This week Advent began, we pulled the first of the holiday decorations out of the boxes (albeit waiting on the tree which won't happen until Sunday afternoon) and we got our fruitcake baked and began its bathing schedule. The holidays are in full swing...so much cinnamon scented happiness scattered all about.
I am working on ideas for myriad gifts and thinking about all the little things that we'll be doing between now and our departure for Michigan that will help to add small touches of holiday cheer and a sense of ownership for our own little family traditions. I am caught in a land between being the happy child who goes home to my parent's for Christmas and being the beaming mother who fashions a memorable celebration for her own tiny tots. This is my own little way of appeasing the piece of me that is a bit grouchy about always donning the child cap when I so long to also be the mommy who is mistress of my own celebration. The season between now and Christmas week is all mine to plan and celebrate in. This afternoon, while the oxtail stew was simmering on the stove, the boys and I were putting together a pomander. I am sure there were many cloves squished and dropped on the floor and more than a few sticky fingers, which is somehow just as it should be.
This year my cookie baking will be a simpler affair since the neighbor lady just dropped a note in our mailbox to tell me that one of those fabled cookie exchanges will take place at her house on the 12th. I am still pinching myself over the fabulous good luck that I have been really, truly invited to such a fete. I cannot wait. Now I just have to pick a perfect recipe and whip up my six dozen offerings.
I am going out to the garden next to start snipping boughs off of the offending yews, cluttering the front of the house. I plan to cover the mantle with them and then whirl up a wreath for the front door with a big red bow on it. It will be free, festive and those horrible misshapen bushes will have served a purpose after all. That's the way it should be; may all our little obstacles end up as lively, decorative embellishments.