January 07, 2012

The last bits of Christmas

We're on the last leg today. The tree is gone, the ornaments careful nestled into tissue and to their nooks and crannies in boxes. Today the house lights will come down* and I'll finally gather and sort all the things that need to be in the big gift wrap box and away it will go until next year. (Perhaps next year I'll share all the things I love gathering for gift wrapping purposes.)

I love beautiful ribbon and well considered wrapping and tags. This year I found the most beautiful tags at Blossom & Twig on Etsy.


This pretty red bird,

and this fellow with his crown. 

Oh! And these three:

God Bless Us

I purchased a few for next year and look forward to using them. When they arrived in the crafted envelope I was excited and even more excited to find such gracious packaging inside -- I felt like I'd received a gift rather than receiving a purchase.

So before the Lovely Season of Christmas, it's joy, it's busyness and the brilliant Spirit we celebrate is behind us, I say go and gather for next year.

Me? I shall do as Charles Dickens and "honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

*My neighbor John, who left for Thailand with friends with his Christmas lights on a timer and doesn't come home until Monday will win the leaving-the-lights-on-longest competition this year!

January 04, 2012

She can shoot

My youngest has taken to shooting.

And she seems to have the composition gene.

January 02, 2012

A moment of realizing.

We were simply sitting on the deck at Joan and Ed's enjoying our New Year's Brunch. 
The conversation, the food and the gorgeous California canyon Sunday was just perfect and wonderful. As was the company of these three little families who've been growing a friendship with great intent for fifteen or so years. 

And suddenly in the calm of the whir of enjoyment, I was arrested by the absolute beauty of the child sitting across from me. The sight stopped my musings and gave me pause -- and a small gift.

It was a stunning realization. These kiddos we trap in our mind at different ages and moments are so far from the little ones we carried in Bjorns and carted everywhere on Group adventures.

They've moved into a launch space. On that bridge we have to walk them across, sometimes close behind, sometimes right next to and then, too, at a painful and encouraging distance. This one, this child, not my own, but of my heart and woven into the fabric of my life and the lives of my family, made me see. These beautiful, talented, interesting and interested people are moving quickly into their own.

And there really is not so much else to say.

January 01, 2012

A Lovely New Tradition

Somewhere, mid month, my daughter suggested we have secret Hannukah pals and give a gift to this secret pal on the last night of Hannukah. (I'll admit that growing up, I too wanted "in" on the eight presents my friend Richie Fienberg was getting while I just had Christmas.)

So we just jumped in. She had us picking names and agreeing to shop in a flash. We didn't quite get everything together for 8th night and decided instead to make it a New Year's Eve idea.

What fun! A little surprise for the ones we love. I picked up a new release DVD for my movie loving husband. My sweet girl found a journal for me and darling necklace with a bird.

I especially liked the idea that there was no real expectation of any kind and in some ways, we could give something we knew someone might have wanted for Christmas, but didn't get. It isn't refined, but the idea of having a secret anyone to give gifts to in our little family is a big joy to me.

How about you? What New Years Eve traditions do you have? How do you make the night significant?

And again, I wish you the happiest of new years in 2012.


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