Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas at Home

Just a few pictures of the decorations around our home. Hope your holidays are merry and bright.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More Making

Less than two weeks until Christmas and for the first time I don't feel rushed. I'm just working away at a steady pace, making things with love for the ones that mean the most to me. I'm making time to enjoy the season and I'm finding time every day to work on a special gift.

I finished F's Milo vest, made a pair of Quick Change Trousers to go with them (with the cutest Heather Ross Itsy Bitsy Spider fabric and lined with super soft flannel) and started a baby gingerbread boy knit to go with the Gingerbread Baby I got to in F's stocking.

For A I made a little wallet to go in her stocking (and a few for some craft swaps) and quickly made her a dress from some lovely Birch Organic fabric. I'm stumped on the buttons though. For some reason buttons are the hardest thing for me to make decisions about, the wrong buttons can just ruin a project for me. I will look at this again tomorrow with fresh eyes and keep on making.

What are you making?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lucia and the Light

I must say I think Saint Lucia Day has become a family favorite. It might be only our second year celebrating the day of light but I know it's made an impact. For the past year A has been reminding me how much she's enjoyed it. "Mom, remember when I was that Lucia girl? And we made those buns? And I had that tray with candles? Remember Mom? I want to do that again!"

This year Lucia Day fell on a very busy weekend for us so I almost felt like I didn't get to really enjoy it. I had wanted to make A a Lucia dress and F a star boy hat but I just wasn't able to find the time. We made our Lussekatter (which turned out much better than last years) and read our favorite Lucia Day book on the night before. I set an alarm and went to bed myself but something woke me in the wee hours of the morning. It was still dark, as it is on Lucia morning, and I quietly went about setting things out for our celebration. It was peaceful and by the candle light I felt such warmth. I woke A and we prepared the tray together. It was really as I had hoped our Lucia morning would be.

We then took our Lussekatter buns to neighbours and family. I think sharing the light and the love is the best part. Miss A loves telling people about Lucia. She wears her crown with such joy and pride. Her own special light really shines through. I hope you all were able to find and embrace the light today.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Jack Frost

We don't get much in the way of snow around here, so when A came running into my room telling me it snowed (in the first week of December no less) I was more than confused. So I went to the window to see not a blanket of snow but rather a glistening coat of frost. Even without the snow, getting bundled up and crunching through the frozen leaves was fun. It was beautiful too.

When it gets very cold like this it always reminds me that the growing season is done and gone. So we decided on that cold day to make bird feeders. Up until a few days before that frost the birds had been in our yard, plucking bugs from the piles of leaves in garden, but now the ground was too hard for them to even get some worms. One of my favorite, easy kid craft bird feeders calls for a toilet paper roll, nut butter and seed. I coat the toilet paper roll with the nut butter (we used cashew) then the kids roll them in seed. The roll makes it easy to just slip on the end of a branch. Once the birds have eaten all the seeds the toilet paper roll can just be composted.

It took a while for the birds to find the feeders but once they did both kids were delighted to stand at the window watching the feast. I do hope that Jack Frost will send a bit more than a coat of frost this year. A wee bit of snow would be such a treat. Maybe when King Winter comes for the solstice he will bring snow. One can dream, right?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saint Nicholas

Tonight when it is dark
Saint Nicholas may come.
He loves to bring a big surprise.
He gives the children toys.

We thank you, good Saint Nicholas!
We thank you for the toys!
We thank you, good Saint Nicholas!
You bring us many joys.

—Ade Bethune

Saint Nicholas Day is such a lovely way to start our holiday season. It comes one week after we light our first advent candle. It's a much needed break from the busyness of the season. We take the time to polish our shoes, read stories and share our blessings. The children woke to find an orange, dark chocolate, and a toy each. A got a lovely wool fairy, which she has named Lilac, that I received in a craft swap and F got a wonderful knit hedgehog from the talented Nicole. They both had their oranges for breakfast and played with their sweet toys. 

Saint Nicholas reminds us that we should share our wealth and help those in need. Today we take the opportunity to give toys to children less fortunate than my own. We chose to donate to a local group called Santa's Anonymous. They collect toys and clothes for families in our city, wrap them and deliver them for Christmas. I had some toys we never even opened and they were the perfect way to spread some joy.