It is most definitely November. Its chilly and damp most days but occassionally you get Sun's warmth and that releases an almost Spring like aroma from the Earth. An aroma of transition. An aroma of change. The smell of digging in, burrowing down, getting ready to rest.
Next on the agenda of celebrations and holidays is Yule. I have always been a fan of Christmas and not just because of the presents. If anything its was all about the anticipation for me. The magic of brotherly love, peace on Earth, goodwill toward men and all that. The whole Spirit of giving and togetherness. Then Christmas morning comes with its chaos and madness of ripping paper and afterwards I would think "Thats it? Thats all there is to this BIG DAY??" and I'd feel let down. Not necessarily out of disappointment at not getting what I'd wanted or not receiving as big a haul as say my friend across the street who always got a big haul. It was more about how all that anticipation and good feelings came to a screeching halt and then it was Christmas dinner and then it was clean up etc and back to school time. I wanted the feeling of Christmas to last..forever.
This love of the holidays continued well into my twenties. I loved carols and decorations and the first snow and getting together with my family and friends.
Now I am in my 30's...will be 39 come December 8th actually, and now I just don't feel it. At least not like I did before I had kid's. I used to knock myself out with home made gifts for my family. Chocolates and cookies in nice tins or bags. Jams or jellies or soup mixes or chutney's in pretty jars. Labors of love for my family. I still want to make Christmas but I'm too tired nowadays and I worry about Christmas more. Will the boys be happy with their gifts? Will this be the last year for Santa?? How will we afford gifts and a tree? Should we move to an artificial tree? Should Richard and I forgo gifts to one another in favor of a "house" gift or charitable donation? (no..I am too greedy for that I think). Will this be the last year the boys are quoted as saying "This is the best Christmas ever!"?
One year Richard said "no stockings for us this year" and to be fair, money was tight. I agreed but got him stocking stuffers anyway. Ya just gotta!!
It was my first Christmas ever without a stocking to open and I was surprisingly devastated. I had to go to my room later to cry when noone could hear or see me. I felt very foolish and yes, very childish, but Christmas has always touched my inner child and this was Inner Child's first year with no stocking, the child like part of Christmas morning. Its has not happened again.
Its getting to be decorating time. I would love to have a magazine perfect spread like my sister in law manages every single year. Martha Stewart could take lessons from Marilyn. The tree is always exquisite, my brother's lights outdoors are blinding and a testament to his joie de vivre, and all the holiday trinkets and vignettes in their home make you feel both jealous and inspired. Alas, I am not so handy with the decorating.
To help myself get into the mood to prepare for the holiday I now call Yule but my family still calls Christmas, I bought Dorothy Morrison's book Yule. You would find it in the New Age or Witchcraft section of your local Chapters and I must say so far I am really enjoying it. Where do our holiday traditions come from and what do other societies celebrate at this time of the year? Some of the answers are well known but she also has some insights that are less common. Its nifty and I am getting into the Spirit little by little. The holiday CDs help too. I highly recommend Bare Naked For The Holidays by Bare Naked Ladies and the Santa Claus 2 soundtrack as a couple of more modern collections.
Today our magazine with catalogue came from World Vision. A World Vision catalogue? you may ask to which I reply Yes! If I may be so bold as to encourage you to try and make the world a more comfortable place for a less fortunate family somewhere, I do so now. We have been sponsors to a little girl in Haiti for some time now. I only wish we could do more. By making extra donations or selecting a "gift" from the catalogue we can. We all can! www.worldvision.ca has detail on how you could gift an impoverished family with a goat kid, or fruit trees, or chickens... Help a village by stocking their medical clinic! Help some children by providing clothing... Check it out. Wake the Inner Child that believes in Santa. BE Santa for someone this year. You will never be sorry.