Summertime Christmas

 

Season’s Greetings Y’all!

Happy Christmas; Mid-Summer; Mid-Winter; Ramadan; Hanukkah; Kwanzaa ~ 

Whatever you celebrate may your days be blessed with your loved ones around you

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The Christmas Light Catchers were all finally sent off on Monday 7th December.  The nice lady at the post office assured me I was far too late in my posting habits to make the Christmas delivery deadline for those of you across the oceans, but I believe in miracles and it turns out there has been  a number of them – were you one of them?

I feel like my Celebration season got off to an excellent start this year with that communal giveaway and it has caused me to become quite ‘merry and bright’ about the whole thing – which is not something I have utterly given myself up to in the past few years.

I’ve been fortunate to experience Christmas in both hemispheres and have found pleasure and pain in both seasons.  As a child I had a feeling of deep disconnection between the presented pictures and the reality of our global situation – which simply added to my general discombobulation with the family dysfunction which was the reality of my young life.

In the blinding heat of mid summer we were all treated to displays of fake snow scattered about shop window settings and cards featuring pretty women in long gowns trimmed with fur, their hands buried in muffs and snow brushing their pink cheeks; or robins on bare branches white with more snow….  Carols and popular songs tinkled along merrily in the background and we all sang along with them – we were dreaming of a white Christmas, hearing sleigh bells jingling, and decking the halls with boughs of holly.  We lit the lights on the Christmas trees but never got to see their glow because it was always light while we were up.  There was no waiting for the return of the sun because it was always here and always bright.  [Years later my own children, excited out of their trees by the coming event, would wake us up at three o’clock in the morning to tell us Santa had been and the birds were singing.  Stockings were introduced to the end of their beds with enough goodies to keep them quiet for at least another half hour…….]

A heavy, roasted Christmas dinner was often cooked amid faces red and sweating and eaten in the same manner while we kids just wanted to escape the heat and dive back into the ocean or river.

We had few local traditions, everything had been imported from the Northern Hemisphere by the settlers who came to make new and better lives yet continued to adhere faithfully to the way things were done ‘Back Home’ despite all  seasonal disadvantages.

As a young mother I set about making sure my children did not experience the same sense of disconnection with the festival and over the years built up a new set of traditions and displays that met our seasonal and cultural mores and addressed my growing connection with a spiritual reality that had nothing to do with religion or culture and everything to do with the need for me to unleash the ability to understand what unconditional love is and to be able to live in it on a daily and practical basis.

Christmas became the festival where I practised best.

We had wonderful Christmases and in their own lives, my girls have carried on the traditions that were begun in their childhoods.

This year we get to have one of our special Christmases.  Just the three of us make up our small immediate family and we get to spend a week together this year.  We are tight.  We are devoted and adoring and just a little awed by each other.  Not being of a religious bent, but bearing strong spiritual connections with the message of the season we will celebrate our ability to love, to share, to give and to shine.  The summer sun is bright and warm and we let it be our inspiration.

Somewhere the decision was made to make this a Christmas to remember.

So for the first time in this tiny house, a tree arrived.  It got itself decorated with baubles, bells, flowers, birds and butterflies – in our favourite colours of course.

Xmas Tree 2015

And placed stage centre especially for Orlando’s enjoyment and contentment

O under tree Dec 15

I crocheted that tree skirt in one frantic 14 hour period, as big as I could get it in the time allowed and in between my doing of ordinary daily activities ……  After it is finished with this year I shall double it in size in a leisurely fashion.

The tiny courtyard is full of flowers and little bits of bling.  The chairs have comfy cushions and there are places for wine glasses and plates of food

Tiny Courtyard pizap

The front entrance welcomes with bells and bling, cats and a green nodding doggie and even more flowers

front2 dec15

Dec Front pizap

The hand made gifts are [finally] finished and being wrapped – this is the last of them

presents pizap

The Secret Recipe Cold Christmas Pudding is made and maturing

xmaspud1 2015

And Siddy is ready for GO! (His favourite aunty Jo arrives in two more sleeps and our Christmas begins!)

Xmas6

And I have my Christmas hair on

Pink Hair Dec 15

[I’m transitioning people, from coloured hair to cheveux au-naturale – the time has come – as the Walrus once so famously said.  And why not have a little fun along the way?]

This is my last post for the year, thanks for being with me through this fabulous and eventful twelve months.  Thanks for your encouragement and support and friendship.  And thank you for coming by again today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

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Christmas Giveaway – THE WINNER

Well, the voters have spoken and it was so very interesting to see where your hearts went.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and vote and to those of you who reflected back to me their thoughts and feelings both via the blog and in private emails.  I was touched, not only by the stories themselves, but also by your thoughts about the stories and the thought you put into making your selections.  I so loved Boomdee’s comment about hope – did you catch that in the comments section of the last post?

In the end voting was very close between two stories.  And very close between the next five.  So close that there was only one course of action left to me – and that was to make everyone winners.

Here’s what has happened:

The story you voted for the most was C.  This is the story of Melanie, submitted by her father, Colin.  I do not know Colin or Melanie and have no idea how Colin found out about the giveaway.  But he did and he wrote a beautiful precis of his daughter’s life and we all thought it was worthy of a light catcher – so it will be sent to her as soon as her address is received.

Extraordinarily close behind was story A.  Norah’s friend Robin touched our hearts and so nearly won it would be a shame not to send her something – so she will receive a light catcher also.

Then there followed the middle runners [it’s sounding a bit like a horse racing event isn’t it ….]  These stories were all close together in terms of votes, you all liked them equally it seems causing a split vote situation.  Nothing for it then but to say all the people featured in these stories are also receiving light catchers:

B, D, F, H, J and K.

I took some time out of life for several hours and with intense purpose made several versions of a simpler, single strand Christmas Light Catcher to be given to the runners up.  Each  catcher is made with one AAA crystal ball, either of 30 or 40 mm, a random amount of AAA crystal octagons, a random amount of crystal faceted beads, various glass, acrylic or semi precious beads and finished with several charms.  They are all different.  My plan is to wrap them up, package them and randomly write on the addresses as you send them to me.  Which light catcher anyone gets will be the outcome of random choice, pure good fortune or the will of the Christmas Fairy – whichever way you choose to look at it.

This is a shot of several of the single strands, all mixed up together

Xmas lc extra4

And as another added extra, today I threw all the names of the commenters from the last post into my favourite coffee cup and drew one out.

Sharon, aka ‘Gentle Stitches’ will also receive a simple single strand Christmas Light Catcher.

Here’s a few more of them just lying around waiting to be parcelled up

Xmas lc extra3

Although these catchers made as extra giveaways are much simpler than the major giveaway, they will I hope, spread just a few more light rainbows around the world and remind the recipients that they are in the hearts of the people who submitted them and their stories touched the hearts of the people who heard them.

Please make sure to send me the address of your nominee if they are a prize winner – instructions are in the previous post. .

Thank you again for your participation and encouragement of this Advent activity.

To finish, especially for his fans, here’s  a shot of Siddy admiring his new front door:

new door 13 11

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!