Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What's next?

The gauntlet of Christmas festivities, has been diligently run, and ready or not, here comes 2018. There are big changes ahead for us. Not only is our youngest, going to be starting Prep (school) next year, but David just started a new career too.

He received the news, as we were heavily in the midsts of Christmas preparations. Then on the day he signed contracts, we suddenly learned Christmas day, was off the table. He was rostered to work instead.

 Making flat land, for temporary gazebo

Timing...where were you? Because gazebo's had already been purchased, retaining walls, built - relatives planned to drive over an hour, to eat lunch in the new outdoors, entertaining area. Were we supposed to consider, canceling Christmas? Fortunately, David wasn't expected to work Christmas eve, so that became our new Christmas day. Close enough.

There is more to share about his new position, and even about Christmas, but I'll save those for future posts. This one is about the anticipation of a new year, and how we're planning to spend it.

 December 25, closed with a spectacular double rainbow

Rather than make new year's resolutions though, I'm choosing to adopt a word for the year, instead. "Sacrifice", is going to be my word. Because a bunch of things conspired at the end of 2017, to make me focus on it. I'm not planning to make specific sacrifices, nor any challenges for myself. It's simply a contrast, to the reward-based psychology, prevalent in our culture.

I want to practice more identification with "sacrifice", as a possible, positive influence in my life. It seems to be a word associated exclusively with martyrs, or even a form of punishment through self-deprivation. Basically it seems like a foreign concept, assigned to either greatness or unworthiness. My natural curiosity, wants to explore all the layers in between, to see it's full potential. 

What will this examination process, lead to? I don't know. But I look forward to contemplating the perception of sacrifice, in 2018. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Festive times

Unequivocally, it's beginning to look a lot know ~

It's up!

The Christmas tree finds it's way into the living room, in early December. The decorations come out, and we all seem to get a little more giddy. Not entirely because presents are anticipated, but because it's a family tradition.

We're another year older, but this time of the year, never seems to age. Whoever makes up your family, whether you celebrate, big or small, it's simply a reminder to take the time to DO things together.

Even if it's just to send a package off in the mail, or call someone to remind them, you're thinking about what they're up to. Technology can allow us those special luxuries. Whatever you do, however you do it - be sure to do it, together.

Don't cry, I know it's Christmas

Normally, Christmas decorations are the jurisdiction of my family. They always were the ones to jump in, get it done and have fun while doing it. But for some reason, this year, I found myself indulging in Christmas decorating too.

The families are coming to visit this year, and it felt downright hospitable, to get involved in the decorating. So I did. And for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Find meaning in anything you do

In our preparations for family, we somehow turned the house, inside out too - removing things, we're not really sure WHY we stored in the first place. The living areas have looked like a cyclone hit, for the past month or so. Still, it was good to clean out the cobwebs, and appreciate what was truly valuable to us.

In that collection of "things", we found our colourful metal owl, someone had discarded many moons ago. Which may have to do with the fact, it's head had been detached from it's body. We always meant to get around to fixing it, but poor headless owl, languished in the cupboard, as all our unfinished projects, tend to do!

A bit of super epoxy glue later, and owl is ready to see Christmas for the first time.

A new (to us) star

We purchased a couple of new Christmas decorations this year, and David found a woven star, from the local thrift store. Plus, he got it for half price! It's one of my favourites now. I wanted something less glittery, and more organic. It keeps repaired owl, company, on top of the fridge.

This year, David and I, have come to appreciate, not only how we want to spend Christmas; but also, how we wish to spend the rest of our days. The owl and star, have come to represent those aspirations - or how to acquire what needs re-purposing, and become involved in adding value them. Not for the intentions of hoarding, but to replace some of the frantic shopping, that seems to accompany this time of year. ANY time of year, really, if you find a reason to.

We wanted this Christmas to be a humble affair, but nonetheless, found ourselves, spending countless hours at a shopping centre (Mall) and buying coffees, plus hideous cakes (preservatives anyone) to escape the crowds. It was in stark contrasts, to the lucky find in the thrift store, and simply adding glue to something we already had.

 A decoration, given by a family member

After the shopping centre fiasco, we couldn't wait to get back home, to the house we took the time to decorate together. It was so peaceful, and undemanding, in comparison. Plus, the coffee didn't taste burnt! David has a "Super dad" mug, tucked away in the cupboard, and I pull out my lone Willow teacup (minus the set). Both were thrift store finds, as well. They serve us hot beverages, with more pizazz than any franchise ground, coffee bean.

No offense to anyone who actually likes franchise coffee - sometimes it can taste sensational! But ask me what I prefer, and I look forward to my lone Willow cup, waiting for me in the cupboard or dish rack. Because I actually get to participate in making the coffee, and the memorable stories behind what I drink it in.

Home. Christmas. Family. Community. Just participate and make it more of what you enjoy. We'll be entertaining this idea, more deeply over the holidays. Anyway... all

Is there a Christmas/Holiday tradition you look forward to, or would like to change? I have a few up my sleeve, which I look forward to implementing.