I just wanted to share our Yule Celebrations (Solstice/longest night). Being pagan from Christian families, we celebrate both holidays.
We don’t buy presents twice over, and in fact I collect them all year long as I have a few dollars to spare here and there. However, we do split them into more than one night of gift opening for kids enjoyment, and also to draw out the suspense and excitement.
Because of my mom’s creativity growing up, and her thrifty skills, I’ve gotten very creative making a few dollars look like an abundant spread. Plus, I learned long ago that dollar store bags and tissue paper make gifts look much larger.
It all adds to the view and feeling of a prosperous holiday season, which in turn gets kids very happy and excited (and a little naggy).
Finally, we always save a few gifts and the stockings, so that Santa can visit us too. This year a client suggested we use the ash from our fireplace to make boot tracks where Santa would drop the gifts and enjoy a cookie. I loved the idea so much we’re totally doing it, and I’ve made several fires to make sure we’d have plenty of ash. It’ll be a mess to clean up later but totally worth it.
I just watched “Polar Express” with my two littles and I think it’s just what we needed to spark some more magic in our home and family. Playing Santa for my kiddos will stir their magical creativity for sure.
Nathan and Anya even made gluten free vegan cookies for Santa. Shortbread and peanut butter carob chip cookies- yum! Ian and Katie helped with the peanut butter cookies. Now he’s working on gluten free pumpkin doughnuts. Double yum!
Anyways, I’ll put pictures in a clump below.
May you have a magical holiday season and enjoy abundant gift giving. May your children appreciate all their gifts no matter how much resources it took to compile. May you know you always have enough and that your gifting choices are perfectly chosen. May you feel confident in your holiday preparations. And above all, may the Magic of this season fill your hearts and inspire great things in all those you love and care for. May we all feel our connection to the divine goodness this holiday season. May you know you are loved and cared for.
I decided to be an early bird. This year needs a little more cheer and light, and a week before I normally decorate is nothing. I might even leave them up until my birthday next February, we’ll see if I get sick of them before that. For now the extra pretties are very welcome.
This morning started with pancakes and dog loves. Even though Zen is a fairly large dog, he loves giving me hugs, and I don’t mind except when his paw catches a boob wrong. He loves me a lot, and I find him quite adorable.
Then once I got dressed decorating commenced. I got very sentimental and teary eyed when I realized this is the first holiday season I’ve been able to decorate my own home (not a rental house or apartment). It made up for the holiday seasons that we had nothing, and not even an good home.
Anya fluffed and lighted our cheap artificial tree. We’ve talked about having a fresh tree, but I am tapped out cash wise at the moment so that’s how we ended up with the one we did. As we were pulling decorations out of storage we discovered some damaged and broken, and some burnt out lights, but fortunately we had enough to do a good job decorating.
We all took turns putting ornaments on the tree, and I hung lights as many places as we could. We left two strings for outside and a tiny string for our wreath outside. Nathan will hang those sometime in the next few days. I got really emotional after doing the sliding door because it was so pretty.
Afterwards I spent some quality time with littles and kitties. It was a good day and my home feels like a home for holiday celebrating.
May you have fun decorating for holiday cheer. May you have plenty of quality time with your family. May beauty bring you joy and warm your heart. May you house feel like home. May you love your life and find reasons to celebrate. May you celebrate with joy and peace regardless of whether your home welcomes 2 or 20 or more. May you have everything you need and much that you want. May you know that God loves and supports you.
HAL gave me this music video and an advertisement for a PureFlix movie called Finding Normal. I had already been playing memory lane, and my Google photos kept showing me the same days over and over again. Happy moments of the last 4 years. Katherine will be two in a couple of days, Ian is going on 6.
I love so many people and they are so far our of reach for me. My mediations calm and soothe, but my brain always cycles back to asking why the good ones stopped. Why the good people left, why the people I cared for most ceased to be in my life except Nathan, why happy moments never last. I don’t have an answer, except that change is inevitable. I’m just wishing they did last, and that those people still cared for me and had stuck around.
So, my looking back has a tint of sadness, but my present moment could definitely be worse. I’m not the worst off, and even in our moment of tight finances, I still have a better home than ever before and I am confident that we’ll be okay. We’re alright and everyone is healthy enough the bug didn’t bug us that much.
I love my husband who did stick around and we have beautiful mostly happy/well-adjusted children because of it. We are a mostly happy family that gets along more than we don’t.
I work for a holistic health clinic a little lighter on staff than my dreams of Atira included, but it’s definitely in the same category. Plus there is potential it will grow. They have talked about several expansion possibilities in the nearer future and I think they’re all great. It would be nice to be a part of that, even if my opinion doesn’t count.
I also work for a community of very extended family, which even though I don’t always agree with their opinions, I do love them and care for them very much. Mostly, I wish they could just stop and understand other views sometimes- find the common ground more often. I also wish that dementia didn’t mean that real logic went out the window so readily. I fight much harder to stay buoyant when I see someone starting to have more difficulty with their mental faculties, mainly because I love them enough I don’t like seeing them have trouble.
I have access to stores that are similar to what I always wanted for Atira, and most of them have helpful enough staff to make up for the differences. Natural Grocers only carries organic produce and has a lot of local merchandise which is very beneficial. Sprouts and Whole Foods help support a more global eco friendly economy. And there are even more smaller local merchants that sell their own and other local crafts and wares. It feels good to be a part of a community where my desires and needs can both be met.
So today, I’m finding relief in finding normal. My Atira is here, it’s just disguised as a really big city; and even though I don’t have my dome, I do have a decent nice home. In fact it’s the best home I’ve ever had. I don’t have to carry toilet buckets to a distant compost pile anymore, or drive 10 miles to fetch a 100 gallon tank of water to get through the week. I have running water, gas, and electricity. My floors are solid now, and the basement is not only dry and mold free, it’s actual usable living space. We have TV and internet available and a big safe yard for kids and dog to play in. We are doing far better than any of our previous years, and I will have enough to get through everyone else’s stupidity.
So even though germs are all these places and many more:
Germs are also most definitely in all of these places, the difference is these places also have joy and happiness:
So I hung some LED lights I bought almost 2 years ago, and enjoyed my meditation under the pretend canopy last night. Today I will garden and play with my kids. Tomorrow I will work, hopefully a relatively full day. And if it’s my time to go, I won’t stress or be afraid. I have all the important things I asked for, and I’ve had more moments of joy than my brain and Thyroid let me remember sometimes. It’s okay either way, and God will take care of my family if it is my time to go.
May you see your community. May you find your normal. May you know God is listening and supporting you. May you feel the love that you give others. May you know your opinion matters and is understood. May you find your happy moments in the now and remember only the happy moments of the past. May you have bright days regardless of what happens in the world. May you know you are safe and protected. May your loved ones always be near and reachable. May you know it’s okay, no matter what.