"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach." (Scrooge, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
This is a craft project from a Christmas past. I got these wooden Christmas trees from a craft fair, stained and painted them (flicking white paint with a toothbrush for snow) then added painted hearts with the family members' names on them. For two years my mother-in-law has been bugging me to bring her another heart with my name on it. So this year I added myself and our new niece, Elena.
Yesterday while visiting one of Ed's friends in downtown Philadelphia, we walked by a Christmas tree on the curb for trash already. The day after Christmas! I couldn't believe it. I like to keep my tree and other decorations up until Epiphany (Jan. 6) though the priest at our Christmas Mass told us that we are supposed to keep the Christmas spirit until Jan. 9, Jesus' baptism. (Of course, really we are supposed to keep the Christmas spirit all year long, but we're supposed to practice for these two weeks.)
At this point in the year I always think that now would be a good time to do a few Christmas things here and there so I wouldn't always be rushed. I think one blogger even suggested a formal "make one gift per month" project. Of course, those never work, do they? Because just like we need special time like Christmas and Advent to get ready for Christmas, I think our bodies need what the church calls Ordinary Time, when there are no big feasts. And of course our psyches like the rhythm of each year: next comes Valentine's Day, so we prepare for that rather than next year's Christmas.
Still, now might be a good time (while ideas are fresh in my head) to jot down a few things I'd like to do next year that I didn't get to this year:
1. Some soft trees and a button tree.
2. Make my own cards (maybe)
3. A handmade gift for cookie baking (can't give details because other bakers read the blog)
4. These cute knit and felted pointsettias, which I saw on Knitty Gritty (now on HGTV. Yea!)
5. Stamp my own gift wrap and make matching tags
6. (To be continued...)
Now, whether any of these will actually get done is a total crapshoot, since we are expecting our son from Vietnam during 2007, and may even be preparing to travel for our daughter from China around this time next year. See the base of that tree? I already made two little hearts for Sam and Sophie. See, I'm doing my best to try to hang onto that Christmas spirit of hope!