Hello, world. It’s been a bit strange lately.
Radio silence is never a good thing though, so let’s get back into the swing of things, shall we?
First of all I have been balls deep in sequins lately. The reason is CHRISTMAS! of course.
I am not a particularly crafty person. I enjoy painting the odd piece of old furniture, or a wall here and there, and I can crochet a bit, too, but that’s where the talents end. But I am so excited for Christmas this year because it is the first year that Olive kind of understand what is going on. We have been getting books about Santa from the library, decorating our house inside and out, and I have been going a bit nuts coming up with a list of things I want to do with her to help make this Christmas a special one.
So far it includes such aspirational projects like baking cookies (using cookie cutters no less), making a gingerbread house, finding an alternative to a Santa Claus parade to go see because apparently they don’t have one here because it’s too cold (Seriously. Where the hell have we moved to when it’s even too cold for Santa?) and the favourite – going sledding as a family and then coming in for hot cocoa with rosy cheeks and wet ankles.
Oh, and this.
That is an advent calendar. That I am making. Well, making with the ever-so generous help of my little sister who, to her credit, didn’t even bat an eyelash when I sent the pattern to her two weeks before December and was all, “So…hey there! You probably have TONS of free time right now (doesn’t everyone?) so how’s about we make something beautiful?”
She is tackling the base and I have been staying up until 2am painstakingly stitching tiny beads and sequins onto equally tiny ornaments and I have to tell you, it is already worth it when I imagine Olive’s excitement upon waking up each morning and getting to hang another one.
That is what I have been reminding myself when I jab myself in the thumb with a minuscule (yet painfully sharp) needle for the eighteenth time, anyway.
I love that child more than anything, and I’m so excited to be able to give this holiday to her. She will be so excited to wake up in the morning and run to our tree to see what Santa left, and her eyes will go wide when she sees he has eaten the cookies we left out for him. And then the stocking! I mean really, how can you resist?
Adam and I aren’t travelling for Christmas this year as we normally do. We were trying to make travel plans and find time off work for him and plan how to make the best use of three plane tickets and a handful of days off and what to do with Gus and it just seemed to be really chaotic and expensive and stressful. It’s our first year in our little house, and Adam really wanted to celebrate here. Thankfully our families were understanding and have forgiven us (I think?) so this will be a far smaller celebration this year, and I think it might feel a bit strange too. My mom will be here so Olive won’t miss out on too much familial devotion, but I am really looking forward to this mini-Christmas, and to creating new traditions for our family.
I know that the holiday season can often be challenging. Especially if you are in crisis, or have recently experienced a loss. Right now I understand that more than you can imagine. But I think it is also a chance to pare everything down and focus on what is important. Seek out those you love, bring joy to them however you can, and fill your photo album with happy faces to look back on for years to come.
Wow, sorry, I got a bit sappy there! Balls! Swears! It’s the exhaustion talking, I promise 😉
As we say in The South: Bless your heart! I made this advent tree a couple of year ago, but there were seriously zero sequins involved: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/11/diy-advent-tree.html If it helps you get through the stitching, you can just think of this as a fantastic mid-year holiday partner to that fantastic box of wooden Easter eggs you posted about! I’m stashing both ideas in my mental idea file for making after our nomadic year.
Oh I like this! Nice to add something each day as opposed to getting something. I have a fabric advent calendar from when I was a kid with little pockets, but honestly I can’t think if anything to fill it with because what, a bit of dried fruit each day? A piece of organic cheese? Please. So we just bought a cardboard one where you open the windows and there’s just a picture. But this is definitely something to aim for next year.
Madeleine, This is such a lovely post! Thank you so much for your kind words – and I love your in-process photographs! What a special experience to create this with your sister and for your lovely Olive. I am positive she will adore it and you will enjoy looking back at creating this for her! You are clearly talented in many areas – I just loved reading your post!
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The Sugar House Shop