December

Of Dark December Days

I took the time to dig through the blue bucket where the winter clothes live. Up on the top shelf of the poorly insulated coat closet live the garments designed to keep me warm.

I found the regulars. Hand-knit, white, patterned gloves crocheted with care. A blue hat made with yarn I requested myself. Being a part of a family of knitters has its winter perks.

As the sun started to dip behind the mountains to the west, we bundled up for a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

The cold nipped at my cheeks and as the dog pulled at my arms, I started to notice. I watched the sun sparkle on snow, and dance with the thistles showing up for their dates at the golden hour. I said a small prayer of thanks as I lifted my dark hood up onto my head to protect my ears. The only noises accompanying us were the panting puppy and puffing of neighbor’s trucks passing as we dodged still frozen patches of ice on asphalt.

There’s quiet in this dark season. Words are few between me and my husband. Not because of conflict or passive aggressive fights. We’ve instead been running out of things to say. With all of our time at home, the highlights are brief. The anecdotes missing. We turn to our screens and try to find activities to fill these dark nights in Groundhog Day, pandemic season.

Pouring a glass of white wine, a small tilt of the wrist swirls the liquid in its home. Light from the candle wick at the table wobbles, mingling with the shadows drawing long across my kitchen. Christmas tree lights reflect on orb’s edges as I sip slowly.

These days feel long and lonely.

I must call on my reserves to bring warmth. Extra blankets. Size-able pours. Matches sparked against steady surfaces. Electricity pulsing on boughs of pine.

These are the beautiful things of dark December days.

Wine. Warmth. Light.

December Favorite Things

I’m releasing a BIG exhale as we enter into December this year. We reached month twelve! We started the year with many unknowns and have had so many prayers answered. I’m sure I’ll reflect on year end as we keep moving through the month.

For now, though, I turn my attention to things that bring me comfort and JOY. 

I’m excited to decorate the tree, wrap packages, sip eggnog and feel festive. I didn’t last year – not really.

Here are my favorite things for this month!

  1. Calligraphy by Emily Howell

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This talented calligraphy artist created a beautiful banner for me with my new tagline. She also makes custom designs and would be happy to bring your favorite phrase to life. Beautiful artwork with vision and purpose. Emily also blessed my family with a beautiful book honoring my dad after he passed. She captures family treasures and transcribes celebrations. I could continue gushing her praises – check out her work for yourself.

2. Eggnog Lattes

No – you can’t buy them on Amazon. But you can buy eggnog on Amazon and make them yourself. Who knew! I’m obsessed with the creamy version – non-alcoholic please. You can read my poem about it here.

3. Star Garlands

I found this idea on Pinterest for gift wrap and I think it’s gonna look great. These little stars making all gifts feel festive. If you don’t feel like going home-made, just click the link.

4. Love Actually

My favorite Christmas movie. Because Love is all around. And I mean Bill Nighy…. his character is too funny. If you really love Christmas – the extra syllable. Gah! Get’s me every time.

5. Christmas Nativity Set

My mom has this beautiful nativity scene. When I was growing up, my brother and I would pick out one character each year to add to her collection. One year a wiseman, another year an angel. We may have even replaced the baby Jesus once. I didn’t understand the beauty of the set until I was older. Last year, I got the base set as a gift, and I’m touched to carry on the tradition of setting out the set among my Christmas decorations each year. Maybe my kids will play with the figurines and act out the Christmas story with each other – just like I did with Sam.

Cookies – did you say? I almost forgot.

I look forward to making gingerbread snowflakes using this Snowflake Cookie Cutter with my momma. I’ll probably stick a package of Walkers Shortbread and a bottle of scotch on the mantle in honor of Dad. He sees you when your sleeping you know.

How are you making your home sparkly, festive, and fun?

Happy December!

There’s Still Time

Well that went fast. December 15th came much quicker than I thought!

I just wanted to send a brief announcement that I am still accepting entries for the Give Light Giveaway, and thank all of you who have already chosen to share the beauty in your lives!

If you submit your list of 5 Beautiful Things by midnight tonight, you will still be entered to win the basket of Colorado goodies, and your posts will go up in the next few days.

Spread the word, share the light.

Submit your list of 5 Beautiful Things by Midnight21st Birthday.png

Guidelines on how to submit can be found here.