but I shall give them with the spirit of Christmas, with love and with a giving heart. I will remember that our blessings are many. For I had material and food to can and I have people to make things for. My heart overflows with joy.
A handmade, simple Christmas on the prairie is a blessing for sure. Time to put on my favorite Christmas album by Andy Williams (my son’s namesake) and do a little sewing! May you have a simple season filled with love and fond memories of past and present.
And may your heart be filled with the childlike wonder of Christmas…