Thursday, December 17, 2015

Savoring the Season...

There's a lot to love about the month of December. We've spent the first half of this month winding down from Autumn and gearing up for the coming Winter. We've been "Decking the Halls" and making our home cozy for the long, dark nights. We've been enjoying some of our favorite traditions, such as trimming our tree, making decorations and special gifts, going to parties, attending our town's "Holiday Stroll" event... and there have been holiday concerts, and we saw a wonderful production of A Christmas Carol! There are always so many great things happening this time of year. We always make it a point to cut back on regular Homeschool stuff in December, to give us more time to focus on these special activities and traditions.
Our living room, decked out for the season. 

This year's handmade wreath... one of my favorite traditions.

So we've been keeping ourselves happily busy with all of these fun December activities. But we've also devoted a good deal of our time this month to doing our daily "good deed" picked from our
 "Acts of Kindness" Tree. The kids and I have been enjoying giving back in small ways (like donating to our local food bank, buying poinsettias for the nursing home, baking cookies for our librarians, paying for someone's coffee) and in bigger ways, like organizing a coat and blanket drive for the homeless in our area. It makes me crazy proud as a Mama when I see my kids getting excited and enthusiastic about giving and helping others. For me, it's personal in a different way... I've been on the receiving end of SO much kindness and assistance during the years when things were really rough for us, so it's really important for me to Pay it Forward now that I'm able to. 

The next few days will be spent preparing for our Solstice Feast! We've got lots to do! Making ice lanterns, finishing up the menu planning, decorating, baking, etc. This is my favorite celebration of the season! I love embracing and celebrating the Earth's cycles. I'm one of those people who really lives by the seasons. Our routines, the way we eat and the activities we engage in all change and flow with the seasons. I find immense amounts of comfort in this. It makes me feel connected to something greater than myself. The Winter Solstice is particularly meaningful to me. I love marking the time when the days begin to get longer again, minute by minute, each day. I love thinking about how our ancestors have celebrated the Return of the Light for thousands of years. This dark, cozy time of year is a time of reflection, appreciation and togetherness.  

“Winter is the time for comfort,

for good food and warmth, 

for the touch of a friendly hand 

and for a talk beside the fire:

 it is the time for home.”

                                                          ~Edith Sitwell

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