This year has created a lot of firsts for me. It's the first time I've lived in one place for 10 months since I lived at home in high school...It's the first time I've lived alone with my fiancé in a stand-alone house, without members of our community right next door. The other first's I'll save until my new years reflection post, but those two are important when it comes to holiday planning.
For the first time in my life, I have my own house, my own living room to decorate. As I saw photos of friends on Facebook, some as early as mid-November putting up Christmas trees and decking their halls, I started to wonder what I should do to celebrate.
Certainly there is a cause to celebrate. I don't feel a connection to the modern Christmas traditions, but December 21st is a very important day for me. The winter season, also being my slow work season, is a wonderful time to reflect, slow down, and sit with friends and sip hot beverages. Or explore the world around us while it moves toward dormancy.
I thought for days about how to create my own winter holiday traditions...one that had a touch of my favorite traditions growing up, but were more meaningful to me and in line with my environmental and ethical goals. As I passed trees I longed for the piney scent to be staged in my living room... but assured myself that I'd gather some branches the next time I make it to the forest nearby, and make a wreath. Eventually, as I was dragging a 5 foot tumbleweed out of the pecan orchard... I had an idea.
Long story short:
A tumbleweed Christmas tree. Aside from my paranoia of it being a fire hazard (so far so good), this completely sustainable 'tree' has been decorated with recycled materials that we've crafted over about a dozen combined hours, and potted with some local golden gravel. The best part to me is that at the end of the Holiday season...we can save the ornaments we want to keep, and toss the rest in the compost. I guarantee it will be broken down by Spring... AND nothing was killed to add some shimmer to our holiday season.
Mandatory popcorn garland- created from nightshade berries, rose hips, some type of black nut that grows outside our house, and popcorn.
Holidays shouldn't be about stress and holiday shopping. They should be about spending time doing what you love with the people you love. We're only 5 days into December, and I have spent hours with Amil crafting and creating. I'm looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring.